Canon is fair minded enough to quote ISO speeds, in this case 8.8ppm for black and 5ppm for colour. Even these more realistic figures were difficult to match under test, though, mainly because the printer performed tests and preparation taking 15 seconds or so before starting each print. This time would be excluded from the ISO measurements.
Our five-page text document printed at 5.6ppm, but this increased to 6.9ppm on the longer, 20-page test. The black text and colour graphics pages took over two minutes, though, giving a speed of just 2.4ppm. A single page copy completed in 41 seconds and a 15 x 10cm photo on an A4 glossy photo sheet took 1min 24secs. Both these speeds are reasonable for a machine at this price.
Print quality is generally good with clear, well-formed black text and draft mode text still looking very serviceable. Colour graphics are also clean and bright, giving attractive and eye-catching documents. We had problems with missed registration in the colour scan we took, producing jagged marks in areas of solid colour. This was reproducible between copies but could have been a problem with this particular sample.
The photo print was clean and colours were natural, though, unusually for Canon, a lot of darker detail was lost.
Since reviewing the last Canon machine to use the same cartridges as the PIXMA MP495, it's surprising to find that consumable costs have increased slightly. In this business, you normally expect prices to continue to drop over time, but this doesn't always apply to cartridges.
Using the best prices we could find on the Internet gives ISO page costs of 4p for black and 8.6p colour. These are similar to other Canon all-in-ones, even those costing considerably more. Compared with entry-level all-in-ones from other manufacturers, these running costs sit in the middle of the field.
What it really comes down to is whether you value wireless connection more than memory card slots and PictBridge connection for your camera. If you rarely print photos then the Canon PIXMA MP495 still offers good value as a low-cost printer, copier and scanner. If you need to print images, though, it's more awkward than its immediate predecessor.