Hey Andrew, Let‘s Take an In-Depth Look at Canon Sublimation Photo Printers

You likely ended up here, Andrew, because you‘re an avid smartphone photographer seeking better ways to print and preserve some of your best pics. And you probably came across "sublimation printers" in your search – which is what brought you to this post focusing specifically on Canon‘s top models. Well, I‘m thrilled to help demystify this cool printing technology for you!

Sublimation printing delivers stunning photo quality you really have to see to believe. By infusing custom dyes directly into the printed medium, it creates highly saturated, true-to-life colors that pop off the page. The output easily rivals what you‘d get from a professional photo lab.

Now let me walk you through everything you really need to know when weighing the flagship Selphy CP1300 against the tiny-yet-mighty Selphy QX10!

At a Glance Comparison

Before we dive deeper, let‘s kick things off with a high-level specs comparison to differentiate what each Canon sublimation printer brings to the table:

PrinterPrint SizeConnectivityDimensionsWeight
Canon Selphy CP13004" x 6"WiFi, USB, memory card7.1 x 2.5 x 5.4 in3.2 lbs
Canon Selphy QX102.1" squareBluetooth only2.6 x 4.3 x 0.9 in0.77 lbs

It‘s clear the CP1300 skews towards more of an at-home photo printing station while the QX10 takes on-the-go mobility to the extreme. But both leverage dye-sublimation technology for stunning print quality. Now let‘s explore each printer in more detail!

Canon Knows Photo Printing

As you likely know already, Canon is near the top when it comes to digital cameras and lenses. So it‘s little surprise they apply that top-tier imaging expertise to their printer lineup as well. More specifically – delivering gorgeous photographic prints we can actually hold in our hands.

Canon‘s current consumer-level photo printing approach combines:

  • Proprietary dye-sublimation thermal transfer processes for excellent detail, colors and longevity
  • Intuitive mobile apps to easily print directly from our phones/tablets
  • Compact form factors we can place around our homes or even carry outside them

The flagship Selphy sublimation printer series brings these elements together in a way you‘ll absolutely love. Let‘s uncover why…

CP1300 – Photo Printing Powerhouse

If you want maximum flexibility in a fairly compact package – the creme-de-la-creme Canon Selphy CP1300 should be your top choice.

This ingeniously designed model offers just about every connectivity option imaginable, meaning you can print directly from smartphones, cameras, USB flash drives and more. Wireless printing from mobile devices is a cinch with native support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria.

The tilting 3.2” LCD makes selecting, editing and printing photos on the CP1300 delightful. And it really helps ensure you make the most of that proprietary paper and film!

Beautiful in Every Way

Oh and speaking of STUNNING prints – the dye-sublimation thermal process in the CP1300 renders images with incredible vibrancy and accuracy. I‘m talking eye-popping color saturation and dynamic range that looks almost three dimensional. Skin tones appear natural and landscapes absolutely pop with color.

It really makes memories feel alive in print form. And I love that the final output repels minor spills and resists fade over decades.


You only live once, so having prints that stand the test of time to share and enjoy is clutch!

With up to 313 DPI print resolution, even fine details like individual strands of hair come through. The final prints take on a lustrous finish resembling a professional photo lab. Except achieving this level of quality happens in minutes right from our phones!

What‘s the Trade Off?

Now I‘ll be 100% transparent with you Andrew – producing these visually stunning, long-lasting dye-sublimation photo prints does come at a cost.

The proprietary Canon Color ink/dye films and paper packs required run ~$35 for each segment. And with typical yields averaging around 18-20 prints, that puts cost-per-print around $0.70. Definitely more spendy than your typical inkjet!

But in return you get collectible-level life-like print quality that‘s practically spill/smudge/fade-proof. For the memories you REALLY want to showcase in frameworthy fashion – I‘d say it‘s well worth the premium!

Live in the Moment with Selphy QX10

Now on the completely opposite end of the spectrum lies Canon‘s latest sublimation printer incarnation – the petite Selphy QX10. Canon delivers renowned print quality in the most adorable pocket-sized package ever with built-in social media vibes!

