Canon has had considerable success with its range of dye-sublimation dedicated photo printers. When it released the Selphy ES1, with its innovative print rotation, it got extra marks for novelty, but can the third model in this series maintain its attraction?
Rather than the earlier model’s square, angular lines, the Selphy ES3 is full of curves, much more like a handbag or a DAB radio. The curved carrying handle makes it obvious this printer is intended to be carried around, though it’s more transportable than fully mobile, as there’s no battery pack, even as an option.
Beneath a slide-open cover on the top of the printer are sockets for the common memory card types, but also, under a finger slide, a custom-made socket for microSD cards, showing the increased popularity of this format.
The 90mm LCD screen is a good size for previewing photos and gives plenty of room for Canon’s menu system. We’re sure it’s the result of many focus groups, but to our way of thinking there are rather too many controls on the front of this machine. As well as the power button, one for print and one to step back out of a menu choice, there's a big button for creative additions to photos – things like frames and speech bubbles – and a total of eight buttons down either side of the display.
As well as these, there’s one of Canon’s rotary dials, which can also be clicked left and right to scroll through photos and pressed in the middle to set a selected option. Although it would add to its cost, this printer seems to be crying out for a touch-screen to simplify the control functions.
The combined film and photo blank cartridge, which can take up to 50 blanks – though a cartridge for just five is supplied in the box – slides in at the right, under a flip-open side cover. In the left side are sockets for a USB connection to a PC and for a PictBridge camera.
To use the printer in a standalone mode, the only setup needed is to replace the plastic blank in the cartridge slot with the supplied cartridge. If you want to print from a PC, you'll need to connect the USB cable and install the Canon software, which as with other Selphys, comprises Photo Express LE and ZoomBrowser EX.