How disappointingly obstinate can a manufacturer be?
Canon, it seems ‘can‘ be shockingly so…
The concept of the home photo printer is still new to a lot of people.
I personally love them. Nice glossy image that are exactly like ‘lab’ photos but printed at home.
Alas my Kodak 380 Easy Share is now so dated I can neither directly replace it nor buy any media for it.
So the Canon Selphy series looked ideal, even having a few bonus features.
I want to be brief here so here goes…
The big new feature is going WiFi.
This is ideal, being in a household of many tablets and phones.
Next is the decently sized view screen. This allows direct printing that isn’t simply limited to a few on board defaults (the Kodak only had four size options and other choices depended on you using the PictBridge interface on your camera.)
On-board photo previews and editing add allow you to make decent use of the view screen.
The printer doesn’t support native iOS printing (boo) but does have an app available from the Apple App Store.
Lastly (so far) a wonderful feature. Passport Photo mode. Not only does it allow you to print the photo the correct 4.5cmX3.5cm but also provides an ‘oval’ facial guide. Now you can be sure that the face is proportioned to the authority requirements.
Of course thee are many other features. This is a micro review after all.
The on board menus aren’t perfectly intuitive but simple enough. It supported all the appropriate security options on my WiFi comfortably enough. Signal strength was good.
The iOS app, Canon iEPP, is simple and intuitive. A little limited by not being integrated and scans/photos are the only options.
However, any app that supports ‘sending’ to another app (pages for example) can be used simply enough with the Canon app.
Sadly, setup is where it all goes wrong for Canon too.
If your on Windows XP or Windows 7 you’ll be fine. The software provided had a very goo reputation.
Alas I cannot review it as I’m on Windows 8.
Canon have decided not to create a driver for the latest Microsoft OS.
Also, the Widows 7 drivers don’t match the more stringent requirements in Windows 8 for drivers.
This was completely skipped in the Amazon description. Though technically covered by the support statement, which does not mention W8. Personally if it is impossible to get the printer to work I want a clear statement to that effect.
So I contact Canon.
What a waste of time.
Essentially, they have confirmed that they have no intention of producing a W8 driver for this printer:
Because of the development specification, the Selphy CP900/CP810/CP800 could not support Windows 8. The current Selphy printer driver was not developed based on the standard driver of Microsoft (V3 driver), and because it is proprietary, it is not possible to support the current Windows OS upgrade.
So this leaves me with their suggested workaround:
As Windows 8 is not supported, when you want to print images that you keep in your PC, you need to copy image data (JPEG) to an SD card, and print using the print directly from card function.
Well, at least I was able to test te printer. Via the iOS app and directly from a USB stick.
It works in exactly the same way as the Kodak Printer, indeed is the same size.
Four passes are made (3 colours plus a protective film.)
The final result is very good. Compared to the Kodak perhaps the colours look a little more washed. The pixelation is low and image quality perfectly good.
The lack of Windows 8 driver or suitable workaround is dire. Very poor from Canon.
But the WiFi, view screen, on board editing, iOS app all go a long way to making this a good printer.
But it just doesn’t quite make up for not being able to use the PC.
The printer is compact and fast and produces good quality photos.
Recommended, but not for Windows 8 users.
Five months on and Canon are certainly keeping to their statement that they will not produce a driver for Windows 8.
I have had great success though using the Canon iEPP application on iPhone and iPad.
I am also currently evaluating the Android “Canon Easy-PhotoPrint” application.
Quality of photos is working well and the printer continues to impress.