The Canon Pixma MG8250 is the high-end 3-in-1 photo printer that succeeds the MG8150. Like the previous model, it is mainly targeted at photographers looking for high quality photo prints or wanting to scan slides or negatives.
HardwareThe MG8250 is in keeping with the Canon look in general and the Pixma MG8150 in particular. It has a touch system applied not to the screen itself but rather to the control panel. Buttons light up according to usage. The 8250 has an elegant look about it and is a relatively compact (47 x 39.6 x 19.9 cm, weight 10.7 Kb) machine that will go pretty much anywhere.
Touch control panel with backlighting
On the programme: scanning (including scanning of 24 x 36 films with a CCD scanner with a 4600 dpi resolution), copying and double-sided printing. For connectivity it has an Ethernet network port and wi-fi to facilitate sharing and you can also print straight from mobile peripherals and send scans straight from the printer thanks to the Easy-PhotoPrint application.
A triple memory card reader and USB port allow you to print photos straight from a card without having to use your computer. You can print these photos in various formats: in identity photo format, with or without borders, in groups of 2, 6 or 8. Mac, Windows and Linux drivers are all included.
The MG8250 houses six cartridges, the same as on the previous model: the traditional cyan, magenta, yellow and two blacks (one for photos, the other for office documents) as well as a grey cartridge for better colour precision.
Six separate cartridges (1 size)
Scanner for slides and negatives
SpeedColour printing is faster on this model than the previous one. The MG8150 manages 9 pages per minute (ppm) for colour prints, compared to 11 ppm here. Black & white speeds suffer from slower ink drying times and double-sided speeds drop to 4 ppm.
Photo print times are considerably better than the old model: 54 seconds here for an A4 down from 2 mn 15 seconds and 21 seconds for a 10 x 15 cm down from 37 seconds. This is fast!
Our new test criteria for printers is more precise in measuring colour accuracy and the rating on this model suffers as a result. While the prints seem good to the eye and putting droplet size to one side - overly visible in shaded areas - colour accuracy remains rather inconsistent. This is what the dE 94 table below shows.
Average Delta E 94 (colour difference): 12
The higher the bar, the lower the accuracy.
For comparison, good screens score under 3.
Photo prints are a good deal better, both to the eye and the colour accuracy sensor. Indeed the photo prints here are comparable to the results you’d get from a good photo lab, both in colour and black & white. Traits are sharp and colour reproduction accurate. Canon deliberately accentuates some colours (blue and red) to give additional impact but this won’t necessarily be appreciated by the pros, who are naturally more concerned about accuracy than your average Joe.
Average Delta E 94: 4.7
Scanner and copierThe scanner has a resolution of 4800 dpi and uses CCD technology, which allows you to scan documents with relief, it has an adaptor for scanning slides and film, which allows you to safeguard what are fragile objects subject to scanning.
As time goes by, the rendering of scanners is getting more and more precise. Scanning a negative on the MG8250 gets you a better result than on the MG8150, which accentuated the red on faces too much. The improvement is obvious and the rendering you get here is up there with the best scanners we’ve tested.
- Original Scanner
Printing a black & white copy is quite fast (17 seconds), faster than a colour, which takes 30 seconds. While copy quality is never great, the MG8250 doesn’t do too badly. Copies are sharper and less dull than usual and while the colour difference reading on our sensor was particularly pronounced on the lighter tones, to the eye, it wasn’t a problem.
Energy consumption & Noise levels
This printer includes an ‘eco’ setting that allows you to set it to switch off after between 15 minutes and... never (with various stages in between!). This is a good thing as this model consumes 3 Watts in standby, whereas most printers tested, including lasers, are now under the 1 Watt barrier. The time the printer takes to start up from off position is however longer than average (see inset). When printing it consumes 18 Watts.
Noise is low at 41 dB(A) and it won't disturb anyone at this level.
Cost per page
Disastrous! This printer wasn’t far from getting a 5-star rating but we’ve had to penalise it because of the excessive cost per page of prints. Although there has been some improvement in terms of quality on the previous generation, the introduction of an additional grey cartridge raises costs drastically. At 13.4 pence it's more than average and a good deal more than the MP640 and MX870 (7.6 pence), or even the MP990 (8.7 pence). Bringing in XL cartridges would reduce the cost but these are not yet available from Canon.
ISO lifespan for text
|Cartridge||Price||ISO lifespan||Cost per page|
|PGI-525PGBK (black)||£15.51||311||5 pence|
|CLI-526GY (grey)||£11.38||1480||0.8 pence|
|CLI-526BK (black)||£8.99||2285||0.4 pence|
ISO lifespan for 10 x 15 photos (tariffs given by Canon)
|Cartridge||Price||ISO lifespan||Cost per page|
|PGI-525PGBK (black)||£15.51||3800||0.4 pence|
|CLI-526M (magenta)||£11.38||204||5.5 pence|
|CLI-526Y (yellow)||£11.38||202||5.5 pence|
|CLI-526GY (grey)||£11.38||165||6.9 pence|
|CLI-526BK (black)||£8.99||635||1.4 pence|
Which makes for a total of 25.2 pence per photo (ink only not including paper).