A perfect option for printing out individual photos from mobile devices.
As our world becomes more and more digital, I find myself really enjoying paper products even more. They are becoming rarer with each year — each month that passes. One of the most precious pieces of paper is a photograph and it’s probably also one of the rarest these days. We typically just open up a photo on our phone and pass it around to family and friends but it’s really hard to compare to a printed photo to hang on your wall or place in a frame. Fortunately, some camera companies like Canon have started creating personal photo printers that allow you to print directly from your mobile phone.
The Canon Ivy Mobile Phone Printer is a miniature photo printer that prints out 2”x3” photos from your smartphone or favorite social media platform. Photos can be customized by adding frames, emojis, stickers, filters, text, collages, and more. The printer is smaller than an iPhone and can fit into most pockets. It only weighs 5.6 ounces so it can go with you wherever you go. The printer doesn’t actually use ink — it prints onto ZINKTM Zero Ink paper, which features colorful dye-based crystals that are actually embedded inside the paper. The paper is smudge-free and has peel & stick backing. The ZINKTM paper is water/tear-resistant, too. The printer will also print in ‘tile print’ mode, which will allow you to print in up to 9 tiled sections so you can have a larger image to display. The Canon Ivy Printer is available in three different colors — mint green, slate gray, and rose gold.
The Canon Ivy Printer comes packaged in a simple but nicely branded box. It’s very easy to unbox and it comes with a short (about 6 inches) Micro USB cable, a visual quick start card, and some paperwork about safety and warranty regulations. The complete manual is available within the mobile app and that is, in fact, the first step in the set-up process — downloading the app. It’s a free app and is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Once the printer is charged, you can connect to it via Bluetooth. At this point, the user experience is highly involved with the mobile app. You can either take photos and print them immediately or select photos that are already stored on your phone. When you select a photo, the app will adjust it so that it fits the photo size of the printer. This is a simple photo editing program built into the app and with it you can easily add text and/or stickers to the photo before you print it. This feature is a little like editing photos in Snapchat before you send it to friend.s. It’s a nice feature to have but not something you have to use if you don’t like it. In addition to the markup options, you can also brighten your photos, change their tint, and adjust their contrast. Because the editing details are all described by icons, it’s a little difficult to determine which control is which.
As a test, I pulled a photo from my Camera Roll on my iPhone of a pair of bookends. The photo shows a colorful, detailed desk accessory and I wanted to have it printed out to see if the detail of the photo remained. I’ve actually had the opportunity to use a different pocket printer by a different company and the colors weren’t very vibrant and details weren’t very prominent once the image was printed. The same is not true of the Canon Ivy printer. The photo was bright, colorful and you could see all the fine details the same way you would if you were looking at it on the phone screen.
The printer does make quite a bit of mechanical/roller noise as it prints. I was surprised about this considering how small the device is. It wasn’t loud per se but it wasn’t quiet either. The first time you print a photo from the printer, the blue information sheet will feed out of the printer first. This will happen every time you print using a new package of ZINKTM photo sheets. Once the blue sheet fed through the printer, it took about one minute for the photo to print out.
The Ivy photo printer from Canon is the perfect option for someone who takes frequent photos with their phone but would like to have a printed keepsake. The Ivy printer is small and very easy to take with you from place to place. I would recommend this to all types of users and think that people who like adding embellishments to photos would really get a kick out of the photo editing options.