The CP730 is one of the latest additions to Canon's Selphy lineup and, unlike the other dedicated photo printers on test, which use adaptations of inkjet-printing methods, the Canon uses dye-sublimation. This process requires several paper passes, with dyes applied individually on each run. The final pass overcoats the photo with a protective laminate.
With all this sophistication squeezed inside, the Canon is impressively small. You do need to factor in a fair amount of elbow room, however, since the slot-in paper tray and paper-feeding process doubles the desk space required. And the rather clumsy paper tray compromises neatness.
In use the Selphy is straightforward, but there are areas which could be improved upon. Our main gripe concerns the icon-driven menu, which doesn't make it clear when settings have been switched. Plus, the 2in LCD is low-resolution and has a poor viewing angle. Nevertheless, the CP730 is equipped with a helpful array of card slots - including Secure Digital, Compact Flash, xD and several versions of Sony's Memory Stick. And there's a retractable USB cable for printing directly from a camera.
Prints show higher levels of detail than any other photoprinter we looked at in the April issue of PC Advisor - the quality is leagues ahead. However, the colour and contrast aren't consistent. While photos with a darker bias and rich blues boast impressive definition and punchy contrast, images with subtle green and yellow tonal variation slightly compromise accuracy, albeit within acceptable limits.