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Review: Canon PIXMA MG6320 Color Photo Printer, Scanner, Copier
on January 28, 2013
Canon PIXMA MG6320 Black (or White) Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier
[12/11/2014 NOTE: I suggest looking at the Canon PIXMA MG7520 or Canon PIXMA MG7120 if you are interested in the MG6320]
[12/13/2013 NOTE: I suggest if you are interested in the MG6320 that you now also see the MG7120 reviews]
This is a sweet spot for the Canon PIXMA line with a lot of bang for the buck. This is the new replacement for MG6220, only available since December 2012.
Note that the MG7120 is the replacement for the MG6320, NOT the MG6420. The MG6420 doesn't have the gray ink tank of the MG6320/MG7120. The MG6420 can't print to CDs/DVDs like the MG6320/MG7120/MG5420 can. The MG6420 has 110% slower 4x6 photo printing, has significantly slower copying, and lower color print and scanning resolution than the MG6320/MG7120/MG5420 (Note that most folks won't notice/need the lower color print or scanning resolutions).
- Like its predecessor MG6220, this has one more color than the MG5320/MG5420, GRAY, mostly for improved black and white results and to better darken colors. I can't tell the difference gray makes with color pages, but some reviewers can.
- Like its predecessor MG6220, this has an ETHERNET connection (unlike MG5320/MG5420), allowing a solid, simple shared/network wired connection that stays up even when computers are down.
- Only model that comes in WHITE (in addition to the usual black).
- Like the new MG5420 (and unlike MG5320/MG6220), has a handy separate 4"x6" and 5"x7" photo paper drawer at the front.
- It is a bit shorter/squatter than its predecessor MG6220, which for some is a nicer form factor if on a desk, for example.
- The new ink tanks for the MG6320/MG5420 also come in an XL size now which reduces the page cost significantly. The inks themselves in the new tanks are the same formula.
- The touch screen content-sensitive interface is getting rave reviews, however, I find the old interface just as easy, but the unanimity of positive reviews for it suggests it really is much better for many.
- For copying/scanning the top comes easily off (unlike the previous generation MG6220).
- The MG6320 (and the new MG5420) has 2x the number of black ink nozzles as their predecessors MG6220/MG5320. This allows more efficient use of black ink and greater dot accuracy.
- With 10+ years of having a number of their products I have always found Canon to have great customer service, which for U.S. customers appears to be based out of Maryland and Virgina.
- 5-15% faster printing than last generation depending on b&w vs. color, quality, etc.
- Can print directly from CF memory cards unlike the last generation, if that is important to you.
- Wider selection of devices that can print directly to it than the last generation.
- This is very new (end of last year) and as such can be expected to have more issues than after some time passes.
- The inks are different than for the last very recent generation (for both this new MG6320 and new MG5420) and thus are at this time (early 2013), harder to find available at stores or online.
- For copying/scanning, the lid telescopes up for books only to the thickness of around a cellphone, whereas the previous generation MG6220 telescoped up to around twice that. On the other hand the top COMES OFF easily now with the MG6320.
- The 50 second or so MG6320 cleaning/prepping routine has a short few second burst of mechanical grinding noise not heard in the MG6220 or MG5320 that starts around 20 seconds into the routine. One can hear it across a mid-sized room. This 50 second routine starts roughly 1m10s after start-up, for example. Quiet Mode does not mitigate this. If you are wondering, quiet mode quiets the actual printing a little at the cost of a little speed.
- No built-in fax, if this is important to you in an all-in-one. Perhaps you want to get a dedicated one of your choosing near a phone line anyways, however if you are looking for a built-in fax the MX922/MX892 printers do. This comes at a cost of not getting the higher end scanning of the MG models, though this may only matter to you if you are scanning negatives, MX922/MX892 scanning meets most other needs including most graphics needs, just as well.
SUGGESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
- See below consideration to select it not to automatically shut-off to reduce ink wastage.
- Consider choosing to print black & white or grey scale when color isn't necessary, this can lessen the amount of color layering to get black (though the use of grey and colors is not necessarily eliminated). Canon feels the black is better with more color layering, you decide :).
- If you need something NOW that you will use a lot NOW, and the GRAY and ETHERNET is potentially useful you might consider weighing the pros and cons of getting the older MG6220 since it uses inks that are easy to find at stores and online. The MG6220 is pretty cheap now, too, since it is being replaced, perhaps $95-$100.
- If the GRAY and ETHERNET (MG6320/MG6220) is for sure useless to you and you'd like a SMALLER FORM FACTOR, you might consider looking into the MG5320/MG5420, which are otherwise somewhat similar.
- Use Canon paper when you need optimal results with their ink, and test matte vs. glossy. Matte is much less expensive and may meet most of your needs. Let me know in comments if anyone finds a comparable quality and yet significantly less costly photo paper for this printer, I'd like to test it out.
- When doing black & white, for example text, choose HIGH QUALITY setting (and perhaps set it as the default) in the printer page set-up, it really makes a difference.
- In case of POWER OUTAGE, it is sometimes necessary to unplug it for A FEW MINUTES and then plug it back in. This allows capacitor discharge.
- The Canon site has lots of easy to find product comparison information for these inkjets, you might consider reviewing it before committing on a model.
- As soon as you can after getting your printer, print samples of full color, b&w, borderless photos, print on a DVD if that's important to you, etc. Determine if you have a lemon before you get too busy with other things so you can exchange for a good one while it is easy to do. These are complicated machines with lots of parts.
