"CNET's editors are full of crap... this is great!"5.0 starson by darkgoob
Pros: Lab-quality photos
Great menuing system
Built-in card reader
High-quality ICC profiles for the various Canon photo papers
Exceptional detail quality with 1 picoliter droplet size
Cons: Ink tanks could be larger, but they're OK i guess
Totally inaccurate review by CNET
Summary: As an indication of the effort put into CNET's editorial review, lets look at the last line: "Canon offers a standard one-year warranty for the Pixma MX700". It sounds to me like the CNET reviewers simply copied and pasted their review of the MX700 and changed wherever it said "MX700" to say "MP980" (but they missed a spot).
All of the things they said about this printer are inaccurate. The print speed is 20 seconds for a 4x6 and it prints an 8x10 in a couple of minutes. The print quality isn't just good... it's incredible. I run a professional photo lab and, let me tell you, this thing produces output on par with a Noritsu QSS-3302 (a $200,000 printer... and yes the Noritsu prints 2000 prints per hour, but, still, the Canon is damn good).
As for all their criticism of the prints looking dingy or faded... that's ridiculous. They are probably printing from a PC with no color management, on inferior media, on an MX700. What kind of paper did they use? What settings did they use in the driver? They don't say. No screenshots... no scans of the results compared to other printers... A little suspicious? I'll say. CNET should fire its "editors"! What a joke!!
All I can say is I printed a picture from the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival and the variety of flowers in the background looked a little subdued. The saturation wasn't quite there. The print was a little dark. It didn't look like the fantastic, bright, beautiful, glowing print I had made on the same exact printer a few minutes before, of a different image. But OH! Then I went to Photoshop and looked at my histogram... and of course... my levels were way off on the dark image... My monitor was just too bright and made my dark and dingy image look brighter than the actual histogram. Low and behold once I did a simple histogram normalization and printed using ICC Saturation conversion, the print came out looking fantastic. The bright oranges and reds just pop off the print. It's almost day-glo.
In point of fact:
I just printed 8 photos from this printer on a variety of papers, Epson, Konica (they were old, but good still), and new Canon Platinum Pro 8x10. I just loved the fact that, from Canon, I was able to get 8x10 paper that is of the dimensions of standard photo frames (as opposed to 8.5 x 11 which seems to be what everyone else offers).
As for the idea that the gray ink is hard to find, I went to the closest camera store to my work, and they had tons of it in stock. The CLI-220 is a new type of ink cartridge (previously they used CLI-8) so it was probably just too new for most places to have it when they wrote the review (if in fact they actually did write it, and it's not just copypasta as it seems).
As for the criticism they levy against the MP980 for its text and "graphics" quality, let me just say this. If you are buying a printer ONLY for printing Microsoft Office PowerPoint documents, what the heck are you even reading this for? This is a photo printer. PHOTO PRINTER. It scans negatives! This printer is not for Dilbert, it's for Ansel Adams.
But as it is, it DOES print small text very accurately, it prints bright and brilliant office documents with smooth edges in a clear and precise way (as long as you are using decent photo paper). It would make a GREAT office printer... but I'm sure if that's all you're using it for then you will not be needing things like the gray ink that these idiot reviewers have such a problem with.
However if you print black-and-white photos then the gray ink is a god-send as it produces extremely smooth looking B&W prints. They really are fantastic.
I'm fairly an expert in this area and I can attest that the color accuracy is very good, the supplied color profiles are much better than I expected, and the printer driver is one of the easiest I've used. It makes copies very quickly and I don't feel like I will be faxing 8x10 photographs anytime soon so the lack of a fax option just doesn't affect me.
Wait this brings me to one question.
DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY STILL USE FAX??? really? Come on. You're kidding right? What is this, 1985?