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this printer is pretty old- it's unlikely you'll fine one for sale new- so if you're on the second hand market there are some issues to look out for. The waste ink tray can get full over time, and when it gets full you will get smudges of ink on your paper, there might be a fix for this, but the best thing to do is search for a low useage printer.
I bought this printer back when taking things to the print shop was so expensive that it was cheaper to buy this printer that pay for prints of 60+ A3 full colour sheets.
Print economy is good, I use it a lot and the inks never seem to go down even for photo printing, they're also quite cheap to replace.
The printer is very noisy but can be made considerably quieter by switching to night time mode. It is a fairly quick printer, but no speed demon. It takes up a lot of desk space even when stowed away, but A3 printers are always massive so that's not really a negative.
The main issue with this printer is print quality, the black and white output of this 4 ink printer is understandably disappointing for a printer with only one black, it' s ok unless you've seen the same shot printed on a 12 colour inkjet, or a £1,000,000 ZBE chromira LED laser printer, and the colour output is great for text and graphics but lacks depth for colour photo prints- I also had issues with very rapid fading (2 weeks left on a window sill and the print had nearly vanished) but that was with third party paper. It's ok for printing photos for home, but i'd never do client photos on it.
I am running low on ink, and once I run out this time, I don't think I'll be buying new cartridges and instead i'll be looking at the new 9500 pro.
if you see one cheap, then consider it, but I think that epson printers of this era were better than this canon
update: one more thing, the ix5000 is the exact same printer, just a little faster
I bought a Canon Pixma ix4000 about four months ago. I'm not a technical expert, either in computers or in printers, so this review may be bit lacking in some technical details.
I already have a Sharp AL1457D (a multi purpose laser printer, scanner and copier) which I use for most day to day printing. The sharp only prints out onto A4 and is Black and white. I like taking photographs so I set out to buy an extra printer that was good for photographs and could handle A 3 printing, occasionally I need to print out some poster sized stuff. I also wanted something that wasn't going to cost a fortune to run, I had been using a Lexmark colour printer which only took one cartridge which I thought was expensive.
I had a look around and decided on the Canon. I paid about £225 for it, I've checked and you can get them now for around £170 (sods law really).
The Canon meets all of my needs. It prints up to A3, fairly quickly (especially if its' B&W and A4). it produces excellent quality photographs (both colour and black and white), to look at them you would think that they were produced by a Professional photo Lab, they are that good. I take lots of digital photos using a Canon EOS 300D. The printer produces stunning picture quality that is just awesome, the subtlety of tones are great. I took some photos in the autumn in the peak district with the sun going down the quality of the shadows is amazing.
Incidentally I've printed out, recently, quite a few Black and White photographs. The image quality is exceptional, in some ways its harder to get shades and tones right in Black and White than colour, well this printer does it.
The man who sold it me told me that its all to do with the droplet size of the ink and the fact that Canon Full-photolithography Nozzle Engineering (FINE) creates accurate inkjet nozzles. OK I don't really understand it either all I know is that it works. I've also been told that the ink canon uses for the printer lasts for years. I don't know if it does ask me in ten years time.
Its' also compatible with my camera and also pictbridge compatible, which is a bit of a bonus. It also prints direct from memory cards. I've never printed out this way, usually because I've used photo editing software. But it will take Compact Flash (Type 1 and 11), Microdrive, Smartmedia, Multi Media Card, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro.
It will also take Mini SD, xD Picture card, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Pro Duo - but you need to buy a separate adaptor.
The Printer comes with some Canon Software - I've never used it - I tend to use photoshop or microsoft digital imaging. The Canon stuff is Canon Photo Record (allos you to create digital albums) and Canon Easy Photoprint (a fairly basic editing package) and Canon Easy Web Print - which is useful as it makes it easier to print out web pages. It also makes duplex printing easier
It's also not particularly noisy, its' louder than the laser printer but not intrusive, I can still work whilst its' printing without being distracted, its only about 2 feet away from my desk, so noise isn't an issue.
I also wanted something that was more efficient in terms of ink. The Canon has four ink cartridges (black, cyan, magenta and yellow). Apart from the first set of Cartridges, which didn't last that long, (I gather that the free ones that come with it are only half full...something most manufacturers do...) the replacements have all lasted well. They're not cheap but equally they're not undully expensive. You get what you pay for.
In terms of Ink - it has a nifty system of telling you when the individual cartridges are empty. Each individual ink tank has a built in LED - when the ink is low it flashes periodically, when it is empty it keeps flashing, quite quickly. Something I learned early on is that there is still quitea bit of printing in the tank when it starts with the slow flashing. Gives you adequate time to pick the cartridges up. It also flashes if you put it in the wrong way.
In terms of speed, standard A 4sized, I tend to get around 16 pages a minute (I've only used it a few times for B&W - normally when I've forgotten to pick up new toner for the sharp), that said black and white text is crisp and clear. Colour speed is variable around 4 - 12 pages a minute, depending on what I'm printing. That's a bit slower than the book says but its' fast enough for me. If I print out on A3 in colour it takes much longer, even A4 can take longer if I print out on colour with the settings on Fine. The type of paper also has an impact. So its' actually fairly difficult to give precise speeds.
All in all it was a good purchase. the only real drawback was setting it up in the first place.
It arrived in a big box full of packaging, canon must have shares in whoever makes polystrene.... after I unpacked it I was unhappy to discover that it didn't come with a USB cable. I then turned the house upside down to find a spare. I put the print head in and inserted the ink cartridges. Before buying it I'd been told it was fairly easy to set up. I'd read a few reviews saying it was "fairly straightforward". well it wasn't, perhaps its' my fault for not being a technical expert. Anyway after about an hour and being ready to throw it through the window a few times I got it to work. I had a problem installing the drivers. Anyway It worked and I got to play, the anger and annoyance evaporated when I saw the quality of the photos.
Since then I have used it to print out loads of photos and I have never had a problem with it. There is a bit of ongoing servicing that is supposed to be done, there's a bottom plate that should be cleaned, I haven't yet, it catches ink from borderless prints and you should clean it off occasionally or it can catch other photos etc. I will at some point. It also has never jammed or chewed up paper (yet - touch wood)
It ticks all the boxes for me, it does everything I want.
For those who need technical detail:-
Its' an Inkjet colour photprinter that weighs about 9kg and is compatible with pc's and mac's. It works on USB connections and prints, importantly for me, with a max colour resolution of 4800dpi x 1200 and is pictbridge enabled.
It is quite a big printer - you need a lot of space to fit it in. The Width is 60.1cm, Depth 31,2cm - so it has quite a big footprint (then it does print A3), for completeness the height is 19.3cm
It prints on almost any sort of paper you want it to up to and including A3. It has a sheet feeder of 150 sheets (which isn't particulary big but is adequate). It will also print borderless. It will print on paper weighing anything from 64g/m2 to 273g/m2 (Kodak Ultima photopaper is 270g/m2 - most are less than that).
It needs windows 98 or better or MacOS X 10.2.8 or later (at this point I'm copying off the instruction book). talking of the Instruction Manual, its' helpful and fairly welll written. i could understand what I had to do to set it up I just couldn't do it. The Manual is actually extremely useful.
Set up problems to one side it has been an excellent investment. I would seriously recommend it