Desktop Photo i860 Inkjet Printer (23 PPM, 4800x1200 DPI, Color, 42KB, PC/Mac) - Security Camera User Rating
Manufacturer: Canon
Model: 8536A001
Printer Type: Color Inkjet
Average User RatingAverage User Rating: Number of User Reviews: 29

Reviewed by: steveck from DE on Sep 22, 2004

Experience: 9 Months

Strengths: Good quality BW and Color. Cheap Ink. has a seperate black specificly for text that saves cost.

Weaknesses: can take a while for the file to begin printing

Summary: I highly recomend this printer to the average user. It's very versitle. It prints great pictures. It can handle large text printjobs. I really like having seperate color tanks and the large test black tank is great for students. At $120 it can't be beat

Reviewed by: brucegil from AL on Nov 8, 2004

Experience: 2 Months

Strengths: Fast

Weaknesses: Paper will not feed. Paper is crumbled every time.

Summary: After using the printer for about 2 months, it quit feeding paper through. Also, I sent Canon Support an e-mail. After two weeks, I still have not heard from them.

Reviewed by: grizmd from AZ on Dec 23, 2003

Experience: 6 Days

Strengths: *Fast printing *Excellent quality text *Phenominal printing of photos *Easy setup *PictBridge compliant *USB 2.0 or parallel connection

Weaknesses: Possible weakness: Top-loading of paper, which *might* possibly in the future after regular wear and tear have feeding problems.

Summary: This is a great printer that produces excellent text and great photos. I was wavering between this printer and Canon's next higher i960 as well as the HP 7960. I've been using HP printers for 8 years, but since I wanted outstanding photo capabilities, I went with Canon.

I met a Canon rep at the store and talked about the merits of the i860 and the i960. She even had identical color digital photographs printed out from each printer, so you could compare. Having been a photographer for 17 years, I was quite impressed with both. In fact, there was only a *very subtle* difference in photogrphaic quality between the i860 and the i960 -- the i960 had just slightly more detail and flesh tones appeared just *slightly* more true (due to 6 different inks versus 5 in the i860). Otherwise, I could not tell the difference between the two printouts of the same photograph. In fact, if I didn't have the i960 prints to compare to and someone pointing out the differences, I wouldn't (I didn't at first) have noticed them.

For me, here's what it came down to: I needed a printer that would serve a DUAL function: both text and high quality photographs (using Canon's photographic printer paper). This meant choosing the i860. The i960 is best for a dedicated photo printer. Also, the i960 would use more ink when printing text because to get black color, it has to use the photo black ink plus 2 other ink colors. The i860 has a dedicated "text" black cartridge.

Reviewed by: DaveRB from CT on May 11, 2004

Experience: 4 Days

Strengths: Best quality and practical versitality for the price - photos look great and it's quiet too! Love the 4"x6" photo stock tray. The driver is wonderful - great software package.

Weaknesses: I haven't found any yet. The page per minute rating should be more like 16 ppm for printing text.

Summary: WOW! After a $30 rebate and a $20 coupon from Staples, I only paid $100 for this amazing printer. I love that you can replace the print head yourself (unlike the Epsons). The i860 is such an incredible improvement over my HP 832 at home and HP 970 at work. Setup was very smooth, and the printer is so quiet! I was a little concerned that this photo printer had only five inks, but the prints look fantastic - when I show people photos they think I got them processed at a lab. Also, I've printed dozens of photos and there's still plenty of ink left. It's a good quality economical alternative to Epson. The included software makes working with my many directories of photos a breeze - I love the simple but flexible options. The driver has a wizard to make settings for you or you can set them all yourself - very nice. It's easy to keep the 4x6 photo paper in its own tray: dial drops it into and out of position as needed. The black text is laser sharp. I'm extremely pleased because I thought I was going to wind up spending over $200 on a photo printer. Not only are the individual ink tanks very affordable (under $10 each), but the Canon photo papers are affordable too. By the way, you need to use Canon paper for the best photo results. There are great deals for Canon paper and ink online. I am VERY happy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Reviewed by: jdumas54 from MI on Feb 4, 2004

Experience: 7 Days

Strengths: fast, quiet, easy to use, user friendly software

Weaknesses: physical dimensions- wow! its pretty big! I need to buy a bigger desk.

Summary: I am somewhat color blind so please read the other comments listed for that information! lol
What I can tell you is it is very easy to review and print any picture you have on your computer/disk in a .jpg format. Just point toward a file and it opens and displays the all the photos in that file. From there pick and choose what you want to print- click to choose your size, layout/format. Click another tab- and the printer does what ya tell it quickly and quietly. Very pleased overall with this printer.
I received the best price with free shipping from

Reviewed by: WhisperPntr from NY on Jul 28, 2004

Experience: 3 Days

Strengths: Cheap to buy and run, Virtually Dotless Photo Prints, Fast and crisp text printing, Lasting Machine due to removable print heads.

Weaknesses: Potential print fading, Loud paper loading, Occassionally Creases Cheap paper (doesn't jam), frequent cleaning

Summary: Print Fading
When I first read about print fading, it almost deterred me from buying. However, after seeing the same response and shock from canon regulars, the bad fades we¡¯re afraid of are rare and investigated.
A simple explanation of fading is that dye based inks will fade when exposed to gases, and sometimes sunlight. When unprotected, prints may have some areas and hues evaporate while others remain. There have been ways of preserving the ink, from exposing yourself to dangerous fixative sprays, to simple lamination kits, but the easiest and laziest method is to frame or sleeve the prints.
Another alternative, the Epson R800, uses pigment ink and can back a longer print life. However, Epson's archival printers are significantly more expensive to run, and have their own problems (ink tubes coming loose, print head deterioration). Prints from Epson ARE superior in life and durability, but you should ask yourself if you¡¯re willing to deal with the technical stress, and the cost when you can opt for a professional lab.

With a metallic silver top and white/gray accents, this big, but almost aerodynamic machine takes up a larger than average footprint. The expanding top loader and frontal tray feels a bit loosely attached, and needs a little coaxing to store and expand. However, it is sturdy and like the rest of the printer the machine should handle heavy loads. The pictbridge is in front, but the lack of an LCD makes direct from camera printing less intuitive. It comes with a sturdy 4x6 photo tray that is quite handy.

Cable not included
The annoyance of most printers today is that they tout great support for camera printing but ultimately lack support for out of the box computer printing. If you¡¯re upgrading from either an ancient or newer printer, using an old cable is a consideration. For fans of the i865, this doesn't include the cd printing kit and storage kit. Considering how much you save over this European i860, it¡¯s not something I¡¯d pine over.

Installation is not difficult as long as you follow the pictorial steps faithfully. Don¡¯t be too confident and skip it altogether!

How it Functions
When I first started, I was alarmed by how loud the paper loading mechanism was in comparison to the quiet printing. But there¡¯s no need to worry about damage.
When you first startup you may encounter a prolonged head cleaning process. Simply wait and wait for 3 minutes (look at the clock, don¡¯t guess). If it¡¯s not stopping, cancel the job and try printing from another program.
i860 also has a habit of entering another cleaning/realignment post printing. While I feel all this cleaning is a bit unnecessary I'll only complain if it eats my ink.
After this initial wait, I have found printing to be consistent, quick, and dependable.

Text Printing
Economy prints are nice and speedy with the right settings and i860 prints sharp text and good looking pictures on plain paper.

Photo Printing
Photos from this printer are nothing short of outstanding, although I have noticed a tendency to be red. It¡¯s not to say it is an apple, but calibration is needed for precision. As for dots I've already gotten eyestrain trying to see them, thanks to Canon¡¯s 2pl system.

Borderless printing:
I had to finagle with this a little and slide the marker to the left to make it chop off less of the picture. Needless to say, TEST on a draft sheet before wasting an expensive glossy.

Paper selection is vital for photo output on this printer and you really shouldn't get too experimental. Papers that are highly acclaimed are:
Canon's own photo paper pro line
Epson glossy paper (not the premium)
I have heard good things about ilford¡¯s longevity but since this printer isn't made for archival, 75 year+ purposes, one should try to save by buying cheaper alternatives.

The i860 seems to have an anti-jamming feature though I have not officially verified it. At first, it mis-fed and creased a sheet and looked like it was about to jam, but a second later the printer SELF corrected the jam. After printing about 30 economy draft sheets, it¡¯s stopped all (4) potential jams.
It¡¯s worthy to note there have been no misfeeds with the recommended paper.

The i860 comes with a separate printhead you need to install. On that front, the printhead is actually like a cartridge DOWN TO how it comes in an air sealed pouch. Everyone who's owned a printer knows that a dead printhead means a dead printer (minus HPs that combine cartridge and printhead).
The advantage to owning a canon is that you can buy a printhead for $40+. While not a steal nor convenient, this is a testament to its fixability.
The second issue is canon specific, and has to deal with the sponge well producing a "waste ink tank full" notice. If you feel comfortable doing your own fixes, go here (

Reviewed by: BFanning from IN on Jul 5, 2004

Experience: 7 Months

Strengths: NA

Weaknesses: none

Summary: I love my i860 cannon printer. The pictures I print are very clear. This printer is very quite and fast. The reason I bought this printer is because of the 5 inks tanks. This is also my second cannon printer.

