Canon Inkjet -- Poor Man's Exposure Adjustments


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Jun 2, 2015
I've never done much printing at home because I've never used a dedicated photo printer, just inkjet all-in-ones.

My latest printer bought early this year is a Canon TR7020. I did my first six prints today on some HP 5x7 paper. The overall quality was far superior to my previous printers, an Epson XP640 and an HP (forgot the model). The (expected) downside was how much ink it burned...roughly 25% of the color inks to print six 5x7s!!!! At $20 a cartridge, that works out to about a dollar per 5x7 so about two dollars per 8x10.

What I was unhappy with was that compared to what I saw on my laptop screen, the prints were much darker, looking about a stop underexposed. I don't have the budget to do a full pro-grade monitor calibration.

I'm thinking of shooting an image with grey and white cards in the image and printing the OOC JPEG. Then tweak the exposure and white balance of the image on the computer to compensate, make a few test prints to find the best settings. Finally reprint a couple of the prints I did today again to make an A/B comparison.

Any suggestions from those who have gone this route?

EDIT I think the one thing I have overlooked here is setting monitor brightness before printing. Is there a good way to do this with a lightmeter instead of paying over $150 for a monitor calibration device like a Datacolor Spyder or an XRite i1
Last edited:


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Dec 5, 2014
Salish Sea
First go to TFTCentral and look up your monitor and use the recommended settings. Then use "by eye" calibration. Make a small print and adjust the settings until the output is satisfactory then just remember what you did and apply to subsequent prints. Not perfect but cheap.

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