In terms of quality, the Pixma MP500 is a little bit disappointing when compared with Canon's normal standards. Sure, colors are handled well, and the black cartridge dedicated to the improvement of the contrast does its job perfectly. But when it comes to black and white edges there's a slight tendency towards the red, resulting in a nasty sepia effect. You can also make out a slight graining effect on A4 photo prints. Everything's fine in text mode printing, on the other hand, where the quality is perfect.
On the performance side, the Pixma MP500 is not as good as the conventional printers based on the same technology. It takes it about 4 minutes to produce an A4 photo-which is average-but Canon normally does better than this. In contrast, text mode prints or mixed text and image documents are particularly quick; the Pixma MP500 overtakes even the Photosmart 3210 in this area.
Cost Per Page
The separate large capacity cartridges enable this multifunction printer to deliver remarkable cost-of-use figures. A 4x6" photo comes in at 29 cents, which is as good as that of the best 4x6" printers. However, with Canon, the cost per page varies greatly with the paper quality. With the best paper, the price can reach 40 cents. A4 text pages come back down to a cost of 1 cent a copy, which is as good as HP.
Scanning And Copying
Canon hasn't skimped on the scanner part of its printer. Admittedly, its resolution is limited to 2,400 dpi, but that should be sufficient for most needs. Copying benefits from the speed of both the scanner and the print engine, so 14 seconds is enough to reproduce a black and white document, and it takes barely more than 30 seconds for a color document (a record!)