The Canon Selphy CP780 has a very low purchase price ($99 as of January 28, 2010) and a simple design, making it a good choice for light home use. It offers a 2.5-inch color LCD and intuitively labeled buttons, plus three media slots (for CompactFlash, SD Card, MultiMediaCard, and Memory Stick) and a PictBridge port. The front-loading cassette holds up to 54 sheets of 4-by-8-inch photo paper; to print on 4-by-6-inch paper, you must push the stack to the front of the tray.
Its dye-sublimation technology transfers layers of cyan, magenta, and yellow dye from a roll of film onto photo paper, finishing with a clear-coat layer. Once a photo is printed, that section of film cannot be reused, regardless of how much dye is left. Photos cost a pricey 33 cents each. And because completing a single photo requires four passes, the Selphy CP780 prints slowly, taking about 75 seconds on average (0.8 pages per minute) to finish a 4-by-6-inch snapshot.
Photo quality varies. In our tests, photos of people and objects were a little light-colored but reasonably detailed. On the other hand, a mountain landscape appeared pale and unrealistic, like a bad 1950s postcard.
For more information on selecting a photo printer, see:
* Top 5 Snapshot Printers
* Snapshot Photo Printers (video)
* Shopping for a Photo Printer
* Photo Printers Buying Guide