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Canon Pixma MG5320 review: Canon Pixma MG5320

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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 Canon Pixma MG5320 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.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 6
  • Support 6

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.

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.

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