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Are you using Canon inks and papers?
If not go to the manufactures website and see what settings should be used.Most photo paper from other companies recommend using the matte paper or hi-resolution paper setting.
on a colour printer, black is mixed with the other colours. Try printing a black and withe photo and you always get a colour cast. If your black cartridge is empty or the nozzles are blocked, you get bad colour and fussy prints.
test all nozzles, like is explained in the manual.
Check, if you know how to do, if nothing fell in the printer, that is now on the print head. Sometimes just dust or paper scraps are picked up by the printhead, making it difficult for the printer to print a normal page.
You do not say what exact model of printer you are using so any answer will be generic rather than specific.
Poor colour and black tone can be as a result of various factors: 1. Poor paper quality that you are printing on. 2. Poor ink or toner quality being used. 3. Use of Ink / Toner saving modes or software. 4. Worn or damaged printer components such as the fuser roll on a laser printer and other similar consumables with a limited page use life. 5. Poor quality content being printed, i.e. low quality images being printed at too high a print resolution.
nope...... the problem as you rightly poit out is the cartridges, most refills are poor quality and dont last, but the real ones are expensive but very rarely cause issues. If one colour is dodgy the entire colour process fails, print a square of each colour to determine which colour cart is the issue and complain to seller, 99.9% of print quality issues with these HP's is due to non gen toner....not much you can do, expensive is colour printer fullstop.