Quality prints for less: PIXMA iP3000

Digital cameras continue to boom but there's still the task of achieving great photo prints at home without breaking the bank.

This four-ink, 4800x1200dpi model is second from the top in Canon's new PIXMA inkjet photo printer range.

It features dual paper trays for multi-path plain paper (up to A4) and photo printing, plus has duplex functionality for two-sided printing that can save on paper costs.

Additionally, Canon isn't including print heads on the ink reservoirs, which can reduce their cost (colours: $24.95, black: $21.95) and, dare we say it, likely make them easier to refill yourself.

All PIXMA printers also boast two-picoliter ink droplets and Full-photo­lithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) to improve print quality and speed.

Although not pretty, the boxy design will leave plenty of desk space free.

Setup took 10-15 minutes (less if you use PictBridge or Exif Print for direct digital camera prints).

Enthusiasts will have their own tools, but Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint quickly touches up and prints JPEG photos. The photo album templates of PhotoRecord 2 will win over scrapbookers and CD-LabelPrint does just that for CDs/DVDs with printable surfaces, using a bundled disc printing tray.

In our standard-setting tests (timed from clicking print), the iP3000 produced borderless glossy 4x6in photos in around 50 seconds, A4 photos in 1m50s and a 10-page text document in 1m30s.

Skin tones, colours and black were all well reproduced and only limited transitions were evident amongst our vibrant prints.

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