Most manufacturers have their own printer systems when it comes to doing something with your digital shots. Everyone has a different approach and most of them are specifically tied into the manufacturer’s cameras.
The CP-300 is no different in this respect to other camera manufacturer’s printers and is geared towards people that already own a Canon digital camera. The device, similar to the Kodak EasyShare Dock Station is about the size of a lunchbox, silver in colour and relatively light in weight (860g).
Power is provided via an AC outlet or the rechargeable Li-ion battery supplied in the box. This is ideal for making the printer mobile alongside your Canon digital camera or laptop and a really nice feature.
The Canon specific side of things comes into play here and the device works on the Canon’s Direct Print system. If you have a Direct Print Canon camera then you can connect the camera directly to the printer without the need for a PC, select your image and print away. 81seconds later and your 6” x 4” print will appear. The printer also allows you to print images credit card size and on mini stickers for a bit of fun.
The printing process is performed using a dye-sublimation technology to reduce the colours and this involves the printer running the image a number of times adding Yellow, Magenta and cyan layers on each pass. The printer then adds a high-gloss final layer to give a fade resistant, dry final print. This is ideal if you are working to a tight deadline and need to give the image out straight away as there is no intermediate waiting time.
Prints obviously rely on good picture taking and a good camera - the higher the mega pixel resolution the better quality the print. Prints can be printed borderless at 300dpi x 300dpi and on our test shots, colours where reproduced well holding their vibrancy from the source image. Solid black did have slight tinges of green, a common occurrence when you try to print black from a colour run, but the text on the test print (see right) was sharp and crisp.
Compared to prints that you would get back from Snappy Snaps the prints produced from the CP-300 faired very well indeed. The ability to have either bordered or borderless prints is good if you like that kind of thing and the addition of the battery pack means you aren't restricted to finding a power supply whenever you go anywhere. The only drawback in our minds was the exclusion of a cable to connect this device to a PC. While we understand that the CP-300 is primarily aimed at being a mobile device it would have been nice to include one in the box to allow users to print edited shots from their PC.