Photography
Sunday
Nov122006

Rocks and Water





Rocks and Water, originally uploaded by krimple.



Sunday
Nov122006

Horse eating hay





Horse eating hay, originally uploaded by krimple.



Caught at Ridley Creek this fall.

Wednesday
Oct042006

The world from above





The world from above, originally uploaded by krimple.



Caught bracing my camera against the gondala in the Ferris Wheel at the West Goshen Fair, 2006. The carnies were unloading and loading, so we had some time...

Saturday
Jan142006

Awww what a nice fishie!

Deadly Fish, originally uploaded by krimple.


Well, apparently not. This one is deadly. Shot at the Camden Riverfront Aquarium over the Christmas break.

Saturday
Jan142006

Review: Canon Selphy 710 Portable Printer

My wife got me a Selphy printer for Christmas, after I got done raving about Bob Atkins' review in photo.net. It looked like the perfect printer for quick proofs either at home, avoiding the computer dungeon in my basement, or out in the field. We originally got another version, but I returned it for the 710 to make sure I had the most recent model. This is my user review of the printer.

First Impressions

The printer is compact, easily folds down and fits in a small camera bag. It has both A and B USB print input connections, SD and Compact Flash (and Memory Stick) slots, a small LCD screen, and a few buttons designed to operate the printer without a computer. It comes with a 4x6 cassette and some sample paper, and a small ribbon worth about 5 photos. I bought the KP-1081P paper and ribbon pack, giving me about 108 prints.

The paper and ribbons are sold as a set, as each print goes through a series of four passes (Yellow, Cyan, Magenta, Overcoat). The output print is of high quality, and does not exhibit metamersim or any other color shifts, as it is a dye sublimation printing process. It doesn't have quite the color gamut of an Epson 2200 or other high-end inkjets, but it does just fine for the 4x6 prints I've done. Essentially it does a great job printing 4x6 pictures for a photo album.

Print Quality

There are no printer-based image adjustment features on this printer. I've printed about 50 pictures so far from a combination of my Epson 5D, a Fuji point and shoot, my Mac Powerbook, and the Epson R-D1's SD card. If you want perfect prints out of the printer, you'd better have excellent technique. That said, for a 4x6, if your photo is properly exposed, the results are impressive. Black and white and color images out of the 5D Compact Flash card are excellent. The Epson R-D1 really requires more post-processing to get a good output image, so I'd print them from the Mac (or after re-saving the final Photoshop image on the Mac).

The point-and-shoot Fuji (X10) did ok as well, and I could print directly from the Fuji if I set the print mode to PictBridge and hooked up the camera using the (handy) retractible USB cable built into the body of the printer.

Menu System

The printer uses a simple (but a bit cryptic) option system on the LCD screen. Basically, you can print thumbnails (8 per page on the 4x6 paper) with or without file names, full-bleed borderless or bordered images on the 4x6 photo paper, or a series of stickers on special peel-away sticker paper. The menu system takes a bit of adjustment, as I've printed a few extra prints more than once.

The basic operation is to scroll left and right, finding images you want to print on the card (or connected camera). When you find one you want to print, you hit the up arrow to select the number of prints. A rather annoying 'feature' of the printer is that it doesn't deselect the image once it is printed, so you may forget and print the image again once you select another one. Canon should rethink this for future printers, but I got used to it and always look at the total number of prints to make sure I'm not printing something I have before.

Printing from the computer

The OS X printer driver isn't much to speak of. Printing from photoshop is easy (especially after using the Epson 2200 for a few years). Simply select "Let Photoshop Handle Colors", set the color space to sRGB, and select the 710 as the "format for printer" type. Next, select the 4x6 printer paper (don't forget to set the proper layout) and click OK. Printing from the computer itself is speedier than from a compact flash or SD card--I guess since the computer re-targets the graphics and streams the data faster than the cards, the initial delay of about 40 seconds you'd get on the cards doesn't happen on the computer printing process.

Other Tidbits

My next goal is to pick up the battery so I can take it out without a power cable. I will be doing duty as "Team Dad" in our baseball games, and it would be nice if I could rip off a print quickly after a game for the parents of the children (now I sit in front of the Epson 2200 and my PC and it takes forever to do this). I guess I need to work on my JPEG shooting technique and stop relying on that RAW converter software!

One other nice touch, as Bob Atkins' had described in his article, is that the 4x6 paper doubles as postcard stock, with a postcard backing so you can quickly mail the print anywhere (and since it is scratch and water resistant it will hold up in the mail).

I highly recommend this printer as it is cheap and the prints are affordable (about $0.29 US per print or so). It's a great backup unit for your main inkjet printing system, and a wonderful field device for quick proofs of your work. I can't yet speak to durability, but once I use it for a while, I'll update this blog with that information as well.