The Selphy CP1300 is a potentially nomadic printer from Canon and capable of printing 10 x 15 cm photos, all thanks to dye sublimation. This process often allows to obtain well detailed photos.
Canon offers several types of portable printers. They have in common that they use dye sublimation printing, but they are very different in form. On the one hand, we have the Selphy Square QX10, rather compact, which can be easily slipped into a backpack and which proves to be completely autonomous, but offering small prints; on the other hand, here is the CP1300, our hero of the day.
With a much larger size, it requires by default a connection to the mains to operate. If it is possible to omit the big power supply, the absence of battery is felt. This being said, the Selphy CP1300 allows for more classic prints in 10 x 15 cm, which can easily be framed, offered or sent as postcards.
It is a device that straddles two worlds, those of mobile and office printers, since it is possible to connect the CP1300 to a computer via the USB Type-A port located on the printer. Strictly speaking, it does not have any competition, its hybrid segment having been abandoned by other manufacturers.
Before the CP1300, Canon proposed the CP1200. The differences between these two models are not really obvious. It's quite simple, the only distinctive point is the control monitor which goes from 2.8 to 3.2 inches, without gaining a touch function.
For the various adjustments, you have to go through a classic interface inherited from desktop printers. Indeed, where the classic mobile printers often compete with minimalism by offering only one - sometimes even none - physical control, the CP1300 offers no less than 13 keys as many navigation aids. The size of the device also contrasts with traditional portable printers. We find ourselves in front of a block of 18 cm wide for nearly 14 cm deep and 6 cm high. The whole thing weighs 900 g when empty and almost 1.1 kg if we add the ink cartridge and the paper ream.
And that's not all, because to operate, the CP1300 must be connected to the mains with a rather bulky power supply unit weighing more than 250 g. This does not encourage frequent movement of the device. But for those who need maximum flexibility, it is possible to power the printer with the NB-CP2LI battery.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 compensates a little for its weight by a rather complete connectivity, although sometimes a little dated. Indeed, it is possible to connect it to a computer through the USB-A socket and it has a SD card reader always handy. On the other hand, it also sports a mini-USB port which, even at the end of 2017, was already a bit old. For wireless connection, the CP1300 uses wifi, but does without Bluetooth. From a smartphone, it is possible to use two apps: Canon Selphy or Canon Print.
If we found the Selphy application a bit austere, it looks very playful and colorful compared to the Print app which is of a sobriety soviet. It is possible to modify the photo, to make some montages or to apply some filters from the applications. Unfortunately, several options remain mysteriously inaccessible from a smartphone. For example, the printer offers an option to take passport-size photos (six 45 x 35 mm photos), but it is necessary to use a USB key or an SD card, and then navigate directly to the printer's menus via the buttons on its cover.
A rather intriguing limitation of wireless can be mentioned concerning remote printing. As we already noted about the Selphy Square QX10, wifi is overall slower than Bluetooth. Once the pairing is successful and for a classic 10 x 15 cm print, it takes about 30 s for the image to be sent from the phone to the printer, then another 50 s for the print to be made.
The dye-sublimation process is still quite fascinating, but quite noisy. The paper is passed several times under the printer's rollers, coming out sometimes behind, sometimes in front, before the printing is completed. With each pass, the printer applies a layer of color (yellow, magenta and cyan), then the varnish. You will find below a print made with the CP1200, which works exactly like the CP1300.
Concerning the print quality of the Canon Selphy CP1300, we have already treated the colorimetry in a dedicated article. The dye sublimation always offers a very good level of sharpness while the accuracy of colors is more relative. Indeed, the average delta E peaks at 9 - we consider that the delta E must be lower than 3 so that the human eye does not perceive the colorimetric drifts - when the Square QX10 was much more faithful with a delta E of 5.8.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is thus in the soft underbelly of portable printers in terms of colorimetry. It makes up for this with its high level of detail which allows to print 10 x 15 cm images that are perfectly suitable for framing and that will give the illusion of lab prints. We are far from the vintage charm of Instax prints, but rather satisfied with the sharpness of the printed pictures, which also make very nice postcards.
For its Selphys, Canon offers three kits in 10 x 15 cm: the KP-36IP (36 prints), the KP-108IN (108 prints) and the RP-108 (108 prints). The only difference between the KP-108IN and RP-108 is that the former does not allow writing on the back of the photo, while the latter has a postcard-sized back.
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is a unique camera. Bulky and with a relative colorimetric accuracy, it is nevertheless a little bit alone on its segment and allows to obtain quickly 10 x 15 cm pictures with a good level of detail. The Canon Selphy CP1300 is thus positioned as a good alternative to lab prints, always easier to use than a big traditional printer.