In the test: Canon Selphy CP 1300 WLAN - mobile photo printer for iPhone, iPad and Mac

The Canon Selphy CP1300 photo printer

To you guys my purchase of the Canon Selphy CP1300 WLAN To explain a bit, I have to go back a little: A good year ago I bought an HP color inkjet printer (HP Envy 5540) bought in order to be able to make a few color prints every now and then. A printer from Hewlett Packard was deliberately chosen, even though they are known for being particularly expensive when it comes to the prices of ink cartridges. However, I had read reports that the ink from HP almost never dries up. In my area of ​​work as an occasional printer, that was an important aspect for the selection, in which I wanted to put the cost of the printing ink at the back.

My HP Envy 5540 color inkjet printer

My HP Envy 5540: A good color inkjet printer, but unfortunately not for people who rarely print, as the nozzles always dry up after a few weeks and so no more sensible printing is possible. The printouts are streaky and there is not enough ink on the paper. However, it is a recommendation for multiple printers who rely on A4 printing (Photo: HP).

From my inkjet disappointment

The first prints on photo paper were very good and I loved it. Unfortunately, I was all the more disappointed when, after a break of a few weeks, I wanted to use the printer again and only prints with stripes and wrong colors came out - typical symptoms of clogged nozzles in the print head.

I then ran the printer's cleaning program several times, which unfortunately only brought about marginal changes. Only a complete change of both cartridges improved the situation. Since this experience, the printer has only been standing around unused because I am not ready to use new ink cartridges every 6 to 8 weeks in order to eliminate these printing errors. That would be so expensive in the long run that I could easily buy a color laser printer. But I don't just have the space for that, but also the amount of "print jobs".

The Canon Selphy CP1300 photo printer

The new favorite in the household: the Canon Selphy CP 1300 photo printer with AirPrint for iOS devices and Bonjour for wireless printing via Mac (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Canon Selphy CP1300 WLAN - perfect for my area of ​​application

When I think about what I need color printouts for, I can think of only a few applications:

  • Vacation and family photos
  • Gift vouchers
  • Photo booth recordings with the kids
  • Passport photos
  • Children's drawings from the iPad
  • Christmas cards or postcards

All of these printed matter do not require a DIN A4 format and get along well with the 10 x 15 cm postcard format that you get with the Canon Selphy printer. Other brands of mobile printers, such as Polaroid ZIP or HP Sprocket, were unfortunately not included in the selection because they either do not deliver good print results and only print in credit card format (5 x 7,6 cm), which is clearly too small for me.

These mini photos are a nice gag, but nothing more. At this point I don't want to rule out the possibility that I won't test these printers at some point if the print quality is right. But the Canon Selphy CP1300 is the better choice for photo prints just because of the paper size.

Everything that is in the package - except for the manual: the printer, power supply unit and a paper cassette.

Everything that is in the package - except for the manual: the printer, power supply unit and a paper cassette.

Thermal sublimation printing - never dried out print heads again

A really ingenious feature of the Canon Selphy is the printing technology with which it works. This is thermal sublimation printing or thermal transfer printing, in which the individual colors are transferred from a film to the special paper. Special paper and foil now sounds like an expensive technology, but since Canon always delivers foils and paper in a set, which you push into the printer, you can calculate relatively exactly what a printout will cost.

Since there are no additional costs for the exposure unit or the like, the costs for the paper sets with the appropriate foils remain. It is irrelevant whether you print a lot of color or a little, as the foils are always sufficient to completely print all the papers from the set. For example, if you take the set of 108 sheets as a basis, the price is around 25 cents per printout. This is of course more expensive than developing your photos in the nearest discounter, but you can do everything at home in a few minutes and even start printing directly from your iPhone or iPad. If you buy the Canon battery, the whole thing works even on the go without a socket and without WiFi, as the printer opens up its own WiFi network.

The individual printing passes in dye sublimation printing.

With thermal sublimation printing, one color is applied in each pass: yellow, magenta, cyan and finally a protective layer so that the photos are waterproof and insensitive to fingerprints.

Install and print from iPhone, iPad and Mac

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very reluctant to read instructions. Fortunately, this was hardly necessary with the Canon Selphy, as you don't need a printer driver and the settings on the printer's color display are self-explanatory. When you start the Canon Selphy for the first time, you set up the WiFi connection to your home WiFi and from now on the printer can be found via Bonjour and AirPrint for all Macs and iOS devices in the same WiFi.

