Canon – SELPHY ES2 review

Canon's latest portable compact printer
Photo of Canon – SELPHY ES2

Canon’s SELPHY range has always been aimed squarely at the party-goer or happy snapper who’s on holiday, on the move or just keen to have a quick, instant collection of hard copies of memorable moments. Consequently they’ve emerged as chic, lightweight, easy to operate and good quality compact printers.

The ES2 continues in the grand tradition. It uses the same upright style as the ES1, is fashioned in stylish white and cappuccino and has a convenient built-in handle that fits snugly into the top. In fact, pretty much everything fits snugly into the main body of the printer, including the tilting 3-inch LCD display (a welcome enlargement on its predecessor), the drop-down protective cover for the memory cards at the front and the flip-top shield for the paper output.

There’s no messing about with individual ink cartridges, as you’re supplied with an integrated ink and media cassette that slots in the side and will print up to 50 postcard-size colour photos. It takes at least four passes before each print pops out of the top (this is a dye-sublimation printer) but it’s worth the wait as the quality of the finished product is impressive: sharp focus, authentic and vibrant colours and a durable protective coating to protect your photos from dust and smudgy fingerprints.

Sorting through the prints on your memory card is effortless now that Canon has added an easy-scroll wheel to the original arrow keys. A separate Edit button allows you to zoom in and print a cropped version of the original, and the Creative button offers you Frames, Clip Art, Calendar, Multi Layout, Speech Bubble, ID Photo and Image Effects (faded edges, soft edges, soft focus and star lights) options.

Yet, for some mysterious reason, there’s no preview available on the LCD before you commit to printing any of these creative effects. The same is true of the My Colors choice in the Print Settings menu (where you can use Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter & Darker Skin and Vivid Blue, Green & Red), the Correct Red-Eye facility and the new Image Optimizer.

The ES2 (unlike its companion printer the ES20) offers wireless printing via infra-red and optional Bluetooth add-on, and you can also pick up an attachable battery pack which will be vital for all those outdoor trips. However, another strange anomaly is Canon’s decision to drop the in-built extendable USB cable that was tidily housed in the bottom side panel in the ES1. The same panel exists in the ES2 but you have to supply your own cable, which again goes against the concept of a ‘take anywhere’ party printer.

Company: Canon

Contact: 01737 220000

The high quality of the finished prints in Canon's latest compact portable printer was never in doubt, yet despite some control and creative enhancements, the lack of preview options and a retractable USB lead are deterring disappointments.