The Canon Pixma MG8250 sits at the top of Canon's current range of printers that are aimed at photo enthusiasts. It uses six ink cartridge in an effort to produce the best quality photos possible, but also has plenty of other neat features, including duplex printing, negative scanning and Wi-Fi support. It'll set you back around £250 if bought online.
The MG8250 is essentially a large black rectangular, matte black box with nicely curved corners. The top of the unit is home to a big 8.8cm colour display. Unlike a lot of recent models from manufacturers such as Kodak and HP, this display isn’t a touchscreen. Instead Canon has added a number of touch buttons beneath it that light up as you select different functions. It's not quite as immediate as using a touchscreen, but it still makes this model's menus easy to navigate.
Behind a flap on the front there's a memory card reader that supports Compact Flash, SD and Memory Stick formats. The cassette-style paper tray at the bottom can take up to 105 sheets at a time. Canon has also included a plastic tray that you can mount CDs or DVDs onto for direct disc printing.
This model is quick to set up. All you've really got to do is install the ink cartridges, put some paper in the tray and load up the drivers on your computer. There are onscreen animations to guide you through most of the process. The printer has USB and Ethernet ports, as well as onboard Wi-Fi; you can select your connection method while you're installing the software on your computer.
Scanning and copying
The MG8250's scanner is interesting, because as well as allowing you to scan the usual printed material and photos, it can also be used to scan transparencies and negatives. When you lift the scanner lid you'll find two small push-in clips on either side that allow you to remove the white reflector and get at the slide holder.
The scanner's resolution has also been bumped up to 4,800x9,600 pixels to make it more effective when working with slides and film negatives. Scan quality is very impressive; colours are accurately reproduced and it manages to do a good job of capturing finer detail in pictures.
Naturally, the scanner can also be used for photocopying. It's very quick to use for this purpose; it managed to pump out our black and white test page in just 12 seconds, whereas most competing models take around 18 seconds. The results were also excellent; copies looked very close in appearance to the originals.