Reviewed by: Dinosaurius from NJ on Dec 16, 2003

Experience: 1 Days

Strengths: Fast, Excellent print quality, Inexpensive/Great Value, Quiet... And did I mention how fast this printer can print both text and photos?

Weaknesses: NO USB cable included.*

Summary: (I've only owned my printer for 1 day but I have extensively researched this purchase as well as used other i860s prior to this. My comments stem from this.)

This printer is a complete package. If you were to buy only one printer to do everything at home, this is the one to get. There are no compromises.

Incredibly, it combines class-leading print speed with best-in-class photo quality output. I've owned/used laser printers that aren't as fast as this from first power-up to first output. You say your priority is photo quality? The i860 won't let you down. The photos printed are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and that's before you see how fast it just flies out of this printer. No more do you have to compromise text-speed vs. photo-quality in a printer.

As if best-in-class print speed and quality weren't enough, Canon sells all this plus low noise levels for less than $150!

The Canon i860 is a winner. If it were human it would be a Gold-Medal Olympic Decathlon Winner. While there are printers that can approach or equal the i860 in individual categories, no ONE printer can do it all, for so little money.

*A word about the lack of USB cables packaged with printers: I know of NO manufacturer that includes a USB cable with their printers. Yet, why do these very same companies include a uselessly small memory card with their digital cameras? Here's a novel idea, start packing USB cables with printers and forget the included memory cards with digi-cams.

Reviewed by: asb7 from NY on Jul 9, 2004

Experience: 10 Months

Strengths: Easy setup and maintenance. Excellent print quality and superb photo quality. Extremely quiet and fast. Individual ink tanks.

Weaknesses: None

Summary: This is truly the best printer I have ever owned. It is not only affordable but the maintenance is very inexpensive. I found a place on the web where I can purchase an entire set of cartridges for about $20. It is true that the ink monitoring goes from full to a warning replacement then to empty. Although it is not recommended to let an ink cartridge get empty, this printer first tells you the ink is getting low and which cartridge it is. When this happens, you usually have a fews days to replace the cartridge before it is empty, under normal printing conditions.

This printer is quiet to begin with but it also has an option to be quieter on its Utility Tab under properties. 4x6 photos are a snap with the photo paper feeder accessory which comes with the printer.

When I show the photos I printed from the i860, people remark how beautiful they are and cannot believe they were produced from a home printer.

The added utilities that Cannon supplies via CD in the box are also excellent. There is no longer a need to buy expensive photo software. This printer with its drivers and software does it all beautifully including Panoramic shots using the stitch utility.

A friend of mine scanned an old black and white photo of his parents over 40 years ago. The quality of the original photo was fair at best and the background including the subjects contained a lot of noise. I put this scanned photo through the Cannon photo print software. This software has 2 levels of noise reduction. I selected the highest level and printed the photo. My friend had tears in his eyes when he saw the excellent quality I was able to produce. The noise was virtually eliminated. The photo looked as though it was just taken.

Obviously, I couldn't be more pleased with any other printer. Photo quality is not the i860's only name to fame. In my opinion, it produces excellent text as well.

I have owned other printers (HP and Epson) which declined in quality as they aged. They were also more expensive to buy and their ink supplies were short and expensive. I was in need of a printer about a year or so ago and went to purchase one. I was looking at another Epson because HP is outrageously expensive. I was not considering a Canon at all, especially knowing people who owned older Canons and witnessing their slowness and fair quality. The day I went to the store was the debut of Canon's i860 and one from Epson too. Sales representatives for both manufacturers were demontrating the new printers. The Epson not only cost $50 more that the Canon but the Canon won in every aspect "heads over heals." I purchased the Canon i860 and love it.

Reviewed by: c23jsj from MI on Dec 23, 2003

Experience: 1 Weeks

Strengths: Print borderless photos. Separate ink tanks and inexpensive. Can be used as a general purpose printer.

Weaknesses: The European module, I865, includes an adaptor for printing CDs and DVDs. Take a good amount of space.

