Recently I’ve been exploring ways to print my digital images.
I use a series of small notebooks (A6 and a little smaller) to keep my own photography-related notes, quotes and observations. I have been cutting up old copies of the B+W Photography magazine for ideas and images, which is OK but I would like to add some of my own images, both in colour and B+W. It remained a passing thought until a few weeks ago, when our main printer stumbled and we went looking for a replacement. It is years since we needed to look at printers, as our old XP-connected HP has worked OK over WiFi with Win 10. Our general demands are quite simple – printing letters, records of work and daily calendars etc. Nothing exotic like photo printing!
My favourite printer was a Canon, that now languishes together with my old XP desktop. But it did lead us to focus our replacement search on Canon printers. Mike did the main hunting, and emerged perplexed by the sheer range both in capabilities and price. But during the search he came across something new to me, a range of very small and portable printers designed to print postcard size and smaller PHOTOS. I was instantly interested! Might there be printers to cater to my small size needs? Could I print out my own images? And in colour? And on photo quality paper?
I went looking – seriously – for my dream machine!
When I thought about it I could imagine there is quite a demand in the world of smartphones – selfies straight from the mobile phone to the printer!
I chose the Canon Selphy CP1300 (the name says it all)
It was a gamble as the printer alone was about £100 and the bundles of inks/paper are between £30 and £40. I comforted myself that I could always put it on eBay and recover some of the outlay!! I was rather nervous about the print quality, especially the colour values. Having spent several years immersed in pastel painting I have become quite discerning about precise colour and tonal values. When you have a dozen shades of green, and no way to mix or over-paint, you do develop quite a demanding eye!!
But, as the online reviewers said, the quality is really excellent. So it is not going on eBay – it is just what I want.
A quick caveat here. It is a kind of madness to try and show the print quality of the photos, but I have done my best! To take a digital image and print it on paper is fraught with problems about the colour values that will emerge. Entire books have been written about this. But then to take a digital photo of the print-out to post online? Madness indeed! All I can say is that I have used my iPhone XsMax camera and simply shot the print-outs as best I could (paper curls and phone shadows and all). And as a final piece of madness I had to reduce the quality of the iPhone shots so as not to use up all my website storage space!
The outlay is the big ‘ouch’. After that, the running costs work out at roughly 32p a postcard. I don’t know how that compares with buying online prints – but for my purposes it is reasonable. As well as the full postcard size, this printer can print 2 images on each sheet,
and that is ideal for my Moleskine notebooks.
So 16p per image, and excellent print quality too.
So on to the Selphy 1300 itself