Yesterday I installed a new photo printer as a replacement for my old Canon i9950 which I have had for quite a few years. As usual when consumer electronics are concerned in today’s consume, consume, consume society there was nothing technically wrong with the printer. It was still functioning as well as the day I bought it. However, the model has ceased to be manufactured many years ago and it was increasingly difficult (and expensive) to find ink cartridges to it. The last time I got replacement cartridges I had to order them directly from Canon, delivery was slow and for the price of a full set of cartridges I could buy two new consumer quality photo printers.
So I decided it was not justified to keep the i9950 any more. The replacement printer that I got is a Canon Pixma ip7250. Technically this printer is really a downgrade compared to the i9950. It only have 5 inks compared to the i9950’s 8 inks and in addition only 4 of them are used for photo printing. Also, the maximum print size is A4 compared to the i9950’s A3. The ip7250 does have an advantage in its 1 picoliter drop size though which help offset the lack of dedicated photo inks.
However, when I sat down and looked at how much (or rather little) I am actually printing and why I am making prints it really turned out that it was not justified to get another large A3 semi-pro printer which inevitably would have required special inks, at least compared to more consumer oriented printers. I almost never printed anything larger than A4 and most of my prints where 10×15 prints. When I printed stuff it was either A4’s to put on the wall for private use at home or in my office or to make 10×15 prints of family photos to send to relatives back in Sweden. For this I want good quality print by I really do not need pro-quality ones.
Given that I also wanted a printer that did not occupy too much desk space and for which ink is not too cumbersome to get hold of the ip7250 did look like a reasonable compromise. The 40 or so prints that I made yesterday while setting up the printer and making sure I got the color management and other settings right seems to agree with this. When comparing prints between the i9950 and the ip7250 it is very difficult to see much difference with the naked eye. In terms of sharpness there is none. The only difference that i have managed to spot so far is that some prints of nature photos seems to exhibit slightly, emphasis on slightly, less brilliant green colors which might not be entirely surprising since the i9950 do have a separate ink for green.
Remains to be seen how the ip7250 performs over time but the first impression is favorable.