This is a truly wonderful printer. The prints are amazingly crisp and accurate and vibrant. If you can imagine it, capture it, see it: This printer will print it for you. What I see on my LCD computer screen is what I get on the print. Extremely easy to install and use. If you just want to crank out a bunch of 4X6s for your family or print large art prints, this printer does it with ease: The "make prints of photos" software function makes this a breeze. It leads you through easy steps to making your prints and shows you images all along of what you are planning to print (instant previews all the way through) until you finally commit the "print" button. I love this SW. It's quiet. It can take a large stack of photo paper so you can select what you want to print and walk away.
The print quality is astonishing. It's just as good as anything you'll get from a photo lab. And at the price of this printer?! Amazing. I haven't made 13X19s yet (that paper is on the way) but everything I've printed has knocked my socks off. This printer opens up whole new avenues for my photography. I alsways looked forward to someday having a color darkroom. Well, now I have it, without all the space used, the chemicals stinking and going bad in their bottles, and BETTER print no-fade life.
[Update 11-Aug-2009: I've made several 13X19 prints now and they are luscious. Just eye-popping. It makes you want to just print off all your favorite shots at 13X19 RIGHT NOW! But what would I do with them all ... Bottom line: Print quality knocks your socks off. Everyone to whom I've shown the 13X19s has been suitably impressed. They clearly show the limitations of the film/sensor and lenses, not the printer. Wow.]
The only negative on this printer would be size: It's big. But, I don't really see how they could have made it much smaller, since it accommodates 13X19 inch paper(! It has all sorts of clever panels that fold open when you need them to print larger papers, etc., and they fold away to keep the overall size smaller, unless you need them. For all the paper sizes I am using: 4X6, 5X7, 8.5X11, and 13X19, the paper hopper is the vertical one, which means the footprint required by the printer is much smaller than would be required by a horizontal paper feed. It's also much easier to access and load than horizontal feed would be. Nicely engineered and thought-out.
I have been mostly using the premium Canon glossy paper (well worth it) but also some Kodak glossy paper. All results are excellent. Here are the papers I've been mainly using:Canon Glossy II 4 x 6 Inch Photo Paper Plus Glossy 400 Sheets (2311B031)Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II 8.5in x 11in 20 Sheets (2311B001)Canon Glossy II 13 x 19 Inch Photo Paper Plus Glossy 20 Sheets (2311B026)
I love this printer! Best thing I've bought for photography since my first digital SLR.
My computer: Dell Dimension 2400, 2GB RAM, Windows XP Professional
[Update 21-Oct-11: I am now using a Dell Studio X something or another, 12GB RAM, very large HD, etc. and Windows 7. The transition was seamless from XP and the old computer.]
[Update 11-Sep-09:] I wondered a little whether this printer would do as well with documents put together in MSWord, Publisher, etc. Good news: The results are just as good. Wonderful printer.
[Update 1-Oct-2010:] I have been using this printer for a long time now. I've gone through at least 2000 prints (no kidding) and I continue to love this printer. It is honestly amazing (much better than photo processes. One of the beauties of digital is that you only have ONE LENS to worry about. After capture, exactly what the CCD records can be displayed or printed.)
This update is to report my experience with some non-Canon materials in this printer. The Canon inks (and papers to a lesser degree) are expensive; and we all know this is how the OEMs actually make their money: By selling us supplies. Tempted by the prices, I've tried some other materials. I am now using nothing but Canon inks and paper.
I have used some of the after-market inks sold on Amazon. They worked OK; but the prints just didn't have the snap and zing I was used to. But the show-stopper was this: These after-market ink cartidges constantly (constantly!) clogged, or, if they didn't clog, they produced fine streaks in any areas of the photo with large, constant tone (sky, still water, bokeh areas). These were particularly obnoxious in bokeh areas and sky. I tried all the trouble-shooting and nothing worked consistently. I've (literally) thrown all these away and use nothing but Canon ink now -- with perfect and completely consistent results. I also used some Ilford paper that was OK; but the price difference just didn't justify going away from the Canon Glossy II papers (see links above).
My bottom line: Use nothing but the Canon inks (especially) and paper. They really are worth the money. I had to learn this the hard way.
[update on 4-Apr-2011:] I have now used the profiles on the Red River paper site and, along with some adjustment in Lightroom and help from Scott Kelby's books, I have gotten very nice results with the Red River papers. Well worth a try! Sitck with the Canon inks though.
I'm using the brother HL-2170W wireless laser printer for most print jobs and the Canon PIXMA for photos only. A great combination of printers.Brother HL-2170W 23ppm Laser Printer with Wireless and Wired Network Interfaces