Print speed and quality tests
As I’ve noticed since Canon switched to the ISO testing and images per minute recording, the advertised print speeds were on point. The MP495 boasts print speeds up to 8.8 ipm in black and 5.0 ipm in color with a 4×6 print in as fast as 46 seconds. Two of the three were accurate; however, the color document print speeds were lacking.
In our tests, the MP495 printed a 40-page black and white text document in Canon’s Standard print mode in about five minutes averaging 8 ppm with a first page out in about 15 seconds. But during our ink tests when we printed color documents, the print speeds slowed down to about 3 ppm due to a pause between each printed color page. For about 12 seconds or so, the MP495 would pause to allow the previous color page to dry, slowing down color print speeds considerably.
But when printing color photos, there was no pause and we saw 4×6 photo prints in as fast as 43 seconds, which was three seconds faster than advertised. When printing larger photos, such as 8.5 x 11 inch prints, print speeds were still relatively speedy coming in less than two minutes per print.
We did test Canon’s Fast (Speed Priority) print mode but didn’t see much improved print speeds with an average of 8 ppm during our 40-page black and white text document test.
Where we did notice a difference was in quality. I wouldn’t recommend Canon’s Fast print mode for speed but it does use less ink and for all intensive purposes can be used as a draft mode for non-essential print outs. For important documents, I would still go with the Standard print mode; the text is richer and more crisp than the Fast mode print outs.
Photo quality was lacking compared to what I’ve seen from the Pixma MG5220 and Pixma MG8120 but I have to believe that’s simply because the MP495 is a budget machine and uses two ink cartridges as opposed to five and six individual cartridges. Why? Because the noticeable difference came in the color quality; the colors weren’t as vibrant or accurate as I saw from MG5220 and the MG8120 but the resolution seemed to be on point (all images scanned in were using the Canon).
I would say the overall quality is good, especially with the outdoor and color shots, but the black and white images left something to be desired. If you are looking for more professional prints as opposed to prints to scrapbook or post on the fridge, I’d look at a more expensive model with a better range of color (for more Pixma MP495 example prints, check out our image gallery at the end of the review).
Ink control tests
In our tests, we exhaust (printing until the color runs out) a new set of cartridges. In this case, “exhaustion” means the printer will not print another “quality” document without a replacement. We print at a ratio of three pages of black and white text to one full page of color. We decided on the 3:1 ratio because we felt that the average user is printing more text than color.
The Canon PIXMA MP495 included two standard capacity Canon cartridges: a Canon PG-210 pigment-based black ink cartridge and Canon CL-211 dye-based tri-color cartridge. Canon does offer high capacity ink cartridges for the Pixma MP495: the Canon PG-210 XL pigment-based black ink cartridge and the Canon CL-211 XL dye-based tri-color cartridge. However, we did not test those cartridges since they were not included in the original packaging.
At the ratio of 3:1 in Canon’s standard printing mode, the Pixma MP495 printed about 200 pages before the printer’s status message alerted me that both cartridges were running low. I continued to print until around 254 pages when I noticed the quality of the prints was diminished. There was no message about the cartridges expiring that I’ve become accustomed to from other Pixma’s I’ve reviewed; the MP495 will keep printing until you replace the depleted cartridges.
Like the Pixma MX340, I actually liked that there was no threatening message or complete shut down because the cartridges were running low or were empty. It simply tells the user that cartridges are low and the customer makes the judgment call on how much longer they will continue to use them.
The down side could be that if the user isn’t paying attention, they could run out of ink in the middle of an important job. On the plus side, I had no paper jams to report. The Pixma MP495 uses a rear loading system and the paper path is simple and direct.
As is the case with most inkjets, the Pixma MP495 uses a very small amount of energy. Being a budget machine with no display, I don’t think the MP495 ever registered over 20 W during our tests.
When not in use, the Pixma MP495 pulls in only 2 W of energy. Right after completing job or when the control panel is in use, the MP495 pulls in about 4 W of energy (because the panel is lit up).
When printing black and white text documents the printer uses between 8-14 W of energy at any given point but when printing color photos the energy use is in a smaller range, about 12-13 W of energy at any given time.