Canon Selphy CP780
At a Glance
Canon Selphy CP780
(When Rated) via Amazon.com Marketplace
Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.
Canon’s Selphy CP780 snapshot printer has its problems—namely, mediocre speed and expensive, wasteful consumables. But it’s affordable and its design is simple, making it a good choice for light home use.
Aimed at the family market, the compact Selphy CP780 comes in three colors (blue, pink, or silver) and can function with or without a computer. A 2.5-inch color LCD and oversize, intuitively labeled control buttons take you through simple editing and special-effects options.
The Selphy CP780’s features include three front media slots for CompactFlash, SD Card, MultiMediaCard, and Memory Stick, plus a PictBridge port on the left side. To use xD-Picture Card and other formats, you’ll need a third-party adapter. A Bluetooth adapter costs $50; a rechargeable battery pack costs $80. The front-loading paper cassette holds up to 54 sheets of 4-by-8-inch photo paper. To print on 4-by-6-inch photo paper, you must manually push the stack of paper to the front of the tray. The cassette’s double-lid design is confusing: You have to lift both lids to load paper, but just one to insert the cassette into the printer. An optional, business-card-size cassette costs $13.
Blame the CP780’s drawbacks (it slowness, its wastefulness) on its dye-sublimation printing technology. It creates images by transferring successive layers of cyan, magenta, and yellow dye from a roll of film onto photo paper, finishing with a clear-coat layer. Once a photo is printed, that section of film cannot be reused, regardless of how much dye is left, resulting in a lot of waste. Photos cost a pricey 33 cents each. And because completing a single photo requires four passes, the Selphy CP780 prints slowly, taking about 75 seconds on average (0.8 pages per minute) to finish a 4-by-6-inch snapshot.
Photo quality varies for the Selphy CP780. Photos of people and objects were a little light-colored but reasonably detailed. On the other hand, a mountain landscape appeared pale and unrealistic, like a bad 1950s postcard.
The included software is for Windows only.
Macworld’s buying advice
The Selphy CP780 is an inexpensive and nearly idiot-proof snapshot printer, but you make major compromises in performance and price per page.
[Susan Silvius is a freelance writer.]