Aimed at the semi-professional market, the MP970 is Canon's top-of-the-range A4 printer, adding light cyan and light magenta inks to the five-ink line up of its other models such as the iP4500. This means that you still get both pigment and dye-based black inks for punchy photo prints and immaculate document prints, along with an even wider colour space.

In our tests, the extra colour range was most noticeable in blue skies, which had a little more depth to them, and skin tones were impressively rich. This is at the expense of slightly higher running costs, with the addition of the two extra cartridges but, because you're using less of the standard cyan and magenta inks, the difference isn't too noticeable. The MP970 also proved slightly slower than some rivals for photo printing but, even so, it's still amazingly quick.

Multi-talented

More than just a superb printer, the MP970 also includes a class-leading flatbed scanner with a very impressive 4800dpi resolution and even a built-in film adaptor, enabling you to print direct from up to six 35mm negative or positive exposures in a strip, or four mounted slides. Highly intuitive onboard controls and a large 8.8cm colour screen make it equally easy to print direct from memory cards, using the built-in multi-format card reader.

The MP970 is very expensive to buy for an A4 printer and its extra colour space is only slightly noticeable in most prints. This makes it only really worth the money if you need the scanner and other direct print facilities.