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The iP4200 Photo Printer From The Inside Out by Canon Pixma

The iP4200 Photo Printer From The Inside Out by Canon Pixma

Consequently, you may have already heard about the new Canon Pixma iP4200 printer, which is now making its rounds in the computer hardware market. Everyone, including us, is taking a look at it.

Canon has remained deafeningly quiet on the argument over the longest-lasting picture prints for quite some time. Examples of possible reasons include the recently launched Pixma iP4200, which has built-in duplex printing, separate cartridges, and two paper-input trays, is simple to use and operate, is cheap, produces beautiful pictures, and has a print life of up to 100 years. Epson, the market-leading provider of long-lasting prints, is now facing competition. The ChromaLife 100 ink set, which is supplied with the Pixma iP4200, is the most important component for long-lasting prints. Photos printed using ChromaLife 100 inks, according to the firm, will survive up to 100 years if they are kept correctly when used with their branded photo sheets.


When compared to the iP4000, the iP4200 is less costly, has quicker performance for commercial apps, and has a longer battery life for photographs. Although pictures print a bit slower and have a lower quality rating than those from the iP4000, the overall mix of features makes for a very attractive bundle.

It is equipped with Canon's Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) print head, which can produce droplets as small as 1pl for each of the 1,536-nozzle cyan, magenta, yellow, and black print heads (plus 320 nozzles for pigment-ink black text), resulting in an effective color resolution of 9,600x2,400dpi for photos and documents. It is possible to substantially enhance picture output by using two different black ink cartridges, one of which contains both a pigment-based black and a dye-based black.

As an added bonus, the picture printer has two paper inputs, one at the back and another at the front bottom, which may be accessed via the front-bottom slide-out tray. The ability to put regular paper into one tray and picture paper into the other allows you to quickly switch between conventional printing and photo printing without having to change out the material every time. One environmentally beneficial feature of this printer is its capacity to print on both sides of a sheet of paper automatically. However, publishing a 10-page Microsoft Word document in this mode may take up to three times as long as printing one-sided pages, depending on your printer.

Color balance can be automatically adjusted by the iP4200's driver, and you can access sliders that allow you to change the strength of specific inks. You can also convert from sRGB to Windows Image Color Management using the driver's buttons (ICM). Grayscale printing is as simple as selecting a check box, and a straightforward Print Advisor wizard may ask you questions about the kind of document you're printing and suggest the most suitable paper for it.

Page Setup options other than duplexing include page size and orientation, the number of copies to be printed, border/borderless printing, and the insertion of a background image or a watermark to the printed page. There are options for optimizing the picture, eliminating noise, increasing contrast, and adding effects like sepia, pink, and other colors under the Effects page. You may store your printing preferences as a profile, which can then be used in another printing session.

Nozzle inspections and cleaning, printhead alignment and other activities are available under the Maintenance tab. A bottom-plate cleaning feature, which makes use of a folded letter-size sheet to tidy up before duplex printing, is also available under the Maintenance tab.

The visual quality is considered to be above average for academic or internal company usage, and is just slightly acceptable for an important client or customer that you may want to impress on a rare occasion. Certain apparent issues with photographs, on the other hand, include a faint pink tinge in monochrome photos and a propensity for some colors to be excessively vibrant. Getting a neutral gray print from the printer was also a bit difficult, since the prints tended to be either green or blue depending on the driver settings that were utilized.

Cartridge refilling for the Canon Pixma iP4200 printer

The new Canon PGI-5 and CLI-8 ink cartridges are equipped with an internal chip that measures the amount of ink remaining in each cartridge. The five separate ink cartridges of the Pixma iP4200 are each equipped with a bright red LED that illuminates when the cartridges are correctly inserted. When ink is running low, the cartridge lights begin to blink, and the speed of the blinking increases as the tanks get more depleted of ink. The Pixma iP4200 cartridges have the following part numbers:

PGI-5BK is a pigment ink that is black in color.
CLI-8BK is a dye-based ink that is black in color.
CLI-8C-Ink with a cyan dye base.
CLI-8M is a magenta dye-based ink that is used for printing.
CLI-8Y-Yellow dye-based ink with a matte finish.

These cartridges are also compatible with the Pixma iP5200 and iP5200r printers, as well as the MP500, MP800, and MP950 multifunction printers.

Needless to say, many individuals are interested in knowing whether these cartridges can be refilled or if there are any suitable replacement cartridges available. Currently (February 2006), compatibles for the PGI5 and CLI8 inks are not available, most likely due to a combination of two factors:

The ink formulas for Canon printers are very complicated, and refill ink producers must guarantee that their inks work at least as well as the original Canon printer inks.

Canon has obtained a patent for the on-board chip. As a result, compatible manufacturers must exercise extreme caution in order not to infringe on the patent, which may expose them to legal action. Earlier this year, Canon was successful in a case against a Japanese firm that was engaged in the business of refilling and reselling Canon ink cartridges. Naturally, any plans for compatible cartridges will be put on hold as a result of this.

However, there are refill inks available on the market, as well as refilling instructions, which may be obtained from ink suppliers. Canon has ingeniously designed its printers such that if you refill the cartridges and re-insert them into the machine, a warning message will appear on your computer screen saying something along the lines of: "You are using refilled ink in your cartridges. Please stop. "Continuing will result in the voiding of your printer warranty." When you are asked to click OK, the printer's low ink warning feature is disabled, and the printer no longer prints. If this is the case, you must be very careful not to let the inks run out, since this will cause the print head to get damaged.

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