Monday, November 24, 2014

Selphy vs Picturemate Charm Comparison

I am a part of many crafting groups on Facebook and a hot topic is always the Selphy vs Picturemate debate. I find myself commenting often on this, so I thought I would post my experience in a blog post. 
Back in 2013, I purchased the Canon Selphy 900. I loved it! It was great to be able to print right from my phone and anywhere I wanted. My teens loved it, too! At this point I was only using it for novelty printing, not for scrapbooking. 
As I've gotten more and more into pocket scrapbooking in the Spring of this year, I started using the Selphy to print photos missed in my regular photo website orders, or for putting two 3x4s on a 4x6. Then I started to see it- the quality differences between the Selphy prints and my photo website-ordered prints. 
Around the same time I started seeing the Selphy vs Picturemate posts on my FB groups and was reading all of the comments. Two different comparison blog posts were pointed out to me, 1) Kerri Bradford's, and 2) Jennifer Wilson's. Through these two posts I discovered that they were each referred to the Epson Picturemate by two very well respected scrapbookers, Cathy Zielske and Ali Edwards. That really spoke to me. They are all about quality photos and showcasing them in beautiful ways. 
 I went ahead and bought the Picturemate Charm this past July and have been LOVING it. I've been printing like crazy! I just finished my Halloween mini Sn@p album and used all Picturemate prints for it. And then quickly after I bought the Charm, I sold the Selphy. I don't have many photos left from the Selphy, but managed to find this one from my daughter's scrapbook.  I must admit that these selfie photos are not of quality themselves. They were taken on an iPhone 4s by teenagers at their school. I'm so glad I have these, though!

I found that the prints are both 4x6 IF you cut where 
the photo ends on the Selphy print, not where it is perforated. 
Otherwise the Selphy print is 3.94" x 5.83" cut at the tabs.

One thing to note: Unless you crop the photos to a perfect 4x6 
before printing, cropping off things will still happen with either printer. 

This is the Selphy perforation up close.  

And here is the other side of the Selphy print showing the perforation.

+ Can print directly from a smart phone. 
+ The cost is reasonable (half of the Epson Picture Charm).
- Color of print is off, especially for flesh tones. 
- Not a true 4x6 print. You either tear off tabs and have a smaller print, or live with the perforation marks in your print.
- You must use the special Selphy paper and ink.
- There is no matte option at this time.
- Not compatible with all software if using on a PC. Windows 8 does not have a driver yet.
- The unit gets dusty, and in my case, filled with pet hair, which has printed onto my prints. To avoid this, I had to remove the paper tray, stack it on top of the unit, and then had an Etsy seller make me a custom cover for it (it is now one of her best sellers, BTW). Then I had to reassemble each time I wanted to use it.

Epson Picturemate Charm
+ Prints a beautiful, vibrant photo.
+ Prints a true 4x6.
+ Can print matte photos! And they are gorgeous like Cathy Zielske says. All of my Christmas card photos were printed on matte using the Charm this year and are ready to mail!
+ I have not done this, but you don't have to use the Picturemate paper. The Epson paper is a very high quality paper, though - thicker than the Selphy paper. 
+ It is self-contained with a handle. I just grab it off the shelf, flip the top open, and press the front door open. Easy peasy, and no dust or pet hair gets in and prints onto my prints.
- Cannot print wirelessly or through a Smartphone. (Like Kerri said, in this day and age, it should!)
- Costs double the price of the Selphy. Today on Amazon: Selphy=$87, PM Charm=$170
- Does not come with a USB cable. Had to buy one for $3 from Amazon. My recent HP printer purchase didn't, either. Not sure why that couldn't be included?

There are things that  people often ask on the FB groups that are the same for both printers, in my opinion:
+ Setup was easy for both for me.
+ Both are portable dedicated 4x6 printers.
+ Both of the printers' software was easy for me to use and has different collage options especially helpful for pocket scrapbooking. 
+ Per print costs are very similar. Amazon as of today: Selphy=$0.28 pp, PM=$0.24pp glossy, $0.30 matte
+ Both printers claim to have water resistant prints. I really don't want to test this, but good to know!
+ Both have a small footprint.

So there is my comparison. I would also like to note that your process may play a lot into your compact printer preference. I use my high end point-and-shoot camera for most events and edit all of my photos in Photoshop Elements. My iPhone is impressive, but I only capture day to day things or if I don't have my regular camera with me. This makes my process very different and always involves my PC because of it. I rarely travel with my compact printer, either. Just some things to think about.
Thanks for hanging in on this long comparison post! Happy Crafting!

2 happy comments:

Sara Mcmillon said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! It's a lot of good information!

Lisa Marie said...

Very good comparison. I would like to add that the PictureMate has an optional bluetooth adaptor. I print wirelessly from my S5 everyday and it's the only way I print phone pictures or images I save from Facebook and internet.

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