When you consider that a paltry three megapixels is all you need for full A4 printing, you have to wonder why six and even eight-megapixel cameras are so popular.
The perfect outlet for all those extra pixels is Canon's i9950 printer, which can produce borderless photo prints at sizes up to A3 (13 x 19-inch or 329 x 483mm). More importantly, the print quality of the Canon is even more impressive than its generously sized output.
Feeding the i9950's high resolution (4,800 x 2,400dpi) print head are eight colour ink tanks. The line-up includes photo magenta and photo cyan as well as the standard CMYK colours but, more unusually, also adds red and green inks to the mix. The result is a tremendously wide colour space that does justice to the fullest range of vivid colours, while also accurately recreating the subtlest nuances in pastel shades.
Naturally, with so much ink on tap the running costs can be a worry, especially with a single A3 photo print being over twice the size of an A4 page. The i9950 does well to keep costs down, with individually replaceable ink tanks for all colours. In our tests, A3 photo prints cost an average of £3.66 each. This compares favourably with high street or online photo print bureaus that commonly charge around £12 for a similarly sized print.
With both normal and fast USB ports, PictBridge and even FireWire, the i9950 isn't short on connection options. Speed is impressive as well, with A4 and A3 photos turned out in as little as 50 seconds and 95 seconds, respectively. Print quality is the i9950's real star turn, however, with a photo finish that's simply stunning. Matthew Richards