The CP760 is Canon's latest addition to its Selphy line of portable photo printers. This particular model is a basic, no-frills printer aimed at families, children and otherwise non-techy folks who want to print their digital photos but don't care to deal with a desktop inkjet. It's available for around £70.
The CP760 is clearly much smaller than the average inkjet printer since it doesn't print on regular sheets of paper. It's only 180 by 73 by 127mm, so the printer can comfortably travel in a bag without becoming much of a nuisance. The stock bundle includes the printer, a wired power adaptor, a paper cassette and some trial sheets of 152x102mm (6x4-inch) paper. A wireless Bluetooth USB key will cost you extra.
In addition, the external paper input tray clips into the printer, and each pass moves the paper through the rear of the printer before reeling it back in, adding more space to the hardware setup. Overall, you're going to need about half a metre of space to accommodate the CP760 -- so much for a 'compact' photo printer.
The top of the unit has a 64mm (2.5-inch) TFT display to preview pictures before printing. Nine rubber buttons sit adjacent to the screen and let you navigate the menu, while a media bay below accepts Compact Flash/Microdrive, SD/MMC cards and Memory Sticks. There's also a PictBridge and USB port for direct printing from a digital camera.
Canon made the Selphy series practically idiot-proof, so printing is simply a matter of plugging your card into the correct port and pressing 'print'. There are also a few auto-editing settings, including red-eye elimination, portrait image optimise and scene select. If you have a load of pictures on your camera, you'll be disappointed to find that you can't view them in an index before you print. It's a minor limitation, but scrolling through hundreds of photos to find the one you want to print can be irritating.
The CP760 uses dye-sublimation ink technology to heat transfer images on to their proprietary paper, and Canon sells different media options, including greeting cards, postcards and 76x51mm (3x2-inch) credit cards. The dye-sublimation printing process is different from your typical inkjet. The paper makes four passes through the machine: the first three lay down the base colours (cyan, magenta and yellow), and the last pass places a thin overcoat on the image to prevent discoloration and extend durability.
Canon tells us the ink in one cartridge should be more than enough to last through a pack of paper, and colour ink/paper sets are available for purchase online.
Canon includes a one-year warranty with the Selphy CP760, with Web support available as well. The Canon Web site contains accessories, manual downloads, FAQs, driver updates and additional technical support.
Dye-sublimation printers are usually slower than inkjet and laser printers, due to the amount of time it takes for the ink to cool once it's applied to the paper. For our speed tests, we connected the printer to a desktop using a USB cable in order to standardise the average print speed. The Selphy CP760 printed a photo at an average rate of 0.79 pictures per minute.
These types of printers are marketed as fast, easy-to-use printers that people can use at social gatherings immediately after taking a photo, and we're impressed that Canon is still ahead of the competition. The Selphy handled a wide range of colour with precise detail and separation. Our pictures had a soft feel to them and could use a warmer tone, but we feel comfortable recommending the CP760 for the amateur photographer and home user.
We had a lot of fun testing out the CP760, snapping quick pics and printing them for our friends. It's definitely a niche product, but when you consider the excellent quality photos and the appeal of instant gratification, £70 doesn't seem like a lot to pay for such a fun device.
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday