Everything you need to know about the Canon Selphy CP1000

5:10 PM

My birthday came and went (June 24th if you were wondering) and this year, my birthday present has been something I wished to get for a while now.

You see, I love taking pictures, it's not even a confession, if you follow this blog, you know I do. And, you also know I like making craft projects and pretty journals too.
But for years, I have been frustrated when it came to printing pictures on my regular, utilitarian all in one printer. 

If you've been printing a lot of picture on a regular printer, chances are you suffered from the same frustration. It prints fine, don't get me wrong, the problem is that pictures rarely stay fine in the long run, even when printing on special photo paper. 
Sadly, a lot of Ink jet printers have that issue of fading colours over time. Some fade faster than other (HP is the worst, and that is the one we have).

So yes, I was looking at an update: 
The Canon Selphy CP1000 compact printer is a must for all scrapbooking enthusiasts out there.

Meet the Canon Selphy CP1000!

This is a compact little printer that has for sole and unique function to print 4x6 photographs. A printer I have been eyeing for a while and even mentioned in this blog post about scrapbooking supplies

I ordered my printer on Amazon, and it came right on my Birthday. Sadly, the set of paper and cartridge I ordered took an extra day to come. I ended up playing with my new toy over the weekend and really got a fair grasp of how it works and what to expect from it (it has some limitations, all printers do).

The first thing you need to know is : 

It's a Dye Sublimation printer

What does that mean? It means that it uses a special thermal ribbon cartridge that will apply the colour in 3 layers (Yellow, Magenta and Cyan). The dye ribbon is heated and the colour is transferred onto the special paper it come with. 
One Cartridge set can only print a set amount of pictures and it comes with enough paper cards to do just that. 
Unlike inkjet cartridge, you can't refill it, once the ribbon has reached it's end, it THE END and it needs to be replaced with a fresh one. 

The other thing you must know before anything else is: 

It is VERY user friendly

As in really really REALLY user friendly, I'm not kidding. I am using it with my pen drive, and it is pretty much a matter of plugging the printer, switching it on and pressing print. Yes, that easy!

At this point I will state it VERY clearly that this review is for the Selphy CP1000. This printer has not been reviewed in detail in many places online as I came to know that it has apparently not been distributed in the US where most detailed demos, tutorial and reviews of this type of printer  are found in abundance. 

The Selphy CP1000 is the one that came right after the apparently even more popular CP-910. But in India, the previous one is not distributed at a domestic level. You can still get it from third parties vendor via import (and it is costly) but Canon India does not seem to distribute it themselves over here. 

The Pros of the Selphy CP1000

The obvious is that it is a printer that is specialised in one task : printing pictures and giving you the best possible printing quality at it. 

It allows you to print picture in the comfort of your own home, without having to place an order for prints online or head out to a photo printing shop. Therefore eliminating the minimum amount requirement to be eligible for things like free shipping and the long waiting time. 
It allows you to instantly print a 4x6 picture for a friend or visiting family member without hassle, and if you are into scrapbooking and journaling, its pretty much instant gratification for you. 

The printer is REALLY compact, you can store it anywhere. I store mine in the drawer of my console table in the living room : 

The Canon Selphy CP-1000 is compact enough to fit in a small drawer when not in use.
Once the paper cassette and back dust cover have been removed from the printer this is how much space it will take. 

It goes without saying that it is travel size and can be taken to parties, vacation, and whatnot easily. If you invest in the optional battery pack (I have not) you could even print without having to connect it to a power source. 

Tips to use your Selphy printer

Unlike the CP-910, the CP1000 does NOT come with a Wi-Fi feature, which is a bit silly in this time and age really. 
To print you must either install the driver on your PC or Mac (not all operating system versions are supported though) or transfer your pictures to either an SD card, or a pen drive (aka flash drive). 

The printer claims you can print a picture in 47 seconds. I found out that it takes a tad bit longer, but still under a minute (which is still pretty fast).

Instead of loosing myself in more bla bla at this point, let me share a quick video of the printing process :

As you can see it is pretty straightforward. You select the picture you want to print on the screen, then you press print and wait.
The paper will make 4 passes through the printer, one for each of the 3 colours and one additional pass to apply a transparent coating that will protect your picture.
Canon claims it ensure the picture will keep its quality for a 100 years. I probably won't live to 137 years to verify this fact though.

You can print smaller pictures on your 4x6 paper, of course, depending your needs you may need to make a photo collage in a picture editing software or app.

That said, the CP1000 does offer you to print pictures in multiple on one paper if you choose the grid printing option, you have the choice of either printing 2, 4, 8 or 16 pictures on one sheet of 4x6 paper.
If you want to know more about it, I have now made a tutorial to show you how, step by steps.

This printer also come with a basic image editor feature. Namely, it lets you alter the brightness and contrast of a picture before printing, let you correct red eyes, has a "smooth skin" feature that will came handy in the case of ID pictures printing, and several colour modes : Neutral, Vivid, Sepia and Black and White.

A few things you should mind about your printer

All the Canon Selphy printers are not TRUE 4x6 printers, the paper is a few millimetres short in both width and height. And the CP1000 is not different. 
It is one of the most common complaint about Selphy printers and if this is something that absolutely matters to you, then give it a miss. 

Be aware that because of that tiny size difference, the printer may crop some of your pictures to fit, and you may have elements that will be out of the frame. There are two ways to somewhat solve this issue: 

1) Either select the option to print with a border on the printer (I use this option to print my Instagram pictures and maintain the square ratio). 

2) Edit your picture in Photoshop or another photo editing software to create a border that the printer will chop off without affecting your picture. 

Speaking of Photoshop, one of the most common issue people face (and I did too) is that a picture edited in the software may not be recognised as a valid JPEG format by the printer if you didn't take care to save it the right way. 
A quick Google search pointed me toward many solutions to the problem and the simplest of all is the one that works without a fail for me : 

- When you save your picture as a JPEG in Photoshop, the popup window asking you what compression level and method you want appears. 
Instead of clicking OK with the default "Progressive" setting, select "Baseline (Standard)" and your picture will be recognised by the printer without problem. 

When I googled around to know more about the Selphy printer it inevitably pointed me to review of its predecessor the 910 instead of the 1000.
What a lot of people complained about was that the Selphy seems to print in less vivid colours than other printers. 

Either the problem has been solved on the CP1000 or I am not noticing the difference because my pictures come extremely close to the original on the screen and I attribute the slight difference to the fact that the screen luminosity on my laptop is set to high. 
The printer does come with a colour correction tool though, and if you find your pictures to be a bit too dull for your taste, you can still opt for the "Vivid" colour correction setting before printing. 

I played around with this one and this is the result:
If your pictures can use a bit more pop, select the vivid colour mode on the Canon Selphy CP1000 printer before hitting the print button.

The picture on the left (the one with the perforated border still on) has been printed in "Vivid" mode, the picture on the right has been printed in the default mode. 
You will notice that the change is more noticeable on the the purple pants in that picture and yes, the skin tone does pop a tiny bit more, but all in all, the default printing mode doesn't give bad results at all. 
But should you need your pictures to have a bit more "pop", the vivid feature will take care of it nicely.

Handling and storage wise

The printer is really compact and can be stored anywhere. What you should be careful about, especially in India where everything gets dusty real fast is that your open pack of paper and the paper cassette are kept away from the dust. 
I store my paper cassette and the dust covers in a plastic pouch when the printer isn't in use and I made sure to store the printer in a drawer I can shut. Since it's the monsoon right now, I also threw in a humidity absorbing pouch to make sure everything stays dry and nice in there. 

I am thinking of buying a special carry bag for my printer in the future, sadly they aren't exactly cheap, so this isn't an immediate expense. 

The real cons of the Selphy CP1000

Frankly, the biggest con would be that not all version of Mac and Windows are supported when it comes to the driver. I haven't tried installing it on my MacBook because they stopped updating at 10.9 and I am at 10.11 right now. It seems to not support Windows beyond 8.1 either. 

