Canon Selphy ES3 review: Canon Selphy ES3

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Typical Price: $299.00

Canon Selphy ES3

(Part #: CNETCanon Selphy ES3)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Compact design. Clip art, borders and novelty printing options.

The Bad Runs off mains power only. Limited size options for photo prints.

The Bottom Line For enthusiasts and those wanting to produce high-quality prints at home using a dedicated photo printer, the Selphy ES3 is a great purchase, but the cost of consumables and cost per print is fairly steep.

8.2 Overall
CNET Editors' Choice Aug '09

Design and features

You'll be struck by how similar this printer looks like a handbag when you first take it out of the box. But, at just under 3kg, the ES3 is a little too heavy to be entering into the aforementioned carry-all territory, instead relegating it to its intended use — a compact photo printer.

Like the ES30 , a lower-specification model which we also reviewed, the ES3 is a dye-sublimation printer that uses paper and ink combined in the one unit. With a bigger screen than its smaller companion, the 3.5-inch LCD takes up a fair amount of space on the front fascia, with buttons flanking either side. At the top are slots for PictBridge connections, featuring CompactFlash, SD and a host of other device slots, as well as connection to a computer via USB.

The scroll wheel, which also appears on the EOS digital SLR line and many of the IXUS and PowerShot compacts, sits to the right of the LCD screen and can be used to navigate through menus and select photos for printing. Fortunately, using it is quite intuitive and it has a fair amount of resistance so it doesn't flip too easily between options.

There's a number of additional inclusions on this model, like 1GB of internal memory to store photos. Optional extras, such as decorative prints using in-built graphics are also available. The ES3 also has the ability to add special effects such as pinhole and soft edges to photos, and print gold and silver prints.


As with any other Selphy you may be familiar with, the ES3 prints photos in a four-pass process: for cyan, magenta, yellow and finally a protective UV coat to help stop fading and smudging. This means that it's not the quickest at delivering a standard 4x6-inch photo print. Expect the ES3 to spit out a finished colour print in just under a minute (52 seconds according to Canon), and a black and white print (a two-pass process) in under 30 seconds.

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