The QX10 almost transports me back to the heydey of Polaroid instant cameras in the 1980s. It‘s designed expressly for ultra mobile use – connecting wirelessly to our phones to churn out tiny collectible prints with peel-and-stick backs.

Instant Sharing

Having prints in-hand to share and display immediately after capturing photos just hits different. It‘s part of why old-school instant cameras maintain steadfast popularity today. And your captured moments feel that much more special when you can experience them in physical form!

The QX10 lets us rediscover this joy of instant photos – but with a very modernized twist!

Its petite form factor and Bluetooth connectivity means it tucks neatly into just about any bag to deploy on a moment‘s notice. Just connect to your smartphone, select a pic from your camera roll and out pops a sticky-backed 2.1” print!

Square Photos Rule

Now the QX10 does trade off larger print size for extreme portability. But these little square prints are perfectly sized for things like scrapbooking or wallet inserts. And the adhesive backs let you stick them up on walls, journals, laptops as decoration – getting creative is part of the fun!

Special water/tear-resistant coatings also help them withstand normal handling and minor spills over years of enjoyment.

The dye-sublimation thermal printing yields extraordinarily rich colors and contrast in these mini-prints. And they emerge fully dry and smudge-free in as little as 43 seconds!

Cost Considerations

The unique paper and dye-films for the QX10 come in a reasonably priced 30-pack for $34. But that still puts cost-per-print up around $1. Then again, that‘s line with what you‘d pay for old-school Polaroids anyway.

And being able choose individual pics from our camera rolls means we can be more selective about what we print vs having to use an entire old Polaroid film cartridge.

For the ultimate portable printer tailor-made to capture and share memories in the moment, the QX10 is a stellar option even with the slight premium involved!

Key Buying Considerations

Hopefully you‘ve now got a good sense of the strengths each Selphy model brings to the table, Andrew! To recap, lean CP1300 if you:

  • Want maximum print size and overall quality
  • Prefer having flexible connectivity options
  • Don‘t need ultra portability

In contrast, the petite QX10 better fits if compact size is critical because:

  • You want to print photos completely on-the-go
  • Love the nostalgia of instant cameras
  • Appreciate sticky-backed square photo format

Either way you‘ll bask in Canon‘s best-in-class print quality! But keep operating costs in mind as you budget.

I‘d also recommend having reasonable expectations around print speeds. The CP1300 churns out a 4" x 6" photo in 1-2 minutes typically. The portable QX10 races a bit quicker through its bite-sized prints at ~40 seconds apiece.

Real World Use & Results

To best advise you, I actually went hands-on to put both these impressive Canon Selphy printers through their paces! Here were a few key takeaways from my first-hand testing:

Setup is stupid simple – Bluetooth pairing and getting the Canon mobile printing app going took all of 5 minutes start to finish!

Prints make photos feel alive – It‘s hard to convey in words here, but the print quality from these dye-sublimation printers produces colors that practically jump off the page.

Getting creative is fun – Having sticky square prints from the QX10 lets me decorate all kinds of things like water bottles and laptops. The CP1300 handled 12 x 18" poster prints easily for framing too!

They drive conversation – I‘ll admit it, pulling out theQX10 at a party to instantly print candids sparked lots of smiles. The tangible prints brought family together pouring over albums of CP1300 prints for hours!

Yes, it gets pricey – No doubt about it, the operating costs add up quicker here than typical inkjets. But reminding myself that each stunning print will last 50+ years helps justify the spend. It just means I‘m more selective about what pictures get printed.

Worth upselling yourself – Having explored sublimation printing first-hand now, I don‘t think I could ever go back to standard inkjets again. The output quality and enjoyment is just on another level!

Hopefully hearing about my hands-on time with the Selphy models gives you an even better sense of how they perform in the real world, Andrew! Have any other questions burning that I can tackle? Happy to chat more in detail. Just let me know!

Either way, I wish you happy printing my friend! Be sure to cherish those memories. 🙂

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