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DPP-FP50 Picture Station

Review posted 10/16/2005

Sony DPP-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The Sony DPP-FP50 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 FP50 incorporates Memory Stick PRO, Secure Digital 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-FP50 can be connected to a Windows (98SE, Me, 2000, XP) 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 front USB port and use the camera's LCD to select images and print them.

Prints are made in about 60 seconds and are sealed with SuperCoat 2 laminate, resulting in the durability required to withstand UV fading, spills, moisture and fingerprints.

The FP50 features a wireless remote control that makes it possible to print, edit, and enjoy lab-quality pictures from the comfort of your favorite chair. The new model also supports the PictBridge™ standard, so images can be viewed and printed directly from a compatible digital camera without having to turn on a computer or fuss with image editing software.

The FP50 photo printer uses dye-sublimation technology to create durable, lab quality prints. Each print is sealed with SuperCoat 2™ laminate, which makes photos resistant to spills, moisture and fingerprints.

The printer also comes loaded with built-in editing options, such as red-eye correction that identifies any red-eye problems and then enables the printer to make the correction automatically. It features 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 artistic borders to any print.

Sony DPP-FP50 Features:

  • 300dpi dye-sublimation printing process for high quality, durable prints

  • Small, lightweight and very portable

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

  • Fast printing - 4x6" borderless photo in about 60 seconds

  • 4” x 6” and 3.5” x 5” 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 photo editing software

Sony DPP-FP50 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-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer Sony DPP-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

Compatible with Windows 98, 98SE, Me, 2000, XP Home or XP Pro platforms, the FP50 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-FP50 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 FP50 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 buttons lets you navigate menus and select options as well as selecting images to print.

Sony DPP-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The included infrared remote allows you to control the printer from across the room when the FP50 is connected to your TV set. Run a slideshow of your images and stop and print those pictures whenever desired.

Printing from Memory Cards

Sony DPP-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

The CompactFlash (Type I or II), Memory Stick/MS Pro and Secure Digital card slots are located along the top/front edge 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 and Secure Digital. 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-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

When the FP50 is connected to a TV you will initally see a 20-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-FP50 Picture Station Photo Printer

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

Sony DPP-FP50 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 DSC-N1

Here's the Sony Cyber-shot N1 plugged into the FP50'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 FP50 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-FP50 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 -- approx. 80 seconds later your print is done!

Sony Print Packs

  • SVM-F40P Print Pack 4” x 6”: with snap-off edges for bordered or borderless prints, 40 sheets for $25

  • SVM-F80P Print Pack 4” x 6”: with snap-off edges for bordered or borderless prints, 80 sheets for $40

  • SVM-F30L Print Pack3.5” x 5”: with snap-off edges for bordered or borderless prints, 40 sheets for $20;
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 have this option) you'll want to print on 4 x 6" paper for "perfect" no-crop prints.

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Driver and Application Software

DPP-FP50 Specifications

Printing Method: Dye-sublimation Printing (Y/M/C/Overcoat)
Gradations: 8-bit per color – C/M/Y (Approximately 16.7 Million Colors)
Resolution: 300 dpi x 300 dpi
Image Format: JPEG, TIFF or BMP
Print Size: 4” x 6” & 3.5” x 5”
Paper Capacity: 20 sheets
Print Speed: 4” x 6” or 3.5” x 5”: Approx. 60 sec.
Paper Feed Method: Automatic cut sheet feed from paper tray
Memory Card Interface: Memory Stick PRO x 1; CompactFlash x 1; SD Card 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

* USB 2.0 High Speed is not supported

LCD Display: Monochrome Control 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 98SE, Me, 2000, XP
Supplied Accessories: 20-Sheet 4x6" Print Pack, Paper Tray, Wireless Remote Control, Video Connecting Cable, Cleaning Cartridge, Software CD-ROM, AC Adapter with Cord
Dimensions:7 1/8" x 2 1/2" x 8 1/4" (182 x 66 x 210mm) (W x H x D)
Weight: 2.6 lbs

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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