The second big con is the fact the Wi-Fi feature has been scrapped of this model. I have no idea why Canon would want to remove a feature that was existing on a previous model in the first place, but they did. 
Hopefully this is because they seem to have improved the picture printing quality and added the passport picture printing and grid printing feature. 
The real strength of that printer would have been to let people print wirelessly from their phone on holidays or at a party and they killed it (the CP-910 does it). 

Another con would be the fact that when you buy the printer, all you get is the printer. It comes with no USB cable to connect to your computer, and seriously, a starter ink kit would have been welcome. 
It could have let me play with my new printer right away without having to wait for the ink cassette and paper set I ordered on the side to be delivered. 

Cost in India

As I write this, the MRP for the printer is 5995 rupees. The cartridge and paper set that let you print 108 pictures is priced at 1490. 
As far as ink cartridge kit go, the Selphy CP1000 can be used with the RP-108 and the KP-108IN.

Did I sell you on the idea of owning one? Let me give you my Amazon affiliate link for both the printer and the cartridges below: 

- RP-108 Cartridge set (Be aware Amazon is promoting the vendors selling the imported version, chose the other vendor from the list to get the domestic sellers)

- KP-108IN Cartridge set (Same as above, ingnore the fact Amazon wants you to buy the imported version from a premium vendor and select a domestic vendor from the list instead)

And that is about it folks! My hopefully very detailed Canon Selphy CP1000 review, one of the way too few out there.

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  1. I am so grateful to have discovered this post. I just bought Selphy 1000 and was having problems printing images that had been edited. Thank you for your simple and awesome solution. Vani from New Delhi :D

    1. Hi Vani, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      I am glad this post helped you figure out the the "edited pictures" glitch the printer has.

  2. Superb printer and daily use ok.. But if i'm not using this printer some days.. may the cadridge was dry quickly??

    1. As I said in the post, it is a Dye sublimation printer is does NOT USE INK, it uses a thermal ribbon. The "cartridge" is a tape not unlike a film roll, for each print it use 4 length of the ribbon. The first one is yellow, the second is magenta, the third one is cyan and the last one a clear protective film.

      What happens during the printing process is that each colour ribbon is placed on the paper and heat is applied so that the area needing that colour will have the ribbon's colour fused onto the paper, one after the other.

      You can check how it worked taking apart a used cartridge, if you hold the coloured ribbon in the light you will see eactly which photo this segment of the ribbon printed in the past.

      So no, there are ZERO risk of the cartridge drying, as again this printer doesn't use ink at all.

  3. Hi Cyn... Nice post. I am thinking of buying this printer. From your experience, what do you think will be the cost of each 4x6 print?

    1. The cartridge + paper set to make 108 prints costs 1490 rupees at MRP so this means each print will cost you a little less than 14 rupees a print.

  4. Thanks for a very detailed and yet simple info, I am planning to get one and after reading this am convinced that this one is for me. Thanks again.

  5. Hi there, I have just bought this model and have had nothing but hassles with it. As soon as I put it on or try to print it comes up with " Paper and ink cassette sizes do not match" or ink cartridge size is incorrect". The ink cartridge is new and paper was supplied with the machine and is correct. Any suggestions from you would be really appreciated as I have looked at troubleshooting and no joy! At this moment it is packed back into the box to be returned!! Kind regards, Viv

    1. Hi Viv, I saw your comment on the other post.
      It could be a problem with the cassette not clicking in properly, or the paper tray being overloaded.
      If not, the printer or cartridge you got is defective and you should invoke the warranty to have it replaced. You should contact Canon to know what should be done with it in this case.

      I hope you solve this problem quickly, once you have a functional printer you'll love it.

  6. Thank you I will give it a try as the print quality is really good :)

  7. HEY how many photo papers can one ink catridge print approximately?

    1. The cartridge kit can print 108 paper exactly, there is no approximate because it's a heat sublimation printer and the cartridge is a ribbon with one panel of Yellow, Cyan, Magenta and transparent coating.

