Holiday Photos On The Go
December 15, 2006
With all the pictures you’ve been taking for the holidays, you’re sure to have lots of photos to print out. There are so many printers on the market to choose from, so it may be confusing as to which is actually good. Canon came out with a line of portable printers that are virtually hassle-free since they don’t need to be hooked up to a computer. You can take these portable printers to your holiday parties, weddings or other special events for on-the-spot printing. Heck, one of these can even fit in my biggest purse.
“Whether people capture photos from a digital camera, cam-corder, cell phone or even a PDA, Canon’s new compact photo printers make it easy to quickly print beautiful photographs from nearly anywhere,” says Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon U.S.A. Inc. “These printers provide consumers with portable digital imaging solutions that yield brilliant photographs,” he adds.
Canon’s trio of compact printers includes the PIXMA mini260 inkjet photo printer (my favorite), along with dye sublimation photo printers SELPHY CP730 and SELPHY720. These printers were created based on a Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) study of consumer buying habits that indicate women influence about 88 percent of consumer electronics purchases.
The report revealed that women are motivated to purchase products that emphasize form factor. This data brought Canon to optimize these printers’ design and ease-of-use, while maintaining interest to each potential customer through image quality and performance.
Speaking from the not-typical-woman point of view, it doesn’t matter to me what the printer looks like, or how hard it is to use (I’ll figure it out). I just care about how it performs and how the picture looks after I print it. But these new printers seem to have everything: the good looks, the performance, and they’re easy to use. I don’t know about you other women out there, but these are the things it would take for at least my girl buds to actually want to buy a printer like this.
The first mentioned inkjet based PIXMA mini260 allows you to generate high quality photographs with or without your computer from anywhere. Even if you don’t have an electrical outlet to plug into, the optional rechargeable battery pack ($79.99) will keep your printer powered out at the beach or in your back yard while you’re having fun with your loved ones.
That in mind, you can print from just about any type of memory card: Compact Flash, Micro drive, Smart Media, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, SD Card and Multimedia card v.3.31. If you use Memory Stick PRO Duo, RS-MMC v.3..31 or miniSD, those require an additional adapter.
The mini260 has an Easy-Scroll Wheel interface that gives you rapid access to every printer function. You can easily utilize the available printer options by rotating the wheel to your desired feature and pressing the “OK” button. That makes it friendly to use, even to the most non-tech savvy person on the planet. Additionally, the printer has a 2.5-inch color high definition (HD) thin film transistor (TFT) display that allows you to edit and preview the images before you print. You can print up to 9600x2400 dots per inch (dpi) on a borderless 4x6-inch photograph. It will take you about 59 seconds to print one out with the printer’s Smart LED equipped four-color ink tank.
The SELPHY CP730 and SELPHY CP720 are a little different (and a slightly easier on your wallet) because they are dye-sublimation models, as opposed to inkjet. The use of dye-sublimation gives the SELPHY’s prints a continuous tone photographic quality, and it’s laminated with a clear overcoat that protects the photographs from moisture and fingerprints.
The shape of the printer itself is a small compact, rectangular shape that maintains a user-friendly, and distinctive SELPHY concept. The CP730 has a 2.0-inch color LCD screen with an interesting trimming option, to make it easy for you to crop your photos before you print. There’s a handy red-eye correction tool that takes away that scary possessed look from your photos instantly. There’s a new My Colors feature that allows you to print in Vivid, Neutral, Sepia or Black & White. As with the mini260, the CP730 also offers a battery pack for complete portability.
The CP720 doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles, but it comes with a slightly smaller 1.5-inch screen with the capability of switching from normal to full-screen viewing. The automatic dynamic correction and Adobe RGB support better image quality.
Both SELPHYs feature retractable USB cables for convenient connection to PictBridge-compliant digital cameras and camcorders and card slots for SD, CF, miniSD and Memory stick. They print borderless 300x300 dpi 4x6 photographs as well as 4x8 panorama prints, credit card-size prints or stickers when equipped with the optional paper trays and ink/paper sets.
My favorite of the three is the PIXMA mini260, since it has the highest dpi and it’s inkjet. Plus I love that HD screen. You can find the PIXMA mini260 for $199.99, SELPHY CP730 for $149.99 and SELPHY CP720 for $99.99 at your nearest Ritz Camera (www.ritzcamera.com), Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com) and Circuit City (www.circuitcity.com). A huge plus for every one of these printers is that they can print pictures from your Bluetooth-enabled camera phone or PDA with Canon’s optional BU-20 Bluetooth adapter for your printer ($79.99 - www.amazon.com).
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