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The best Canon printers in 2021

Best Canon printers:Canon PIXMA TS8350
(Image credit: Canon)

Looking for the best Canon printer? This guide will take you through the range, help you decide on the one for you, and find you the best available price right now.

Canon makes a diverse range of printers to suit just about every requirement and budget. The manufacturer is particularly strong on ‘hybrid’ inkjet printers that combine pigment-based black ink for crisp document output with dye-based colored inks for excellent graphics and photo quality, especially where four or more dye-based inks are featured. Most include a built-in scanner, making them equally adept at faxing and photocopying, with the convenience of onboard controls. But that’s not the whole story.

For photo printing, Canon also markets portable mini-printers, utilizing either Zink or dye-sublimation technology. The former has a crystalline substance built into the paper and uses a heat process to develop the finished print. Dye-sublimation is based on a cartridge that includes three colors of film and a protective top layer, laid out in sections along a ribbon, this time using heat again to transfer dyes and the clear overcoat onto specialist paper in four successive passes. For office-based document printing, there’s also the option of laser printers, which apply dry toner to paper via a photoelectric drum, then fixing it in place with fuser rollers at the output stage.

For most of us, inkjet printers are the most versatile and obvious choice. Canon’s model categories include PIXMA for home printing, MAXIFY for home/small office use and imagePROGRAF for pro-grade large-format printing. However, there’s a broad crossover between the categories, with PIXMA models spilling over into both home office and large-format photo printing. PIXMA and MAXIFY printers with a G or GX prefix respectively have refillable ‘MegaTanks’ instead of the usual cartridges, offering significant savings on ink costs for high-volume printing.

Canon’s entry-level hybrid inkjet printers tend to feature just two cartridges. One contains pigment-based black ink and the other is a tri-color cartridge containing dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow inks. This keeps everything simple in terms of buying replacement cartridges, which come complete with built-in print heads, but you can end up wasting ink if you regularly print a lot of one particular color, and running costs tend to be pricier anyway. More up-market models generally feature fixed print heads, fed by individual cartridges for all of the separate inks. Let’s take a closer look at the leading models in the current range, in all of the major sectors.

Best Canon printers in 2021

Canon small office printers

This entry-level all-in-one is ideal for the home office

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/2400dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 2
Mono/color print speed: : 13/6.8ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 403x364x206mm
Weight: 8.2kg
Reasons to buy
+35-sheet auto document feeder+Auto duplex for double-sided printing
Reasons to avoid
-Only four inks in two cartridges-Not the best for photo quality

For tackling home office printing, scanning and photocopying, as well as for children’s homework duties, this is a highly cost-effective multi-function printer. Up top, there’s a 35-sheet auto document feeder while the front panel includes an OLED display and simple controls for standalone use. It has a fairly small footprint with an internal paper feed cassette and, as with pretty much all of Canon’s current home/office printers, it features both USB and Wi-Fi connectivity. Print speeds are very respectable although the printer only uses a pair of pigment black and tri-color cartridges. XL versions are available with page yields of around 400 for black and 300 for color. Document print quality is excellent but photo quality is a little lacking in vibrancy, contrast and tonal range.

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon PIXMA G3260 MegaTank

An excellent choice for high-volume document printing at homev

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/1200dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 4
Mono/color print speed: : 10.8/6ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 445x330x135mm
Weight: 6.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Competitive purchase price and cheap running costs++ High-capacity ink tanks, no cartridges
Reasons to avoid
-Only four inks-No auto duplex

This entry-level ‘MegaTank’ all-in-one printer does away with costly and frequent cartridge replacements for high-volume document printing, instead featuring high-capacity ink tanks for each of its pigment black and dye-based cyan, magenta and yellow inks. It’s therefore geared more towards document printing than top-quality photo output, which should be a good fit for most home/small offices. A full set of tanks is sufficient for around 6,000 mono pages and 7,700 color pages although the sizeable savings in ink costs don’t readily stretch to paper supplies, as duplex printing is a purely manual affair. Even so, it’s quick and very cost-effective for single-sided document printing.

