We all want to look professional, especially when we're showing off our photography skills. But when your digital printouts have a huge white border around the photo, it screams, "I did this myself!" Not so if you're using the Sony Digital Photo Printer UP-DP10, which can print directly to all four edges of the paper, making you look like an absolute pro. We just wish that the Sony printed faster and were a bit more versatile. We all want to look professional, especially when we're showing off our photography skills. But when your digital printouts have a huge white border around the photo, it screams, "I did this myself!" Not so if you're using the Sony Digital Photo Printer UP-DP10, which can print directly to all four edges of the paper, making you look like an absolute pro. We just wish that the Sony printed faster and were a bit more versatile.
Simple, Slender Design
The UP-DP10 is one of the more refined, if not unusual-looking, photo printers. You can set up the printer two ways: lying down on your desktop; or mounted sideways, which saves space on an already-crowded surface. The design is free from external buttons and contains only the usual array of lights that indicate such things as paper level, ribbon status, or potential errors. Part of this simplicity is due to the fact that, unlike the Olympus P-330N, the Sony lacks the capability to print from external storage, such as CompactFlash or SmartMedia cards. This wasn't an oversight on Sony's part but rather a calculated decision based on its impression that most people touch up an image--no matter how slightly--via their PC before they print it. Based on this assumption, Sony includes a copy of Adobe Photoshop 5.0 LE for light photo editing.
Unless you're absolutely hopeless with a digital camera, you might find that your images don't need much touching up, after all. The Sony did a decent job handling fine details, and both indoor and outdoor images contained rich, true colors. CNET Labs' jury ranked only the pricier Canon CD-200 higher. Unfortunately, good-looking output comes at the expense of speed. The Sony required nearly four minutes to print an image, almost twice as long as the Olympus.
One of the Sony's nicer features is its ability to print to the edges of the paper. To accomplish this feat, the photo paper is longer than necessary with perforated tabs that you remove after the printout is complete. This does leave slightly rough edges, but it's a small price to pay for the photo-lab effect.
Sony offers two different kinds of paper, both of which are the same size but are designed to handle different aspect ratios (either 2:3 or 3:4), depending on your original image file. You'll shell out $14.99 for 25 sheets of paper, including your ink roll, which translates to about 60 cents per print. Not too shabby for a photo printer.
Good Price for Good Prints
Although you are forced to print via your PC, Sony makes this easy by including a parallel and a USB port--features lacking on the Olympus P-330N. And the printer's $389 price tag is definitely competitive. Unless you're bound and determined to print directly from your camera or external media, the Sony UP-DP10 is a good choice for producing top-notch photos.