capsule review

Canon Pixma IP5000

With the Pixma IP5000, Canon has introduced the first ink-jet printer with a 1-picoliter-droplet size. The smaller the droplet, the more precise a printer is in laying down ink. Canon says that because of the small droplets, it is not necessary to include the light cyan and magenta inks that many other photo printers include. Our printed results back this up.

The Pixma IP5000 uses five cartridges, which contain dye-based cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, plus a pigment-based black ink. Prints of our Macworld standard test image looked great, especially when we let the printer handle the color. The prints were a little lighter than our reference print, but it helped to show even more detail without blowing out the highlights.

The installer includes some confusingly named printer profiles—Canon IP5000 SP2 is for Glossy Photo Paper at second highest resolution, but those prints came out a with a slight red color cast. We had better results using Canon’s standard BJ Color settings.

Text printing on plain paper was also very clean and legible, with very little in the way of stray ink, even at very small point sizes. It was able to print our 10-page word document in normal mode in just 1:25 seconds. That’s slower than what Canon claims, but twice as fast as its recently reviewed, higher-end cousin, the Pixma IP8500 (   ; February 2005 ), and 3.5 times faster than the Epson Stylus Photo R800 (   ; January 2005 ).

Timed Trials

10-page Word Test 1:31
22MB Photoshop Image 10:32
4-page PDF 6:30

In minutes:seconds

Graphics on plain paper also looked clean, with excellent color gradients and nice, smooth curved lines. Grayscale photos, though, were a touch on the red side.

Jury Tests

Graphics—Fine Lines, Gradients Very Good
22MB Photoshop Image Quality Very Good
Text Quality Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable

Aside from printing from your computer via the USB port on the back of the printer, the IP 5000 has a Direct Print port in the front to connect a PictBridge-compatible camera or DV camcorder. The unit also features built-in duplexing capability. The same 10-page document took 5 minutes and 25 seconds to print in duplex mode.

Specifications

Number of Ink Cartridges 5
Cost to Replace Ink/Toner Cartridges $61.75
Printer Resolution 9,600-by-2,400 dpi
Connections USB 2.0
Special Features Built-in duplexing

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The Canon Pixma IP5000 is a great all-around printer with excellent text and photo quality.

Pixma IP5000
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