Canon Pixma G550 Driver Download, Software, and Manual– The A4-sized six-ink MegaTank printer is filled from each of the dye bottles with black/grey/red/cyan/magenta/yellow ink. This detailed review of the Canon G550 printer concentrates on using it to print high-quality photo prints.
The G650 is the same printer but with a 600 x 1200 dpi flatbed scanner on top, providing both scan and copy functions. It’s also slightly taller at 167mm, compared to the G550’s 136mm. Both measure 445mm x 340mm
Canon Pixma G550 Printer Features
This is a six-ink printer with both WiFi and USB connectivity. The maximum sheet size is A4, be that as it may, different paper sizes are accessible. Borderless printing is upheld at specific sizes.
No duplex unit or paper tray – no problem from my POV, as I definitely don’t see this as an ‘Office’ printer. Canon specifications suggest several thousand 6″x4″ prints can be expected from the ink bottle. Some rough estimates put your 6″ x 4″ printing at just a few pence for ink – much cheaper than the larger conventional cartridge-type printers,
In terms of speed, an A4 photo takes a few minutes at the normal quality and just under 5 minutes at best.
There are a number of templates buried in the menu system for things like graph paper (no border) and other useful layouts (it saved me buying music score paper when I tested one of these printers). Associates effectively with our telephones and iPads, to straightforwardly print.
The two-line LCD on the top of the printer is small, and has no backlight – I needed to change my reading glasses to be able to read it. Here I set the paper size and media type after loading a sheet of paper.
Canon Pixma G550 Printer settings
Follow the internet-based guide or directions in the case. I saw mine was a unit test, so had no guidelines – I set it up fine.
Manuals and other setup info can be found if you enter the model number at http://ij.start.canon
The two printheads simply snap into place in the head assembly. Once in place, simply press the two blue lock buttons and everything is set.
The six-ink bottles have a physical ‘lock’ attached to the top, to prevent pasting the wrong ink into any of the filling ports.
Each tank has a flip-up cap that closes the ink tank when it is lowered. There is a built-in pressure equalization system, so the carriage can be empty when the ink runs out.
The bottle (60ml) has just been emptied into the tank – if you listen carefully, you can hear the process, which takes about 30 seconds. Do not squeeze the bottle, let it empty by itself.
You need to notify the printer when the tank is full – the printer has no way of measuring the amount of ink in the tank.
Pay attention to the service valve. This lever appears to press on the ink cartridges and is used to stop ink sucking when changing heads or moving the printer.
But keep in mind that a printer like this should not be too tilted when shipping with the ink installed.
There is a shipping guide (including using the plastic bag provided) inside the printer.
Canon Pixma G550 Maintenance Cartridge
There is a replaceable maintenance cartridge [MC-G02] which is placed under the printer from the back. After significant use, the printer will want this replacement. I noticed that with a list price of just £8.69 it was relatively cheap as a go-cart.
I don’t know how long it will take, but you can check through the printer driver settings. This is after about a hundred sheets but includes some ink from the setup process.
I set up this printer for wireless use from the start, connecting to my MacBook Pro via our home network. Note that the printer only works in the 2.4GHz band.
I used the Canon IJ Network device setup utility, which was downloaded as part of the web-based setup.
In addition to the wireless option I used for testing, the printer has a USB-B connection on the back.
The setup seems to think the WiFi signal is a bit weak, but it works fine in actual usage.
Note that you can have multiple connection methods for a single computer, but each will appear as a ‘different’ printer instance.
Canon Pixma G550 Printer driver
At this point, I usually install the printer driver on my Mac and make a warning about accidentally selecting the AirPrint Driver, as this is a very stupid printer interface, and is widely considered unsuitable for any serious printing.
If I’m on a Windows PC, I get the right driver, but on a Mac, there’s no driver.
However, I insist and must report that yes, you can make great shading oversaw prints on a Mac (we don’t have a PC by any stretch of the imagination here). It requires some work, yet it tends to be finished.
The printer does have a built-in web server, which makes some tasks easier than using a small LCD.
One of the main features of the G550 is that you can refill the ink tank when it is low. Note that although the printer will warn you when it thinks it is running low on ink, you must notify it that a certain tank has been filled through the printer menu [Setup | ink level]
With the printheads installed as part of the setup process, the printheads may be slightly misaligned. This was corrected/adjusted by performing printhead alignment, which would use two sheets of A4 paper. This is an automatic process and does not need to be run again unless you need to replace the printhead.
You can do this during the setup process (it will run after the ink is fully installed) or leave it until later, but you have to do it.
All paper is loaded through the top slot – it works fine. I see this as a photo printer, so really don’t care about duplexing/trays/cassettes and the like. If I want an office printer, I’ll get it.
This paper is center feed and works very well with paper thicknesses ranging from copy paper to thin cards at over 350gsm. With the card, I had no trouble stacking a few sheets.
Smaller, borderless paper
The printer supports a number of smaller paper sizes that can be used for cards and the like. Borderless printing is available for some paper sizes, but not others (eg A5 and A6).
