Rushing things doesn’t tend to produce the best results, but the canon Pixma iP5300 is proof that this needn’t always be the case. All four of its test photos scored top marks for quality, yet, even at the highest settings, each six by four-inch print was churned out in just 49 seconds.
This is quicker than Canon’s own iP6700D and more than twice as fast as any other manufacturers’ A4 contenders. Skin tones are natural and accurate, and we saw great detail in dark areas of our outdoor images.
But even better is the flawlessly sharp nature of the Canon’s text printing thanks largely to the pigment-based black ink cartridge. This isn’t used for printing photos, as there is a separate dye-based black too, providing users with the best of both worlds.
To add to the appeal, the cost per print is reasonable as well, if not quite as cheap as the best HPs. The photo black cartridge costs over £11 and there are three other colours to replace, but they last a decent number of six by four-inch prints: yellow and magenta managed over 250, while cyan reached 334.
Unfortunately, Canon’s measly 20-sheet paper packs spoil the economy a little, but the overall cost is still acceptable at 34p.
The main drawback is the absence of an LCD screen and media card readers, which means that you can’t print photos directly from a memory card.
However, this is countered by the inclusion of a PictBridge port, which allows you to print from your camera. There simply isn’t another printer in the group that can match the iP5300 for speed, quality and value.