      So when you buy the cartridge kit it comes with the exact amount of paper you will need.

  8. my printer say ink cassette not compitable what does it mean

    1. Try re-inserting the cassette in the printer and make sure it goes all the way through inside. If the problem persist, and you are sure it's the right cassette model, contact the Canon customer service.

  9. how to check cartridge count in canon selphy cp 1000 printer

    1. It's easy since the printing kit comes with 108 sheet of photo paper and two ribbon cratridge of 54 prints each.
      You simply count the paper sheets you have left and it tells you how many more you can print.

      If you print pictures regularly, just order the new cartridge set the instant you put the second ribbon cartridge in the printer since that is the indicator you have only 54 prints left.

  10. why my printer print only 6 copies

    1. Can you be more specific? Which printing mode did you select?

  11. I bought new cp 1000 white spots comes on image at different parts I gave for warranty again replacement new one today same problem

    1. It's highly possible that it's not the printer that is the problem but the paper or ink ribbon that is deffective, have you tried with a new ink cassette?
      The paper itself is very sensitive, if it's surface bear any dirt, finger prints or liquids have been spilledon it, the ink sublimation process will not work properly because the ribbon is heated where the color is needed on the paper and fused to said paper.

      Likely, if the ribbon is deffective, it will not apply the colors evenly.

  12. Hi. Am hoping for some help please? I am trying to print pictures that I downloaded from facebook but get a ? for all of them. I am thinking it is the sizing of them. Do I have to have Photoshop on my computer to save as Baseline or is there another way to get them to print? Would appreciate any help. Thanks Carol-Anne

    1. Hi Carol-Anne, thanks for visiting my blog.

      As far as I know, it's impossible to print Facebook pictures on the Selphy without exporting them in a photo editing software and re-save them as a new file. I only work with Photoshop, but I am sure there are other software out there that can do the same.

      Have you tried opening your Facebook pictures in Canva, which is free and online, you can then save the pictures as JPEG. I think the baseline setting is really only something you need to mind on Photoshop.

      Facebook pictures and Whatsapp ones are the only one that will not print unless they are re-saved as a new file, I have no idea why, maybe it's a compression setting they apply that makes it impossible.

  13. I am not able to print as much copies as stated to be 108 prints for the complete set of cartridges. I used the ID Photo to print... One Cartridge is stated to print up to 36...but am not getting up to that number of print from the machine

    1. I never had that problem, it always prints exactly the 108 prints for me. You may be dealing with a cartridge that belonged to a faulty batch, so the wisest thing would be to contact Canon about it.

      I am an artist, and blogger, NOT a Canon technician, and while this post contains Affiliate links to Amazon India, I have NOT been paid by Canon to make that blog post.

  14. Some of the photos doesn't want to show it shows a question mark why

    1. If you read the blog post carefully I mentioned that some times the photos saved in certain software like Photoshop may be saved in a cropped format that the printer does not recognise, in Photoshop the saving of the JPEG files has to be done in “baseline” rather than progressive.

      Another issue is with trying printing photos you took from WhatsApp and Facebook, they are encrypted to not be printable in their original format, probably as a safety measure. What you must do with this type of picture is save them to your computer, then open them in a photo editing software and save them again as a baseline / standard JPEG and then transfer that new file to your printer.

  15. Hey There, this was a great article thank you. I was just wondering. Do you peraps know how many pictures does the ink last for. e.g 1000 pics per ink set.

    1. Did you actually read the blog post?

      Because if you did, you would have known that this is NOT and ink printer but a heat sublimation printer, and that the dye ribbon kit is made to print EXACTLY 108 prints, no more, no less.

  16. How many Cartridge are in it.
    If a particular colour is printed more won't it cost me to replace the whole cartridge

    1. You did not read the blog post at all, please do what before posting comments. The post explains EVERYTHING you are asking here.


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