Canon PIXMA the leading inkjet printer brand in the Philippines sent me a review unit of the PIXMA iP4970. It’s a single function A4 printer that umm yes functions as a printer. The iP4970 is the top of the line model among the A4 single function bunch. Kindly note that the printer is not brand new, thus you will see some noticeable scratches with the actual photos of the unit.
The PIXMA iP4970 being the top of the line single function A4 printer share a lot of things from its higher-end models like the MG6270 and the A3 wonder iX6560. It has the same glossy piano black and some nice texturized flat colored accents on the top borders of the printer. The built quality is nice and surely will last an abuse. But honestly (again) I’m not fond of glossy finishes on printers.
As a PIXMA model, you can close the printer to a box-like appearance eliminating dusts and other foreign particles that can go inside the feeder and the trays. On the front, is the paper tray and the disc tray for the direct disc printing. USB and power ports can be seen at the back and surprisingly this printer has an emergency jam opening that will help you pullout those jammed moments.
The 5.7kg printer has a dedicated feeder at the bottom, which Canon calls “Auto Document Feeder”. This feeder can stack up a maximum of 150 papers and can do duplex printing. The bottom tray can be used for those quick photo printing, you can just leave some 4×6 photo papers in there and print quickly when you need it.
The printer has all the nice stuff of its higher-end models. 1 picolitre, Chromalife 100, 9600 dpi resolution, PictBridge compatibility and many others. As you may have noticed with its feature set, the iP4970 is designed as a photo printer it has a 5 individual ink cartridges that will give you a crisp and vibrant output.
Software wise Canon PIXMA is marketing it to have some cool post-production fun. From Auto Photo Fix II, fish-eye, miniature, toy camera and soft focus filters to the movie grabbing print function. Unluckily I wasn’t able to try these out since the demo unit didn’t came with an installer.
Using the Canon PIXMA iP4970
Having reviewed a lot of PIXMA printers and owning a number of Canon printers, I can confidently say that I know how it compares to its siblings. I’m going forward and will type here the most important part of the review.
First of, computer used was my MacBook Air 11” mid-2012 model calibrated with Spyder4Express. Software is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.3. Settings used were “Managed by printer” Brightness +31 and Contrast +59. Files used came from Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Fuji X10 and Sony RX100.
I wouldn’t be detailing much of the serious printing and calibration stuff here you can read them instead from my previous reviews since it’s really similar.
The PIXMA iP4970 is very familiar to me, I have an old iP4300 which is I think its old counterpart. The printer can handle a maximum of 150 papers in the rear and in the bottom feeder.
It quietly prints and spool papers in and out. But I have to say that I find the MG6270 to be more discreet in this regard.
A print in a standard setting on an A4 GP501 “Everyday Use” paper will just take you an approximately 1:45s while if you choose the highest quality setting it will only give you an additional 22 seconds.
I printed more than 70 prints and most of them were printed on GP501 “Glossy Photo Paper – Everyday Use” paper while some are on the more expensive “Photo Paper Plus Glossy II” which is thicker and glossier.
This printer still has the fantastic “Standard” quality, which in the naked eye can’t really spot the difference of a “Standard” from the “High” quality.
I find it really hard to tell the difference of the quality between a MG6270 and iP4970 prints. The former has more nozzles of course but the vertical 9600 x 2400 resolution is the same leaving me satisfied as “they print virtually the same quality”.
As you can see above, I ignored the calibration of my display and instead use the color profile by Canon. The “Managed by printer” can really make wonders but you still need to adjust the two settings which is the brightness and contrast.
Printer driver was detected and installed flawlessly in Mac OSX 10.8.2 Mountain Lion. I find it hard downloading the printer software suite and this I’ll make sure Canon should provide me next time.
Ink consumption really depends on the type of paper and overall color of your image. Started using the CLI-726BK, PGI-725PGBK and CLI-726Y at approximately 70% level and after 37 color prints, 4 black and white and 5 full page text you can see that I depleted the yellow first and then nearly depleted (maybe 10% mark) are black, magenta and cyan. You can roughly have 55 to 65 prints from a set of full ink tanks (highly depends on the color). I’m not mathematician nor a scientist but based from the datas I gathered a single A4 GP501 “Everyday Use” color print can cost you about 50 to 60 pesos. Does it print cheap? Probably yes and no because it really depends on how many you will print. Short run = inkjet, bulk = photo lab. Although printing from a photo lab is still cheaper but you can’t compare how sharp and crisp an output from an inkjet printer nowadays. For me if quality and overall control is what you are looking for then invest in a photo printer.
The Canon PIXMA iP4970 produced stellar quality prints as expected, it is virtually the same as the iX6560 and MG6270 in terms of print quality. The only thing I noticed is that the MG6270 is more discreet while spooling and printing.
I really would have hoped that this model came with wi-fi. I don’t know but at this price range and being the top of the line A4 photo printer this model should’ve wireless communication.
As I stated in the previous PIXMA review the glossy piano black doesn’t really appeal to me practically speaking. I prefer the texturized flat finish of the Pro 9500.
All in all the Canon PIXMA iP4970 is a wonderful dedicated high quality photo printer, with the efficient individual ink tanks and silent printing you can’t find fault on this single-function printer. The quality is virtually the same like its higher end models. It is recommended to all photographers and artists that doesn’t need the additional features and require the best possible quality in a single-function print making device.
Big discount alert!!!
Great news to those who made it to this part of the review. Canon Marketing Philippines Inc. is giving a huge discount on this PIXMA iP4970 printer. Current SRP is P6,495 but for a limited time you can get this at P5,300 and if you buy an additional 1 ink and you will get a gift set which is an Axis Watch and Franklin Covey Pen worth Php1,700.
How to avail? Just say this magic code “Happy New Printer” to Mr. Paul James Ella Corp_csp@canon.com.ph or call 02-8849016.
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