Canon has updated its popular high capacity printer range with the release of two new MegaTank Photo Printers – the Pixma G650 and Pixma G550. Both produce beautiful A4 prints with the difference between them being the 3-in-1 print, copy and scan capabilities of the G650.
MegaTank Printers are designed to provide high quality photo printing for photographers, studios, small businesses and general home users. If you or your business print a decent amount of photographs on a regular basis, either for yourself or for customers at up to A4 size, then these two make an excellent option. Central to their design is the idea of low maintenance requirements and low ‘total cost of ownership’. In practice this means the end user can replace parts such as the print head or maintenance cartridge and high capacity MegaTank ink tanks can be easily refilled from bottles of ink.
To achieve high quality photographic results these two printers use six dye-based inks, which include;
Dye-based ink differentiates itself over pigment ink with brighter, more vibrant colours making it a good choice for colour photographs and also produces slightly sharper prints with text-based documents. Dye-based ink tends to be slightly cheaper too, which is good news for high capacity print requirements. Ink durability and sunlight volatility is said to be slightly lower than pigment based ink, but we’re talking about decades of durability rather than years for both options. UV resistant glass is always recommended if hanging any picture in an environment with direct sunlight.
A4 prints can be made at resolutions of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi which is ample to produce smooth graduations with excellent detail at this size. According to Canon the inclusion of red and grey inks increases colour vibrancy and contrast within images and helps to reduce colour shift, regardless of media. Speaking of media let’s take a look at what types of photo papers these two will accept.
Both of the two new MegaTank printers will print borderless up to A4 size, with any standard or custom sized prints in between. Many regular photo sizes fall within this range, including 4x6", 5x7" and 8x10", giving plenty of scope for standard photo prints. Plain paper is loaded from a sheet feeder at the rear of the printer which can hold up to 100 sheets of paper at weights of between 64 - 105 g/m² or supported genuine Canon papers.
Here’s the complete list of preset sizes available with both the Pixma G650 and Pixma G550 models;
A4, A5, B5, A6, LTR, LGL, 4" x 6" (10x15cm), 5" x 7" (13x18cm), 7" x 10" (18x25cm), 8" x 10" (20x25cm), Square 5" x 5" (127mm x 127mm), Square 3.5" x 3.5" (89 mm x 89 mm), Card Size 55mm x 91 mm (2.17”x3.58”). Envelopes(DL, COM10, C5, Monarch).
In terms of photo papers there are plenty of Canon papers to choose from depending on the subject being printed. These include:
Typically this type of printer will show the best results with colourful images on gloss or lustre semi-gloss papers. As mentioned colours will be bright and vibrant, well suited to just about any subject including portraits, weddings, landscapes and travel pictures. The printers are fine with black and white images too of course, although with just grey and black inks more subtle graduations may be less prominent.
As we’ve come to expect these days WiFi is built-in as standard with both of the new MegaTanks. This allows users to print without being tethered to the printer via a USB cable from anywhere on the WiFi network. This can be particularly handy when there are lots of users sharing the device or in a print shop where customers can share images from their mobile to print directly. The printers will connect to smart phones, tablets and computers using standard IEEE802.11 b/g/n with various security options. You can of course use a USB port if you prefer old school connectivity. Just about every popular app is supported from Canon’s own PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app to PIXMA Cloud Link, Apple AirPrint and Amazon Alexa™, Google Assistant and several others. In short you’ll have no issues getting these printers to do their job of printing pictures.
The idea behind the MegaTank range includes the ability to easily replenish dwindling ink supplies easily and both the Pixma G650 and G550 have front facing ink tanks for easy monitoring and refilling. Separate ink bottles are available which have a special cut-out key shape to allow spill-free refills without having to squeeze the bottle to get ink to flow. This makes it pretty quick and painless to top up any colour which is running out and continue printing with minimum fuss.
Both of these printers share the same casing and have the same compact dimensions, with the 3-in-1 G650 being around 1.5kg heavier than the print-only G550. This is down to the extra features and glass required to scan and copy, but both feel suitably lightweight to be able to easily move them around the house or office. In terms of features the Pixma G650 includes borderless scan and copy of photos and documents up to A4. The scanner is a CIS flatbed with 600 x 1200 dpi resolution. CIS scanners use fibre optic lenses with excellent results for all sorts of document scanning. Copying functionality is available in multi copy (up to 99 copies) and the G650 can reproduce ID documents too. Overall if you need these extra features even occasionally the Pixma G650 is clearly the printer to go for. If you only print photographs you can save a little with the print-only Pixma G550.
With MegaTanks being all about low cost per print, these two perform admirably as expected. One single set of ink tanks can produce up to the following estimated yields:
MegaTank Printers offer a combination of simplicity, versatility, excellent connectivity and nice print quality to show off images. These two new models will be equally happy in a photography studio as they will being a home printer for a photographer. The ability to print beautiful images, refill inks quickly and simply as well as replace parts yourself makes for an excellent proposition for users with reasonably high volume demands. If you need multifunction copy and scan go for the Pixma G650 3-in-1 printer and if you simply need low cost, high quality colour prints stick with the Pixma G550. Compare any of our current A4 photo printers to see how these new MegaTank models perform and why not browse our photography equipment buying guides for more detailed information on photography products.
By Nick Dautlich on 14/04/2021
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