When you set up the printer for the first time, you give it access to your home WLAN. It can then be found as a WiFi printer for all iOS devices and Macs and can accept print jobs wirelessly.

When you set up the printer for the first time, you give it access to your home WLAN. It can then be found as a WiFi printer for all iOS devices and Macs and can accept print jobs wirelessly.

Canon iOS apps for the Selphy printer

There are two apps for the iPhone and iPad: "Canon PRINT" and "Canon SELPHY". Both can be used to send printouts to the photo printer, with the Canon PRINT app sending exactly one document to the printer, while the Canon SELPHY app is more likely to print collages and photo overviews. In addition, the printer can be controlled via any other app, as it is compatible with Apple AirPrint.

[appbox appstore id664425773]

[appbox appstore id1349015402]

On the Mac, the printer is addressed like a normal printer. You can add it as a WiFi printer and then print your pictures from the Photos app or Photoshop, for example.

Under macOS (Mojave for me) you can find the Selphy without installing a driver and add it directly to the list of printers.

Under macOS (Mojave for me) you can find the Selphy without installing a driver and add it directly to the list of printers.

Color cartridges and special paper

Before you can print, you have to "feed" the printer with paper and the printer cartridge. Some buyers of the printer are likely to be disappointed here, because Canon did not include the printer with the special paper or a color cartridge. Since I have read the negative reviews about this condition in advance - I have the set directly (Canon RP-108 at Amazon) Ordered with photo paper and color cartridge.

This set with paper and printer cartridge is the right choice for photo printouts: Canon RP-108.

This set with paper and printer cartridge is the right choice for photo printouts: Canon RP-108.

 

Contents of the Canon RP-108 set: 6 packs of photo paper (108 sheets in total) and two printer cartridges, which are sufficient for all the printouts.

Contents of the Canon RP-108 set: 6 packs of photo paper (108 sheets in total) and two printer cartridges, which are sufficient for all the printouts.

In my package for 108 prints in postcard format (100 x 148 mm) there are 6 packages of special paper and two color cartridges in the package. The cartridge is pushed into the side of the printer, while there is a cassette for the paper in which it is inserted. The moment came when I had to unpack the manual because I couldn't see how to insert the paper.

Now I'm smarter: the paper is coming with the shiny side up in the cassette. The postcard-sized paper has no front and back, so you can't go wrong here, but other paper sizes for the Selphy have a printed symbol that must match the marking on the paper cassette.

The printer cartridge is pushed in from the side of the Canon Selphy.

The printer cartridge is pushed in from the side of the Canon Selphy.

Print quality and color reproduction

Now we come to the most important point in this test: How good is the print quality of the prints from the Canon Selphy CP1300? My very clear opinion: Great! To be honest, I was very surprised at HOW good the printouts turned out. I tried out some photos and comic drawings with flat color gradients and made around 30 to 40 printouts so far. I noticed the following points:

  • No recognizable lines in areas with the same coloras is sometimes the case with inkjet printers.
  • The resolution of the printer is very good. I can still read the small print even when taking pictures of bottle labels (see photo).
  • The color rendering is almost perfect. My monitor is not calibrated, so of course you can see a difference between the monitor and the printer, but the colors that the printer delivers are very natural and by no means "oversaturated" as you can see with some photo printers.
  • The photos are water resistant and insensitive to fingerprints. This is ensured by a protective layer that the printer also applies.
  • A printout takes about 40-60 seconds with data transfer from Mac / iPhone.
  • My wife has a bit of experience with photos from the photo printers from DM, Rossmann and Co and said that the Canon Selphy is just as good, if not better is.
I used this photo of a whiskey bottle to compare the details. Note the area of ​​the bottle above the label.

I used this photo of a whiskey bottle to compare the details. Note the area of ​​the bottle above the label and look at the details below.

 

Comparison of the details in the original photo and in the printout - you can hardly see any loss of detail because the resolution of the printer is so high. Please disregard the color changes, as I took the photo again with the iPhone in artificial light - the printer cannot help.

Comparison of the details in the original photo and in the printout - you can hardly see any loss of detail because the resolution of the printer is so high. Please disregard the color changes, as I snapped the printed photo off again with the iPhone in artificial light - the printer cannot help with that.

Borderless photo printing? No problem!

