"Best photo printer so far"4.5 starson by gordonrd
Pros: Lucious color, excellent drivers and software, great paper handling, looks nice on the desktop, fast and quiet
Cons: Like all inkjets, costly cartridges, lack of card readers
Summary: This is by far the best inkjet photo printer I have ever owned. I was a devoted user of another brand until I was browsing through a computer store and saw an 8.5 X 11 glossy sample on Canon Pro photopaper produced by this printer -- it was simply breathtaking with the most vivid color, clear detail, and perfect gloss that I have ever seen from an inkjet -- better than a photolab print on conventional photographic paper.
The addition of the red and green cartidges not only makes for much better rendition of colors that need those two pigments, it makes for very good black and white prints (note that this printer has only one black cartridge, not a second photoblack or gray yet still prints B&W well). I disagree that the colors can be too vivid -- yet to see a print from this I would describe that way.
Other things I love about this printer -- it is really fast - pumps out a full color 8.5 X 11 print in about 45 seconds. It is also very quiet. Like this entire line of Canon printers, it is very stylish in appearance and the various trays fold up leaving a compact nice looking shape when not in use. The paper handling is great -- dual paper paths allow for duplex (two sided) printing, and you can keep letter size plain white inkjet paper in the bottom tray for routine page printing and photo paper in the top feeder (or two different sizes of photo paper in the two different feeders if you want). The printer knows what is being sent and will select the proper paper source automatically (provided you set it up in the software to do this, which is not hard). You can also select the paper source from the front panel if you need to do it manually. The printer will also power up and turn off automatically, a nice feature that works well.
The Canon driver software has lots of excellent options, but there is a simple wizard to help select choices for those who don't want to get too deep into the software.
I don't miss the lack of a built-in card reader, since I have one on my computer and read all my pictures into the photoalbum in Adobe PhotoElements 3 for editing and storage before printing. Since this is a near top of the line printer, I expect it will appeal especially to serious enthusiasts who also like to work over things before printing. There is a USB port, however, on the front of the printer so it is possible to attach cameras with USB output (many serious higher end digital cameras have USB, like by Canon digital SLR).
Although the cartridges, like all inkjets, are expensive, they come in very convenient packaging and are easy to install (unlike some other brands that require a tug of war to get them out of the packaging and in to the printer). The Canon software monitors the ink supply for you.
In summary, this is the printer to get if you want the current state of the art in a "prosumer" level machine. The only thing that would make me give it up would be a larger machine able to produce print sizes like the 9000 series, but designed like the iP8500. I highly recommend use of the Canon brand papers with this printer. They are excellent. The Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy in almost as good as the Pro Glossy paper, is less expensive, and is fine for most work. Matte paper is also available. 4 X 6, 5 X 7 and 8.5 X 11 are readily available from photopaper suppliers and Canon's website. Save the Pro paper for that exceptional rare gem of a photo.