The digital revolution has allowed Canon to involve itself not only in image capture, but output too. The company encourages home printing, like Kodak, by bundling cameras and printers together.

  • Print quality: 3/5
  • Average print time: 80 seconds
  • Average cost per print: 25p

This hot-from-the-factory Selphy ES2 comes as a standalone option, complete with a space-saving upright design and carry handle. It’s arguably the best-packaged solution here, featuring a time-saving print cartridge that holds both printer ribbon and paper (the ‘Easy Photo Pack’) so you don’t have to load both separately.

The ES2’s creamy white and shiny plastic casing is both attractive and practical, with a pop-up 3in LCD and a plethora of large and tactile buttons. A flip-down panel at its base reveals slots for common media cards, while a side flap conceals ports for USB and PictBridge connections. A mains lead and plug are supplied, but you’ll have to fork out for your own USB cable.

Insert a media card and the LCD and scrollwheel are used to choose an image. You simply hit the print button to begin output.

The ES2 selects a sheet from its internal stack of paper, flips it through 90 degrees and successively builds up three layers of colour. After 80 seconds, the finished print pops out of the top, dry to the touch. Canon claims the prints will be good for up to 100 years.

Disappointingly, the prints in our tests came out slightly softer and less well saturated than the rest, although if you hadn’t a direct comparison to hand the Canon would undoubtedly seem adequate.
For portability, the easy-to-operate ES2 clamps a battery to its rear and offers wireless printing via infrared (Bluetooth is optional).