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Marine Goy
Morgane Alzieu
Published on October 12, 2010
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  • Resolution 9600 x 2400 dpi
  • Mono/colour speeds 12.5 ppm / 9.3 ppm
  • Ink droplet size 1 pl
  • Cartridges required 6
  • Number of base colours 4
  • Scanner yes
The Pixma MG6150 is the high-end Canon 2011 general consumer model. The buttons that previously adorned the MP640 have been replaced by touch sensitive backlit buttons. The second difference is that it uses a total of six separate cartridges. In addition to the four standard cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, yellow), you'll also find a second black photo cartridge - to give you the black in really black images - and a grey cartridge to perfect the... greys in, for example, black & white photos.

Pricing is getting more accessible. This printer, now sold at under £150, has many of the options that you'll find on the MP990, launched at £250 at the end of 2009.

Hardware: hybrid

The particularity of this printer, its browsing system, is similar, give or take one or two details, to that on the Samsung SCX-4500W laser printer - a system of touch buttons built into the hood and, here, a small colour screen (7.5 cm). Depending on the function you've chosen (Copier, Scanner...), only the buttons used for this function light up. For some modes, such as copy, however, the screen is overloaded with information. Although not the most intuitive of systems, it does confer a fairly honed down and attractive aspect to the machine. The glossy black adds a note of elegance to the overall impression. Do however keep a rag to hand to wipe off the finger marks and dust that naturally get picked up.

You can only wonder why Canon didn't go all the way down the touch route. Why wouldn't they have given this printer a large touch screen? When you first start with it, you automatically try to select actions on-screen rather than looking to the backlit buttons on the hood.

Like the Canon MP990, the MG6150 allows you to print on CD and DVD/Blu-ray (this feature is not available in certain countries).

The hood and screen known as the "intelligent touch system"

In addition to this new "intelligent touch system", various other bits of software are supposed to give added value, in particular those which use the "Premium" cartridges (the Canon make cartridges rather than compatible ones from other suppliers). Such as for example the Full HD Movie function which enables you to print images from digital video. In order to do this, you need to install the software supplied by Canon. Or again, the Creative Park tool which provides you with illustrations to create your gift cards, calendars and scrapbooks. It seemed of very limited interest to us. We weren't convinced either by its look, modernity or pertinence of the models.

Creative Park: Canon's creation software

: fast

Comparable to the speeds on the Canon Pixma MP990, the speeds of the MG6150 are among the best measured for a multifunction printer. A notch up on the excellent MP640, they crush the few competitor models tested (eg: the Brother MFC-795CW does an average of 4 ppm).

Although overall speeds have improved, double-sided printing remains slow (3 ppm).

The MG6150 is also fast in photo mode, even if a little less so than the MP640 (which used one cartridge fewer). The times we measured it at are in fact almost identical to those for the MP990, which also uses six separate cartridges: an A4 print took 64 seconds, 32 seconds for a 10x15 cm print.

Quality: perfect all rounder

The MG6150 uses two different black cartridges depending on usage: one for office doc mode and one for black & white photos, for the fine shading and dark blacks. An additional grey ink allows you to refine shading on black and white prints.

Rare is the printer which manages to give good quality both for photos and office documents. This is what you get with the MG6150. It gets a 5-star quality rating for office doc prints: the colours are accurate, the graph perfectly clear and legible.

For photos, the quality is really very good. The image of the child is more neutral (less red than the MP640). It merits our 5-star rating. When it comes to black & white, the combination of the special photo black and the grey cartridge make all the difference and give good contrast.

Find more images of the MG6150 in the Face-off
Scanner and copier: fast

Once again, the spec is almost the same as for the MP990 - except the scanner which is a CIS type instead of CCD. This is often the sign of a more economical scanner; you also lose the slide scanning module that you get with the pro models.

The scanner beats all the rapidity records. Six seconds for preview, just four for a 75 ppp scan and six seconds for 300 dpi.

The scanner's native resolution (4800 ppp) gives good quality scanning and, in spite of the colour difference of 5.7% the results are pretty convincing. The colours are accurate in spite of the slight lightening of light tones, but the detail is well-rendered without particular accentuation. Note however some smoothing of traits, which means a small loss of detail. However this is also something that almost all the competition also suffers from.

As for copies, they take an average of 14 seconds for black & white and 18 seconds for colour.

Energy consumption & Noise levels

The printer quite quickly goes into standby mode, a mode in which it consumes 1.6 watts against 17.5 watts when printing - and noise levels get up to 45 dB. This makes it a particularly low energy and quiet printer.

Cost per page

The average cost is calculated on a basis of 120 prints of 8.6 pence per page, which is much higher than the 7.6 pence on the previous MP640 and MX870, and comparable to the 8.66 pence on the MP990. 

ISO lifespan for text documents
Cartridge Price(from) ISO lifespan
Cost per page
PGI-525PGBK (black) £9.62
328 2.9 pence
CLI-526C (cyan) £7
1.5 pence
CLI-526M (magenta) £7
437 1.6 pence
CLI-526Y (yellow) £7
1.6 pence
CLI-526BK (black) £9.08  2185 0.42 pence
CLI-526GY (grey) £9.08 1515 0.59 pence

ISO lifespan for text documents
Cartridge Price(from) ISO lifespan
Cost per page
PGI-525PGBK (black) £9.62
4170 0.2 pence
CLI-526C (cyan) £7
2 pence
CLI-526M (magenta) £7
345 2 pence
CLI-526Y (yellow) £7
2.4 pence
CLI-526BK (black) £9.08  670 1.4 pence
CLI-526GY (grey) £9.08 171 5.3 pence

Which is a total, not including paper of 13.3 pence per photo (ink only).
The 1st page takes 17 seconds
It takes 28 seconds to turn the MG6150 on. This is very good given that the average time for most models is 1 minute.

The first print from standby takes 17 seconds and the first page from then on takes 7 seconds.


  • High speeds for office documents (13 ppm in black & white) and photos (32 seconds for a 10x15)
  • Very good print quality for office docs and photos
  • Low energy consumption: 17.5 W when printing, 1.6 W on standby
  • Very nice photo print quality, invisible drops
  • Wi-fi + double-sided


  • No touch screen, no fax
  • Higher costs per page than on 4 cartridge models
  • No Linux drivers
  • The Full HD Movie and Creative Park software didn't convince us


An allrounder, the MG6150 will suit those who don't mind paying a touch more per print in return for higher quality. It's fast in all modes, double-sided, Wi-Fi. However we like the intelligent touch system less than we would a real touch screen.
4 Canon Pixma MG6150 DigitalVersus 2010-10-12 00:00:00
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