(Image credit: Canon)

A ‘MegaTank’ printer that’s photo-fabulous!

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/1200dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 6
Mono/color print speed: : 3.9/3.9ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 445x340x167mm
Weight: 6.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Ink savings of up to 90 per cent+Great photo quality
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively slow print speeds-No color touchscreen

Offering an alternative to Canon’s popular ‘hybrid’ ink system, this MegaTank printer features large, refillable ink tanks for no less than six dye-based inks, comprising a photo-friendly light cyan and light magenta as well as the usual CMYK. Despite the lack of a pigment-based black, mono text is crisp and black, rather than the relatively feint grey often associated with dye-based black ink. Either way, the printer really comes up trumps for high-volume photo printing. Featuring ink tanks rather than conventional cartridges, you simply need to top up the tanks when they’re running out, which won’t be very often. It works out massively cheaper and saves the need to frequently buy replacement cartridges. The yield from a full set of tanks works out to around 3,800 6x4-inch photos, or around 3,700 mono documents and 8,000 color documents.

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon MAXIFY GX6020 MegaTank

The perfect inkjet for multiple users in a small to medium office

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 1200/1200dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 4
Mono/color print speed: : 24/15.5ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Dimensions (WxDxH): 399x410x254mm
Weight: 11.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Super-fast, economical document printing+USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Less ideal for top-quality photo output-Initial purchase price is higher than for regular inkjet printers

With the perfect CV for an office job, this MegaTank printer features refillable ink tanks, a scanner with a 50-sheet auto document feeder, and a handy color touchscreen for intuitive standalone scanning and photocopying. Print speeds are amazingly fast, complete with an auto duplex facility, and there are both internal and rear input trays, enabling the use of different media which might include letterheaded paper. With sufficient ink in the tanks for around 6,000 mono pages and 14,000 color pages, stretching to 9,000 and 21,000 respectively in ‘economy mode’, the printer is likely to save around 85 per cent on the total ownership cost of a color laser printer, suiting every business that needs to keep an eye on the bottom line.

Canon Color imageCLASS MF741Cdw

A color laser printer that’s reasonably compact and budget-friendly

Specifications
Type: Laser
Max print/scan resolution: 600/600dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 4
Mono/color print speed: : 27ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Dimensions (WxDxH): 471x469x460mm
Weight: 26.7kg
Reasons to buy
+5-inch color touchscreen+Auto document feeder, auto duplex and fax facilities
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier than an office inkjet-As a laser, it’s typically lackluster for photo output

There’s a lot to be said for laser printing when it comes to outputting business documents. The dry toner is effectively baked onto the paper, so it’s relatively smudge-proof compared with an inkjet but the flipside is that you can’t print on glossy or luster photo paper and photo print quality is comparatively poor anyway. For office duties, this model has a rich feature-set, with a 50-sheet auto document feeder that supports double-sided scanning in a single pass, along with auto duplex printing output. There’s a 250-sheet input tray and 50-sheet multi-purpose tray, and an additional 550-sheet input cassette is available as an optional extra. The printer also sports a color touchscreen which enables intuitive use of downloadable supporting apps. Well-connected, this model includes USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, along with a direct fax facility with memory backup.

Canon home printers

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon PIXMA TS3100

Relatively cheap to buy, this is an attractive entry-level printer

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/1200dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 2
Mono/color print speed: : 7.7/4ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 435x327x145mm
Weight: 4kg
Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive to buy+Cost-saving XL cartridges available
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t have individual cartridges-Photo quality isn’t the best

Small and lightweight for a multi-function printer with a built-in scanner, this entry-level inkjet runs on two cartridges rather than having individual cartridges for all four of its inks. The pigment-based black produces crisp, solid text but the lack of a dye-based black ink results in a relative lack of contrast and tonal range for photo printing. Running costs are pretty reasonable for a dual-cartridge printer, with ‘XL’ cartridges being available, sufficient for around 180 mono or color pages. Print speeds are a bit pedestrian and the onboard controls and small display screen are quite rudimentary, but it’s a good budget buy at the price.

