Color Photo Quality, Continued
When the results are studied closely, as the digitized versions show clearly, the i450 and i850 clearly stand out from the crowd. These are the only printers to offer invisible dots, even if you study the photos right under your nose. The shading is perfect; you would swear you were looking at hexachrome prints. So the good news is that the i450 is a worthy successor to the i850.
Surprisingly, although the i470D can be seen to be better than the i250, i350 and i550, its print quality remains one notch below that of the i450. Yet the engines and heads are supposed to be the same. This difference is visible in the digitized version, but on the photo itself you can distinguish more of the droplets, as you can on the 20 other photo-quality prints produced on the two printers. Note that the quality and output speed is the same in autonomous mode, printed from a PC.
A note of caution: we encountered several problems when performing the photo tests. We sometimes saw a phenomenon close to that of "banding" on the last fractions of an inch of photos printed on the i250, i350 and i470D. The problem appeared to be intermittent. One print had defects though the following 15 were free of them, even though the head-cleaning process had not been initiated. We mentioned the problem to some folks at Canon, who admitted they had encountered it occasionally and were working on it. It's a head and driver problem apparently, but we have not yet received a definitive reply.