Canon Pixma MP630 Printer [REVIEW] - Digital Photography School
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Canon Pixma MP630 Printer [REVIEW]

Buyers are not silly: you buy an inkjet printer for $60, happily use it, drain the original inks, then head back to the store for refills, only to find the replacement cartridges cost more than the printer!

And we can count: retail stores often charge as low as 10 cents each for happy snap 10x15cm prints from your digicam’s memory card. You then compare the cost of a pack of 10x15cm sheets to do the printing on the home computer: 40, 50 cents per sheet. Go figure!

Canon MP630 printer.jpg

But when it gets to making A4 prints from our pictures it’s hard to beat the maths of owning a home printer, ink cost aside. And, these days, you can buy a multi function printer for $50 plus that will scan documents and print them.
At my place we run a separate scanner and a pair of inkjet printers. Each is single purpose — but that’s the way I like the show to run.

For its part, the MP630 is a multi function device. Although, in this review, I’m zoning in on its ability to print photos.

It prints of course at 9600 dpi quality — to all sorts of media: plain paper, photo quality media, T-shirt transfers, CD/DVDs (using a supplied adaptor) etc. It prints directly from your digital camera; it prints from all types of memory cards. Double-sided printing is available.

And it can copy and scan documents, photos etc at 4800 dpi. The Auto Scan mode detects documents or photos and scans using the appropriate settings before saving the scan as either a PDF file or a JPEG image.

If your home is set up for it, you can print via Bluetooth or infra red.

Set Up

The installation of the device is a little complex — but worth the effort. Software loaded, you install the print head and all of the five ink cartridges (yellow, cyan, magenta, black, photo black), then you load a special alignment sheet and the printer aligns the heads and then makes a test print. All up, about 15 minutes.

You can use the MP630 with no computer connected. It has a reasonably sized, bright 6.4 cm LCD screen that tilts to any convenient viewing angle. An on screen rotating selector wheel lets you choose the operation you want.

I started by loading a pile of documents and photos onto an SD card. There are two media loading trays: the sub-printer sliding cassette handles A4 and similar; the rear upright tray is mostly for 6×4 inch paper printing from memory cards.

You can edit the images prior to printing: crop an image, apply an ‘auto fix’ that brightens up dull or underexposed shots as well as touching up contrast, colour change and apply some loopy, add-on effects. You can of course print multiple images — like passport-style IDs — onto a single sheet of paper, or make calendar prints, with dates, or index prints.

I had a batch of shots I needed to print to A4 size so my plan was to print from within Photoshop, after a certain amount of work on them. I was absolutely amazed at not only the quality of print coming out of the MP630 — but the speed: prints were coming out almost as fast as I could prepare each in the stream of images. Impressive!

What undoubtedly helps is the photo grey inkset in the printer. Neutral grey tones are now just that: neutral grey.

Basket

The MP630 is truly a big basket of options — but possibly too much for the cautious. You will need to spend time with the on screen manual and the brief printed instruction booklet to get the most out of it.

Comment

A very high quality image printer. If you need a multi purpose machine to print, copy and scan, this also could be the one for you.

Canon Pixma MP630 Printer Specs

Type: Inkjet photo printer.
Minimum ink droplet size: 1 picolitre.
Printing Resolution: 9600×2400 dpi.
Print Speed: A4 black text up to 25ppm; borderless 6×4 inch (10×15 cm) approx 20 seconds.
Plain Paper Capacity: 250 sheets.
Paper sizes: A4, Letter, Legal, A5, B5, Envelopes (DL, COM10), 4×6/5×7/8×10 inch
Paper Weights: 64-300g/m2.
Camera Direct Printing: PictBridge.
Memory Card Printing: SD/SDHC; MMC; MMC Plus; miniSD/SDHC; microSD/SDHC; RS-MMC; CF; Microdrive; xD-Picture Card plus Types M and H; Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Micro.
Mobile Phone Printing: PictBridge, IrDA 1.2 Infra Red, (optional Bluetooth with BU-30 adaptor).
CD/DVD Printing: Printable DVD/CD.
LCD Screen: 6.4 cm LCD.
Interface: USB 2.0, Bluetooth.
System Requirements: Windows Vista/XP/SP2/2000,2000 Professional SP4, Mac: OS.X (10.3.9+).
Software Included: Easy-PhotoPrint EX, MP Navigator EX, CD Label Print.
Dimensions (W x D x H): 450x368x176 mm.
Weight: 8.8 kg.

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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://www.nunomedia.com Nuno

    Hi guys, I just got this printer weeks ago and I did not know that I had “T-shirt transfer”. Are you sure? can you just tell me how, because I did not read anything like that in the manual. Thanks…

  • Morris Bowie

    T-shirt transfer is accomplished using a special paper that you print to then iron onto fabric. The t-shirt mode mirror reverses the printed image.

