The Canon Pixma iP8720 is a color inkjet printer aimed at advanced amateur photographers looking to supersize their prints. The iP8720 uses six inks to produce borderless prints as large as 13 by 19 inches and is a great fit for owners of Canon’s Rebel line of digital SLR cameras.
Along with the standard cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks, the iP8720 offers photo black and photo gray inks as well. The printer ships with “setup” cartridges, but is compatible with standard cartridges ($75 a set) and high-capacity cartridges ($113 a set). Canon provides estimated print yield data for their cartridges, but the info is buried deep in the company’s website. Doing the math, printing a 4-by-6 color photo on photo paper will cost you about 24 cents in ink using the XL cartridges and 37 cents when using the standard capacity cartridges.
A printer can’t produce poster-sized prints without taking up a healthy chunk of desktop real estate. The all-black iP8720 weighs in at 18.6 pounds and measures 23.3 inches wide by 13.1 inches deep and is 6.3 high when closed. Things change considerably when you open the paper guides—the iP8720 is 16 inches high and 32 inches deep with guides fully extended.
The iP8720 skips the fancy touch-screen menus, scanner, and copy functions prevalent in today’s general purpose printers. That’s not to say that the iP8720 doesn’t have modern features: In addition to its USB 3.0 connection, the iP8720 has built-in Wi-Fi and supports Apple’s AirPrint and Google’s Cloud printing features. Canon also offers its own Pixma Printing Solutions app for free in both the Apple App Store and Google Play store.
Ideally, the iP8720 would serve as a second printer, one used specifically for printing photographs, not maps and directions on plain paper. That said, the iP8720 did a commendable job printing clean text in our standard inkjet Office test pages.
Photo prints on the iP8720 looked great. I used both the provided ICC color profiles and the Canon settings. While the Canon settings were pleasing, I found grays to be more neutral—and colors more accurate overall—when using the color profiles. Even with prints as big as 13 by 19 inches, the 9600 print resolution was able to reproduce fine details and textures, smooth skin tones and delicious-looking food.
Photographers that want the immediate satisfaction and control offered by printing at home should consider the Pixma iP8720. It produces, sharp, beautiful 13 by 19-inch prints with accurate color and neutral grays.