Olympus P-10

The 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!