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DPP-EX50 Picture Station

Review posted 04/28/2004

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The sony DPP-EX50 PictureStation printer is a dedicated, at-home or on-the-go photo printer that uses dye-sublimation technology, to create durable, lab-quality prints. The EX50 incorporates both Memory Stick PRO and CompactFlash card slots, as well as two USB ports – one in the front for connection to PictBridge-compatible digital cameras or camcorders and one in the back for connection to a PC.

The DPP-EX50 can be connected to Windows (98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP Home, XP Pro) computer and used like any other photo printer with most any photo or graphic application. It can also be used in one of three ways without a computer:

  1. Remove your memory card from your camera, connect the supplied video cable to a television, select and print your photos.

  2. Select the photos in the camera first using DPOF and then place the card in the printer and press the Auto Print button.

  3. Connect any PictBridge compatible camera to the printer's front USB port and use the camera's LCD to select images and print them.

The DPP-EX50 printer comes packed with built-in editing options, such as a red-eye reduction tool. When partnered with a TV, it helps the consumer identify any red-eye problems to be removed, and then the printer makes the correction automatically. In addition, there are other editing tools for adjusting image sharpness, contrast, brightness and size. The printer also has built-in creative options for adding personalized messages, changing images to black and white or sepia and adding creative borders to any print.

Prints are made in about 80 seconds and are sealed with SuperCoat 2 laminate, resulting in the durability required to withstand UV fading, spills, moisture and fingerprints.

Available now for about $180, the DPP-EX50 model has a compact, up-right design (3.25” x 7.75” x 11”) that puts the photo lab neatly next to a computer or television. The printer comes in matte white, which blends nicely with any home dιcor.

Sony DPP-EX50 Features:

  • Dye-sublimation printing process for high quality, durable prints

  • Small, upright design for users with little "extra" desk space

  • Print directly from Memory Stick or CompactFlash cards (others with optional CF adapter)

  • Fast printing - 4x6" borderless photo in about 80 seconds

  • 4” x 6”, 3.5” x 5” and 3.5” x 4” print sizes

  • Direct-print from any PictBridge compatible camera or camcorder

  • USB v1.1 connectivity with Windows computers

  • Video output for preview/editing on TV set

  • Includes PictureGear Studio v2.0 photo editing software

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The only "setup" required is to load the dry ink ribbon into the printer, fill the paper tray and plug the printer into the wall outlet. The ribbon cartridges are marked so you can swap them in and out when using different size media. There are no messy ink cartridges to deal with -- ever !

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

Compatible with both Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP Home or XP Pro platforms, the EX-50 features a USB 1.1 port for connection to the host computer. The Video Out port allows for easy connection to TV sets. Located on the front is the second USB port for connection to any PictBridge-compatible camera.

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

When printing via PC you only need to turn the printer on and use the Input Select button to select "PC" mode. For PictBridge printing, turn printer on, connect camera to front USB port, select "PictBridge" mode. These controls are mainly used when the EX50 is connected to a TV set. The Menu button enables onscreen menus and the Picture button puts you in the "select image and print" mode. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select options as well as selecting images to print.

Printing from Memory Cards

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The Memory Stick and CompactFlash card slots are located conveniently on the top/front of the printer. You can directly read Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO (Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Duo PRO with MS adapter), CompactFlash Type I or II or Microdrives. Other types of cards can be used if there's a CF card adapter available for them -- I know of CF adapters for xD-Picture Card and SmartMedia cards.

DPOF Printing

If your memory card has images already tagged with standard DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) information -- just press the Auto Print button, the rest is automatic. Most digital cameras have a DPOF option that lets you select and tag images on the camera's LCD screen before removing the memory card.

TV Output

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

When the EX50 is connected to a TV you will initally see a thumbnail preview mode like this. Use the 4-way controller to move around the images or go to the next page of thumbnails. You can quickly select and tag the photos you want to print and set the quantity of each to be printed.

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

You can also select and view a larger image of your pictures before printing.

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

During the printing process an onscreen progress display is shown to let you know what's going on and how long it will take. If you're printing lots of photos just go off and do something else, the printer will do its assigned tasks without any need of assistance unless it runs out of ribbon or paper.

PictBridge Printing

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

Here's the Sony Cyber-shot W1 plugged into the EX50's PictBridge USB port. Many of the new digital cameras are PictBridge compatible which means you can print your photos with no computer needed. The EX50 is small and lightweight, you can easily take it with you to your next party or family gathering and print photos "on the spot."

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

When the camera and printer are connected you use the camera's color LCD to select the image(s) you want and what options to print them with. Usually it's as simple as select the photo and press the OK button -- 80 seconds later your print is done!

Sony DPP-EX50 Picture Station Photo Printer

DPP-EX Print Packs are available as follows:

  • 3.5” x 5”: Borderless snapshots contains 30 sheets for about $17;

  • 4” x 6”: Mailable postcard-size prints, with 25 sheets for about $17;

  • 3.5” x 4”: Fun print size, offering 30 sheets for about $15;
If your camera images are standard 4:3 aspect ratio (640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1600x1200, 2048x1536, etc) then use the 3.5 x 5" for the best fit with minimal cropping. If your camera has a specific 3:2 aspect mode (many now do have this option) and you use it, you'll want to print on 4 x 6" paper for "perfect" no-crop prints.

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Driver and Application Software

DPP-EX50 Specifications

Printing Method: Dye-sublimation Printing (Y/M/C/Overcoat)
Resolution: 403 dpi x 403 dpi
Print Size: 4” x 6”, 3.5” x 5” & 3.5” x 4”
Print Speed (Including Image Processing):
4” x 6”: Approx. 80sec.
3.5” x 5”: Approx. 70sec.
Paper Feed Method: Automatic cut sheet feed from paper tray
Memory Card Interface: Memory Stick x 1; CompactFlash x 1
Camera Interface: USB* (A) x 1 for PictBridge
Video Output: Video Output Cable x 1
PC Connection: USB* (B) x 1 for PC
LCD Display: Control B & W LCD
Print Order: All Image/DPOF/Index/Selected Image/PictBridge
Image Adjustment: Yes
Automatic Color Enhancement: Photo Quality Processor
Creative Print: Free Layout/Calendar/Card/Sticker/Split Image
Power Supply: AC 120V, 50/60Hz, 1.0A
OS Supported: Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP Home, XP Pro
Supplied Accessories: Paper tray, Operating Instructions, Quick Start Guide, CD-ROM (incl. Printer driver software, PictureGear Studio™ Application Software, Video Output Cable and Cleaning Cartridge

* USB2.0 High Speed is not supported

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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