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Canon ip4500 / ip4600 / ip4700 / ip4850 Reviews

Printers were once predominantly made using white plastic, but black has taken over as the ‘cool' lately. On opening up the ip4500 you notice that Canon has given thought to the design and look of the machine. Not unpleasing to look at, albeit a little boxy, the ip4500 adds character to the desk.

Installation is quite straight forward, albeit not quite as easy as an Epson for example. You need to open up the printer and pull a lever back so that you can insert the print head into its correct position. The supplied five cartridges push into the five individual slots in the print head assembly illuminating a red led light per click. The five cartridges consist of a large black with pigment ink used for printing text, a smaller photo black filled with dye ink. The cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges also contain dye ink. All cartridges are generously filled for modern day standards and offer good value.

On connecting the USB cable the PC finds the hardware and searches for the driver. Simply inserting the supplied CD Rom enables the software installation to commence and complete in rapid time.

The flaps open to expose a rear paper tray, CD printing section, and a lower paper tray that pulls out to reload.

I was not expecting multiple paper feeds and was very pleased to discover the rear paper tray which is sometimes imperative if using thicker photographic paper. Feeding such media from lower trays means that the paper bends to come out of the same opening after printing. Jamming problems can occur on some machines using thicker paper and card. The CD printing tray which has become more common-place on photo printers is a very useful addition and simple to use with the supplied CD printing software. Install this and you can paste your design into a template. You then simply press your printable CD/DVD into the provided plastic tray, and push this into the opening. After lining up the arrows of the tray and printer case you are ready to click print. The CD is moved forward and back while the print head moves left and right, producing high quality results depending on your source material.

Canon provided three sheets of matt photographic paper in the box. I selected photo matt and high quality in the property settings and printed some family photographs to compare against other printers. I was pleased with some of the results however on some pictures the colours appeared a little rich compared to ones that had been printed from my trusty Epson R200. The resolution was far superior but adjustments needed to be made to the colour settings. Considering the paper and Ink was supplied in the box I would have expected the colour profiles to have achieved optimal performance. Maybe I did not select the correct settings being a first time user of the machine?

Pleasing results are obtained on ordinary 80gm paper and using generic budget photographic paper I succeeded in achieving a high standard of print.

Printing hundreds of photographs during the course of the week not only tested the capabilities of the printer but enabled me to add recently shot images to my family album collection. Using unbranded budget photo glossy paper I achieved pleasing results with the OEM Canon cartridges. These were then replaced with their compatible equivalents to see if there was a loss in quality as a result. Fortunately the differences were hardly noticeable which makes this printer even greater value with the option of lower running costs.

Update: ip4500 model discontinued and replaced with ip4600 and later ip4700 models.

The ip4500 set a benchmark standard for the printer purchase price against running costs against achievable quality for a desktop printer. This gained a five star award from our team. The ip4600 and later ip4700 try to emulate this success with an almost identical machine, albeit with a few tweaks. As we are no longer able to recommend the ip4500 to prospective purchasers (discontinued), we focus our attention on the newer models. Do they also offer the quality and value to the user?

As we have already mentioned, the ip4600 and ip4700 are almost identical to the ip4500, except for the new range of cartridges they use, PGI-520BK, and CLI-521 series inks. The new smaller sized cartridges contain less ink than their ancestors and will need to be replaced more frequently increasing running costs. Lower priced Canon models that use two cartridges containing built-on print-heads now become a more sensible option for modest users. Similar quality can be obtained, however money initially saved will be lost after purchasing a few sets of cartridges. Our conclusion is that for average volume users the ip4600 and ip4700 printers provide the best option. However Canon may have lost ground over their competitors with the change of cartridges and similar specifications offered from the model they replace.
Just a brief note about head cleaning. We found the printer software cleaning the print heads a little too often for our liking. You are best to print in batches to avoid u
nnecessarily wasting ink.

Canon ip4850

Testament to the quality of earliar models, Canon do not have to make too many modifications to keep up with the pack. Print speeds have been increased to 10.5ppm for mono and 6.1ppm for colour from 8.8ppm and 5.8ppm respectively. Canon EOS HD Camera owners will be pleased to hear that the Full HD Movie Print function allows users to grab a still from a movie scene. The ink cartridges also lool identical however they are different, PGI-525 Black and CLI-526 Small Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Apart from this we cannot see any other improvements over the ip4700, but why change a winning formula!

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The opinions expressed in Printer News Website do not necessarily reflect those of the editor. Reviews are based on opinions and readers should gather information about products from a wide range of media in order to get a balanced view. Don't take one persons word for it!