The Canon Selphy can of course print borderless photos. This works because the photo paper has a small perforated border at the top and bottom. This micro-perforation makes it possible to separate a piece of the photo paper, because the paper is actually a good two centimeters longer than the photo. This protruding area is required so that the printer can move the paper back and forth during the printing process.

When you have the finished photo in your hand, you can separate these two areas by creasing them. The performance is so fine that you cannot see it, you can only "feel" it.

Light line at the top of the photo printout - problem or not?

A note on the printout: Older versions of the Canon Selphy (CP800, CP910, CP1000, CP1200) print a fine light line at the very top when printing with borderless printing (on some models it is also dark). You don't see it if you don't know that it is there, but on closer inspection you can recognize it. This line is NOT a mistake but is present in every model. I couldn't figure out why it was there, but it became less noticeable with the latest model.

With the Selphy CP1300 it is only slightly darker than the surrounding photo and only a fraction of a millimeter wide. I tried to capture it in the photo, but you can only see it in a close-up shot. If you hold the photo more than 20 inches from your face, you won't be able to see it, even if you know it's there. In my opinion, this is not a disadvantage or a visible flaw at all. I wanted to bring it up though as there are some complaints and questions about this line.

Here you can see - made clear by the arrows and the enlargement - the dark line that runs through the photo above.

Here you can see - made clear by the arrows and the enlargement - the dark line that runs through the photo above.

Comparison of color inkjet printers and thermal transfer printers

As you can see, I'm thrilled with the printouts that the Canon Selphy delivers. Even when my Hewlett Packard Envy 5540 color inkjet was still new, you could already see light lines in areas that represent an area of ​​the same color. You can only see these light lines when you look at the printout up close, but that's still been a point that has always bothered me with color inkjet printers. But no reason to devalue the Envy 5540 as a color ink jet, because they all have the problem with the light lines.

Even with a fresh print head and new cartridges, you can see such lines on every color inkjet printer - especially on surfaces of the same color. Here is a close-up shot of a printout I made with my HP Envy 5540.

Even with a fresh print head and new cartridges, you can see such lines on every color inkjet printer - especially on surfaces of the same color. Here is a close-up shot of a printout I made with my HP Envy 5540.

With the Canon Selphy CP 1300 I checked several printouts that showed such "critical" areas of color in the motif. Even with a magnifying glass I couldn't see any lines in the printout. The reason for this is probably the other printing technique. As mentioned above, the Canon Selphy works with a printing technique known as dye-sublimation printing. The color is transferred from a film to the photo paper and fixed with heat.

Even with areas of the same color, which are particularly critical, you cannot see any lines on the Selphy CP1300.

Even with areas of the same color, which are particularly critical, you cannot see any lines on the Selphy CP1300.

The Canon Selphy makes four passes during the printing process, first printing yellow, then magenta, and then cyan. Finally, he applies a gloss or protective layer to the finished photo. This makes the photo waterproof and the colors last a long time. How long? Here is an excerpt from Canon's product description:

The prints are protected from splashes, dirt and fading of the colors by a special coating so that they remain color-stable in the photo album for up to 100 years.

I have to admit: Even if they only stay "color stable" for 10 years, they last longer than most of the printouts that I have made with my color ink jet. With the HP Envy, for example, I printed out a photo about a year ago and pinned it to my refrigerator. Although the photo is only exposed to indirect sunlight, the colors are noticeably faded here - and that with original HP ink and special photo paper.

I held the Canon photo paper under the faucet to test it, slapped it with my finger and even pulled the corners - everything survived without complaint. According to Canon, even the colors will last for many years because the printouts are covered with a protective layer by the printer.

I held the Canon photo paper under the faucet to test it, slapped it with my finger and even pulled the corners - everything survived without complaint. According to Canon, the colors even last up to 100 years because the printouts are covered with a protective layer by the printer.

Photo printing costs

I am very satisfied with the consumption costs. Although you are currently dependent on the sets from Canon (paper and color), as there are no alternative providers for them, I don't think the costs are too high. For example, if I use my set for 108 prints for the calculation, then with 108 photos and a set price of EUR 27,50 I get around 25 cents per photo - including photo paper and color. When I consider how flexible I can now print postcards and photos, I am more than happy with the price.

