Review: Canon Selphy CP510 photo printer

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The Propaganda

The Canon Selphy CP510 sits in the middle of their compact photo printer range. It’s supposed to offer the best value printing in the range, at 22p a print. Being a dye-sublimation printer, it feeds the photo through several times as it layers the colours (in fact, half the fun is seeing your photo emerge yellow, then red, then.. no? Not for you?). It supports Pictbridge, as well as having a USB connector should you want to print from your computer.

The Good

Setting up the printer is easy, despite the fact that it comes with an instruction book thicker than War and Peace due to it being translated into everything from Finnish to Klingon. When it comes to connecting the camera, Canon cameras are predictably simple, as they fit with the neat retractable Mini USB cable that emerges from inside the printer. Canon IXUS Wireless cameras also come with a dongle to do away with the need for wires altogether, although this isn’t an option you can buy with the printer.

Printing time is approximately 60 seconds per photo – much faster than many competitors. And the print quality itself is good, with colours showing up vividly and outlines, for the most part, sharp.

The Bad

The bad stuff is basically regarding all the things the CP510 is missing. There’s no screen for previewing or manipulating your photos before printing and no card slots whatsoever, making it via cable or bust (no good if your cable is languishing somewhere in the rats nest you’ve created under your desk). The Mini USB cable provided won’t fit many cameras, including Sony and Fuji.  It also only comes with 5 pieces of printing paper, and I can imagine many an excited customer has got home, only have to make some very hard choices on which five photos deserve the printing honour. For the most part, these features are available on the higher spec models in the range, as this is their budget £50 model.

The Truth

It all depends on the value of speed. If any longer than 60 seconds per print is going to drive you insane, this is the printer for you. But, compared to competitors, the Selphy CP510 doesn’t shine.  For instance, the Epson PictureMate 100 costs the same, but comes with a preview screen, 12 different memory card slots and a number of options for adjusting your photo before print.  A fairly obvious choice then…

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