The Canon S830D Photo Printer

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For home photographic printing there is no arguing that the inkjet printer rules. The next generation of digital camera dedicated printers are rapidly gaining in popularity. These printers produce prints directly from a camera or memory card and have the ability to work independently from a computer. In this interactive review I will be fully testing the features, speed, quality and output of the Canon S830D A4 six colour printer.

Day 1.

There is nothing special about the way this printer is packaged, just a normal 20 x 16 x 11 box with a lot of padding and tape. There is a useful Quick Start guide, which should be followed, especially the section on fitting the print head. There is also a detailed PDF manual on the installation CD.

The printer has been unpacked and stripped of all its visible tape, cellophane and cardboard. Items in the box include: Power cord, six ink tanks, Print head - ink cradle, two digital camera connection cables, PCMCIA card adapter, rear paper holder, front paper tray, bundled software CD and installation CD (Win/Mac). As per usual there isn't a USB cable (how many people are going to be disappointed when they get home?). Perhaps manufacturers should place a Temper Warning on the front of the box saying "PRINTER CABLE NOT INCLUDED".

From top left to right: S830D printer, rear paper guide, print head - ink cradle, front paper catcher, power cable, six ink tanks, two digital camera connecting cables, PCMCIA adapter, software and installation CDs.


Installation:

The first job is to fit the rear paper rest and front paper output tray. The rear rest easily slots into the rear sheet feeder slot. The front paper output tray clips into front guides, although easy to fit it does not feel that secure, it was easily knocked out. When not in use the output tray can be folded up, this action caused the holder to become detached on several occasions. This output tray would benefit from some refinement. Once fitted you can connect the printer to the power supply and connect a USB cable to both printer and computer. Don't turn on the computer yet.

Rear and Front Paper trays fitted

Front paper output tray would benefit from a few tweaks in design

Next, fit the Print Head, turn on the printer. Open the front cover, this activates the print head holder which moves into position for easy access, raise the print head lock lever. The Print Head has an orange protective cap, this must be removed, do not attempt to refit this once removed and don't touch the print head nozzles.

The holder is in position

Remove Orange protective cap

The print head

Insert head into holder and lower lever

Although fitting the Print Head is a simple enough procedure, we feel that it should be fitted by the manufacturer, less room for user error (although Canon's line is that it is less prone to accidental damage during transit if packaged separately). The nozzles and electrical contacts could be vulnerable to accidental damage if not handled with care. (Hold your mouse over the print head picture). The advantages of fitting the head yourself means that in theory you should be able to purchase a replacement at any time. Canon states that the head should last for the lifetime of the printer, but it is available as a spare part should you need to replace it.

The next stage is to install the ink tanks. The ink tanks are the same tanks that are used on the S900/9000, S8200 printers, which makes it relatively easy to find a replacement cartridge in your local high street. Each tank is wrapped in a tight fitting film wrapper, once removed there is a large orange lever/cap which also has to be removed. The tanks must be held carefully, if you grip or squeeze them too hard the ink can leak out - this happened to me on my S900 - be warned!

Unlike the Epson 2100 inks, these inks should not be shaken or stirred before fitting.

Each tank is gift wrapped

Be careful at this stage

Make sure the inks are in
the correct colour slots


Finally, fit the inks into the print head making sure the colours are in the correct position. Each position has a label to indicate the colour - the inks click securely into place. Close the printer cover.