In addition, there is the unbeatable advantage that you no longer have to reckon with the fact that the print quality deteriorates so much that you have to insert a new ink cartridge. The costs alone that I have had in the last one to two years due to dried-up ink cartridges with my HP printer should be well over 90 euros (a set of color and black cartridges costs around 30 euros for this). I could have printed over 300 photos with the Canon Selphy for that.

Great Christmas cards can be made with the Canon Selphy, creativity and a little crafting skills. The drawing on the card is by Mia, by the way. You can find it on Instagram at @miselchen_draws.

Great Christmas cards can be made with the Canon Selphy, creativity and a little crafting skills. The drawing on the card is by Mia, by the way. You can find it on Instagram at @miselchen_draws.

My conclusion on the Canon Selphy CP 1300

I recently said to my wife: "The printer is so good, it should have cost 300 euros!" Why? Because from my point of view it is worth so much! But it only costs 120 euros. If you add a set of 108 for color and photo paper (RP-108), you are still under 150 euros.

If you take the print quality and the durability of the prints into account, all you can really say is: "Bye Bye, photo printing service! Welcome, Canon Selphy!". I am constantly finding new areas of application for the small printer and have already impressed some friends with the printouts. Since you can also print special stickers with the Selphy, you are relatively flexible. I will certainly do a few more articles about this great photo printer.

Shopping list for the Selphy CP1300

If you want to get the printer, here are a few more useful accessories that I got:

I think that you are well equipped with it and can use the photo printer really "mobile" - for example on vacation to print out the best moments in the evening or to make postcards for friends and relatives.

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27 comments

  1. Mausi says:

    Yes, I think the Selphy is great too and I would like it to be. Unfortunately I feel very limited by the size: you can only print this "postcard" format or smaller. I would have liked a bigger format from Canon. (Shouldn't even be A4, but A5 would be nice) But it sure is a lot of fun. I'll think about whether I want to wait that long for a bigger one. ;)

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Yes, a DIN A5 Selphy would be a nice thing. But I guess a printout would cost 50 cents and even 4 EUR for A1 if you extrapolate the consumables. But I am sure there would be buyers for it!

  2. Horst Hader says:

    Hi Jens,
    For larger prints, I would recommend an appropriate Canon inkjet printer. I have had the best experience with these. My niece got a Canon Pixma from me in 2008, which I bought in 2006. This is still running without any problems. Even after a six-month downtime, it immediately printed again without any problems. dried out nozzles etc. My niece uses noname ink cartridges. My Canon MG2008 WiFi inkjet printer, which I bought in 5250, has been running problem-free for over 10 years. At first I still used original Canon ink cartridges. I have been using compatible ink cartridges from Logic-Seek since 2010. You can find them on Amazon. I couldn't find any differences to the original cartridges and there weren't any problems with them. Because of this very good experience with Canon, I will probably buy the Selphy you have presented here as well. An ideal companion for me on my next trip to Australia. By the way, there is a lot of snow here at the moment. My Apple TV 4K will arrive next Monday to replace my long-serving Apple TV 2. The Apple TV 2 is not disposed of, but goes to an old childhood friend whom I have known for over 50 years. I'm curious what you will discover next.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Horst! As always, thank you very much for your advice! Maybe I was just unlucky with the printer, but the Selphy is definitely a good addition if you don't just want to make A4 prints. He should be a great partner, especially for the trip. I now also have the one I ordered Supremery bag and you can also recommend them with a clear conscience. It protects the small printer perfectly and has enough space for the power supply unit, paper, color cartridge and battery. You can not ask for more!
      I wish you a lot of fun with your trip and look forward to reading from you again!

  3. Toni says:

    An interesting article that makes you want to make postcards yourself. Thank you for the detailed description!

    I'm currently looking for an alternative to the everyday printer. I hope I have officejet 3 for 3830 months. In the first week there was already the message that there was not enough ink. If the colors were exchanged, the message came back for the black color. An expensive thing. I don't print a lot and speed is not important. Do you have any recommendations for this?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Toni! Yes, there is probably nothing better for postcards than the Selphy. To your question: Are you looking for a color printer or can it also be a black and white laser? When it comes to color printers, a friend of mine (photographer) swears by them Canon Pixma printer seriesthat he has been taking again and again for years. And Horst (another commentator here in the article) has also had good experiences with a Canon Pixma. From a standing start, I would see this as a recommendation - even if I haven't had any experience with it myself. LG! Jens

  4. Stefan Sutter says:

    Hi all,
    my question is, does anyone run the selphy on mac os mojave? In the past, the older models always had problems with the drivers.
    Regards
    Stefan

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Stefan! Yeah sure! I've run it with macOS Mojave since my review. Everything works wonderfully. LG! Jens

  5. Matthias Standfest says:

    My Selphy CP910, i.e. the previous model, is no longer supported under IOS13 or Mac Catalina. The printer appears completely normal in the ranks of Airprint printers, but when you try to print a photo, only a white sheet of paper is spit out with a corresponding error message.
    What about the CP1300 here?

