Canon Pixma MG7120

I bought a new multifunction printer.  I owned a Canon MP610 that I bought back in October 2008 so it’s been over 5 years.  The MP610 was great and I was sad to see it finally break.  The printer works but the scanner no longer works.  I used to own HP printers and liked them but I wanted a printer with separate ink cartridges so I could try to save money but only buying what I needed.  Canon offers that ability and since I loved the MP610, I confined my search to current Canon printers.

The search wasn’t easy.  According to Amazon, the replacement for my printer is the MG5520.  That printer seems to be one or two steps back from the MP610 in specs.  I wanted something at least as good as I was used to so I ended up picking the MG7120 instead.

MP610 – Print speed 4″ x 6″ borderless photo: Approx. 21 seconds, 4,608 nozzles, Color Print Resolution: 9600 x 2400 dpi, Optical Scanner Resolution:4800 x 9600 dpi

MG5520 – Print speed 4″ x 6″ borderless photo: Approx. 44 seconds, 4,096 nozzles, Color Print Resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi, Optical Scanner Resolution:1200 x 2400 dpi

MG7120 – Print speed 4″ x 6″ borderless photo: Approx. 21 seconds, 6,656 nozzles, Color Print Resolution: 9600 x 2400 dpi, Optical Scanner Resolution:2400 x 4800 dpi

I do like it.  It uses 6 ink cartridges which is said to give better b/w prints because of the addition of grey.  I don’t use the printer a lot so I don’t expect to be buying replacement cartridges all that often.  That cost per page seems to be the number one complaint about the printer in reviews.  Speed is another.  It can print fine for me but it can also take a while to get going.  If you’re usually in a hurry, this is not the printer to get.  My MP610 could get going faster than this does sometimes.  It makes noises (cleaning the heads maybe) a lot more often than the MP610 ever did.  It’s just a quirk I guess.

I ran into an issue with printing from Firefox on my MacBook Pro (OS X Lion).  Chrome and Safari were fine but almost the entire header of print outs from Firefox were clipped and the footer disappeared altogether.  After searching for a solution, I fixed it by going to File -> Page Setup.  Under “Paper Size” I chose “Manage Custom Sizes…”  There I could redefine the print area.  I kept the paper size 8.5 x 11 but changed the top, bottom, left, and right to .13, .21, .25, .25 respectively.  It took many prints of slowly raising those numbers to figure out what would work correctly without losing precious space.  So now the headers and footers print correctly.  It’s odd that the problem only appeared in Firefox.  You’d think since all three browsers are using the same driver, they’d be the same.

The MP610 didn’t have a wireless feature (that came out around the following generation of printers).  Since I’m not used to it, I find the feature is really cool.  I used to print from my laptop through my HP Desktop (Windows 7 Ultimate) desktop using printer sharing.  Now I can send it directly to the printer via my router.  Since my desktop already had the long USB cable running to the printer, I used it.  I read a user review who said it was faster for scans than going wireless.  I also downloaded PIXMA Print to my iPad Mini from the App Store and successfully printed from it.  It’ll even automatically turn the printer on if it’s turned off.  It’s pretty cool.  There’s cloud features as well but I have no use for that.

I’m puzzled by the scanner.  The only options for resolution on the printer itself seem to be 75, 150, 300, and 600 dpi.  I cannot find a way to go higher.  I tried looking through Picasa by importing a picture from the scanner but it to maxes out at 600 dpi.  I read nothing but bad reviews about Canon’s current photo software that is included with the printer so I didn’t bother to install it.  Literally no one had anything good to say about it compared to their older software.  I searched Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go (a search engine with a fun name) but I could not find any resolution to the problem (no pun intended).  The maximum resolution in the specifications is already less than my 5 year old MP610 and I’m not crazy about not being able to go higher than 600 dpi in scans but it’s not worth returning the printer over.

By default, scans appear in My Documents which I find a bit annoying.  Fortunately, it can be changed to a folder of your choosing by going to Start -> All Programs -> Canon Utilities -> Quick Menu -> Quick Menu.  Once open, the second from the top  says “Open the scan setting screen to change the settings.” It’ll be obvious where to change it in there though you do need to do it in five different tabs.

Copies, scans, and prints all look fine.  I printed to both printer paper (Epson 24lb Bright White Paper) and Canon Glossy Photo Paper.  They both look nice.  The touch screen is pretty nice too.  Overall, the printer is a nice upgrade.