Panasonic PV-PD2100

is a *4-pass, 306dpi dye sublimation printer that accepts input from a flash memory card, a video device or your PC. It prints real photos on 4 x 6" (A6) glossy paper or sticker sheets. The printer is relatively compact measuring 2-1/2 x 9 x 11" (HWD) and weighs around 2 pounds. The paper carrier holds up to 25 sheets of paper. * 4-pass printing is only available when using the PV-MPCS25 optional overcoat paper.

Inkjet printers squirt water-based inks onto the surface of the paper. A dye sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dyes from a ribbon into the emulsion of the paper. This gives them the same permanence as conventional photos unlike inkjet prints that fade when exposed to the light. The film ribbon contains the three primary colors; yellow, magenta and cyan.

The input ports are on the front. There is a Type II PCMCIA slot that can handle any type of flash memory card (SmartMedia, CompactFlash and Memory Sticks must be in their PCMCIA adapters). For input from video devices there are S-VHS and regular RCA video connectors. There is also an Edit connector compatible with some video editing devices (don't ask me, I don't have a clue.)

On the back of the printer are the output ports. Centronics parallel for PCs and a serial port for macintosh computers. The RCA video output is connected to a TV set to view the menus when used without a computer.

This is the control panel, using these buttons you navigate the menus and onscreen displays (see below) when connected to a TV set.

With the input switch on the top in the "Card" position, this is what you see after inserting a flash card with your pictures on it. If you have a DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatible camera you can enter your print information ahead of time on the card. Simply insert the card and hit the Print button.

If you card does not contain DPOF information, you can use the onscreen menus to pick from a myriad of printing options available with the PD2100 Photo Printer.

This is an example of the Album-4 printing format. You are prompted at all four locations to select the desired photo and lock it in by pressing the Memory button. Once you have all four photos selected just hit the Print button.

You can print 2- or 12-month calendars with two photos on the 2-month or one photo in the center of the 12-month calendar.

This is the selection of Illustrations available. When applied they act like a mask with the photo showing through the center part.

And there are also decoratives frame effects like square, oval, heart and frost.

And finally if you've got the time or patience for it, you can add text but it is a laborious task.  Ever used a Dymo labelmaker ?