Canon Selphy ES1 Compact Photo Printer Review
The Canon Selphy ES1 takes dye sub printers to the next level of convenience.
The Canon Selphy ES1 takes dye sub printers to the next level of convenience. The combined ink/paper cartridge is very easy to install and takes the guesswork and annoyance out of loading those plastic paper cartridges that come with most dye sub printers.
The design of the printer is unique and requires less desk space than those printers that lie flat, like the other Selphy printers, the Sony FP series, and the Panasonic KX series.
The ES1 scored well for connectivity, with multiple media card options, PictBridge compatibility, an IrDA port, and an optional Bluetooth accessory. Another option, a battery, provides users with the ability to travel with the printer to locations without a power source. The ES1 also used less power than any other dye sub printer we've tested.
However, where the ES1 falters, like its Selphy cousins, is in print quality. It just doesn't measure up to other dye sub printers like the Sony FP90 and especially not inkjet printers like the Epson Snap. Color accuracy, color gamut, and dmax all scored very low, while monochrome prints suffered form a poor tonal range.
While not much slower than some of the other printers tested, the Selphy ES1 does lag behind most of the competition in page per minute rates.
Image editing features on the ES1's menu were pretty limited, with primarily stock features for color adjustment—Canon's My Colors feature. There is a red-eye correction feature, and there are also options to print images in monochrome.
Paper options for the Selphy ES1 are about the same as most dye sub printers—postcard-size, card-size, and labels. These papers, as well as the ink cartridges, are proprietary. This is especially true of the ES1, since it is the only dye sub printer to use the combined ink/paper cartridges.
Canon seems to be relying on the novelty of these cartridges and the unique design to sell the ES1. At a $249 price tag, it's more expensive than most of its competitors, with scant extra features to compensate. Better print quality can be found with the Sony FP90 or, if you're open to an inkjet, the Epson PM Snap (See Comparisons section of the Overall Impressions / Ease of Use page). Let's hope future models improve upon print quality.
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