Canon makes reasonably modest claims for the print speed of the PIXMA MG8150, at 12.5ppm for ISO black and 9.3ppm for ISO colour, though, as with the MG6150, they still proved a bit optimistic. Our five-page black text print produced a speed of 7.5ppm and this increased to 9.7ppm for the 20-page document. Printing in fast (draft) mode made little overall difference, as the image processing time stayed much the same.
The five-page black text and colour graphics test gave 5.0ppm, but when we turned on duplex print, standard on this machine, even a black text print only managed 2.9ppm. A single-page colour copy took a best-case 16s and 15 x 10 cm photos took between 34s and 56s, depending on source.
The quality of the prints is pretty good. Black text on plain paper is among the best we've seen from any inkjet printer and draft mode text is also very readable. Colour graphics are bright and solid, with good registration of black text over colour and even colour photocopies, while losing some of their depth of colour, are still very usable.
Photo prints, something Canon is rightly renowned for, are natural and well-balanced for colour. Detail in both light and dark areas is accurately reproduced and images are sharp and precise.
There's only one set of cartridges available for this machine and at the best prices we could find they give running costs of 3.9p for black and 10.5p the colour. The black page cost is about average, but the colour cost is a bit high, compared with rival machines. A high purchase price often means lower running costs, but that’s not true here.
While this is a fine all-in-one, ideal for the home photo enthusiast, it’s hard to see where there’s nearly £75 of extra value, over and above the PIXMA MG6150. The MG8150 has a slightly larger LCD display, a higher resolution scanner and a transparency adapter, but everything else is the same. Still, if you have an archive of traditional slides you need to convert, or work with conventional photography, it may be worth the extra.