Canon Pixma MP760
Whether you work with film or with a digital camera, the $300 Canon Pixma MP760 is a great multifunction unit for printing photos. It's one of only two MFPs we've tested so far that include a film holder and a light in the lid for scanning slides and negatives (the other is the Epson Stylus Photo RX620). The MP760's card slots can read most memory formats (other than XD Picture Cards), and images transfer swiftly to a PC through the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed port. Alternatively, you can connect a PictBridge-compatible camera to the MP760's direct-print port.
The clearly laid-out control panel has a 2.5-inch color LCD for previewing images and performing basic editing tasks. You can select images to print by marking and scanning an index print.
Because this model lacks an automatic document feeder, it's not ideal for certain office tasks such as copying large documents. There's no fax in the unit either, but the software package helps you send scanned pages through a PC's fax modem. The MP760's built-in duplexer, which saves paper by enabling two-sided printing, waits about 15 seconds for the first side to dry before printing on the reverse. The cassette in the base can hold 150 sheets of plain paper. The feeder at the rear has a 150-sheet capacity as well, but you'll probably use it to switch among different photo paper types and sizes.
The MP760 uses five individual ink cartridges, holding three primary colors and two black inks: one a dye-based ink for photos, and the other a pigment-based ink for printing text. The attractive, vividly colored photos that the MP760 printed on letter-size paper impressed us as much as did those printed by models using more inks. When using the black pigment ink, this model produced strong dark text, though the edges of some letters looked a little fuzzy. Color graphics printed on plain paper looked less attractive: The pigment black ink created a posterized effect in some areas.
Scans of line art and copies of a text document earned high marks from our judges. Scans of text and photos also looked good, though they didn't quite match up to the best. In our informal testing, scanned negatives looked sharp and showed details in highlights and shadows.
The MP760 printed both text and color graphics quickly, at 6.7 ppm and 2.5 ppm, respectively, and it had the fastest copy speed, at 4.1 ppm. It was slightly faster than the average at scanning a 4-by-5-inch photo at 100 dpi, completing the job in 20 seconds.
Geared toward amateur photographers, the MP760 scans film and prints top-quality photos, while offering perks such as a duplexer and speedy overall performance.