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picturemate charm vs. selphy

Otherwise entitled: The Great Debate.

This past Christmas season I kept hearing all about the Canon Selphy printer. It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was someone raving about how much they loved it. I did some more research, saw that it was reasonably priced, and thought, Why not?

I got that tiny little bundle of joy, set it up with my iPhone and printed my first photo. Oooooh, ahhhh. It wasn’t until then that I realized that it wasn’t a true 4×6 photo.

What???

That made no sense.

So I thought about Plan B. All this stuff is a write off (cheesy grin here) and Jordan was leaving for Florida, so wouldn’t this be a great thing to send with her–tiny and portable–and I’ll get the Epson PictureMate Charm instead?

Granted, I didn’t just jump into it lightly. My cute little friend Cathy Zielske had just gotten herself one as well. She told me all about it and I decided, Okay, this baby is coming to my house too.

I’ve had it for a few weeks now.

And well, I’d like you to meet my new BFF.

bff-web


Helllllooooooo baaaaaby!

I have printed more photos in the past few weeks than I probably did all last year.

I love it!

LOVE.IT.

Did I say I love it?

It’s so convenient. It’s so fast. It’s so brilliant.

It’s just awesome!

So since I have them both, I thought perhaps I might share my two cents on a little side-by-side comparison:

printers-side-by-side


Canon Selphy: Pros+Cons

  • Love the tininess factor.
  • Love that I can print directly from my phone. Great for parties or with friends! Teenagers would love it!
  • There’s an app for it for your phone. Not hard to use.
  • Can print over wi-fi.
  • Prints a good photo.
  • Don’t like that it’s not true 4×6.
  • Don’t like that the paper tray sticks out the way it does. Gets dusty.
  • Don’t like that it prints each CMYK one pass at a time–prints Cyan, slides back in, prints, Magenta, slides back in, etc.
  • If you print from your phone–which is a 4.5×6, you don’t have control over what gets ‘cut off’. (At least as far as I can tell.)
  • The cost factor–around $75–is very reasonable, especially for kids. (Okay, I see that there’s a new one out and the cost is a little more–maybe $20.)


Epson PictureMate Charm: Pros+Cons

  • Compact, but a little bigger/bulkier than the Selphy.
  • Love that it folds up to keep the dust out!
  • Plugs into your computer and supposedly I can plug it into my Time Capsule and turn it into a wi-fi printer. Haven’t done that yet. On my list of things to do
  • Don’t like that it’s not a wi-fi already, in this day and age. But you can purchase a bluetooth adapter.
  • Prints a pretty awesome photo.
  • Prints true 4×6.
  • Prints all CMYK at one time.
  • Because you’re probably printing from something like Photoshop, you’ll have greater control over anything that’s cropped. You get to decide.
  • Costs about $100 more than the Selphy.
  • If it were only slightly bigger to print 5×7 too, I’d be in complete heaven. It’s just an inch. ;)

 

The Printout Results

And in case you were wondering about print samples, here’s a  side by side comparison of the complete printouts.

printer-examples


Granted, this is a picture of pictures, but work with me here. This is the exact same photo printed on both machines.

As you can see here, the Selphy on the left has perforated edges that you can remove. The Selphy’s printout isn’t quite as rich as the PictureMate. I found the PictureMate to be a little sharper and deeper in color. The Selphy still looks pretty good, but the PictureMate is just a little bit better in my opinion. And notice that the Canon photos on the left are slightly smaller than the Epson photos on the right. I’m still just shaking my head over that fact.


I really can’t say enough great things about the Epson PictureMate Charm printer. I’ve used it so many times because it’s so convenient and gives such great results! No more chopping letter-size photo paper. No more having to clean my print heads on my big mama Epson printer because the Yellow keeps getting dirty. It’s portable. It’s simple. Just this weekend I printed those brush script photos for Jordan and Kass printed a photo of her and her cousin and they looked great! A couple weeks before that I needed to print a couple photos for a bridal shower and voila! Done. Loved it! And Kass, who’s become a printing snob–being the photo major that she is–was quite impressed with its color.

Susan Kopp - February 25, 2014 - 9:59 am

Thanks for doing this test. I have been thinking about getting the Epson. I have the Epson Artistic 710 for regular everyday use and don’t want to use it for printing pictures because the ink is so expensive. I wanted just a small printer to print as I go and not have to rely on an outside source. This is good information for my future purchase….thanks!

Renee - February 25, 2014 - 10:17 am

If you purchase the Bluetooth adapter, you will love it even more.

Jen - February 25, 2014 - 10:25 am

I checked out the Epson and see that you can print two wallets. Can you use the borderless function and print two 3×4 per page to use for Project Life? Thanks!

Sue Williams - February 25, 2014 - 10:31 am

I love my charm!

Linda Walton aka bobbysgirlforever - February 25, 2014 - 11:32 am

Wonderful comparison Kerri!

I have long preferred Epson over Canon. I have owned both and was disappointed immediately with the Canon printer’s color quality. I would have to make adjustments in Photoshop before printing and it quickly became very painstaking. Too much time invested!

