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VINE VOICEon October 27, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I waited to try all four features of this printer before reviewing it - document printing, scanning, photo printing, and photocopying. Generally, this printer is a beauty, both looks-wise and operationally. There is a pop up screen with a very bright menu that also displays photos. You are supposed to be able to edit them right there, but I didn't actually try that feature of this printer. The sleek, shiny, black rounded body has very cool back-lit buttons for all the functions right on the top. You can also control them from the computer. I found myself going back and forth between both, for both everyday functionality and the set up.

I have to say a REALLY great feature about this printer, which I didn't expect to love as much as I do, is the wireless printing capability. You don't have to keep this printer anywhere near your computer, just an outlet. If you have a laptop and like to use it in front of the TV, you will absolutely love the freedom it provides.

I would rate all of the individual features rate highly except the document printing. Here's my review of the features from best to relatively worst:

1. Photo printing - prints either directly from your card (no computer needed technically). You can print up to 600 dpi with this. The photos are crisp and clear, and color is accurate. The only thing I didn't like was the extremely rudimentary photo editing software. It is easy to use, yes, but it doesn't do much. If you want to retouch your photos, use either Photoshop or one of the free pieces of software. I like Picasa even. That may be simple, but it's better than this. Smaller printer paper loads from the back of the machine. Regular paper goes in a drawer in the front, which I really liked.

2. Photocopying - I find it's a relief to have a photocopier for the occasional document that needs photocopying. Here you'll have a color copier too. The colors also rendered accurately here.

3. Scanning - I tried a document and photos (you can scan your signature and then cut and paste it into letters, btw, which is a nice touch if you're sending out cover letters online). It did a great job on all kinds of documents, as well as my signature. Remember though that you can only print at 600 dpi with this machine, which may be a deal killer for a handful of people. The photo scanning wasn't quite up to the quality of the photo printing however. I scanned in a photo of my mom, and boosted the contrast slightly. The picture came out warmer and less detailed than the original photo. You can correct this on Photoshop, but in my opinion you shouldn't have to. Again, I was a little stymied by the fact that the photo editing software was so rudimentary - but if you have different software you should be able to work this out.

4. Document printing - this printer comes with two black cartridges - one is much larger than the other one and is just for printing. I have a small laser printer and am spoiled by it, so that is the caveat. First, the documents print out very slowly. It takes a while to prepare itself to print, and then when it does start to print, it's pretty slow. That was actually the only thing that disappointed me about this printer. The document quality is very good, but in my opinion doesn't reach the near-laser quality that some of the HP printers do. Considering this is an all-in-one, you can't kill it for that issue. However, because of that and the slowness I wouldn't recommend this printer to anyone who regularly does things like college term papers, or other things where you print out large documents on a regular basis -- the lack of speed would drive you crazy. I also liked my resume better on the laser printer, naturally. But the slowness and lack of laser-like crispness are what killed one of the stars on this rating. There was a cool thing about printing though - the front door automatically pops open when the printer starts. I liked that.

I would say that this is an excellent printer for people who want really good photo printing, need scanning and photocopying capability, which are also good, but don't have large print jobs on a regular basis. The user interface and the beauty of the thing itself make it a complete pleasure to operate. Never thought I'd be saying that about a piece of electronic equipment. The ink cartridges are kind of small, so that's another consideration unless you can find a good, cheap dealer on E-bay.

Installation - this is one where you have to be ready. Plug and play this is not. You have to load the printer head, the printer cartridges, and keep going back and forth between the computer and printer screen (which gives you directions) to set it up, no matter what the directions say. Give yourself an hour, because it may not go that smoothly. I actually had no problems - already had a wireless router and didn't have to go through what some others have, but it was tedious and I did notice that you have to pay as much attention to what the computer is saying as what the printer is telling you to do, and found installing the printer head less straight forward that it should have been.
44 comments311 of 317 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon October 6, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We (my wife and I) printed up a photo which we already had in a frame because we wanted to send it to someone and were absolutely astounded by the quality difference which came out of this printer versus the professionally produced ones from the photo counter at CVS we had been using before. The photos from this printer are bright and true to the colors, contrast, and brightness of the actual subjects we shot--our pet rabbit of 11 years in this case who died last November. The Canon prints aren't just slightly better, they are very obviously better.

