Canon Selphy CP1500 review

The revamped Canon Selphy CP1500 portable photo printer is sleeker, faster and better connected

Canon SELPHY CP1500 review
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Picking up the baton from the CP1300, the Selphy CP1500 is Canon’s replacement flagship mobile photo printer. Good print quality is virtually indistinguishable from the previous model, based on the same dye-sub cartridge and paper, with size options up to 6x4-inch. However, the CP1500 is a little smaller and more lightweight, as well as overtaking the older printer in terms of speed. It’s an ideal mains-powered mobile solution, although the Li-ion battery pack is sold as a pricey optional extra.

Pros

  • +

    Good print quality and speed

  • +

    USB-C, Wi-Fi and SD card slot

  • +

    Intuitive control interface

Cons

  • -

    Batteries not included

  • -

    No Bluetooth connectivity

  • -

    LCD isn’t a touchscreen

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The Canon Selphy CP1500 is sold in black, white or baby pink options, each with a smart and stylish finish. Measuring 182x133x58mm and weighing in at 850g, it’s a little smaller and lighter than the preceding SELPHY CP1300 printer (opens in new tab), for which it’s a direct replacement. As such, it’s a highly capable mobile photo printer that runs on dye-sublimation technology, so there’s no messy ink to worry about. Instead, each specialist sheet of paper is fed through the printer four times, where cyan, magenta and yellow dyes are added successively, followed by a final protective, smudge and fingerprint-resistant coating which should also ensure a longevity of more than 100 years.

Specifications

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Print type: Dye-sublimation
Inks: Cyan, magenta, yellow
Max print size: 4x6-inch
Max resolution: 300x300dpi
Power source: Mains, optional battery
Display screen: 3.5-inch, 230k dot
Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB-C, SD/HC/XC
Dimensions (WxDxH): 182x133x58mm
Weight: 850g

Key features

The Selphy CP1500 features a 300x300dpi print resolution, which is typical of dye-sub printers. It might not sound much compared with inkjet printers but a crucial difference is that different colored dyes can be laid on top of each other, whereas droplets of different colored ink from an inkjet printer need to be placed adjacently. The net result is that 300dpi is perfectly sufficient for high-resolution, dye-sub photo printing.

Canon Selphy CP1500 is available in black, white or pink (Image credit: Canon)

As a mobile printer, it’s an essential feature that the CP1500 is able to output photo prints without the need for it to be plugged into a computer or laptop. As such, it has a built-in LCD color screen and a supporting cast of standalone control buttons. The whole interface is extensively redesigned compared to the preceding CP1300. The LCD screen is larger at 3.5-inch instead of 3.2-inch, and the design looks less cluttered with fewer buttons. Although larger, the screen is fixed and lacks the tilt function of the previous model, and it’s still not a touchscreen.

As a mobile printer, it’s an essential feature that the CP1500 is able to output photo prints without the need for it to be plugged into a computer or laptop. As such, it has a built-in LCD color screen and a supporting cast of standalone control buttons. The whole interface is extensively redesigned compared to the preceding CP1300. The LCD screen is larger at 3.5-inch instead of 3.2-inch, and the design looks less cluttered with fewer buttons. Although larger, the screen is fixed and lacks the tilt function of the previous model, and it’s still not a touchscreen.

(Image credit: Canon)

Connectivity options are updated. The CP1300’s USB-A port is replaced with a more modern USB-C port. The SD/SDHC/SDXC slot is retained for direct printing from memory cards and, as with the previous model, both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi direct are supported. The printer makes good use of Canon’s SELPHY Photo Layout app for iOS and Android, which has been updated with additional features.

A disappointment for mobile printing is that the CP1500 still doesn’t feature Bluetooth connectivity, although it works well via Wi-Fi direct with mobile phones as well as cameras. And while it’s a mobile printer, you’ll still need access to a mains electricity socket, unless you invest in the optional NB-CP2LI rechargeable Li-ion power pack. A full charge should be sufficient for creating 72 6x4-inch photo prints or 180 credit card-sized prints, but the battery doesn’t come cheap at around £180/$200.

Build and handling

Build quality feels very good, with a sturdy construction and tactile feedback from the operating buttons. Although fairly low-res at 230k dot, the LCD screen has good tonal range and color rendition. The paper tray is redesigned from the previous model and makes the business of inserting stacks of photo paper and retrieving the end results quick and easy. A slot for the dye-sub cartridge is placed at the side of the printer, beneath a protective flap, and is similarly simple to use.

(Image credit: Canon)

Although nominally a 6x4-inch ‘postcard’ printer, a wide variety of media options are available. As well as the standard 6x4-inch paper with perforated tear-off tabs at either end, which is sold in packs complete with companion dye-sub cartridges, other options include credit card sized paper and stickers, mini stickers and sticker paper of various sizes.

(Image credit: Canon)

The control interface is slick, simple and intuitive. Although the number of operating buttons is reduced, compared with the CP1300, operation feels a little slicker.

Performance

Unsurprisingly, since the CP1500 uses the same dye-sub cartridges and photo paper as the CP1300, there’s no distinguishable change in photo quality. Tonal range and color rendition are very good and the printer makes a good job of everything from skin tones in portraits to rich and vibrant landscape colors. Even so, prints tend to lack the wow-factor of those created with a high-end photo inkjet printer.

The CP1500 has a good turn of speed, creating 6x4-inch photos in 41 seconds and credit card sized prints in just 23 seconds. That’s a little faster than the CP1300, which delivers 6x4-inch prints in 47 seconds. Print costs are pretty reasonable. Based on a Canon KP-1081N pack of 108 sheets paper and companion dye-sub cartridges, prints work out to around £0.34/$0.32 per 6x4-inch photo.

Canon SELPHY CP1500

(Image credit: Canon)

Verdict

Picking up the baton from the Selphy CP1300, the CP1500 is Canon’s replacement flagship mobile photo printer. Good print quality is virtually indistinguishable from the previous model, based on the same dye-sub cartridge and paper, with size options up to 6x4-inch. However, the CP1500 is a little smaller and more lightweight, as well as overtaking the older printer in terms of speed. It’s an ideal mains-powered mobile solution, although the Li-ion battery pack is sold as a pricey optional extra.

Read more:

Best portable printers (opens in new tab)
Best compact printers (opens in new tab)
Best iPhone printer (opens in new tab)
Best photo printers (opens in new tab)

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Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.