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Canon Pixma MG5320 review: Canon Pixma MG5320

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The Canon Pixma MG5320 encourages families, work groups, and individuals to print creative photos with the help of new software features like HD Movie Print, fun photo filters, and Pixma Cloud Link. Still, we have a few complaints. The printer doesn't have an Ethernet port so you have to connect to Wi-Fi for network printing, and with no high-yield ink cartridge option, the cost of replacing all five standard-size inks can get out of hand. Despite those caveats, the MG5320 earns our recommendation for competent performance in our speed and quality tests, and the extras you get for $150 offset its connectivity shortcomings.

Canon Pixma MG5320
7.0

Canon Pixma MG5320

The Good

Canon's new imaging suite with HD Movie Print, automatic photo filters, Pixma Cloud Link printing, and an integrated disc labeler all make the <b>Canon Pixma MG5320</b> more useful for amateur photographers.

The Bad

The printer lacks an Ethernet port for wired networking, and with no high-yield cartridges available, consumables can get pricey.

The Bottom Line

We recommend the Canon Pixma MG5320 and its photo-friendly features for amateur photographers shopping for a do-most-of-it imaging device, but the step-up Pixma MG6120 is a better fit for multiuser offices.

Design
The Pixma MG5320 has a thinner silhouette than we're used to seeing from Canon, incorporating a unique design with folding trays to reduce its overall footprint. The printer measures 17.8 inches wide, 14.5 inches deep, and just under 7 inches tall with the paper trays folded up. At 18.3 pounds it weighs less than its beefier linemate, the Pixma MG6120, due to the rear-mounted, 150-sheet autodocument feeder (ADF) and the five internal ink tanks. With those specs, it should be relatively easy to transport around the home or office.

The MG5320 also costs $50 less than the MG6120 because it doesn't feature a touch-screen panel. We actually prefer the additional hard buttons on the control panel, as they make it easier to rapidly locate the necessary buttons to access a job. The top of the printer is home to the one-touch copy, scan, and print buttons, but you also get a tactile home button and a circular dial that clicks as you scroll through menus on the 3-inch LCD screen. You can adjust the brightness level of the display by navigating to the settings menu, and the screen can be tilted forward and backward to achieve your desired viewing angle.

The 150-sheet paper trays that fold out of the top and bottom of the MG5320 allow horizontal and vertical movement to accept a range of paper sizes from 4x6-inch snapshots all the way up to legal-size sheets. The 300-sheet overall capacity means you can store standard paper in the bottom tray and photo paper in the ADF, and a paper sensor inside automatically knows which one to grab depending on your job. The trays themselves are made of a light plastic that feels easy to break; we worry about their durability.

Setting up the printer is simple no matter how you choose to connect it to a computer, and the installation disc provides onscreen instructions guiding you through two options: 802.11 b/g/n wireless, or a simple USB cord. Most printers in this range also include an Ethernet port for wired networking in small offices, but Canon omits this key feature from the MG5320 so it can pull an extra $50 from your wallet if you opt instead for the $200 MG6120. Regardless, this won't be an issue if you're planning to use the printer at home or with a single computer.

USB setup is standard for printers and the instructions are easy to follow, and the same is true of Wi-Fi installation. If you have a wireless router with a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button, all you have to do is press the button and it'll automatically connect the Pixma MG5320 to your network without your needing to input your username and password. Otherwise, make sure you have that information handy.

From here, you can select either Easy Install for straightforward help, or Custom Install if you want to sort through which extra features you want--these include Easy-PhotoPrint EX for managing digital photos, MP Navigator EX to guide you through the scanning process, and Pixma Cloud Link, which lets you print directly from the Canon Image Gateway portal or a Picasa account. Keep in mind that you'll need more free storage space on your hard drive if you go with the comprehensive Easy Install.

Once installation is complete, Windows users will notice several new buttons displayed above the taskbar on the lower right side of the screen. These shortcuts are designed to give you quick access to five of the most commonly used printer functions: Scan a Document, Layout Print, Photo Print, Show Main Screen, and Hide Toolbar.

The MG5320 also includes Canon's HD Movie Print feature, which lets you pull still snapshots out of videos shot with compatible Canon HD video cameras. We tested the printer with a top-flight Canon PowerShot S95 handheld camera and were impressed with the Canon Solution Menu EX software's step-by-step instructions.

