Canon Selphy CP500 review

Price when reviewed

Canon’s new CP500 is one of the smallest printers on test here; the main unit measures only 180 x 120 x 55mm (WDH). Excepting the Olympus, it’s also one of the cheapest, but this is because it doesn’t have many features. There’s no display and no card readers, so you’ll need to connect a PictBridge camera or a PC to print anything. The bundled ribbon and paper let you print only five photos before you’ll need to shell out more money.

Using dye-sub technology, the CP500 prints in four passes – cyan, yellow, magenta and a protective coating. It took one minute, 13 seconds to print each 6 x 4in photo, comparing favourably with others on test. Also, as you can buy a pack of three 36-image ribbons and 108 sheets of paper for £25, each print is cheap at 23p.

Naturally, prints are borderless, but you can choose borders, crop images and print several on one sheet. Two paper trays are bundled, one for 6 x 4in photos and a second credit card-sized one.

Paper needs to be carefully stored, as any dust on the paper results in white spots where the dye isn’t laid down – a problem we didn’t notice on the inkjet printers. Quality, though, is very good. Colours were accurate, with warm, realistic skin tones. Mono prints had superb contrast and detail, with no colour cast. In fact, the Canon showed no real weakness across our tough and varied test photos.

Although the Olympus is cheaper to buy, the Canon will work out cheaper in the long run. The problem with both printers is that prints will last less than ten years before being noticeably faded, and that’s why we can’t recommend them.

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