The Canon Selphy DS810 is one mobile photo printer that you'll probably want to leave at home, despite its low estimated per-print economy. The Selphy's three-colour output, 229 by 229 by 102mm, 1.9kg design and lack of battery support don't stack up well against those of smaller, lighter transportable printers in this price range. Print quality was especially disappointing; our test output frequently looked flat and the composite blacks (produced by combining cyan, magenta and yellow -- there is no black ink tank) were more of a dark, muddy green.
The Canon Selphy DS810 is easy enough to use. Its top surface is dotted with 12 well labelled buttons and switches, plus a four-way directional pad used to navigate menus and select print quantities via a flip-up 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD. The Menu button cycles among print mode options, while photo adjustments are applied with a separate Settings button that pops up an additional menu. Two card slots accept CompactFlash, Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD/MMC and xD media, as well as Memory Stick Duo and miniSD with an adaptor. USB and PictBridge ports, an IrDA 1.2 infrared port for printing JPEGs from mobile phones and similar devices, and an optional Bluetooth adaptor for linking to Bluetooth-enabled gadgets round out the connectors.
Press the Trimming key and a resizable, movable grid appears over the photo image so that you can crop the photo within the constraints of the 100x150mm print's 2:3 aspect ratio. There's also a Search button to find images on the memory card by date range, as well as a pair of zoom keys for enlarging or reducing the image on the screen. Printing functions are accessed with the Print, Stop/Reset and OK buttons.
Most of the settings available for stand-alone printing involve layout or crop/trim options, as well as some image-optimising choices, including red-eye reduction, saturation enhancement, noise reduction, brightness/contrast/hue adjustment and a Face Brightener feature. The colour-balancing adjustment involves printing a sample sheet with nine different versions, then reprinting using your preferred setting. When printing from a computer using Canon's driver, you can access most of these settings, plus greyscale printing and a few extra special effects. Cropping, colour correction and other tweaks can be applied using the bundled Easy-PhotoPrint software or your own image editor.
While prints that didn't have many deep-black tones were acceptable, the murky greenish maximum-density shadows tended to make most colours appear to lack contrast. We also noticed some intermittent banding in many prints, which went away with head cleaning and the ink droplets, which can be as small as two picolitres with Canon's Full-Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) technology, were easily visible under 8x magnification. Although Canon claims a 100x150mm print can be put out in a little more than a minute, we clocked this printer from as little as 54 seconds (using the default settings) to as much as 80 seconds per snapshot.
Disappointing output quality mars the appeal of the cost-effective and fast Canon Selphy DS810, which has little else to recommend it over the competition.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
||Minutes per photo|
Edited by Lori Grunin
Additional editing by Kate Macefield