With the software you can also edit video images and prepare a moving clip for grabbing still shots from the video. It's as simple as selecting a video snippet and either capturing a group of 10 frames or hitting the "capture" button to select single images. After that, you can edit an image to reduce noise and sharpen it, and although the SD95 is only capable of 720p video resolution, the software supports true 1080p digital SLR cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. When that's finished, you can even print custom disc and jewel-case labels using the multipurpose tray installed just above the paper input tray, and you can personalize them using templates accessible through the software suite.

Finally, Canon's new HD Movie Print tool lets you combine multiple still frames from a video into a single snapshot image--for example, you can merge all your golf stroke positions into one photo. The lid of the MG5320 lifts to reveal the five-ink cartridge bay for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink tanks, and there's another high-capacity pigment black cartridge inside that only draws ink when you toggle the monochrome mode within the driver preferences.

This should extend the longevity of the smaller black cartridge since it only gets depleted in color print mode, and MG5320 users need all the cost savings they can get, as according to Canon the cost per page of each ink set is 5.2 cents per monochrome page and 13.4 cents for color. Those prices are significantly higher than the average cost for consumables, and the Canon Web store mysteriously does not sell high-capacity cartridges for this model.

Printing functions aside, the MG5320's copy function has all the features you'd expect from a multifunction printer. You can enlarge the original copy up to 400 percent or fit the entire document to a page. Other options include two-sided copying, borderless copying, exact duplication, cropped copy, and two-on-one and four-on-one photo collages.

Scanning is also typical, with options to save the file straight to your PC, as an e-mail attachment, or scanned as a PDF, or to simply open it in an application. You can save all documents as TIFF, JPEG, bitmap, or PDF files, and the scanner now supports film and negatives as well. The negative and slide holders live under the document protector beneath the lid, and the scanner supports document sizes up to 8.5x11 inches. If you tend to scan at the highest resolution available, the MG6120 can reach 4,800x4,800 dots per inch (dpi).

Performance
We're surprised at the disparity between the MG5320's impressive text and presentation speed output and the time it took to print photos and pages of color graphics. It's no match for the Epson WorkForce 610 and drops down to second place in the text page test with a respectable 8.11 pages per minute, then loses momentum and falls to near the bottom at a sluggish 2.06 pages of color graphics and 1.02 full-color photo snapshots per minute. Despite these polarizing speed test results, you're unlikely to notice the differences as a consumer unless you're printing consistently high numbers of pages of text or photos. Still, the MG5320 isn't the best performer for busy offices, although we wouldn't hesitate to flaunt its output quality in a boardroom presentation.

Print speeds (in ppm)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Presentation speed  
Photo speed  
Color graphics speed  
Text speed  
Epson WorkForce 610
5.55 
0.89 
4.83 
13.24 
Canon Pixma MG5320
4.2 
0.87 
1.02 
8.24 
Lexmark Interact S605
3.63 
2.07 
3.96 
7.83 
HP Photosmart C6380
2.59 
1.61 
2.07 
7.1 
Kodak ESP 5
2.21 
1.37 
2.13 
4.39 

The Pixma MG5320 performed well in our quality examination, printing solid, dense text with fully formed characters down to 5-point font size. The color graphics test emerged solid and evenly distributed, but we did notice small portions with more neutral tones than the original, specifically in areas with gradual color gradients and skin tones. To confirm, we repeated the test in three iterations and the imperfections were consistent throughout, although unlikely to be noticed by most eyes. In most cases, snapshot photos came out with vivid coloration and even tones.

Service and support
Canon supports the Pixma MG5320 with a standard one-year limited warranty program that includes InstantExchange and a year of toll-free phone support. The product page for the printer features frequently asked questions, registration, recycling information, driver downloads, and other information.

Conclusion
The Canon Pixma MG5320's slower print speeds are offset by useful photo printing tools like HD Movie Print, Pixma Cloud Link, disc printing, and dual paper trays that let you store up to 300 sheets at a time. In the future, we'd like to see Ethernet connectivity as well, but we would definitely recommend this printer to photo enthusiasts in need of a budget-friendly assistant.

Canon Pixma MG5320
7.0

Canon Pixma MG5320

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 6Support 6