But just to make sure we weren't fooling ourselves, we then printed the photo again on the cheapest grade photo paper, and again on plain (multipurpose) paper. There was no notable quality difference in the images coming out of the Canon on these three types of paper, and they all far outshined the prints from the photo counter.

So then we printed again, using the same make and model of photo paper on both the PIXMA MG8120 and our other Canon printer, the MP495 (which costs only about $79 compared to the MG8120 which sells for just under $300). While the image quality in terms of sharpness was better than the MP495 on both the MG8120 (of course) and the Kodak system used at the photo counter of the drug store, the lower price MP495 prints were still brighter and truer to color than the photo counter prints.

OK, so now the question is, is it worth it to buy the MG8120 over the MP495? It depends on what you're into. If you're really into photography or even just an avid snapshot photographer, then absolutely you should get the higher priced MG8120 featured on this page; but if you want prints which are still excellent--and I mean 'excellent'--at an incredible bargain price, then get the MP495. Both are Canon PIXMA printers, and they both blow away getting your photos done at the drug store, or Wal-Mart, or wherever it is you've been comparatively wasting your money on professional photo printing until now.

We have since reprinted every single digital photo in the house and they are all shockingly beautiful--like going from analogue TV to 1080p Hi-Definition.

OTHER FEATURES: Of course, the MG8120 also has a lot of features it's lower price cousin does not such as: a preview and system screen and ports for various kinds of input devices and cords most notably. You don't need your computer to print with the MP8120.

It's also multilingual--including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean (which have completely different writing systems of their own), but also a lot of languages you don't usually find options for on electronics devices like Croatian and Polish.

Add that this printer also has a paper tray included in the bottom, whereas paper has to be fed in the back of the MP495.

BOTTOM LINE: If you're buying a printer for school, then get the MP495 which will far exceed your needs for an incredibly low price; but if you're running a small business or you're some other kind of heavy user of a wireless printer/scanner or you're really into photography, then you should treat yourself to the MP8120--which is still a remarkable deal for all that it does at the high level of quality it delivers.

Either choice will have you never going to an outside source for your printing needs again.
44 comments145 of 151 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 9, 2010
I would like to give the Canon Pixma mg8120 and solid 5-star rating for the photo printing alone. I just got this printer yesterday. It was on sale for [...] with free shipping. What a deal!

The set-up was well-documented and easy. The only glitch I ran into was an error message on the LCD display that said the "inner door" was open and I needed to close it. It took me several minutes of messing around to bumble into this thingy inside that I pulled down and then pulled back up--a lever of some sort. That was the "inner door" and that fixed the problem. Someone else asked what the inner door was for. I'm asking the same question. It's not a big deal and I'm not complaining. I just included this experience in case someone else runs into the same glitch. Don't panic. It's fixable.

The machine is solid and quiet and not as heavy as I thought it was going to be. And it is beautiful. Not that I care. But it's a nice perk. My HP 6988 shakes all over the place when it prints, but I thought it was pretty quiet until I got the Canon, which hums along very pleasingly and steadily.

I'm an artist and I make prints and cards from my original paintings. I'm fussy beyond the telling. I want my collectors to have the best quality artwork. Even my Canon Pixma Pro 9500 MkII cannot print on simple card stock like this printer can. The images are just gorgeous. I haven't tested it with fine art paper yet, but that's not as big a test as doing bright, accurate, detailed images on plain ol' card stock. Beautiful.

The document quality is so-so. I wanted to be totally in love with the Canon 8120, I was so excited to get it. But all my HP's have printed text that is sharper and blacker at every setting. The HIGH setting on the Canon prints nicely, although just a tad less sharp than the HP. And who wants to spend a fortune on ink by printing at the highest setting all the time? However the duplex feature works very well. On the HP the duplexer is attached at the back and this is the second HP on which the duplexer shakes loose during printing, causing paper jams if you don't snap it back in.

The scanner is okay. It did a respectable job on some dusty old slides. In fact it provided very good resolution, which I punched up in Photoshop. However in copying and scanning regular photos or artwork, it looses detail and the colors are not as accurate as I would like. To be fair, I need to practice with it and learn what tweaks will get the best results. I think my Epson 4180 does a better job, but we'll see with time. I'm still glad to have a nice scanner with the printer. And please keep in mind that I want copies and scans of my artwork to be PERFECT! So, for most purposes the scanner is good enough.

All in all, I really like this machine. It's worth what I paid for it for it's photo printing alone. But honestly, I would not have been pleased to pay the full list price considering the not-so-perfect text quality in standard mode. I will continue to use my HP for printing documents. As for the scanner, it is pretty nice. I think I just need to learn to use it better. And as I tweak things in Photoshop all the time, that isn't a problem for me.
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on February 9, 2011
I loved the scan features for photos and slides, also the print quality of the ink. However, it appears that 30 copies of black and white word documents eat up the ink. At the cost of close to $100 to replace all the cartriges this printer is not economical at all. I have looked into bulk ink but cannot find the where tos or how tos. If Cannon wants to sell this kind of quality printer then they need to make the ink economical and last thru at least a ream of paper.
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on October 21, 2010
PROS: The print quality is great both for photos and normal paper documents. It prints very fast and I like the duplex printing. The scanner is also excellent. The scanned images are absolutely incredible in detail and color. And it scans fast. Installation was very easy and so far I haven't had any problems with wireless printing. Works every time.

CONS: I can only think of one right now. This printer drinks ink like there's no tomorrow. I don't really print that much (since I bought this printer maybe 150 pages and about 5 photos) and the cartridges are almost empty. Now I have to admit the cartridges are very small and not so pricey. So time will tell if the cost for ink is higher than normal or not. I think it'll take a year before I can actually judge this by comparing how much I paid for ink per year before and how much I'm paying now.

SUMMARY: I love this printer, it works flawlessly and delivers excellent print and scan quality. But ink consumption seems very high.
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VINE VOICEon September 20, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my first wireless printer and the setup for wireless connection was not too difficult, except that my firewall interfered with being able to connect, so had to shut it off temporarily. If you plan to use this in wireless mode be sure that 1) You already have a wireless router and 2) You know the pass phrase for your router. You have to enter the pass phrase into the printer and it is very time-consuming, but at least you only do it once. You can use the printer with a USB cable if you don't want to set it up for wireless. The software installation on the PC was very time consuming too. It took probably close to 20 minutes or more. This is the first printer that I have had where I had to install the print head myself. The print head (not much more than a tray to hold the ink cartridges) is not difficult to install, but it took me a few tries to figure out how it went in. Finally when I got it tilted just right, it slipped right into place. This is a gorgeous looking printer with a sleek black color and a flip up LED panel with a clear bright display. Menus are easy to understand and obvious. I didn't get confused or stuck on any settings. I am a little concerned about the small size of the ink cartridges, wondering how long before they run out. There are six cartridges, so they may last a while, since printing a color page would only use a little from each one. The printing seems fast compared to my older printers. Initial settings do not print the best quality, so if you want good color printing on plain paper, you have to make a change to "high quality" instead of the default "regular" quality. The first pages I printed in regular quality were a little disappointing, but the high quality ones came out great, obviously using more ink. There are two paper trays; one for plain paper and one for photo paper. Photo printing with photo paper produces excellent quality prints. Another big plus to this printer is that it comes with plenty of really good documentation, so if you read the manual and follow the easy step-by-step instructions, you'll have it set up with no difficulty. It may take a while. Took me well over an hour from the time of unpacking, until I printed my first page from the computer, although some of that time was messing with my pass phrase until I entered it correctly. If you are an impatient type of person who doesn't want to read instructions, this is probably not the printer for you. This is a wonderful printer, but a little pricey and slightly difficult to set up.
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on December 28, 2010
I've owned a lot of printers in the past only to have them not meet expectations and/or printer driver become obsolete within a year. I do a lot of research before I make a purchase, to include professional reviews and ultimately consumer reviews. I have used this printer now for almost a month and have been impressed with ease of use and yesterday was awed by the photo print quality of a picture I took with my new Canon Rebel SLR camera. It was better or as good as done in a store. I only printed one, so not sure how much ink this printer would use if I printed my normal quota. However, I did not buy it for printing photos, but wanted a wireless 3-in-1 which included ability to scan negatives. I have used all functions associated with the printer and each one has met my expectations. The wireless setup was easy, scanning documents and printing also went smoothly. Impressed with speed of printing documents wirelessly...actually faster than previous attached printers I've owned!