(Image credit: Canon)

A terrific all-rounder for home document and photo printing

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/2400dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 5
Mono/color print speed: : 15/10ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 376x359x141mm
Weight: 6.3kg
Reasons to buy
+High print quality and very speedy+Individually replaceable XL and XXL cartridges options
Reasons to avoid
-Display screen is mono rather than color-No touchscreen

Typical of Canon’s highly acclaimed 5-ink printers, this one runs on individual cartridges for pigment black as well as dye-based cyan, magenta, yellow and ‘photo black’ inks. The end result is superb print quality for both mono and color documents, as well as for color photos. A multi-function printer with a built-in scanner, it has an onboard interface based around a mono OLED screen, without stretching to a more up-market color touchscreen. Handling refinements include a motorized output tray, internal paper cassette and a separate upright feeder at the rear, ideal for photo paper and card of varying sizes. A neat LED printing status bar runs along the front. With the availability of XL and XXL cartridge options, it’s a highly convenient and cost-effective printer for home use.

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon’s range-topping cartridge-based A4/11-inch photo printer

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800/4800dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 6
Mono/color print speed: : 15/10ipm
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 373x319x141mm
Weight: 6.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Specialist 6-ink line-up+Intuitive color touchscreen
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey -‘Photo blue’ ink is only an advantage for color photo output

Going one better than Canon’s 5-ink hybrid inkjet printers, this one adds a ‘photo blue’ cartridge into the mix. The idea is to enable more vivid blue hues with even smoother graduation, paying dividends in the skies and seas of landscape photos. There’s no compromise in document quality or print speeds, as the printer excels on both counts. The built-in scanner has a particularly high maximum resolution, making this model ideal for high-quality scanning and photocopying as well. Indeed, the color touchscreen makes standalone tasks easy and intuitive to perform. As with some other Canon printers, XL and XXL cartridges are available, so you can tailor your purchases to your typical printing volume.

Canon portable printers

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer

Pocket-sized, battery-powered photo printer to use anywhere

Specifications
Type: Zink
Max print/scan resolution: 400dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 1
Mono/color print speed: : 50 seconds
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Dimensions (WxDxH): 82x118x19mm
Weight: 160g
Reasons to buy
+Instant photo printing anytime, anywhere+Bluetooth connectivity and smart companion apps
Reasons to avoid
-Small print size-Photo quality can’t match inkjet

If you thought all printers were clunky, tabletop machines, this one will make you think again. Running on an internal battery and with smartphone-friendly Bluetooth connectivity, along with Canon’s Mini Print companion app for Apple and Android devices, it slips into a spare pocket and is ready for printing anywhere, anytime the mood takes you. There’s no messy ink to contend with as the Zink technology is based on micro crystals layered into the smudge-proof paper, which is available in packs of 20 or 50 sheets. On a full charge, the battery has enough juice for 20 prints. The paper size is typically small for this type of printer, at 2x3 inches, but tiling options are available via the app and the specialist paper is peelable with a self-adhesive backing, ideal for scrapbooking.

(Image credit: Canon)

This mobile photo printer proves it’s hip to be square

Specifications
Type: Dye-sublimation
Max print/scan resolution: 287dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 1
Mono/color print speed: : 43 seconds
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 102x143x31mm
Weight: 445g
Reasons to buy
+Good image quality+Very easy to use with Canon’s companion app
Reasons to avoid
-No option for connecting to a computer-A little bulky for a ‘pocket printer’

Following the trend of small-format square photo prints, this mobile printer produces 2.7-inch square images on slightly larger paper, which leaves a border around the edge and a strip along the bottom, ideal for adding a caption. Based on dye-sublimation technology, the printer uses packs that include specialist paper and a ribbon cartridge containing sections of the three different colors required for creating full-color photos, plus a protective overcoating. As such, each print passes through the printer four times in total, but fully finished photos still only take 43 seconds to output. The need for a cartridge makes the printer a little bulky for a ‘pocket printer’ and there’s only Wi-Fi rather than additional Bluetooth connectivity, but it’s a smart choice for creating small photo prints on the fly.