Summary: I need a printer that can print high quality pictures to replace my HP Deskjet 930C. After doing some researching on the Web, I narrowed down to this printer and the I960. The I960 has 6 ink tanks and can print better pictures than the I860. The I960 costs about $40 more. After some thoughts on how much I would use the printer to print photo and the cost of owning either printer, I decided on the I860. I just need a near photographic quality printer.

The printer is very easy to set-up - install the software, connect the cables and you are ready to go. The included adaptor for printing 4x6 is very handy and I printed over 50 photos in about evening. I used Canon Easy-PhotoPrint to print 4x6 borderless photos.

I am disappoint that the USA model does include an adaptor to print CDs like the European module, the I865 - something to do with patents issue in the US.

Reviewed by: rdevoe01 from CT on Jan 30, 2004

Experience: 3 Months

Strengths: The best photo printer on the planet for the price!

Weaknesses: None

Summary: (Edited February 03rd by rdevoe01) I have had HP printers since the start of time...
Forget about it.

Buy this printer and rid yourself of the high cost of ink cartridges.
Nearly grain-free images and virtually zero color variance.

Great saving on replacement ink cartridges.
I would highly recommend this printer.

OK, You can stop reading reviews now and go out there and BUY IT!!!

Reviewed by: rleclair from FL on Jul 1, 2004

Experience: 1 Years

Strengths: Prints with good quality, very fast, inexpensive

Weaknesses: Ink monitor drops from full to empty in one printout.

Summary: I had been spoiled with Epsons ink monitor that dropped gradually(full, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4). I was very disappointed to see that the ink monitors read full, then after one page, they said empty. I had expected they would drop gradually. It doesn't give you much time to shop for a good price on cartridges as the printer says you will cause damage if you continue to print after the cartridges read empty.

Reviewed by: willyg00 from OH on May 16, 2004

Experience: 4 Months

Strengths: Prints fast. Good , quality printing. Replacement ink is very reasonable.

Weaknesses: Little noisy.

Summary: Overall this is a super printer. i'm getting another computer and another Canon i860. Fast printing at a very affordable price. This is the one you want if your kids do alot of printing.

Reviewed by: krZyCA from CA on Nov 3, 2003

Experience: 2 Months


Weaknesses: a little expensive maybe?

Summary: very good printer.. better than HP7350,7550 etc.. very fast and reliable.. I would recommend this printer over the epson 825-900 and HP 7350 etc.. very good quality for a inkjet photo printeR!

Reviewed by: wattsup80 from TN on Nov 24, 2003

Experience: 2 Weeks

Strengths: This printer is the quickest and most detailed that I've ever owned. The appearance is pleasing, and the price is right!

Weaknesses: None!

Summary: I've done my research, and this is the right printer for you! This machine has all the bells and whistles you need to print perfect photo quality pictures. It's very fast, has individual color cartridges to keep costs down, and even comes with a 4x6 feeder. One weakness of color printers is black and whites. They usually come out with a green tint. Not on this Canon. The photo black is perfect! This is a great all-around printer. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by: popmcq8 from OH on Feb 7, 2004

Experience: 14 Days

Strengths: Fast,,Quiet, Easy to install

Weaknesses: None

Summary: What a fine printer. Was a snap to install. Directions were clear. The printers performance exceded my expectations. That alone is pretty rare thes days. Color is very good. I would recomend this printer to anyone . Be sure to shop around for price.

Reviewed by: MUNNAAK47 from NY on Dec 1, 2003

Experience: 1 Days

Strengths: It's only been one day since i got it so i dont have much to say about it besides the pictures can easily pass for being done professionally!

Weaknesses: I dont know if this is common but the pictures bleed, gotta give it time to dry up

Summary: I used to own a Compaq inkjet, good thing i had warranty with the printer cause it died on me. I got a hundred dollar credit towards this one..seems well worth it. I plan on buying Canon's Powershot A80 digital camera and with this printer it should be a breeze printing out good quality pictures directly without the use of a computer.

Reviewed by: gary8718 from CO on Jan 27, 2004

Experience: 20 Days

Strengths: Wonderful Printing quality for photos. Especially 4x6 photos.

Weaknesses: None

Summary: I do a great deal of digital photography and have found this to be the most accurate reproducing printer I have scene yet. I have the Nikon 5700 digital camera and after combining this with the Canon i860 you have a perfect match. I am sure this will work well with any digital camera. Just remember the better the camera and the higher the megipixle count the better the quality from the printer. The printer is only as good as it's original soure.