  • http://www.cjo.info/ Chris Osborne

    You seem to be a bit mixed up here… the MP630 does not have a grey ink. As you correctly state in the first paragraph of the Set Up section the MP630 has 5 inks, cyan, magenta, yellow and two blacks (one for photo paper, the other for plain paper). The 6 ink set, which adds the grey ink you mention in the last paragraqph of the Set Up section is reserved for the MP980.

  • Chris Mowbray

    Thanks. Straight forward and helpful in deciding the right printer for me.

  • http://www.compatibletoners.co.uk/Dell Chastity Packard

    This might be a weird question, however I’m a vegetarian, so am trying to find printer toner that don’t have some animal suffering. I understand that many compatible toner cartridges have either ingredients which have been tested on monkeys, or are manufactured from animal products. Does anyone know of toner brands which are completely artificial?

  • Misho

    Slowest printer in the world! No, slowest printer in the whole known universe. Sometimes I have to wait five minutes for it to start printing. And my friend who has it, has the exact same problem. I am close to trow it out throug the window!

  • http://wirelessprinterinfo.com Colin Young

    I have been looking at different Canon PIXMA printer but wanted to lean more toward a wireless printer.

    Most of my work is on laptops so I can be printing anything from anywhere in the house at any given time so I dont want to be tied to a desktop. I think I will look into the MX range a bit more.

    Thanks for the informative review… oh, and the honest comments too :)

  • http://www.ucvbooks.com James Wallace

    @Chastity Packard

    Hello – I am also vegetarian, well vegan, and cannot find a thing online to say which inks are vegan or not! however, I just received this from Canon Consumer Support: “I have received confirmation that Canon products do not contain any animal derived ingredients. The glycerin in the ink is chemically derived, and the coatings used on our photo papers are derived from vegetable products.”

    Hope this helps!
    I’m quite excited to go out and buy some ink! Finally!! woop woop!

    :)

  • misua

    My husband had just bought this unit from Norway few months before we decided to move to Philippines for good. We packed the new printer with us. Only to find out later that there is no available ink and parts. We did try ink refill but it didn’t last. Now the printer head is damage and have no clue to get it. Though we can get parts online, we decided to get another local version printer.

    Sad to say, we have to get rid of a good printer because it was only made for Europe.

Some older comments

  • misua

    April 30, 2012 11:59 am

    My husband had just bought this unit from Norway few months before we decided to move to Philippines for good. We packed the new printer with us. Only to find out later that there is no available ink and parts. We did try ink refill but it didn't last. Now the printer head is damage and have no clue to get it. Though we can get parts online, we decided to get another local version printer.

    Sad to say, we have to get rid of a good printer because it was only made for Europe.

  • James Wallace

    October 15, 2010 05:28 pm

    @Chastity Packard

    Hello - I am also vegetarian, well vegan, and cannot find a thing online to say which inks are vegan or not! however, I just received this from Canon Consumer Support: "I have received confirmation that Canon products do not contain any animal derived ingredients. The glycerin in the ink is chemically derived, and the coatings used on our photo papers are derived from vegetable products."

    Hope this helps!
    I'm quite excited to go out and buy some ink! Finally!! woop woop!

    :)

  • Colin Young

    September 6, 2010 06:53 am

    I have been looking at different Canon PIXMA printer but wanted to lean more toward a wireless printer.

    Most of my work is on laptops so I can be printing anything from anywhere in the house at any given time so I dont want to be tied to a desktop. I think I will look into the MX range a bit more.

    Thanks for the informative review... oh, and the honest comments too :)

  • Misho

    July 7, 2010 10:59 pm

    Slowest printer in the world! No, slowest printer in the whole known universe. Sometimes I have to wait five minutes for it to start printing. And my friend who has it, has the exact same problem. I am close to trow it out throug the window!

  • Chastity Packard

    March 17, 2010 06:29 pm

    This might be a weird question, however I'm a vegetarian, so am trying to find printer toner that don't have some animal suffering. I understand that many compatible toner cartridges have either ingredients which have been tested on monkeys, or are manufactured from animal products. Does anyone know of toner brands which are completely artificial?

  • Chris Mowbray

    February 21, 2010 07:51 pm

    Thanks. Straight forward and helpful in deciding the right printer for me.

  • Chris Osborne

    April 14, 2009 05:36 am

    You seem to be a bit mixed up here... the MP630 does not have a grey ink. As you correctly state in the first paragraph of the Set Up section the MP630 has 5 inks, cyan, magenta, yellow and two blacks (one for photo paper, the other for plain paper). The 6 ink set, which adds the grey ink you mention in the last paragraqph of the Set Up section is reserved for the MP980.

  • Morris Bowie

    April 6, 2009 02:04 pm

    T-shirt transfer is accomplished using a special paper that you print to then iron onto fabric. The t-shirt mode mirror reverses the printed image.

  • Nuno

    April 4, 2009 06:37 am

    Hi guys, I just got this printer weeks ago and I did not know that I had "T-shirt transfer". Are you sure? can you just tell me how, because I did not read anything like that in the manual. Thanks...

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