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Canon Selphy ES30 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £108.05
inc VAT


CMYO dye-sub, print speed, USB, PictBridge, 225.0 x 226.3 x 138.0mm

While Agfaphoto’s AP 2300 looks like a printer from 1995, Canon’s Selphy ES30 looks nothing like a printer at all.

Still, that could be an advantage if you don’t want a big multi-purpose inkjet cluttering up the place, not least since the ES30’s upright design means it takes up no more desk space than a portable radio.

Ease of use seems to have been Canon’s prime consideration when designing the ES30, and it’s one of the most idiot-proof printers we’ve ever seen. The front-panel controls are large and clearly labelled, and while it may seem as though there are a lot of buttons, it’s a better arrangement than trying to cram a complex menu system into a small 3in colour display. An internal power supply means less cable clutter, and the built-in handle makes the ES30 easy to move around, too.

Canon combines paper and a dye-sub print spool in a single cassette that slots length-wise into one side of the ES30. This takes seconds to fit, but it does mean paper is loaded in the wrong orientation for printing. To get around this, the ES30 feeds each page through the front print slot and rotates it through 90 degrees before printing. It wastes a few seconds when printing, but certainly looks cool.

Like Agfaphoto’s AP 2300, the ES30 can print directly from a variety of memory card formats, and the slots are hidden beneath a flap on its top. Navigating through stored photos with the chunky scroll wheel is much slower than on the other printers here, but you can switch between individual, filmstrip and nine-to-a-screen thumbnail views. The control system also makes it impossible to overshoot a photo by impatient scroll-wheel spinning.

Print quality is on a par with that of Agfaphoto’s AP 2300, but close examination revealed some faint stepping in areas of graduated colour, which is something that dye-sub printers don’t normally suffer from. You’ll need a sharp eye to spot it, though.

The ES30’s low running costs of 21p per print make it attravailable, but the HP A636’s ability to print larger photos and panoramas mean it’s a better choice for most people.

Basic Specifications

Maximum native print resolution300 x 600dpi

Tested Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0N/A
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.07m 52s

Print Quality

Number of ink colours3
Number of ink cartridges1
Maximum number of ink colours3
Maximum number of cartridges1
Quoted photo durability100 years
Quoted photo durability sourceCanon

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfacesUSB, PictBridge
Optional printer interfaces802.11b
Size225.0 x 226.3 x 138.0mm
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption idle3W
Power consumption active46W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size6x4in
Standard paper inputs1
Standard paper input capacity50
Maximum paper inputs1
Maximum paper input capacity50
Duplex (code, cost if option)No

Photo Features

PictBridge supportYes
Direct (PC-less) printingYes
Supported memory cardsCompact Flash, SD, miniSD Card, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick PRO Duo, microSD
CD printingNo


Printer technologyCMYO dye-sub
Supported operating systemsWindows XP SP2, Vista, MacOS 10.4
Other inkjet features3in colour LCD

Buying Information

Consumable parts and prices£16.20 per 100-sheet print pack
Quoted life of supplied black cartridgeN/A
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)N/A
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s)100 pages per 10-page print pack…
Warrantyone year RTB

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0N/A
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.07m 52s