Canon Selphy CP 750

Want to print photos at home? Then 'do it for your Selphy'

Canon’s range of cute 'Selphy' branded dye sublimation printers has been updated with the introduction of the CP 750, a silver and white liveried standalone printer for 10x15cm (6x4-inch) prints that’ll look at home on any desk or table at home.

The £139 asking price looks steep for such a limited printer; especially when you remember that these devices can only print on the media devised for them. 

The dye sublimation technology involves, basically, heat, which is used to transfer coloured dyes onto special paper to form the image. Unlike say an A4 inkjet printer, it cannot also be used for printing documents. The Selphy CP 750 is strictly a photo only device.

You do however get a neat range of features including multiple card reader slots for direct printing from almost any memory card, including CompactFlash Type I/II, Memory stick SD/MMC, microSD, microSDHC and MMCmicro.---ADSPACE---

The SELPHY CP750 also provides support for high-speed IrSimple and IrDA infrared transfer; alternatively, there’s an optional Bluetooth adaptor for printing camera phone snaps.

Printing is controlled via a 2.4-inch colour screen, although disappointingly this does not flip up, so you’re forced into a 'top down' use even when it's placed on a tabletop. Still, the print speed is rather good at around one minute and ten seconds for a completed print. 

It's also mesmerising to watch: the image forming before your eyes as the paper is fed (from the admittedly rather clunky) front loading cassette into the machine. This then passes back and forth as each of the three colour layers are 'built up' - cyan, magenta and yellow - then once more for a leyer of potective sealant. Canon claims prints will outlast us, with up to 100 years' longevity of stored in an album.

Add to this the Selphy's portability (there's an optional battery pack that clips on the back of the device) and you have a great little printer. Providing, that is, you just want 6x4 prints. 

If you do want to connect it to a computer however, both USB 2.0 (for PC connection) and PictBridge support is offered, with a very funky addition being a self-retracting cable. Just in case your camera has a different port to the PictBridge cable provided, there’s another USB DirectPrint one as well.

Handling

In terms of handling there are a neat set of controls spread around the 2.4-inch colour screen, including tools for trimming, removing redeye, adjusting layout (there are just a disappointing two options for standard prints: borderless and bordered) plus a mode that lets you tweak colours.

The last item is something of a missed opportunity. The so-called 'My Colors' mode allows you change - yes - colours, but the result is not previewed on the screen beforehand. You can apply changes such as vivid, positive film, black and white or sepia modes among others but because you cannot preview the change it leaves you feeling nervous of wasting a sheet of paper.

Talking of which, a real disappointment was the fact if you cancel a print prior to the paper being fed through the printer - and before any colour is laid down - the dye ribbon is still wound on for that 'phantom' print. Because the paper and ink packs compliment each other, the result is that you can lose a print because there won’t be available dye when you get to the end of the pack.

On the plus side the print resolution is 300dpi, more than ample for photo output. Very good it is too, but with one caveat: there are odd stripes in the output, particularly visible in low detail areas such as clear blue skies.

Costs

In terms of running costs, ink (or rather dye) and paper come in 36, 72 and 108-sheet packs, each costing around £5.50, £16 and £17 respectively. The cost per print is around 15.5-pence each, so this is not the cheapest method of printing available, even if it is very convenient.

Verdict: 
The Canon Selphy CP 750 is a compact and (with the optional battery pack) portable printer that can deliver pleasing results with good colour reproduction and a longevity of up to 100 years. Those odd lines in the print were worrisome though, as is the cost per print but, if you’re interested in only 6x4-inch sized prints and the portability option is attractive to you, the CP 750 remains worth a look.