Canon SELPHY ES30 Review
Printer Type: Compact Photo,
The Canon SELPHY ES30 Compact Photo Printer does its job as a compact photo
printer commendably: it’s easy to carry, easy to use, and prints photos reasonably well. What’s more, some of
the issues present in Canon’s previous compact models have been addressed. However, if photo print quality is
a serious concern, users may want to consider another unit, as the photos produced by the ES30 are generally far
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Ease of use is always a strong point for Canons, and this is no exception, as the
ES30 is easy to install, easy to use, and seems to work well on both PCs and Macs, which isn’t always the case for
all printers. Ease of use, of course, is an important point for printers of this type, as they are, by
nature, not geared toward professional users. The ES30 supports all common types of memory cards, and has an
attractive design with a handle at the top, making it easy enough to take to a party, interface with someone else’s
camera or storage device, and print out a few quick photos.
One of the problems with previous compact printer models from Canon was the small
size of the LCD readout, which has been corrected with the ES30. The ES30’s screen is more than easy enough
to read, and the controls are fairly intuitive. The options include autocorrect, image trim, red-eye
correction, and Canon’s My Colors effects suite, to which has been added Modern Bright, Pinhole Camera and
Nostalgic effects this time around. The effects are reasonably fun if not overly powerful, but with a printer
in this range, the fun aspect is probably more important anyway. Also, the ink cartridges for the ES30 are
easier to insert and remove than they have been in the past, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping it in
working condition, provided you can get your hands on the cartridges.
While the photo print quality produced by the ES30 is better than that of some of
Canon’s previous compact printers, it’s by no means spectacular. Depending on the nature of the image, colors
present, and effects used, photos can appear a bit washed-out, even to non-photo enthusiasts. Banding is
usually present in photos with certain types of fine details, such as bicycle spokes. The ES30 is also a bit
on the loud side when printing, which definitely negates some of its party-friendliness.
The ES30, like other printers in Canon’s compact range, uses a dye-sublimation
process to print photos, as opposed to the inkjet or pigment coloration found in other types of printers.
This is partly how such a small printer can be produced, but there are some drawbacks to this method. The
ES30 can’t print with anything but Canon’s proprietary ink and paper, which can be expensive and difficult to
acquire depending on your location. Indeed, the ES30 ends up being a fairly expensive printer over the long
term if it sees a lot of use – don’t be deceived by the otherwise low price point.
If you’re in need of a compact printer, the type you can take to different places
and comfortably plug-and-play with a variety of interfaces and media types, the ES30 could be the one to go
with. There aren’t any compact printers that are significantly better at the moment, and the ES30 certainly
does have its own strong points. However, if you aren’t sure that you really need the compact aspect of the
printer, you might want to consider going with a different unit, as you can easily find printers that produce much
nicer-looking photos at the same price or lower.
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