Unlike all Canon's previous models, this printer takes an 'HP' approach to print cartridges, using two tri-colour carts to make up its six-ink range, each cartridge having its own built-in print head.
In spite of this, running costs are frugal and there's a wealth of extras considering the reasonable purchase price. However, it's worth pointing out that the 6220D is slow and expensive for mono printing, so it's definitely a photos-only model.
Direct printing is well catered to with the provision of PictBridge support, as well as a multi-format card reader and large 2.5-inch menu and image preview screen. On-board controls are intuitive and flexible, adding to the appeal. Most card formats are covered (see comparison table) but you need a third-party adaptor for xD cards, which might be a pain if you use a Fujifi lm or Olympus camera.
Compared to Canon's iP4200, the maximum resolution of the iP6220D is exactly half as high at 4,800 x 1,200dpi. Even so, there's no perceptible difference in sharpness or smooth graduations between colours, although lowlight detail suffered a little in our tests when we slackened off the settings to 'normal' instead of highest quality.
Drawing further comparisons between Canon's two printers, the iP6220D is noticeably slower in top-quality mode, taking an extra 30 seconds to produce a borderless 10 x 15cm photo and over a minute more for a full A4 print.
However, the colour rendition is more accurate thanks to the full six-ink line-up, especially for skin tones, and prints are more than worth the wait. Like the iP4200, this model uses Canon's new ChromaLife 100 inks, which offer more longevity than previous inks while, straight off the printer, the iP6220D's images are simply dazzling. Matthew Richards