Canon Pixma Vs. Epson Ecotank: Which Printer Is Right For You?

If you’re in the market for a new home printer, you’ve probably come across Canon’s Pixma line and Epson’s EcoTank printers. Both are aimed at home users looking for an affordable and efficient printer with minimal running costs.

But which one is the better choice for you? Let’s take a detailed look at the key features and differences between Canon Pixma and Epson EcoTank printers.

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecsCanon PixmaEpson EcoTank
Print TechnologyInkjetInkjet
Ink SystemCartridgesRefillable Tanks
Typical Cost Per PageHighUltra Low
Print SpeedModerateModerate
Print QualityExcellentExcellent
Wireless ConnectivityYesYes
Typical Purchase CostLowModerate

Overview Of Canon Pixma Printers

Canon’s Pixma line encompasses a wide range of inkjet photo printers for general home and office use. Ranging from budget options to high-end professional photo printers, Pixma printers are known for producing excellent photo prints and crisp text documents. Some of the key benefits of Pixma printers include:

Canon Pixma
Canon Pixma
  • Print Quality: Pixma printers use Canon’s FINE (Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering) printhead technology with microscopic nozzles for ink dispersion. This allows them to print with resolutions up to 4800 x 1200 dpi for lab-quality color photos and graphics. The fine detail is ideal for photos but also makes text documents look sharp.
  • Ink System: Most Pixma models use individual ink cartridges for each color – black, cyan, magenta, yellow. Higher-end models may use additional cartridges for specialty inks like gray and photo black to optimize photo printing. Cartridges are relatively affordable to replace.
  • Features: Many Pixma printers come with built-in scanners, copiers, wireless connectivity, and support for printing from smartphones/tablets. Some have auto duplexing for two-sided printing and additional paper handling features like document feeders.
  • Performance: Pixma printers are generally fast with print speeds ranging from 8 to 15 pages per minute in black and 4 to 10 pages per minute in color depending on the model. Borderless 4R photos can print in under 60 seconds.
  • Sizes: Canon offers Pixma models in all-in-one, single function and professional sizes. There are compact options for tight desks as well as larger models with full features.

Overall, Pixma printers are great for home users looking for excellent print quality for photos and everyday documents. However, like most standard inkjets, operating costs can be high due to frequent ink cartridge replacements.

Overview Of Epson Ecotank Printers

Epson’s EcoTank line takes a different approach to home printing. Instead of using cartridges that need replacing often, they use high-capacity external ink reservoirs that get refilled with ink bottles. Some key benefits of EcoTank printers are:

Epson EcoTank Printer
Epson EcoTank Printer
  • Low Operating Costs: The external ink tanks can print up to 6,000 black pages and 5,000 color pages before needing a refill. Replacement ink bottles are very affordable, so overall printing costs are reduced significantly over the long term.
  • Convenience: With high-capacity ink tanks, you don’t have to replace cartridges frequently. This makes printing more convenient with fewer interruptions. The ink bottles are also easy to refill the tanks cleanly.
  • Print Quality: EcoTank printers deliver the same high print quality you’d expect from Epson with resolutions up to 5760 x 1440 dpi. Their printheads produce excellent fine detail and clarity in photos as well as sharp text.
  • Features: EcoTank printers come equipped with scanner/copiers, wireless connectivity, smartphone/tablet printing and other key features found in standard home inkjets. Auto-duplexing for two-sided printing is common.
  • Performance: Print speeds are quite fast for the class with speeds up to 15 ppm in black and 8 ppm in color depending on model. 4R borderless photos print in as fast as 37 seconds.
  • Sizes: EcoTank models come in compact all-in-ones as well as larger multifunction variants. The ink reservoir tanks add some bulk but not too much.

EcoTank printers are ideal for home users who print frequently but want to save money on ink costs. The convenience of infrequent ink refills is also a major plus. However, the initial purchase cost is higher than standard inkjets.

Also Read: Comparison Between the Epson V550 and V600

Canon Pixma Vs. Epson Ecotank – Key Feature Comparison

Now let’s compare some of the key features and specifications between equivalent models in the Pixma and EcoTank lineups:

FeatureCanon Pixma TS5320Epson EcoTank ET-2850
Print Resolution4800 x 1200 dpi5760 x 1440 dpi
Ink SystemIndividual ink cartridgesHigh-capacity ink tanks
Black Page Yield300 pages6,000 pages
Color Page Yield300 pages5,000 pages
Print Speed Black13 ppm15 ppm
Print Speed Color6 ppm8 ppm
Paper Capacity100 pages100 pages
Auto 2-Sided PrintingYesYes
Scanner TypeFlatbed CISFlatbed CIS
Scanner Resolution1200 x 2400 dpi1200 x 2400 dpi
Copy Resolution600 x 600 dpi600 x 1200 dpi
Print from MobileYesYes
Noise Level48 dB50 dB

From this feature comparison, we can see the primary differences between the two printers:

  • The EcoTank has significantly higher page yields from its ink tanks (6K black, 5K color) compared to the Pixma’s cartridges (300 pages).
  • However, the Pixma printer has slightly faster print speeds for black text and color printing.
  • Print quality is excellent on both with similar scanning/copying features and performance.
  • The EcoTank printer has a higher initial purchase cost but lower long-term cost due to cheaper ink refills.

