For many people, home photo printing is a matter of rushing out small family snaps with the occasional A4 portrait for those specially memorable occasions. For more dedicated photographers and illustrators, something larger with a greater degree of quality control is called for and this is where Canon's new PIXMA iP8750 moves into the frame.
Like its potential owners, this is a no-nonsense, no frills machine that is focused on the job in hand - which is to make high quality photos up to A3+ size. It manages this while still remaining stylish in jet black with a subtle weave pattern on the top surface. It's not particularly heavy at 8.5Kg and although necessarily broad at 590mm, the iP8750 is only 331mm deep and 159mm high.
Where you install it may need to be about double this depth as the fold-back cover becomes an extending paper support and the front cover drops down to reveal an expansive output tray. There are no top controls, just a cover that hides the ink tank that houses six individual cartridges - the regular cyan, yellow, magenta and black dye as well as a pigment black (for documents) and grey.
To the right of the output tray are the only three control buttons for Power, Stop/Restart and Wi-Fi syncing. In addition, a USB port round the back allows for direct PC connection but Ethernet is excluded. Printing is thus enabled for the usual trio of PC, tablet and phone with support for Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print plus Wireless PictBridge cameras. Wireless connecting was quick to establish but thinking time before printing from both mobiles and PC could stretch to 20 seconds before action.
If you were thinking of capturing your photos on DVD, a separate disc tray can be slotted into the front and then hung rather precariously on the back of the printer when you're finished. It feels like an afterthought that was tagged on as a gimmick when the prime function was to produce gorgeous prints.
And there can be no denying that the prints on the PIXMA iP8750 are indeed gorgeous. With print resolution up to 9600 x 2400 dpi, the detail on both colour and mono (helped by the grey cartridge) images is exceptional. The pigment black also produces clear and bold documents, while colour documents maintain the brightness and contrast ratio of the originals.
Print speeds were reasonably fast without approaching Formula One - PC originated A4 photos in 1'25", 13 x 18cm prints in 45" and A3 in 2'35", with 10 x 15cm iPhone images in 35". Colour documents were averaging 10ppm and black and white versions slightly higher at 13 ppm.
As you might expect, Canon have produced both Standard and XL ink cartridges to help with costs and the full set of XL inks will set you back £100, with the CMY combo averaging 374 photos or 670 document pages, the dye black 870 photos, the Grey 3,350 document pages or 275 photos and the PBK 4,775 photos.
Canon's PIXMA iP8750 is the A3+ inkjet printer that serious photographers and illustrators have been waiting for - low on frills, easy to use and high on quality.