Canon Pixma MP980 Printer Review

Printers — on June 9, 2009 at 12:09 am | 3 Comments

Canon’s Pixma MP980 Printer – The Most Desirable By Home Photo Aficionado

Canon’s Pixma MP980 Printer is an upgraded version of MP 970. The MP 970 had the distinction of printing great-looking photos while being far less expensive than any of its competition. The MP980 shares some of the same features and carries on in that tradition. It can print, scan, copy, and e-mail—by opening a message on your PC and adding a scanned document as an attachment. It can both scan and print directly from 35mm slides and strips of film, and print directly from PictBridge cameras and memory cards. It lets your display the preview photos on the 3.5 inch LCD display. Both the models lack features like ADF or fax support.

Despite all the similarities the two models differ in many ways but most notably in the number of cartridge used. The MP 970 used seven ink cyan, yellow, magenta, light cyan, light magenta, pigment-based black for text, and dye-based black for photos. The MP980 uses six: cyan, yellow, magenta, dye-based black, dye-based gray, and pigment-based black. The difference in the ink system results in other differences such as slightly slower speeds for the MP980 and impressively better-looking monochrome photos. Compared to the HP Photo Smart Premium Fax All In One which offers a fax machine and an ADF for less is definitely a better deal in comparison to Cannon MP 980.

The Canon Pixma MP 980 printer is designed like the other Cannon pixma printer models with a silver and glossy black body that exudes stylish professionalism. This model measures 7.9 inches high by 18.5 inches wide by 15.2 inches deep and weighs around 24 pounds because of the auto-duplexer built into the back for double-sided prints.


The control panel integrated into the scanner lid is innovately designed. Taking its inspiration from Apple’s iPod, it features a scroll wheel that you push to rotate through menu items shown on the large, tiltable, 3.5-inch color LCD. There is also a four-way directional pad surrounding the dial if you are not comfortable with the wheel. This model also features many shortcut buttons including a Navi button for help with onscreen menus, a home button, instant color and black copy keys, two buttons to increase and decrease the amount of copies, as well as a stop button to cancel a job in progress. Finally to navigate through the onscreen menus you have two soft buttons situated directly underneath the screen.

The canon MP980 feature two input trays one that slides underneath and takes up to 150 sheets of plain paper and a rear-loading one that takes a wider variety of media. The rear tray’s telescoping panels move awkwardly and feel clattered and like they are made up cheap plastic. The output tray flips out automatically when you print, but it holds just 50 sheets.

The Canon Pixma MP980 offers various features that make it desirable by the home photo enthusiast however; network installation is unusual compared to other printers. To install the printer you have to connect by USB cable, tell the installation program that you want to use a network connection, and then remove the USB cable which needs the printer to be within USB cable range when you install it. Once you are done with the installation you can move it to wherever you actually want to use it. The main drawback in the installation is that you have to set the printer to connect by either wireless or wired network, allowing both is not an option which means that you cannot have the printer set to work on a wired network, and then connect to it with an ad hoc wireless connection from, say, your notebook, on an occasional basis. Though this may not seem a very serious problem but it does make the WI FI support less flexible.

The copier on the canon pixma MP 980 has all the features that a customer could expect from an All-In-One printer. It has features to enlarge the original up to 400 percent or simply fit the entire document in one page. The copier also has additional features which include two-sided copying, borderless copying, exact duplication, cropped copy, and 2-on-1 and 4-on-1 photo collages etc.

Scanning features options which most printers have, like saving options that include sending the file straight to your PC, as an e-mail attachment, scanned as a PDF, or simply open it to an application. You can save all documents as TIFF, JPEG, bitmap, or PDF files, and the scanner now supports film and negatives as well. The scanner supports document sizes up to 8.5 inches by 11 inches but the fixed hinges lowers the flexibility by making it difficult to stretch the scanner cover over thicker documents and books.

The printer also does well on graphics and tends to lose thin lines, but the graphics are otherwise fairly good enough to offer to an important client or customer, and easily good enough for any internal business use. The text looks very black and crisp on plain paper.

Overall, you can conclude that the MP980′s weakest point is its text quality. The text prints look fine at the first glance but on closer inspection you can see many jagged edges and malformed lines. We saw that half the fonts qualified as both easily readable and well formed at any size smaller than 10 points. Some were easily readable at smaller sizes, but suffered from character spacing issues. Color graphics looked a little pale, and flesh tones looked orangey. The Canon Pixma MP 980 has room for improvement, but its flaws are forgivable.

However, the MP980′s photo quality and its ability to both scan slides and print high-quality photos directly from slides are commendable.

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