There’s no doubt that colour photo printers have crashed in prices over the last couple of years. Not only have price come down but the quality of photo printing has gone up to near lab quality. For hobby photographers though A4 size printing no longer meets their needs.
In steps the Canon PIXMA iX6550 A3 colour inkjet. It’s an affordable colour photo printer that can print up to border-less A3 prints which are ideal for framing and display. Large format home printers are following the path of the old A4 inkjets – falling prices and higher quality print outs.
I’ve use the Canon for a few days now and I am quickly running out of space om my walls to put my framed prints. The quality is extremely high when using Canon paper and inks. I use the Chromalife100+ system which is supposed to give colours that will last for years before they stay to fade – only time will tell.
For the vast majority of users the photo prints from the Canon will be more than sufficient, it offers deep rich colours on the high settings and print time is not too bad at a minute or so for A3 borderless print.
As for cost, the price of the printer is just a small part of making a decision to buy. The real cost of a print lies in the paper and ink. The printer cost about £170.00 which is not too bad for a large format printer. From what I can work out the cost of a Canon glossy photo paper (150 gsm) sheet is about £1.50 for A3 and the ink for high quality setting works out at about £1.35 per A3 print giving a total cost of an A3 photo poster at about £2.85. This is less than a third of the cost of my local photo processor and the difference in quality is at most negligible.
Compared to the professional processed photos the only barely noticeable difference is with the greens, but you really do only notice it when comparing photos next to each other. For amateur and semi-professional photo competitions and exhibitions I would pretty much print the raw file as it stands. For more professional quality print outs I would spend time on calibrating colours for the particular image and papers used.
I would say that for 90% of home users who just want the ability to print out photo enlargements of their favourite photographs this printer will meet their every need.
The printer runs 5 separate ink tanks so you’re not running the cost of throwing away cartridges just because you’ve run out of one colour – important in nature photography when you can have greens and blues predominate.
The only time I have come across banding when using the printer is when printing out ‘drafts’ on lightweight 80 gsm inkjet paper in standard mode. There was some light banding and also a little bit of bleeding of colours into each other.
This is not a problem for me as the printer was bought to deal with high quality A3 photo printing and this it does extremely well. Highly recommended for amateur wildlife photographers who want a quick and affordable photo printer.
A very affordable option for home printing of A3 photos
The Canon PIXMA iX6550 will meet the needs of 90% of home users who are looking for a photo printer to print out A3 size images for display. Using the recommended Canon glossy photo papers and Chromalife100+ inks means the output is perfectly usable in amateur and semi professional exhibitions.Few amateur wildlife and nature photographers with be disappointed in the quality for the price of the printer. A3 photo costs using Canon supplies is about £2.85 each.