So if you print frequently and want to minimize ink costs, the EcoTank is the better choice. But if your printing needs are lighter and speed is a priority, the Pixma would be a good option.

Also Read: Is Ultimaker Better Than Makerbot?

Pros And Cons Of Canon Pixma Printers

Let’s summarize some of the key pros and cons of choosing a Canon Pixma over an Epson EcoTank:


  • Lower upfront purchase cost
  • Faster print speeds, especially for photos
  • Excellent print quality from Canon’s FINE printhead technology
  • Wide range of models from basic to professional photo
  • Compact all-in-one options have small footprint


  • High ink costs due to frequent cartridge replacements
  • Cartridge yield is only around 300 pages for black and color
  • Hassle of frequently replacing consumables
  • Not as cost effective for high volume printing

Pros And Cons Of Epson Ecotank Printers

Here are the notable pros and cons if you opt for an Epson EcoTank instead of a Canon Pixma model:


  • Extremely low ink costs with high-yield ink tanks
  • Convenience of infrequent ink refills (every 5-6K pages)
  • Save money in the long run, especially with high print volumes
  • No cartridge hassles or replacements needed
  • Excellent print quality on par with standard inkjets


  • Substantially higher upfront purchase cost
  • Slightly slower print speeds than Canon Pixma
  • Bulky size due to large ink reservoirs
  • Limited to mostly basic home models currently

Also Read: Comparison Between Canon Pixma G620 and G6020

Which Printer Is Better For Specific Uses?

Beyond the general pros and cons, here is a look at which printer is ideal for some common printing scenarios:

Photos – For photo printing, the edge goes to Canon Pixma models. Many Pixmas use 6 individual inks for optimal photo output. And models like the Pixma Pro series are dedicated photo printers designed for high print quality.

Home office – For regular text document printing, the Epson EcoTank’s super cheap ink and convenience makes it the better home office printer for high volume printing.

Family use – Similarly for family use, an EcoTank allows everyone to print freely without worrying about ink costs. It’s a great family printer for kids and students.

Infrequent use – If you don’t print much and want great quality for the occasional photo, a Pixma model is less costly upfront.

Small office – For low-volume printing in a small or home office, a compact Canon Pixma printer may provide enough quality and speed at a lower purchase cost.

High volume office – In larger offices that print hundreds of pages daily, the Epson EcoTank’s cheap ongoing costs can lead to major long term savings.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is better Epson or Canon?

Overall both Canon and Epson make excellent printers for home and office use. For pure print quality, Canon Pixma models edge out Epson with their FINE printhead technology and 6-ink systems.
But Epson EcoTank printers lead for cost efficiency thanks to ultra low-cost ink refills. So Canon may be slightly better for photos while Epson is better for document printing.

What is the Canon equivalent to EcoTank?

Canon doesn’t have a printer line that directly competes with Epson’s EcoTank concept currently. Their equivalent printers that target low cost of operation through high ink yields are the MegaTank and G-series ink tank models. But the page yields and cost savings aren’t quite as high as EcoTank.

Can you use Epson EcoTank ink in a Canon Pixma printer?

No, EcoTank ink bottles are specially designed to work with Epson’s EcoTank models only. And Pixma cartridges are made exclusively for Canon printers. The ink is formulated to work with each company’s specific printheads so you can’t use them interchangeably between brands.

Which is better inkjet or EcoTank printer?

EcoTank printers actually are inkjet printers, Epson’s term is just referring to the high-capacity external ink tanks. Both use similar inkjet technology to deposit ink on paper.
The main difference is that EcoTanks dramatically reduce ongoing costs with cheaper ink bottles while inkjets require replacing cartridges often. So for home use, EcoTanks are generally more economical unless print volume is very low.

Also Read: Comparison Between Epson EcoTank And HP Smart Tank.


When choosing between Canon Pixma and Epson EcoTank home printers, key factors to consider are your typical print volume, need for photo printing, and budget. For photos and lighter use, Canon Pixma models provide fast high quality printing.

But for frequent everyday printing, Epson EcoTanks will save substantially on ink costs over their lifetime. Be sure to compare both ink costs as well as hardware costs when making your decision. And utilize this guide to pick the printer that’s right for your needs and budget!

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