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Canon SELPHY CP780 Printer ReviewSELPHY CP780

Reviewer: Tim Benson 
Printer Type: Compact Photo, Inkjet   
Overall Rating: 3/5  

The Canon SELPHY CP780 is advertised as a compact photo printer, and it’s really no more than that by any stretch of the imagination.  There are better options even among Canon’s compact photo printer line, but the CP780 will do the job, if you aren’t expecting too much.

As is always the case with Canon printers, ease of use and hardware reliability are among the strong points of the CP780.  It really doesn’t take long to get going with this printer, which is crucial for a compact printer, as you’re likely to be using it with a variety of inputs – your computer, others’ computers, cameras, and memory cards, most varieties of which the CP780 supports without any problems.

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The CP780 does print photos at a few different sizes, including two card sizes, 4 x 6 inches, and 4 x 8 inches.  This might not seem like a whole lot of variety, but it’s more than you can get in that respect than you can from some competing compact photo printers.  The printer itself is 3 x 7 x 5 inches in dimensions, which is very small indeed, and another point in its favor in terms of actual “compactness” and portability.

Canon’s proprietary photo paper for these types of printers, which is required if you want to print anything with the CP780, always results in very durable photos, which is a major plus and perhaps a bit of a pleasant surprise from an otherwise lightweight printer.  The picture effects included with the CP780, including Canon’s My Colors effects suite, are reasonably fun if not overly practical or powerful.

There are quite a few points against the CP780, however.  Its LCD readout is a bit on the small side.  Also, it doesn’t offer any type of rotate, tilt, or zoom function, which would have been very useful, especially considering that the CP780 seems otherwise optimized for computer-free use.

In terms of photo print quality, there are some disappointing issues.  All of the pictures printed from the CP780 seem to have a slight soft focus quality, which some users might not care about, others might not even notice, and others still might feel is a deal breaker.  The overall print quality is lackluster, with, of course, noticeable banding in the dreaded “bicycle wheel” test piece.  What’s more, the CP780 will occasionally produce image errors – extra lines and so on – in photos.  When printing directly from a camera or memory card, the CP780 prints a lot more slowly in comparison to when it’s printing from a computer, which is another disappointment, as it seems otherwise geared toward printing from other media.

As with other compact printers, you’ll only be able to print with the CP780 if you have Canon’s proprietary dye-sublimation ink and paper, which can be difficult to track down in some locations, so make sure you can get your hands on more of it before purchasing one of these printers.

The CP780 is certainly compact, and it is reasonably mobile in terms of utility.  However, even if you’re set on getting a compact printer, there are better options, even for the price, such as the Canon SELPHY ES30, which is superior to the CP780 in just about every way.  The CP780’s picture quality is good enough for what you might expect from a printer like this, but it isn’t great, and that’s why it’s difficult to fully recommend this unit.

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