By Billy Teo
|Canon Selphy ES3
|» Price: $349
» Available: From Canon dealers
IF PRINTERS were Star Wars characters, Canon's Selphy ES3 might qualify as R2-D2.
The ES3 makes a spectacle out of printing, spinning photographs - complete with mechanical noise that might have come from a Transformer robot or Darth Vader.
The dye-sublimation printer delivers consistently solid, smudge-proof and saturated photo prints that is the hallmark of the Canon Selphy series.
As a bonus, the ES3 allows you to save, well, not holograms, but favourite photos and recently printed photos in its 1GB internal memory.
It is fairly fast too: wallet-friendly card-sized prints take just under one minute.
Postcard or 4R prints take about 1 min 20 sec.
With the same Digic image processing technology found in Canon's digital cameras, the ES3 does Jedi-like magic by automatically enhancing photos with a stronger contrast and more vibrant colours.
There is hardly any need to connect the ES3 to a computer, though Canon has bundled ample software if you wish to do so.
As with the rest of the Selphy models, the ES3 functions well enough as a standalone photo printer - just plug in a memory card or connect a digital camera with a USB cable to get started.
You can improve photos with 12 image effects: Apply soft edges for a dreamy effect or turn a colour photo into a nostalgic Sepia-tinged or black and white shot.
Other special tools let you add picture frames, decorative clip art (28 choices on the printer) or print your photos as calendars.
Just one bugbear: the ES3 does not take in an external battery, so forget about bringing it to the next beach party.
If the Selphy ES3 was indeed a Star Wars character, I'd say the Force is with this excellent photo printer. Just don't work at night or you will wake the family.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life on 17 December 2008.
For more The Straits Times stories, click here.