Reviewed by: roomwithaview from MA on Nov 24, 2003

Experience: 2 Days

Strengths: speed, quality of printing, fairly easy to set up, decent software, good value, pictures on photo paper are practically photo-lab quality, noise level

Weaknesses: lacks card reader, but other canon models have this, no usb or parallel cable included in box

Summary: execellent printer at good price. printer driver is pretty powerful, has many options for printing. individual ink tanks should save money in the long run. has five ink tanks instead of the standard four - one is a dedicated black tank for text. you have to hold text up to your face to tell that it's not laser quality. 4x6 photos print amazingly fast (50 seconds). it's fun to watch photos come out - almost like polaroids developing, minus the waiting for color to fill in.

Reviewed by: ctan0381 from CA on Nov 12, 2003

Experience: 1 Months

Strengths: Prints excellent photos. Quick and easy to use. Also comes with easy to use software to print out borderless prints. Ink is also cheap compared to HP printers.

Weaknesses: None

Summary: Great for print photos!!! First day I got it I printed out 5 photos using the sample photo paper and they all came out excellent. No regrets. For the price and quality, I would recommend this over any of the mid-range photo printers HP or Epson offer.

Reviewed by: dgriesemer from TX on Dec 24, 2003

Experience: 8 Days

Strengths: Cost to print, speed, overall value

Weaknesses: No card reader, although it does have a "Direct Print Port" that can be used by some digital cameras.

Summary: I selected this printer based on user reviews from PriceGrabber and other sites. The most important thing I was looking for was a low cost to print--meaning how expensive is the replacement ink tanks and how often do they need to be replaced. But I also wanted a printer that would print digital photo's as I would like to get a decent digital camera in the future.

The printer was easy to set up and works well. I am using it with an Intel NetportExpress print server so I can print to it from any of the computers I have throughout the house without relying on any one of them being turned on. The only hitch to this setup is the printer doesn't work in bidirectional mode with the print server. But bidi mode does work fine when the printer is connected directly to a PC so the problem is with the print server (that Intel no longer supports).

As for the cost of printing, it's too early to say. The replacement ink tanks are relatively inexpensive (around $12-$15 per tank) although that is offset by the fact that there are 5 separate tanks. I was somewhat frustrated by the fact that the replacement tanks I found are not marked as being compatable with this printer. (Be sure to write down their numbers before you go to the store.)

Printing speed is very good for a printer in this class. I printed a few 4x6 photo's and they took around 30 secs each to print (although I did not time them exactly).

Reviewed by: paulbhb from CA on Jan 17, 2004

Experience: 21 Days

Strengths: Quality of printing

Weaknesses: NA

Summary: I recently purchased the I860, In my research for a printer this one had everthing I wantd and needed. It prints laser quality and is the quietest running printr I've ever seen or owned. I especially like the 2 black ink cartridges, the one for text and the other for graphics and photo I never knew the difference in the 2 inks until you see them side by side. Great photo printer I have recommended it to several other people who I work with.

Reviewed by: keeyip from CA on Nov 17, 2003

Experience: 14 Days

Strengths: Mainly for photo printing and very satisfy with the print quality. Laser sharp color w 5 seperate ink tanks. Very cost effective for the ink in the long run. Printing speed is fast.

Weaknesses: Can't think of any. Of course, can't compare with the high end printer.

Summary: I highly recommend the i860 printer. Affordable and good quality print out. Low cost for ink replacement. Easy setup and enough software support. It definitely is the best buy amongst $150 range of printers.

Reviewed by: dfrattini from LA on Dec 29, 2003

Experience: 3 Weeks

Strengths: Initial photos came out as good as any I have paid to have developed. Quiet, fast.

Weaknesses: None

Summary: Would highly recommend this printer. I chose it for my daughter after much research and used Price Grabber to narrow down the list and get the best price. Shipping was excellent and in fact too fast. It came before Christmas.

Reviewed by: shmjr2 on Jan 13, 2004

Experience: 1 Days

Strengths: Easy to set up. Good software.

Weaknesses: More bulk than most new printers

Summary: After reading through the "Easy Setup Instructions", I was able to print in about 20 minutes. I also like the automatic print head alignment. Previous HP printers require manual alignment. I printed several test pages at different settings and all printed great with plain paper! I haven't tried any photo printing with photo paper yet. I especially like the individual ink tanks which should be a tremendous savings. I've had experience with several printers over the years including dot matrix and laser jet printers as well and this i860 Canon seems to be one of the best. Granted, I've only had the printer running for several hours, but in the short time I've used it, I see no reason to have anything but great expectations for the future!

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