Prints from the P-10 emerge in archival condition - dry, durable and ready to share. A protective laminate overcoat resists water, scratching, moisture, fading and fingerprints. In contrast to inkjet printers, Olympus precision dye-sublimation printers do not lay down colors as individual dots that could be detected at close range. Instead, heat vaporizes colors that saturate the photo paper to create smooth, realistic, continuous-tone images. The vaporized colors permeate the surface of the paper, creating a gentle gradation at the edges of each pixel and produces over 16-million colors. Because the color dye infuses the paper, it's also less vulnerable to fading and distortion over time.
The P-10 offers the convenience of PictBridge technology, which makes prints instantly by connecting an enabled digital camera directly to the printer without need of a personal computer. This allows the printer to be placed anywhere an electrical outlet exists.
Currently only compatible with Windows 98/Me/2000/XP computers, Olympus will be providing a Macintosh OS X (10.2 and above) driver in June that can be downloaded from the Olympus America web site free of charge.
Olympus P-10 Features:
Thanks to its dye sublimation printing system the P-10 eliminates the messy ink cartridges found in inkjet photo printers. You install this dry film ribbon cartridge in the side, load up the paper tray and you're ready to print. The ribbon is made up of four sections, three colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) and the protective overcoat. The overcoating resists fingerprints, scratching and moisture and also protects against UV-fading from exposure to the light.
Olympus offers the ribbon and paper packs in two sizes; 3.5 x 5" which is
for most digicams with a 4:3 aspect ratio (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x960,
1600x1200, 2048x1536) and 4 x 6" which makes perfect (no crop) prints from cameras that
have a specific 3:2 aspect ratio mode. The Print Packs also come in two quantities,
either 40 prints or 100 print size.
The paper tray holds up to 50 sheets of 4 x 6" (or 3.5 x 5" with the included tray
insert) paper. The tray slides into the front of the printer and you close the door,
it does not stick out like the trays on other dye-sub printers.
Compatible with Windows 98/Me/2000/XP (and Macintosh OS X in June) computers, the P-10 features
a USB 1.1 port for connection to the host computer. The printer is powered by an
external AC power supply that can be placed underneath of your workspace. This makes
the P-10 very light (just 5.5 lbs) so it's easy to move or take with you.
You can make photo prints anywhere there's an AC outlet without the need of
a computer. Just plug your Pictbridge compatible camera's USB cable into the
front USB port and follow the menus on the camera's LCD screen.
These are the screens shown on the Olympus D-580 Zoom during a PictBridge printing
session. You can print a single photo, selected photos or all photos in the camera,
quickly and easily.
The finished prints come out on top of the printer so you only need a few inches of
overhead clearance when it's in operation.
Steve's ConclusionThe Olympus P-10 is the smallest and one of the fastest personal dye-sub photo printers we've reviewed to date. It takes up less space than even the smallest HiTi 4x6" printer. And because it uses an external power supply, the printer itself is very lightweight, only 5.5 pounds. It's unique in that it doesn't have anything sticking out of the printer. The paper tray is inside the printer, the paper is output on the top and there's no slot where the paper goes in and out during the printing. It's compact, stylish and doesn't make too much noise -- but no dye-sub printer is quiet, there's a lot of motorized paper feeding going on in there.
With all photo printers you need to weigh the inital cost of the printer and the per print costs carefully, some of those cheap inkjet printers use very expensive color cartridges. The Olympus P-10 sells for $199 and the Print Packs come in 40- and 100-sheet sizes. If you buy the 100-count Print Packs then it costs approx. $.55 per 3.5x5" print and $.65 per 4x6" print. The 40-count cost is considerably higher at $.75 per 3.5x5" print and $.86 per 4x6" print. You'll save money in the long run with the larger quantity even if you don't intend to use that much. The paper and ribbon keeps well as long as the printer is used in a normal temperature and humidity-controlled environment.
The P-10 is a very fast 4x6" dye-sub printer with an average printing time of just 45 seconds (not counting data transmission time.) That puts it in a tie with the HiTi PhotoShuttle and the HiTi 730PS which also produce 4x6" prints in 45 seconds. Most other 4x6" dye sub printers take anywhere from 75 to 100 seconds per print. Another nice feature is that the prints do not come out of the printer with the usual tear-off tabs on both ends, they're 100% borderless and ready to be shared.
The P-10's print quality is excellent, it's as close to lab quality as it gets from a home or small business printer. Compared to prints from a HiTi dye sub, the P-10 prints are a little more contrasty but I'm sure they will satisfy today's digital camera users. The PictBridge direct-print feature is super-handy and the vast majority of new digicams are compatible with it. This means you can take the highly portable P-10 along with you to a party or event and make prints right there without need of a computer. It also elminates the problems of color matching between camera, computer and printer - a major stumbling block for many digital newbies.
If you need to make larger prints then be sure to check out our Olympus P-440 Photo Printer review -- this is also a dye-sub printer but it can make 8 x 10" size prints in just 75 seconds!
US visitors P-L100 Print Pack for Olympus P-10 Printer (100 3.5x5" Sheets with Ribbon)
Olympus P-10 Specifications
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