Custom paper size
Custom paper sizes can be set at:
- Width 55 – 216 mm
- Length 89 – 1200 mm
This means that with suitable paper cut from the roll, you can create wide panoramic prints. I’m printing from Photoshop on a custom paper size of 203mm x 1000mm.
OK, this prints pretty well on plain paper – it’s not very sharp, and color images on plain paper look just as you’d expect.
The G650 has a scanner to use as a copier, but the G550 is a top-loading direct printer for photos and the like.
If you’re looking for more than the occasional office-type print, then go on. Canon has many other printers that meet those requirements.
With any new printer, I have a known set of test images that I always start printing out, I know what these images look like on different types of paper and on many different printers. This is a quick way to see if the printer is doing a more detailed test because if the printer can’t manage one of these images, it won’t suddenly look better than the others.
I always recommend using such images when testing new paper, rather than your own favorite photos. If you can print the images you like with quality, from this, then perfecting the printing of your own work is much easier.
At the heart of high-quality photo, printing is sound color management, from editing and calibrating your monitor to using the right media profiles and settings for your prints.
Creating a profile – Mac or PC?
On a Windows setup, you’re fine, it works like every other printer (Mac or PC) I’ve reviewed over the years.
You specify a profile when printing. If you want to create your own profile, then you print the profile target, without applying color management, scan the target and use the data to create the profile.
It’s actually a fairly simple process and many paper suppliers (here in the UK) will even create a profile for you if you buy paper.
However… On a Mac, the AirPrint driver has no way to disable color management, so you can’t print normally from Photoshop, Affinity Photo, or Lightroom.
At first glance, this seems like a dead-end to use with a Mac. However it is still possible to print the target, but using whatever happens in the AirPrint driver when set to a certain media type.
Image quality and speed
With larger printers, I often find that using the highest quality setting has little effect on image quality. You just get slower printing.
However, I always say to test this for your own drawings and paper. As a result, I found that the highest quality setting (~5 minutes) did provide a nice increase in detail compared to the standard-setting (~2 minutes). This is the level I can see with my strongest reading glasses, without needing to take out a hand lens or USB microscope.
The dot pattern with this printer is relatively rough but not something most people will notice – throughout my testing I had to keep reminding myself that this is a £200 consumer-grade photo printer, not a £900 fine art printer.
Unfortunately, this software won’t work with the Canon PPL software – no doubt a deliberate decision, but sadly, since the software that works is so simplified, I found it a bit annoying to try and use it.
Manual and software can be found if you enter the model number at https://ij.start.canon
Testing Canon’s software on iPad and iPhone shows that it’s easy to organize and print from your photos. With the lack of color management in such a system, it is best to start with some experimentation on Canon paper.
In printing one of Karen’s iPhone photos, the image looked natural, but after being imported into Photoshop and edited on a color-managed system, and printing with one of my profiles, the results were much better.
With any printer I always start with OEM paper – so, Canon paper for this G550 printer review.
It’s also important to try some known good test images, to see if your print process/workflow is working properly
I’m stymied by the lack of color management for the Mac here, but printing using only the printer driver and Canon paper all seems fine. Using profiles gives me prints that look pretty good.
Using third-party paper and setting up printer drivers is not easy – you have to be careful in choosing the right media type. Art paper generally looks best on the Fine Art Rough setting, while the ‘Photo Paper – others’ setting produces good results when used with my profile. However, you need to experiment.
Quite a number of people have asked me why am I looking at a low-end printer, given the type of photo printing I do? Why bother with G550 printer reviews?
Well, it’s partly a challenge to see what I can come up with with this little printer. With extra gray and red ink, what can I get out of it?
As you might guess, I’m very disappointed with Canon’s decision to shun the proper printer driver and use AirPrint on a Mac – for the first time in 20 years of printer testing, I almost wish I had a Windows PC here to check things out…
However, I was able to get a very reasonable-looking printout of it that easily passed the ‘Would I stick this on my office wall’ test, with brightly colored images, especially on some very glossy paper.
The printout didn’t pass the ‘Am I going to put my name on this and sell it’ test. The black and white print shows the kind of variation in base color that I’ve struggled with over the years.
The dye-based inks are the older Chromalife 100 inks, not the Chromalife 100+ inks found in the PRO-200 I reviewed a while back – they’re not archival enough for the work I’m about to sell.
Yes, not entirely true. I got some very acceptable results on the various greeting card papers I tested – Yes, I’d be happy to sell them. When mentioning cards – you need a suitable inkjet card. If you print on cheap card stock, you will most likely get poor results
IJ Start Canon PIXMA G550 Setup Driver Support for:
- Linux x32 x64
- Mac Os x32 x 64
- Windows 10 x32 x 64
- Windows 8.1 x32 x 64
- Windows 7 x32 x 64
- Windows XP x32 x 64
Canon Pixma G550 Driver Download for Windows
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Canon PIXMA G550 Easy Layout Editor Printer Driver Windows
Canon PIXMA G550 MP Driver