Sony DPP-EX50

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Sony DPP-EX50

Pros

  • Fast, sharp detail and luminous quality

Cons

  • Can't change colour and density adjustment without Sony's PictureGear Studio 2.0 software

Bottom Line

This good little dye-sublimation printer allows you to view and arrange pictures on a TV screen and print directly from digital cameras.

Would you buy this?

Like other dedicated snapshot printers, the Sony DPPEX50 dye-sublimation printer can work without a computer. You can drive it from a PictBridge camera, and it has slots for Memory Stick and CompactFlash cards. Despite the printer's on-board control panel and backlit LCD, most people would want to connect the unit to a television before they attempt to print from a media card. You connect the supplied composite cable to the TV, which will then display menus for selecting images to print, and for creating calendars, postcards or multiple-image layouts. In addition, you can convert images to sepia-tone or greyscale, clean up red-eye, apply a fish-eye lens effect and more. You don't have to use the TV if you set up a DPOF (digital print order form) job on your camera; DPOF is an industry standard for digital cameras that lets you mark pictures to print directly from a media card.

When the printer is linked to a PC, you'll probably want to use Sony's PictureGear Studio 2.0 software to manage and edit images, because Sony's Windows driver lacks many common image adjustment options. For example, it doesn't offer colour and density adjustment, though it does allow you to print borderless, and to apply red-eye reduction.

The DPPEX50 can print to three sizes of paper: 4" x 6", 3.5" x 5" and 3.5" x 4"; all three work with the same paper cassette. Sony provides no consumables in the box. At the time of writing, a 25-sheet pack of 4" x 6" paper with an ink ribbon cost $17, which translates into about 68 cents per print. For comparison, the Epson PictureMate made 4" x 6" prints for around 29 cents each.

The DPPEX50 printed a 4" x 6" photo from a PC in a snappy 89 seconds--almost twice as fast as the Epson PictureMate. The print showed very sharp detail and the luminous quality we expect from dye-sublimation prints, though it had an almost oversaturated look with a slightly orange tone.

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