  6. Robby says:

    Hi all,
    I still have the CP1200, but I think that I'm in the right place anyway. With El Capitan, there were never any problems printing from Mac via AirPrint. After a long time I have put the CP1200 back into operation. Mojave is now on the Mac. After printing a photo, but at the latest after the 2nd, you can see the printer button with a red "1" in the dock. When I open it, I see the last print job and the message "Printing - Waiting for the job to be completed." I can then only delete this job, but the printer will still not continue printing. Only when I have switched it off and restarted, which takes an annoying amount of time every time (and unnecessarily wears the color foil), does it start a new print job. So called Canon. I need to connect the printer as a USB printer. Done and want to add the printer as a USB printer in the system settings, which fails because a driver is requested. But there is none. What now?

  7. Robby says:

    Hi Jens,
    unfortunately there is no driver. So I can't (re) install one either. I also have the current firmware on the device.
    Regards, Robby

  8. Robby says:

    Hi Jens,
    in the meantime I have found a driver at Gutenprint. I installed version 5.3.3. Works too. However, there is only the "postcard" paper format and not "borderless postcard", which I think is a shame.
    Greetings, Robby

  9. Ben says:

    Hello.
    Can you please tell me which print settings you have set on the Mac in the print dialogs in order to print a 10 × 15 picture borderless from a picture that is larger than 10 × 15 cm (so the printer has to calculate it)?

    I've only had the printer for a few days and I've already gotten to the 6th test print and it doesn't work. I either only get an enlarged section of the overall image (always at the bottom left of the image to be printed) or I get an image with a larger margin, although I have set it to be borderless. :-(

    My settings

    Paper format: Postcard borderless 100x148mm
    Preview: Adjust size -> Print entire picture
    Layout: frame without
    I haven't stopped paper handling so far.

    THANK YOU.
    Ben

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Ben! I print from the Photos app with the following settings: Print, then 1st setting "Canon Selphy C1300", 2nd setting: "Postcard borderless", 3rd setting: "Color" and then in the thumbnails below I select in usually "10 × 15". However, the photos from the iPhone have a different aspect ratio, so you have to decide whether you want to enlarge the print and parts of the image are not on it, or whether you choose "Adjust" and then you get white stripes on two sides. But with me it goes to the edge without any problems. With which app and which system (Win / Mac) do you print?

  10. Ben says:

    macos catalina

    Have you also experienced Mac printing with the Selphy 1300?

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Ben, you're on a Mac / Apple blog. Of course, I have experience with printing on a Mac. : D I spoke of the "Photos" app that comes with every macOS. Should be on it with you too.

  11. Ben says:

    For me, the app was just an iPhone ... :-)

  12. Annika says:

    Hello, a great report. My Selphy prints with a very yellow tinge. Can you help me with that? Kind regards, Annika

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Annika! I don't know that you can adjust anything there. But maybe it depends on the program you're printing from. Have you tried another one before and see if the same problem arises? Or you can print via the iPhone / iPad ... that would also be worth a test.

      • Annika says:

        Hello Jens, thank you very much for the quick answer. I had (new) printed from the iPhone SE via AirPrint. I also have the yellow tint in the Canon app. It works a little better with the MacBook via the ColorSync with color profile. However, it was not my idea to print via these detours. Let's see if the customer service is useful.
        Have a good time and best regards, Annika

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hello Annika! I saw in a YouTube video that someone had the same problem. In the end, he printed on the iPad and edited the photo in "Photos" beforehand and pulled down the curve for yellow there a little. This is cumbersome, but in the end it helps to get the colors back to "normal".

  13. Jürgen says:

    I bought the Canon CP1300 photo printer and I am quite satisfied so far!

    Does anyone happen to know if you can set it to always print with a margin when you print via AirPrint?
    Unfortunately, the setting "Margin: on" in the printer menu does not seem to have any effect on photos printed via AirPrint.

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