I've previously reviewed my Canon Pixma printer, giving it the full 5 stars. Arguably though a printer is only as good as the ink it uses. I mainly use the printer for producing full colour photographs, and this requires 5 cartridges in addition to black. These are Cyan, magenta, Yellow, Photo Cyan and Photo Magenta.
I've experimented with compatible cartidges but they have always been of far inferior quality, and in the end have decided it's better to bite the bullet and buy the original Canon brand. Bought individually they are around £12 each. However, the 3 basic colours can also be purchased in a multipack at a saving (around £27 for a set of 3). They are otherwise identical in capacity (13ml each) and performance, and as on the whole you tend to use them at a roughly even rate, there is no reason not to get them together. They clip in and out of the printer easily, and are of a simple design, being basically a rectangular tub of see-through plastic. This allows both you and the printer to tell when the ink is running out.
The results of printing are pretty good (obviously this is in conjunction with the two photo colours), the colours are nice and vibrant and true to life. They dry within a few minutes and don't smudge after that, though it's wise to be careful with them even so.
Photos printed several years ago are still sharp and unfaded (unlike the compatible printed ones), and whilst they undoubtedly won't last for ever, this is quite encouraging. Being a careful type I have backups of the digital originals on CD as well as on the computer, so hope never to lose every possible version!
I generally buy these cartridges from one of the online vendors like IJT direct; they often have sales, discount codes or special promotions so if you are not desperate for a replacement it's worth waiting.
The only disadvantage of these cartridges is the price; they are of excellent quality in all other respects. I suspect that Canon is making a killing on these, knowing that if you are serious about printing you will go for these in preference to the much cheaper alternatives. It's difficult to see why they are quite so expensive (other than 'what the market will bear').
I'm removing one star because of the unconscionably high cost!
In summary: grit your teeth and bear the cost for the high quality.
When I bought my Canon printer many years ago, I should have spent more time working out how much it would cost to replace the ink cartridges . The model I have the IP4500 has 5 cartridges a large and small black and 3 colours, so when I do replace I will factor ink replenishment cost that into my decision as depending on where I buy the ink it can cost me £50+ to replace them all.
I have over the years dabbled with using much cheaper compatible cartridges as the Canon inks are much more expensive. However I have not had great experiences with them and so I now stick to using the originals. I found the compatibles fiddly , messy and not great quality, so as I use my printer primarily for photographs I stick to Canon originals.
I bought this particular model because I wanted a printer that would print good quality photographs and it does produce great results. I feel that is a combination of the printer, the ink and the paper you use. The original Canon ink cartridges produce crystal clear excellent quality prints . They do not fade , the ink comes out evenly and although they are expensive I feel you get what you pay for.
This particular pack has the 3 colour cartridges you need for my Canon Pixma which includes the Cyan Magenta and Yellow. The cartridges are boxed and individually wrapped.
They are extremely easy to install in the printer and once you remove the tab click into place with no problems. A clean and simple operation with no ink escaping on me or in the printer.
I can't say how long these last as it very much depends on what you are printing. I tend to print everything in draft quality and black and white , so I use the ink sparingly for day to day printing.
Even in draft quality the printing is good quality, crisp and clear and not a splodge or smear of ink in sight.
My printer indicates when the ink is low or has run out. Unless I am printing photographs I find you can print for quite a while on low ink, but rather annoyingly if one cartridge runs out completely it won't print anything.
I have all my recent photographs stored digitally and like most people I don't always print copies out. Recently though I spent the afternoon looking at our old family photographs at my parents and realised that it is much more enjoyable holding and passing round photographs , so I have decided to print my favourites and store them the old fashioned way.
I shopped around and bought my ink from Hunt Office . The pack cost around £28 for 3 cartridges . RRP is £38 .
Also available from Amazon and Argos stock some colours.
My only gripe about the ink is the price and I really can't fathom why they charge so much. I would recommend genuine Canon ink as it is much cleaner , easy to install and better quality than compatible ink cartridges. But if you don't mind getting ink everywhere and don't need a quality print then I wouldn't bother with Canon ink as it is too expensive.
5 stars for the quality but I wish it was cheaper.