Anyone researching the Canon Photo Printers will likely be concerned about ink costs. Here are 5 things you can do to mitigate this with the MG6320:
- Buy the XL versions of the ink, this is supposed to reduce the cost per color page to a very competitive 13-14 cents per page (vs. 16-19 cents).
- As noted above, choose to print black and white or grey scale when that will do just fine to avoid black made from layers of colors.
- Turn off the automatic shut-off. Standby mode uses 0.9W, so on standby even all year uses around 8kWh/yr., so around $1/yr depending on where you live. This can help lessen the number of 50 second cleaning routines as it runs around a minute after start-up and often at shutdown. It runs the cleaning other times, too, which is good as it keeps things from clogging.
- Avoid printing pages with solid or heavily colored background in color when possible.
- Some fonts use 20-40% less ink than others. According to a leading consumer magazine, Times uses much less than Arial which uses much less than Calibri, for example.
NOTE #1: If there is no printing or cleaning routine at least once a month or so, select it to run a cleaning routine (easy to do) or turn it off and on to force it to once a month or so to keep the nozzles unclogged. If they clog talk to Canon support for what is often an easy solution.
NOTE #2: The MG6220, MG6320's predecessor, has a low ink early warning bug. For example, when I take ink from a MG5320 and put it in a MG6220, the low ink warning bars show the ink as vastly lower. This helps exaggerate the appearance of high ink usage. Actual ink usage is high enough that this bug is pretty unwelcome. If it wasn't for a leading consumer magazine's highest photo quality rating for all-in-ones and their estimated page cost that wasn't crazy, and lots of other favorable reviews, I think this bug could have been much worse for MG6220 sales. This might make you feel better about MG6320's past lineage and/or buying a MG6220 due to concern over MG6320's newness and ink availability.
NOTE #3: Gray is supposed to go much faster than the rest, thus you wouldn't want to measure average speed of ink usage based on gray. I haven't tracked it in comparison to the other inks myself.
NOTE #4: Just an informative, probably not very useful factoid :). This model range of Canon inkjet doesn't do a big cleaning/purging after it prints, you are usually hearing head realignment. However, it does quietly "prime the head" to keep the heat from ink clogging the print head and this uses a little ink (even for B&W). This is much less ink than with the big cleaning/purging routine that is much rarer if you set the printer not to auto shut-off.
INK USAGE CANON DATASHEET:
As it is pretty difficult to find, here below is Canon's published Page Yield per Document numbers (I rounded a little) for MG6320.
I'm not sure how much of the difference between these numbers and users experience is due to the 50 second cleaning routine, difference between test and real world usage, etc.
Here at least you can see real world expected usage ratio between standard and XL cartridges and compare to costs to determine the better value.
Mixed Text/Graphics, A4/Letter, Plain Paper, Adobe Reader 10
ISO/IEC24711 Test Method, ISO/IEC24712 Test Pattern:
PGI-250 __ 300 pages
CLI-251 BK 1100
CLI-251 GY 780
CLI-251 C_ 300
CLI-251 M_ 300
CLI-251 Y_ 300
PGI-250 XL __ 500 pages
CLI-251 XL BK 4,400
CLI-251 XL GY 3,300
CLI-251 XL C_ 650
CLI-251 XL M_ 650
CLI-251 XL Y_ 650
Color Photos, 4"x6":
PGI-250 __ 3000 pages
CLI-251 BK 490
CLI-251 GY 120
CLI-251 C_ 160
CLI-251 M_ 160
CLI-251 Y_ 160
PGI-250 XL __ 3900 pages
CLI-251 XL BK 1120
CLI-251 XL GY 270
CLI-251 XL C_ 360
CLI-251 XL M_ 360
CLI-251 XL Y_ 360
For folks not as familiar with printers, I created this section to help delineate when you CLEARLY DON'T want a Canon ink jet printer in the popular 5320/5420/6210/6220/6320/82XX model range at all. Perhaps it may help you find a good starting point to meet your needs.
YOU ARE ALL ABOUT PHOTOS, CAN
SPEND HUNDREDS MORE, AND DON'T
CARE ABOUT COPY, SCAN, ETC:
Consider checking these:
(per a leading consumer magazine and reviews)
- Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II
- Canon Pixma Pro1
- Canon Pixma Pro10
- Canon Pixma Pro100
- Epson Stylus R2000
YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT PHOTO QUALITY,
YOU WANT ETHERNET, SHARP B&W TEXT,
GREAT SPEED, AND LOWER PRINT COSTS
Consider checking out these lasers
as a starting point:
(per a leading consumer magazine or reviews)
- Samsung Xpress M2825DW
- Brother HL-2270DW
- HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401n/M401dne
- Samsung Multifunction Xpress SL-M2875FW
- Canon imageCLASS MF4770n/4890dw
YOU CARE ABOUT PHOTO QUALITY, DON'T
CARE ABOUT GRAY, WANT ETHERNET, AND
MUST HAVE FAX BUILT-IN
Consider checking these:
- Canon MX922
- Canon MX892
YOU CARE ABOUT PHOTO QUALITY AND
CARE GREATLY ABOUT STRAIGHT/REAR
PAPER FEED BUT DON'T NEED TO
SPEND FOR A PRO-100/10/1
- Canon MX892 (released 2012)
- Canon MG6220/MG5320 (released 2011)
- Canon IP8720 (released 2014)
- Canon IX6820 (released 2014)
Hope that helps someone :).