PIXMA MG8220 PERFORMANCE
Setting up the Pixma MG8220
Canon provides a Getting Started fold-out to walk first time users through the installation of the Pixma MG8220. You’ll be directed to unpack the printer, unlock the scanner, connect the power and select language. At this point, you can continue to follow the Getting Started Guide or walk through the MG8220’s interactive guide on the display.
Either way, you’ll need to install the ink and perform the print head alignment. When it’s complete, load the paper and pop in the provided CD.
The CD’s setup wizard does most of the work, prompting users to select the connection type and software installation. If you choose a wireless setup like I did then the wizard will take you through another interactive guide on setting it up through the Pixma MG8220.
Ease of Use
Most of what the Pixma MG8220 offers feature-wise is also offered with Pixma MG8120, with the exception of a few new items including Canon’s Cloud Link, a Special Image Filters Print and CD/DVD/Blu-ray print.
With Cloud Link, users can wirelessly print photos and images from Canon Gateway and Picasa accounts simply by accessing the Advanced Photo menu and selecting Online Album Print. Users will need to register their account one time, but after that, you can select photos at your leisure for printing. You can also pull templates from the web using the Special Print menu and selecting Web Template Print. As of this writing, selecting documents and attachments from Google Docs and Gmail using a software application found on the MG8220’s control panel was not available.
We saw the Special Image Filters Print feature and the new Disc Label Print during the Pixma iP4920 review, so it was easy to navigate these new offerings. You can access the Special Image Filters Print feature through the Canon Solution Menu. Then select the image(s) you want to add effects to and then choose from five options: fish eye, miniature, toy camera, soft focus and blur background. When you are done, you can save the new fun images and then proceed to the photo printing software. Below you can see the fish eye effect on one of my favorite puppy photos.
Disc Label/Case Cover feature is operated through the Easy-PhotoPrint EX software and is fairly easy to use: select your disc template, select your images (if any) and then choose the layout and editing options before hitting print.
It was much easier taking photos of the touch panel on the Pixma MG8220 because it now has a matte black exterior as opposed to the black glossy exterior we saw on the Pixma MG8120. The interface stays the same for the MG8220 with three icons filling the 3.5-inch LCD screen (the default is Copy, Scan, and Photo) and a total of twelve main menu items thanks to the new software.
When you select any given menu, the panel changes and only the buttons needed for continued navigation are lit. So each menu is unique making navigation more simple for all users. The only standard lit keys are the navigation wheel, home and back buttons; unless you are already at the home page and different options pop up.
For instance, if I choose copy, along with home and back, the panel illuminates six additional buttons such as the copy start keys for both black and color, plus and minus keys for number of copies, and keys for two sub menus.
I am definitely terrible at not touching the control panel despite the fact that the backlit touch sensitive buttons operate through electric currents as opposed to the push of a finger. But thanks to the new matte black finish, I don’t have to worry about fingerprints.
The Canon Solution Menu EX has been slightly updated thanks to the new offerings with seven menus, including two menus that are full of shortcuts for printing photos and scanning images. However, users can still bypass the shortcuts and access the applications directly, link to online Canon extras, purchase supplies, get help, and adjust settings through the new Solution Menu.
The MP Navigator EX has been updated to version 5.0, but there were no noticeable changes to the software. It still performs auto scan, automatically dividing multiple images into separate scans, as well as the gutter shadow removal for scanning books, film scans and the memory card/flash drive import option allowing users to pull all the information off a memory card or USB flash drive plugged into the printer, eliminating the need for a camera, USB cord or external card reader to upload all their photos.
All of our sample photos in the print quality tests were scanned in using the Canon Pixma MG8220 scanner.
The Canon Easy-PhotoPrint EX seems nearly identical to the previous software included except for the Disc Label option (which was included on the Pixma iP4920). As I’ve said before in previous Pixma reviews, the Easy-PhotoPrint EX software is fairly easy to use: select your images, select your paper, and then choose the layout and editing options before hitting print.
You can still solve troubleshooting problems with Canon’s My Printer and, as always, users can access the printer settings and maintenance through the print properties menu found in the print menu of your browser or word processor.
Print Speed and Quality Tests
When printing in Canon’s standard print mode, the Pixma MG8220 printed our 40 page test document at an average rate of 12 ppm; with print speeds ranging between 11 ppm and 13 ppm. But like the Pixma MG8120, the Pixma MG8220 fell far short of the estimated 9.3 ipm in color. Thanks to the same lengthy pauses between each color page (the machine pauses to let the previous page dry) the rate of speed when printing color documents was closer to 4 ppm.
Quality-wise, I thought the Pixma MG8220 did a good job printing black and white text documents and an average job on color documents. Inkjet printers bleed into copy paper and the images lack the sharpness of a laser color print.
Canon does offer a draft print mode by checking the fast priority box in the print properties menu. The fastest it printed during our tests was at a rate of 14 ppm and it took off about thirty seconds from the total print time (finishing a 40 page text document in just over three minutes compared to the standard print mode that took over three and half minutes). However, I would consider using the fast mode to conserve your black ink.
The Pixma MG8220 offers automatic duplexing but don’t expect a speedy turn around. It took 35 seconds to print one double-sided page and just under 12 minutes to print our entire 40 page text document; well over three times the time it took to print the same document in standard print mode (three and half minutes).
However, unlike laser printers, the Pixma MG8220 can print excellent photo images in a variety of sizes fairly quickly. The Pixma MG8220 printed 8.5 x 11 inch images in about a minute and a half while it took thirty seconds or less to print 4×6 images (the fastest time was 24 seconds).
Even at those speeds, the Pixma MG8220 still manages to print quality images. The scanned balloon image below is really good and it’s even better in real life.
The resolution was good and the colors bold. The black and white images were good too, thanks to the addition of a gray ink cartridge. Honestly, if there was a reason I’d recommend a Canon photo printer over another brand, it would be the consistent quality of photo images.