In attending many workshops given by professional photographers, it was settled once-and-for-all in my mind when hearing them all tout Epson for print quality even though they shot with Canon cameras. That said a lot. No more questions for this girl.

Thank you for sharing!

Leslie S. - February 25, 2014 - 11:34 am

I have an older version of the Epson one you bought and I love it. The colors are always vibrant and it is so easy to use. I agree, they need to make it so you can use with Wifi, otherwise I have no complaints!

Lara Read - February 25, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Thanks Kerri! I’ve been wanting to get a charm for a while i’ve seen similar reviews but never side by side so this is awesome. It looks like the Pictureshare app might work to print from your phone. Don’t quote me on that just saw that in a quick google search.

Marie LeJeune - February 25, 2014 - 12:19 pm

I love my charm and purchased the Bluetooth adapter but could not get it to work. It’s packed up ready to ship back unless someone can tell me how to get it to work. Please I really want it to work. I tried calling epson they told me it wouldn’t work i told them the manual said it would. So anyway I’m going to return it unless someone can tell me how to work it. I really hope I can get it to work

vicki - February 25, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Darn it — I wanted to NOT want a compact photo printer! I love my Epson Stylus Photo printer (Big Mama printer). For what it’s worth, I’d choose an Epson printer for photos every time.
Thanks for the review.

I’m with you –what’s up with the weird size?

Vicki Parker - February 25, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Just what I wanted to know about each of them. The Picture Mate is not available here but am holidaying in Australia in a couple of weeks and it was on my list. :)

Julie - February 25, 2014 - 1:51 pm

I bought a charm after I was a little disappointed by Santa. I LOVE it too. It has really changed my flow. Pretty awesome!

Rosemary OLena - February 25, 2014 - 2:16 pm

Ok everyone got me very interested… How is the photo paper? I have seen @ home photo paper can be Crappy.

Laura Whitaker - February 25, 2014 - 5:04 pm

You are bang on! I have had my Picturemate for a year and it makes me happy every time I use it!

Pamela McGillin - February 25, 2014 - 5:31 pm

I have the same printer & I love it, but mine does cut off the edges a bit. I just know that & try to avoid anything at the edge of the photo.
P.S. The best place for the ink + paper (that I’ve found) is Amazon. The package is T5846 the ink + 150 sheets of photo paper is $36.29 w/free shipping.
Happy Printing :D

Fatima M. - February 25, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Okay… I may just have to unlike you on Facebook and stop following your blog! LOL. You make me want all these wonderful toys!!! I’m now the proud owner of a Silhouette Cameo and now I want an Epson printer! It’s a good thing all these things are necessities or else I really would unlike you. Thanks so much for the post and comparison. The “little” printer is now on my wish list. Hmmm… maybe for Mother’s Day.

Sami P - February 25, 2014 - 7:10 pm

THANK YOU!! I have so needed this comparison. Excellent job & you’ve finally made up my mind for me. I am getting that PictureMate Charm as soon as possible lol.

Hugs,
Sami

Kerri - February 25, 2014 - 7:29 pm

Hey Pamela!
It’s typical of many printers that print borderless that the photo will expand, even if it’s only a tiny fraction, to ensure that the photo goes edge to edge. Make sure in your Print Settings that Expansion is set to Minimum when using the Borderless setting. This even occurs with regular ol’ print places like Costco or Persnickety.

And Fatima…I am the world’s best enabler. ;)

Rosemary, the photo paper is great. In fact, my Photo major daughter was talking about how she wanted to print something for a class at home because the paper was similar to what they used at the school, which they print photos for portfolios, so it’s really good. I’ve always been huge Epson printer fan, particularly for photos. Like, I’ve had one for years–well the R300 and then the Photo Stylus 1400. They just don’t disappoint.

Marie, we’ll have to keep an eye out for the Bluetooth options. Don’t give up on the printer for the Bluetooth factor just yet because it’s an awesome printer.

And Linda, I am a Canon camera person and an Epson printer person. I can totally relate!

seriously. awesome printer.

Betsy - February 25, 2014 - 9:00 pm

Thanks for the awesome comparison! I have the selphy but I also do not like that they are not true 4×6 prints-crazy! I do have a question about the ink cartridges for the PictureMate and how you think it compares to the selphy cartridge? I like how the ink comes in one pack and you know how many prints you are getting with the selphy…does the Epson work the same way or do you have to change out individual ink cartridges like a larger epson? Does that make sense? I really like the ease of the selphy in that respect…thanks for your help…I now have the PictureMate on my wish list :)

Lancene - February 26, 2014 - 9:22 am

I’m on my second Picturemate (I had the original and now I have the Dash) and I absolutely love its versatility and the quality of the photos. What I do not love is how fast it goes through the ink! And I don’t like that you have to buy an entire print pack when all you need is the ink. I always run out of ink long before I run out of paper – I already have enough paper to last for years. Epson will refund you part of the purchase price for unused paper, but you have to keep really good records and the original packaging to send back to them and I’m not so good at that. Having said that, I’m pretty sure I’ll keep using PictureMate/Epson products because you just can’t beat the quality of the photos.

