Canon’s PIXMA iP5200 is an A4 inkjet photo printer that should appeal to the purists. The list of features is relatively short and the price is low as you don’t get either an LCD screen or memory card reader slots.
Instead you can either hook the iP5200 up to your PC with a USB 2.0 cable or you can plug in your PictBridge camera and print directly that way. Naturally Canon offers other printers in this range that give you more options, provided you are prepared to pay the price, so the iP5200R adds network connections while the iP6600D has an LCD screen and a card reader.
As you would expect, Canon supplies its Easy-Print ToolBox software which uses Easy-PhotoPrint to break your photo printing down into three easy steps. You select the images that you wish to print, select the paper that you are using and then select a layout, which means that you have no need to dive into the printer driver settings to get a perfect print job.
The iP5200 has five ink cartridges, with a large black ink cartridge which lasts for 360 pages of standard text coverage plus smaller black, cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges for coloured and photo printing work. The five cartridges cost between £15 and £20 each so a full set will costs you almost as much as the printer.
As you insert each cartridge in the carriage a red LED illuminates to confirm that the cartridge is properly in place, and when a cartridge is running low the drivers pop up a warning and the relevant LED flashes, to ensure you change the correct one.
Canon boasts that its print heads have a tiny ink droplet size of one picolitre and use 3,584 nozzles which both increases control over the print process and also speeds it up. The iP5200 has a rated speed of 15ppm for monochrome printing and 11.7ppm for colour printing, but these figures don’t mean a great deal if you are printing photos.
In our testing a regular 6 x 4-inch photo took just under 50 seconds while a borderless A4 print took 1 minute 40 seconds. That sounds fairly poor if you think in terms of pages per minute, but in the world of photo printers the Canon is very fast indeed.
Print quality is excellent and the photos print full borderless with only a small amount of the photo vanishing off the edge of the paper.
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