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It seems that all (recent, at least) versions of the Selphy printer series use the same paper/ink consumables. Does this mean that they share the same printer engine, and will produce photographic prints of the same quality?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about photography, but printer manufacturing specifications. – Tetsujin Sep 1 '18 at 10:52
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    I disagree. Obtaining a print is within scope of this site and the question boils down to: given the same paper and ink, will quality remain the same? Which is highly relevant to obtaining a print. – Hueco Sep 1 '18 at 15:14
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I can't answer as to the internals of the Canon Selphy printers, however they all print via Dye-Sublimation process. This uses a thermal print head, with the degree of heat translating to how much ink is transferred. This is quite different that ink-jet or laser-jet.

All of the Canon Selphy printers are compatible with supplies that have been available since very early in their introduction. For example, my 15? year old Canon CP-400 uses the same supplies available today, as does the newer CP1300 printers.

All of these printers are described as 300 DPI, so my assumption is that the print quality is the same. Same ink, same paper, and same print resolution.

I would feel comfortable replacing my older printer with a newer one.

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Does this mean that they share the same printer engine[?]

No. They may, but not necessarily.

and will produce photographic prints of the same quality?

No. They may, but not necessarily.

In the Selphy case the question is: are they essentially the same printer?

They may be, but not necessarily. Consider contacting Canon for a definitive answer.


  • The word "engine" may have different meanings in different technology domains. It may refer to the specific printer parts (sharing part numbers) that physically apply ink to paper. It may refer to the general print technology to apply ink to paper. It may refer to the printer languages and protocols. It may refer to the software printer driver.

  • The specific print technology and output quality often cannot be determined by the paper because there are a many different printing technologies that use the same papers. Papers that may be indicative of the underlying technology include thermal, zink, dye sublimation, and chromogenic papers.

  • Printers that use the same ink cartridges do use compatible print technologies.

  • Using the "same" print technology does not guarantee the same output quality. An archaic example, for the purpose of an easily understood illustration, is impact printers. Different models may be made with different resolutions, different levels of striking power, and different head shapes to produce output of widely variable quality, despite using the identical papers and ribbons.

  • This isn't an answer, it's an extended comment on the question. In any case, the concept of a printing engine is not new or unclear. The printing engine is the part of a printer that takes care of the actual printing business (rather than paper handling etc), and is often built by a manufacturer other than that of the printer itself. If printers use the same combination of (e.g.) ink cartridges, then typically they use the same engine. Upgrades to a printing engine as a printer line evolves can refine quality. In the Selphy case the question is: are they essentially the same printer? – Daniele Procida Sep 4 '18 at 6:27

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