The Sony UP-DP10 Personal Photo lab features true photographic output with continuous-tone, 295 x 295 dpi dye-sublimation printing in 24-bit (16.7 million) color. It uses a four-pass transfer process, the normal three colors (yellow, magenta and cyan) plus a laminate overcoat. It works with Windows PCs through a bi-directional parallel or USB port and can be used with the newer USB-enabled Macintosh computers.
Depending on your digital camera you use either the UPC-10P23 Photocards for 2:3 aspect ratio 100 x 152mm prints or the UPC-10P34 Photocards for 3:4 aspect ratio 100 x 134mm prints. You can also use the UPC-10S01 Glossy Sticker sheets that are 100 x 180mm and are backed with an adhesive.
The printed output can be bordered or borderless, your choice. Both sizes of the
Photocard stock has perforated ends that easily rip clean for true borderless
prints. When printing on the photocard stock you can choose your finish; glossy,
matte or textured.
The printer can be positioned upright to save precious desktop space or it can
be layed down flat like most printers, it works the same no matter what orientation
it is in.
Inkjet printers spray ink onto the surface of the paper. A dye sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dyes from a film ribbon directly into the emulsion of the paper. This gives them the same permanence and water resistance as conventional photos.
The dye ribbon contains the three primary colors; yellow, magenta and cyan.
The input ports are on the back and include a bi-directional IEEE-1284 parallel and
high speed USB 1.0 port.
The UP-DP10 is the first 4x6" dye sub printer I have used that gives you the
option of regular bordered or borderless prints. The paper is slightly longer
on both ends, this easily and cleanly just snaps off by folding it over and then
folding it back once.
Another unique feature is that you can select the finish you want; high gloss,
matte or texture - all from the same paper stock. This is because the UP-DP10
has a fourth pass that puts a protective laminate on the processed photo.
There are options that will specifically enhance prints from digital camera images.
You can let the driver do its best to adjust these automatically or you can
manually dial in the amount desired.
If you're not happy with the color rendition you can play God by adjusting the
three primary color values to your heart's content.
There's even two user-settable levels for the tone curve.
And a slider control to vary the amount of edge sharpness applied to the pixels.
The Sony UP-DP10 is an excellent photo printer. When used with a USB-enabled PC it produces prints from any Windows application in a little over 2 minutes. Using the parallel port slows the print time down to about 3 mins 45 secs. Setup on my Windows 98 PC was flawless, when prompted I inserted the CD with the drivers, it installed them and a few minutes later I was making my first print.
The Sony Print Packs consist of 50 sheets of paper in two seperate packs and two ribbon cassettes. The smaller pack sizes keep the paper fresher for those that don't make that many prints at a time. Unlike the Epson 4x6" photo paper, the excess paper ends of the Sony paper is easily and quickly removed with a little snap-snap action. The ability to make prints with glossy, matte or textured finish without having to buy three different kinds of paper is really cool.
The print quality is awesome, it fooled my local color lab employee, he admitted that he couldn't tell it from a conventionally processed photo print. In fact, he said it looked better than their average jumbo prints. I printed a variety of digicam images and never once had to "diddle" the color settings of the driver. All of my prints looked just the way they should, the color balance, brightness and sharpness was right on the money.
If you want to make your own "jumbo photo prints" at home -- this is the way to
go. It's fun, quick and easy and the finished photos look spectacular.
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