Jamie Kaufmann - February 26, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Thank you for this review! I just got the Selphy 900 and I’m quite happy. I knew about the quirks but for my budget, saving $120 was worth it. And I DOOOOO love the Wifi! I went to a camp out in the boonies for a scrapbooking crop and I was able to easily tote the SElphy there AND was able to print, without wifi. It was awesome and all the ladies went to buy one after the event was over. Ha, ha. ;)

Michele - February 27, 2014 - 10:44 am

Hi Kerri,

could you tell me what would be the best bluetooth device to use with the Picturemate printer? I just got mine as an early birthday present on Sunday and I’d love to be able to have it bluetooth if possible.

any feedback is appreciated.
THANKS! :)

Tenika - March 7, 2014 - 10:48 am

Can you connect this to your computer (so i could print from Photoshop?)

Sandra Bunch - March 8, 2014 - 7:37 am

Thank you so much! This is absolutely perfect. You have sold me on the PictureMate. Woohoo!! SO glad I don’t have to spend any more time deciding :)

Michele - March 19, 2014 - 9:14 am

Tenika-

Last night I’ve tried printing from Photoshop and saw that it wasn’t an option for me to do so. This adorable Picturemate comes with a CD that can be installed on your computer. With that, after you’ve enhanced your photo in PS, you can go to this program for Picturemate and print it out. I’m pleased to say, results were impressive. Hope this helps! :)

Kathi Z - March 21, 2014 - 11:15 pm

Just an FYI unless someone else has figured it out. There is no software for Windows 8. The disc doesn’t work and the Canon website doesn’t have it there either. :( (RE: Canon Selphy) Wish I’d seen this first.

Morgan - April 20, 2014 - 9:45 pm

I saw someone on amazon commented: “ALWAYS RUNS OUT OF INK before paper.And Epson doesn’t allow you to buy the print pack without the paper.” I would like to know if you have encountered this problem, thank you very much:)

Kerri - April 21, 2014 - 7:33 am

I have seen that comment in a few places, but I just barely went from the starter pack that comes with it to the new pack that I bought. I’d actually switched to the new pack of paper for a handful of sheets and was still using the starter ink. I left the cartridge in until it told me I absolutely had to change it. It tells you that you should change it, but the pictures still looked great up until I had to change it.

I also saw that if you keep your box/upc and maybe the receipt too that Epson will supply you with another ink if you contact them with this info. So that’s always good.

Why they don’t sell the two separately is just silly.

MORGAN - April 22, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Thank you so much,KERRI!Your reply is very helpful.
I finally decided to buy selphy CP910. Because it sounds to be more consistent image quality. I think Epson’s marketing strategy has some unkind and silly which is I hate.

Lynn - June 23, 2014 - 10:38 am

I too have been comparing the Sephy to the PictureMate and had decided to buy the PictureMate because: 1) Selphy’s print resolution is only up to 300 x 300 dpi and the Picturemate resolution is 5700 x 1440 dpi, 2) the Selphy’s 4 x 6 is actually 3.94 X 5.83.

robb - June 23, 2014 - 5:59 pm

Hi, Lynn.
Not sure if you’re familiar with dye sublimation (Canon Selphy CP-910), but a 300dpi image on a Dye Sublimation Printer is equal to 4800dpi on an Inkjet Printer (Epson PictureMate Charm). A 400dpi image is equal to 6400dpi on an Inkjet Printer. It takes a tad longer to print, but it prints out a pretty impressive photo.

Kerri - June 23, 2014 - 6:07 pm

Wow! I did not know that…that’s good info to have here! I didn’t really pay attention to either machine’s DPI printing specs to be honest–just looking at the photos, so all that’s good stuff. And that would make sense as to why the Canon still looks like a good photo regardless of what it says the dpi is–and in comparison with the Epson.

Thanks guys!

robb - June 26, 2014 - 3:50 pm

No problem, Kerri.

Additionally, I printed a picture on one of my better color printers, then tried to replicate it on the Canon Selphy. By turning “Image Optimize” to “Off” and changing “My Colors” to “Vivid”, I was able to pretty much accomplish this.

My only quibble with the Selphy is I wish the photo paper was a standard 4×6, instead of 3.94″ x 5.83″.

My main reason for purchasing the CP910 is the direct access point. It’s pretty cool to be at a party without wi-fi and still print wirelessly to the printer with it’s own built-in wi-fi access point. Plus, it’s small enough to pack and travel!

Kerri - June 26, 2014 - 6:34 pm

I totally agree on the direct access! That’s what I love about the Canon too. Bugged by the weird size though. I probably wouldn’t have even thought about getting an Epson had the Canon printed true 4×6.

More great tips too. Thanks!

Marilyn - September 25, 2014 - 12:07 pm

Thanks for the great info! Do either of these printers print any different size other than 4×6? Is it possible to crop and edit in either printer?

Cheryl :) - September 26, 2014 - 9:47 pm

Kerri have you tried the bluetooth adapter for your printer yet? Wanting to get one, but wondered if it worked…

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