Steve's Digicams


Card Photo Printer CP-300

Review posted 8/18/03

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300 is a very compact, lightweight and portable 4 x 6-inch dye diffusion printer that comes with a rechargeable lithium battery pack. It can be used anywhere without a computer when connected directly to a compatible PowerShot digital camera or any PictBridge enabled digital camera. It can also be connected to a PC via its USB port.

The CP-300 produces color prints that equal the sharpness and durability of prints from film negatives. The printer's resolution is 300x300 dpi, more than adequate for a crisply detailed postcard sized image from any 2 megapixel or greater camera, or for credit card size prints from 1.2 megapixel cameras. The dye diffusion color process is a continuous tone printing system that renders subtle shadings and realistic colors.

The printer also covers each print with a clear, protective overcoating that protects it from the effects of sunlight and weather. The prints from the CP-300 are at least as durable as photographic prints from film.

There are several sizes of media available:

  • Bordered or borderless 4 x 6-inch prints
  • Bordered or borderless credit card size prints 3.4 x 2.1-inch
  • Bordered or borderless credit card size prints with label adhesive
  • Card size with 8-label stickers, 0.9 x 0.7-inch per label.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The CP-300 is shown here connected directly to a PowerShot A60 via the included USB cable.

The CP-300 is a complete printing system in an extremely compact unit. You don't need to enter data from your PowerShot camera into a personal computer and then into the computer's printer. A dedicated cable connects the CP-300 to Powershot G5, G3, G2*, S50, S45, S40*, S30*, SD100, S400, S330, S300*, S200, S110*, A70, A60, A40, A20*, A10*, A300, A200 and A100. Because all of the necessary controls and bundled software are already a part of your PowerShot camera, they aren't necessary on the printer, keeping weight and bulk to a minimum.

(Firmware upgrade may be necessary for this camera model.)

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

When the camera is connected to the printer there is a "SET" icon in the upper left corner. You press the SET button to access the Print menu. Here you select the printing type; standard or multiple, bordered or borderless, with or without a date stamp. Select the number of copies to make and you can even do a little image cropping because some of the 4:3 aspect ratio image is going to be lost when printing a 4 x 6-inch (3:2 ratio) print.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The CP-300 comes with two paper trays, one for 4 x 6-inch media and the smaller one to handle the credit card size media sheets.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Setup and use is very simple. Open the door on the side, insert the ink ribbon cartridge, close door, load the paper in the tray, open door in the front, insert paper tray, attach battery and connect AC power adapter, plug in USB cable from the camera to the printer and you're good to go!

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The camera (or the computer) controls the printer, the only control on the printer is an On/Off switch. The printer will automatically power down after 5 minutes of inactivity.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The CP-300 comes with the high-capacity NB-CP1L 22.2V 1200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery pack. It attaches to the back of the printer and makes it completely portable. A fully charged battery can produce up to 36 postcard-size 4x6-inch prints. It takes about 150 minutes to fully recharge this battery with the supplied AC power adapter. Because it's Li-ion the battery can be charged at any time and holds a charge much longer than NiMH technology batteries.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

The available paper kits for the CP-300 are:

    KP-36IP - Thirty-six 4 x 6 in. sheets of paper and ink ribbon

    KC-36IP - Thirty-six 2.1 x 3.4 in. sheets of paper and ink ribbon

    KC-18IF - Eighteen credit card size/full label and ink ribbon

    KC-18IL - Eighteen credit card size/mini label (8 stickers per sheet) and ink ribbon

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Here's examples of the borderless and bordered 4x6" prints with the tear-off tabs still intact. Credit card size multi and borderless prints and a sticker sheet print with the eight mini-picture labels.

CP-300 Kit Contents

A. Card Photo Printer CP-300 Body
B. Paper Cassette (4" x 6" size)
C. Paper Cassette (Credit card size)
D. Ink Cassette
E. Compact Power Adapter CA-CP100
F. AC Cable
G. Rechargeable Battery Pack NB-CP1L
H. CD-ROM Driver
I. Trial Standard Paper (4" x 6" size)
J. Cleaner (Not shown)

Steve's Conclusion

The CP-300 is a small (40% smaller and 13% lighter than the CP-100) and portable printer that can be easily taken along with you on your travels and right out into the field thanks to the included battery pack. It produces brilliant 4 x 6-inch prints in a minute and twenty seconds. The credit card size prints only take about forty seconds. Setup and use is very simple, there are only a few print-time options that need to be selected such as borders or borderless, print the date and standard or multiple prints per page.

These prints are indistinguishable from conventionally processed film prints and just as durable. Unlike prints from inkjet printers, dye sublimation prints are waterproof thanks to the protective overcoat. The overcoat also prevents UV fading from exposure to daylight, another inkjet problem.

If you own one of the compatible Powershot cameras (see list above) or one of the new PictBridge compatible cameras then the CP-300 can be your ultimate personal photo printer. Want all the same great printing features but don't need the battery portability - if so then check out the Canon CP-200 instead and save some $$.

Canon Card Photo Printer CP-300

Canon CP-300 Specifications

Printer Type Full-color direct digital printer
Print Method Dye-Sublimation thermal transfer (with overcoating)
Resolution 300 x 300 dpi
Gradation 256 gradations/ color
Ink Dedicated ink cassette (Y/ M/ C, overcoating)
Paper Dedicated paper (for Postcard size; Credit-card size prints, Credit-card size label, or Credit-card sheet with 8 mini-labels)
Paper-Feed Method Automatic feed from paper cassette
Paper-Eject Method Sheets eject onto top of paper cassette
Print Modes Postcard size (bordered or borderless)
Credit-card size (bordered or borderless)
8-Mini labels (per Credit-card size sheet)
Print Sizes Postcard size (borderless): 5.8 x 3.9 in. (148 x 100mm)
Postcard sized (bordered): 4.8 x 3.6 in. (121.9 x 91.4mm)
Credit card size (borderless): 3.4 x 2.1 in. (86 x 54mm)
Credit card size (bordered): 2.6 x 2.0 in. (66.7 x 50mm)
8-Mini labels: 0.9 x 0.7 in. (22 x 17.3mm)
Print Speeds Postcard size: Approx. 85 sec.
Credit card size: Approx. 40 sec.
8-Mini labels: Approx. 40 sec.

Direct Connection to Camera Using camera's USB cable
Connection to Computer Standard A:B USB Cable (Mac and Windows software included with printers)

Operating Environment 5 40C (41 104F)
20 80%RH (when running)
Power Source AC Power(100 240v) using included Compact Power Adapter CA-CP100. Via car cigarette lighter, using optional Car Battery Adapter CBA-CP100
Via rechargeable Li-ion battery pack NB-CP1L (included with printer; charges while attached)
Dimensions 6.7 x 4.8 x 2.2 in./ 170.0 x 123.0 x 55.0mm
Weight 30.0 oz./ 860g

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