We interrupt our regular pen and paper programming to bring you this gadget review: the Canon CP910 Selphy compact smartphone printer!
I’ve been wanting a compact, instant photo printer for a while now. I really enjoy scrapbooking, but I usually don’t print my photos right away. In the past, this has led to a backlog of scrapbooking entries… I fall behind, and then I’m very unmotivated to catch up.
I love cute Polaroid-style cameras like the popular Fujifilm Instax, but I realized that it isn’t the most cost-effective. Because the photos are printed the moment you click the shutter, you waste film on shots of people blinking or being caught off guard.
A phone printer provides the advantage of letting you review your photos, select the best shot, and even edit in your photo editing app of choice.
Pros: Small, ultra-pocketable size for traveling. Convenient sticky backing for instant use in scrapbooks or journals!!
Cons: The device is expensive, and so are the special ZINK paper refills.
(Side note: for a fantastic and very detailed review of this printer, check out Priya’s review of the Polaroid Zip on her blog, The London Parchment!)
Fujifilm Instax Share
Pros: Super cute and trendy polaroid frame. Photos print in retro-style color.
Cons: Also expensive due to special polaroid cartridges. Color accuracy is poor (if you aren’t specifically looking for the retro fade effect)
Canon CP910 Selphy
Pros: Most affordable and offers the best color accuracy. Takes a variety of refill sizes (postcard and smaller)
Cons: Not very portable, slow printing time, and must be plugged in to operate.
With all of the above pros and cons in mind, I chose the Canon. I bought in on Amazon, and it arrived a few weeks later.
Unboxing & Setup
The Canon Selphy arrives in a box that includes the printer, power cable, ink cartridge, warranty card, film paper, and instruction booklet.
Setup is pretty simple — plug the cable in, insert the cartridge, load the film paper, and you’re ready to go! I had it up and running in less than five minutes.
First, plug your printer in. Then, unwrap the cartridge and pop it into the printer body. There is a specific orientation that it goes in, but it’s not hard to figure it out.
Load the paper into the tray. Be careful not to touch the paper, or your photos will have fingerprints! The paper tray snaps securely into the front of the printer.
The paper tray has a lid, which protects the paper from dust when not in use. I keep the lid on most times, but when you are ready to print, flip the top cover where it says “Open” to expose the paper.
To connect your smartphone to the printer, navigate to your Wi-Fi settings. You’ll have to enter in a password, which is included in the setup documentation.
The only way to print from your phone is to download Canon’s specific printing app, Canon PRINT. It’s free on the iOS app store.
Side note: Here you can see the other photo apps I use. Would you be interested in a blog post about my favorite photo editing apps?
The app interface is pretty clunky and could use some work, but it is relatively easy to use. You can select multiple photos at a time, which is pretty convenient.
As a test image, I used the InstaCollage app to make this quick collage of a cactus shop that I visited last month!
The Canon Selphy printer runs on dye-sublimation technology, which uses heat to transfer colored dyes onto the photo paper. It does this in four passes: yellow, red, blue, and a shiny clear coat.
With each pass, you can see the image emerge. Four passes may seem slow, but it is actually quite fast! So fast that I didn’t capture the printing process in time for the cactus photo, so I did another test with a collage of my recent hiking trip.
I was pleasantly surprised by how accurately the Canon Selphy printed the colors shown on my phone screen. The colors would probably be more crisp with an actual printing service, but I thought it was very close. There was slight blurring, but only around text or borders– such as the caption and frames that I added to the collage.
Once the picture is done, it can be picked up right away. Because of the clear coat, you don’t have to worry about touching the paper now– the photo will be completely dry and ready.
Ok, back to the cactus photo.
You can see that there are two perforated bands on either side of the photo– I believe this extra paper is for the printer feed. Simply fold at the perforations, and they snap off easily. A slightly toothy edge is left, but it doesn’t really bother me.
What did bother me was that parts of my collage were cut off with the perforations, but I think this was due to the dimensions of my collage app and not due to the printer itself.
You can then clip the edges with a corner rounder, or cut it into any desired shapes!
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase! It may not be as novel as the cute polaroid-style instant snapshots, but it is great for my needs.
With an instant printer, I am encouraged to document my life more frequently. I already use my phone as my main camera, and now I have a quick and easy way to make my own prints that are ready for scrapbooking!
You can find the Canon CP910 printer on Amazon. Apparently the CP910 model I just reviewed has been replaced by a newer model, so it is actually cheaper now!
These are not affiliate links and I am not connected to Amazon in any way, I just bought this for myself and wanted to share it with you all.