We liked the look of the Canon Selphy 1300 the moment we unboxed it. While it takes up more room on your desktop than some of the other portable photo printers we tested, it comes with a 3.2 adjustable LCD screen and quite a few features and settings that let you customize your prints. This printer can sync with multiple smartphones at the same time, a feature Canon calls Party Shuffle. In addition, you can select the size of your print (from 2.1 x 2.1 to 4 x 6) and create photo strips, a throwback to the photo booth.
Still, the Selphy 1300’s extra features don’t really make up for some of its problems. For example, its print quality was just alright. It produces more vivid photos than many of the zinc inkless media printers we tested, but the printer didn’t accurately reproduce darker colors in our photos, and we found similar printers were better at replicating details.
We also thought it was a hassle to connect to the printer. Some of the other models we tested printed photos within five minutes of opening the box, but it took closer to 15 to 20 minutes with the Canon Selphy. The instructions and the display have some confusing information, and all the printer’s extra features made connecting wirelessly more complicated than it needed to be. As such, we recommend this printer for more tech-savvy users who have a specific need for some of the more specialized features.
Part of the connection problem stemmed from the app. Compared to others, the Selphy’s app has a clunky design. We also couldn’t find easy ways to connect the printer to social media or email accounts to print directly from the web. However, the app can access your phone’s photo gallery, and you can print pictures from other devices.
This portable Canon printer uses dye sublimation, which heats layers of color to create long-lasting images. It’s easy to install the cartridge and set up the print tray, and it prints at an average speed for a photo-only printer. In addition, the Canon Selphy’s replacement cartridges and paper are a good value, so photos cost just 35 cents each.
Like the Kodak Photo Dock, the Selphy uses paper with tear-away edges, which means your end product doesn’t have nice clean edges like a professionally printed image. This may be a deal breaker for some hobbyists.
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If you need a portable printer, the Selphy has a battery pack, but it’s sold separately. This is a little inconvenient considering one of Canon’s main selling points for the printer is that it’s portable.
The Canon Selphy 1300 tries to compete with other snapshot, novelty printers by offering some fancy settings and features like Party Shuffle and photo strip printouts – if you want to use some of these features, we can see the appeal. For the most part, the printer gets the job done. It’s also cheaper than some of our top picks, but it’s worth spending a bit extra if print quality is important to you.
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