(Image credit: Canon)

Large mobile printer that creates postcard sized photos

Specifications
Type: Dye-sublimation
Max print/scan resolution: 300dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 1
Mono/color print speed: : 47 seconds
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi
Dimensions (WxDxH): 180x137x64mm
Weight: 900g
Reasons to buy
+Useful color LCD screen+Reasonable running costs
Reasons to avoid
-No battery included-No Bluetooth connectivity

Designed for creating classic 6x4-inch postcard sized photo prints, this mobile dye-sublimation printer is naturally a chunkier affair than ‘pocket printers’. There’s a lot more to it as well, including a built-in 3.2-inch color display screen and a set of onboard control buttons, plus additional connectivity options. As well as Wi-Fi Direct connectivity for use with Canon’s SELPHY Photo Layout app, there’s a USB port, PictBridge and an SD/HC/XC card slot. It’s therefore able to connect wirelessly or via USB to digital cameras and computers, or you can just slot a memory card containing photo images into the printer. It’s also compatible with Apple AirPrint and Mopria for cloud-based printing. The CP1300 is mains-powered by default, but it can also run on Canon’s rechargeable NB-CP2LH Li-ion battery pack, available as an optional extra.

Canon large-format printers

(Image credit: Canon)

This large-format PIXMA printer rivals imagePROGRAF models for photo quality

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 8
Mono/color print speed: : 1m 30s (A3)
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Dimensions (WxDxH): 639x379x200mm
Weight: 14.1kg
Reasons to buy
+Spectacular print quality on glossy paper+Fast print speeds in all quality modes
Reasons to avoid
-Modest cartridge capacity for a large-format printer-Not the ideal choice for matte and fine art media

Running on no less than eight dye-based inks, this A3+/13-inch large-format printer rules the roost for creating finest-quality photo prints on glossy and luster paper. Excellent fidelity and tonal range are assured for both color and black & white photo images, thanks to the inclusion of black, grey and light grey cartridges in the line-up. Indeed, the inks have been reformulated, compared with Canon’s older PRO-100 series printers, to improve the gamut (or color space) while the upgraded OIG System (Optimum Image Generating System) works out the best combination of inks to use for every colour and tone, on the fly, with great speed and precision. A 3-inch color LCD screen and dual paper input feeds enhance handling, as well as enabling panoramic printing on cut sheets of up to 39 inches in length.

(Image credit: Future)

Canon’s range-topping, pigment ink-based A3+/13-inch photo printer

Specifications
Type: Inkjet
Max print/scan resolution: 4800dpi
Cartridges/tanks: 10
Mono/color print speed: : 4m 15s (A3)
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Dimensions (WxDxH): 639x379x200mm
Weight: 14.4kg
Reasons to buy
+Sumptuous print quality on both glossy and matte media+Superb black & white performance, along with vibrant color
Reasons to avoid
-As usual, print speeds are slower than with most dye-based printers-Borderless printing on matte media isn’t risk-free

Although it looks almost identical to Canon’s PIXMA PRO-200 A3+/13-inch printer, this one earns Canon’s range-topping imagePROGRAF stripes, with a 10-ink pigment-based ink system favored by the most demanding professional photographers. While a Chroma Optimizer cartridge helps to deliver smoother output on glossy and luster papers, compared with most pigment photo printers, the PRO-300 really comes into its own on matte and fine art photographic media. Indeed, a huge range of Canon and third-party fine art papers are directly supported and, unlike previous PIXMA PRO-10 series pigment-based models, borderless printing is available on matte media. It’s not completely risk free, as Canon doesn’t guarantee that ink won’t leach into the edges. In our tests with high-quality media, however, we’ve never had a problem. Canon’s free supporting apps are particularly powerful and print quality for both color and monochrome photographic images is simply spectacular.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.