Overall, I'm very impressed with this purchase and I would definitely buy a Canon in the future. I don't have any negative issues as of today, the only concern I would have is probably with the ink. Yes it does contain five separate ink cartridges with the theory that you would not have to purchase ink as often if you only have two. I'll have to update later if I'm buying ink, even though it may be only one or two of the five cartridges, at the same intervals as my previous printers.
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VINE VOICEon September 26, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have used this very little so far, but the results are perfect. I can't see any flaws, and the set up was simple enough if you take your time and follow the instructions.

You must install the print head and the ink cartridges. You get an LED light when you have done it correctly. It took several minutes to install the software for wireless and you get a window that shows all the options available. You can print, you can scan, or you can copy and buttons follow your selection of the use you require.

There are lots of choices, and I haven't begun to investigate all of them. For now, I am pleased to have my first wireless printer. That's all I have used it for to date. But, all the other features are pure bonuses. I'm certain I will try all of them soon, but I wanted to get my review published.

Top notch product, although the cost is somewhat steep.

OCTOBER 2, 2010 Changed from a 4 Star rating to a 5 Star rating after using it more often.

I had to come back and add further comments after using this for several days. It is quiet, very fast, and delivers unbelievably crisp images. It is also an extremely attractive piece of office equipment, and people have commented on its appearance sitting on a corner table. Not that appearance is too important, but combined with the operating accomplishments, it is just one more thing in its favor.
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on November 30, 2010
I will keep this review short. There are others who will give more thorough reviews. I just felt compelled to add to the 5-star reviews out there after spending the first few hours with my new PIXMA MG8120. I bought this to be a photo printer for my photography side business. What I didn't expect was: wonderful wireless integration into both Mac and Windows; simple wireless setup; easy scan to network; the ability to print all kinds of templates directly from the printer menu such as red/blue-lined handwriting paper (great for my 1st grader) and graph paper; absolutely stunning, amazing, jaw-dropping 4x6 photos; and the list goes on. I also own a low-end Canon laser MFD and didn't enjoy all of these benefits. Didn't entirely know what I was missing. I'll keep the laser for my quick/cheap black & white printing needs, but this printer is my new best friend.

They only thing "negative" might be that it is a bit bigger than I was expecting, and it's a bit heavy, but those aren't things I'm worried about. I wouldn't consider the printer overly portable, but it's not intended to be.

I have no idea how it is on ink consumption. I worked as a developer for a printer company many a year ago and have shied away from inkjets after I lost access to my employee-priced inks. I don't expect this printer to be cheap to operate as a typical consumer, but I accepted that going in.
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on December 20, 2010
In addition to the other positive comments that have been posted, if you have slides, this printer does an excellent job of scanning slides which then can be printed on photo paper. What a bonus for those who need to have prints of their old photos on slides.
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