Sony's DPP-FP70 photo printer is fast and offers a lot of on-board printing options. Its primary disadvantage is its price, which is higher than those of competing models.
- Fast, photos look natural
The DPP-FP70 is a good all-around snapshot printer, offering plenty of features, fast printing, and a decent design. But Sony products are rarely the least expensive available, and this device is no different.
Price$ 279.00 (AUD)
The DPP-FP70 crams a lot of features into its compact form. The 2.5in, tilted LCD sits above a bank of buttons for accessing menu items, adjusting the viewing mode, and navigating on-screen options. An Auto Touch-Up button fixes common problems like bad lighting or red-eye. Flip open the front panel, and you'll find three media slots for major formats (except xD), plus the slot for inserting the paper cassette. The left side of the printer contains a port for PictBridge-compatible devices.
The printer's menus offer plenty of options for viewing and editing images. The Creative Print feature provides a number of special layouts, including a calendar month; or you can add a canned message like "Happy Birthday" to an image. You can even save an edited photo to a memory card or copy images from one card to another. The PC installation adds Sony's Picture Motion Browser, an application that helps you manage and edit your photos as well as videos.
Printing requires inserting a paper cassette into the front of the unit -- nearly doubling the total footprint. It's a little awkward, but Sony documents the process thoroughly and even specifies the front and rear clearances needed (the paper slides in and out the back multiple times while printing).
The printer's dye-sublimation technology transfers successive layers of cyan, magenta and yellow from a continuous ribbon to the paper, ending with a layer of protective laminate. Because you use each section of ribbon only once, the cost per print is predictable and just a bit higher than average at 50 cents (if you buy the $59.95 pack of 120 sheets plus ink). The cartridge loads easily through a side door; the starter version offers a paltry five prints.
The DPP-FP70's photo quality was very good overall. Most of the objects in our test prints looked natural, though details tended to disappear fast in darker areas. The prints came out quickly, averaging 1.4 pages per minute (ppm).
The documentation consists of a setup poster and a printed guide. The page in the guide illustrating all the parts is needlessly complex. Numbered lines snake over a drawing of the printer; it's hard to figure out which goes where, let alone which definition corresponds to it. The rest of the guide is thorough and clear, though.
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