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Sony Digital Photo Printer DPP-EX50

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At a Glance
  • Sony DPPEX50 Digital Photo Printer

Sony Digital Photo Printer DPP-EX50
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Like other dedicated snapshot printers, the $180 Sony DPP-EX50 dye-sublimation printer can work without a computer. You can drive it from a PictBridge camera, and it has slots for Memory Stick and CompactFlash cards. Despite the printer's on-board control panel and backlit LCD, most people will want to connect the unit to a television before they attempt to print from a media card.

You connect the supplied cable to the TV, which will then display menus for selecting images to print, and for creating calendars, postcards, or multiple-image layouts. In addition, you can convert images to sepia-tone or gray scale, clean up red-eye, apply a fish-eye lens effect, and more. You don't have to use the TV if you set up a DPOF (digital print order form) job on your camera; DPOF is an industry standard for digital cameras that lets you mark pictures to print directly from a media card.

When the printer is linked to a PC, you'll probably want to use Sony's PictureGear Studio 2.0 software to manage and edit images because Sony's Windows driver lacks many common image adjustment options. For example, it doesn't offer color and density adjustment, though it does allow you to print borderless, and to apply red-eye reduction.

The DPP-EX50 can print to three sizes of paper: 4-by-6-inch, 3.5-by-5-inch, and 3.5-by-4-inch; all three work with the same paper cassette. Sony provides no consumables in the box; a 25-sheet pack of 4-by-6-inch paper with an ink ribbon costs $17, which translates into about 68 cents per print. The $43 value pack of 75 sheets reduces the per-print cost to 57 cents each. For comparison, the Epson PictureMate makes 4-by-6-inch prints for 29 cents each.

The DPP-EX50 printed a 4-by-6-inch photo from a PC in a snappy 89 seconds--almost twice as fast as the Epson PictureMate. The print showed very sharp detail and the luminous quality we expect from dye-sublimation prints, though it had an almost oversaturated look with a slightly orange tone.

The best match for the Sony DPP-EX50 would be people who want to view their pictures on a TV, or who plan to transmit DPOF print jobs directly from their digital camera.

Dan Littman

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At a Glance
  • Best suited for those who want to view pictures on a TV, or to transmit DPOF print jobs directly from a digital camera.

    Pros

    • Can connect to a TV
    • Quality dye-sublimation produced photos

    Cons

    • Some photos had a slight orange tone
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