Canon’s tradition of releasing exciting and new Selphy products continues year after year. Just a quick reminder that we had seen a review earlier on the Canon Selphy CP790; what is different about the Canon SELPHY ES40 is that the manufacturer has done a lot of things in terms of technology than just adding up pretty colours to it, making the  ES40 pretty easy to use. If you already own the earlier model Canon Selphy and decided to upgrade as all you can do was simply print from pic-bridge camera, then it is time you upgrade to the ES40 that gives you a lot of infinite possibilities. The following review will deal with the salient features and technical specifications of the Canon SELPHY ES40.  But before we get into the details, let us have a quick look at the pros and cons of the printer.

What is hot?

  • Lab quality photos on the move
  • Gold & Silver ink options
  • Voice guidance
  • Simple to use menus & carry handle
  • Ink & paper in one cartridge
  • Availability of wide range of creative features

What is not?

  • Is capable of only 4×6 photo printing
  • Cost per print can be higher
  • No additional battery pack

Design features:

Not a Fisher-Price toy:

The new, latest Canon SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer is built with a few things that are very common with most of its peers and this of course is that it is an extremely cute printer Though it might look like a sort of Fisher-Price toy for a 2 or 3 year old in a nursery class with its nice round edges, big simple control panel with a blend of white and tan colours and is pretty easy to read. We felt that Canon should perhaps give it a more professional and serious look than it actually appears. However, thanks to the latest voice guided aspect, even a kindergartner will have no problem working on the Canon ES40 with the minimum of efforts as such is the ease of operation and therefore, the results are quite excellent.

You will find a tiny switch that helps open a door or an access into the machine, where you will be able to load the Easy Photo Pack offered by Canon. On the Canon ES40, you can roll the paper and ink into one photo pack which is simple to install. You may get the pack in the sizes of card (roughly 2 x 3) or postcard (4 x 6). The manufacturer also gives you exclusive Silver & Gold photo packs so that you can jazz up traditional photographs. To the left area of the Canon ES40 is a provision to the USB port for connecting to the PC and there of course is the PictBridge slot to print from digital camera and several other permissible media. There is an AC adaptor that you can find at the other side of the machine.

As always with mobile printers, more compact the size, the better and therefore the integration of both the paper and ink into one customer cartridge can save some space whilst taking the speculation out of actually how much one may require.

Control panel:

The Canon SELPHY ES40 Dye sublimation Printer has its control panel well cut out consisting of a big 3.5” LCD, 4 big buttons (print, creative print, on, back) and 8 smaller buttons (menu, voice, edit, display, zoom out, zoom in, minus copies, plus copies). Just under the control panel, you will find a thin slot which runs the distance across the ES40 printer and this is a part of the paper path of the ES40.  There is a built-in memory card reader built on the top of the printer. You will be able to find the photo path’s other end on the top of the ES40 that also functions as an output tray.

LCD screen:

The SELPHY ES40 is designed with a convenient scroll wheel bright 3.5” 230K dot LCD screen and big tactile buttons to give you easy and swift controls when you need to review and navigate through image prior to printing. The scroll wheels help navigate through the menus for selecting the choice of editing features and learning on how to use them should be child’s play.  A carry handle is built on the unit and this makes portability a lot easier and safer.
Compatibility with Memory Cards:

The Canon ES40 Photo Printer could support up to 15 different types of flash memory cards of digital camera with suitable slots built on the top of the photo printer so that you have easy access and comes with a PictBridge port for connecting directly to compatible cameras. The printer is also compatible with most microSD cards generally made use of in mobile phones so that you can easily print out snaps taken with the mobile digital camera. On the other hand, the ES40 can be used with a Bluetooth adaptor (optional) so that you can print images wirelessly from your mobile phone. In general, the ES40 printer is pretty compatible with miniSD Card, microSD Card, microSDHC Card, MMCplus Card, MultiMedia Card, CF Card, RS-MMC Card, xD-Picture Card, MMCmobile Card, Microdrive, Memory Stick, miniSDHC Card, HC MMCplus Card, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick Micro, SD Memory Card, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, SDHC Memory Card and the MMCmicro Card.

Canon Selphy ES40 Compact Photo Printer

Performance features:


The Canon SELPHY ES40 is made use of as a PC-free device by most users, an indication that the ES40 is very easy and simple to set up. You simply need to plug the machine, remove the cleaning unit, fit in the ink/paper combo cartridge, switch on the printer and presto; here you are ready to print. The ES40 is available with a starter ink/paper pack as you will come to know when you do through the Beginner’s guide and as a user, you will have to go for an ES Easy Photo Pack paper/ ink combo cartridge at the time when you first buy the product.

If you decide to use the Canon ES40 with your computer, you also have to buy a USB cable and the drivers & software have to be downloaded on the CD-ROM supplied by the manufacturer. One could also receive the latest software and drivers on the official website of Canon namely the  The download process either way is a breeze and does not take much of your time. The machine has to be attached through USB when you download the driver.

Ease of use:

Having reviewed both the Selphy products viz the Selphy CP790 & ES40, it is only fair to say that they are relatively easy even for a child to make use of and this point can well prove to be one of its selling points. The Selphy range of printers is aimed at families on the move who like to print instant memories. However, the ES40 has taken all its convenient features to the next dimension, courtesy the voice guided prompts that one may find on both the printer as well as the Selphy Photo Print software.  You can turn them off if you need to, though kids will actually go gaga over the pleasing voice that is instructing them. A quick start-up helps you begin the process of printing in about 8 seconds after the printer is turned on. There are two high-speed image processors which help the SELPHY ES40 to create ‘P’ size in approximately 55 seconds and you may have the ‘L’ size printed in simply about 47 seconds and this means no frustrating waiting times.

Voice Guidance feature:

Voice Guidance feature defined by a dedicated button on this ES40 SELPHY printer helps users of all the ages and can take you through the innovative printing process. Instructions including ‘select the area for printing’ or ‘select the colour’ can help get rid of the frequently occurring problems in printing like letting the user know when either the paper or ink cartridge needs replacement.

Fast print processing & Quick start up:

The Canon SELPHY ES40 is integrated with DIGIC II processing, one of Canon’s innovative technologies that can be made use in the digital cameras for superior image quality with a quick printing of not more than 55 seconds per print and quicker start up time of approximately 8 seconds.

Creative Print mode:

The SELPHY ES40 lets you to be playful with the prints, be it personalising photographs or when you are designing creative gifts for your friends. In Creative mode, you can make use of 12 templates to produce bright and vivid calendars using your own images, add speech bubbles, stamps or clip art to photographs of your family & friends or frame the prints with arty borders. Besides, you can combine the images within a selection of six images, so that you can offer an artistic touch to your photo prints or give as a caring gift to others.

Available just at the touch of a single button, Creative Print options including ‘MyColours let you add special effects including Vivid, Sepia, Black & White and Positive Film to the prints.  The ‘Mix & Match’ effects help you personalised cards, photos and calendars. Creative Print could also help apply several numbers of stylish Image effects to all your prints which you can review before you print something. You can even-out skin tones using the Smooth Skin feature so that your photographs of relatives and friends look their best. There are filters including soft focus, faded edges and star light that subtly provide your image a high quality, unique look and feel.

Easy Photo Pack:

The ES40 Colour Photo Printer from Canon employs Easy Photo Pack feature, an all-in-one paper and ink cartridge consisting of  everything that you require to create excellent prints, whilst all reducing mess and fuss. Each top-class print can last for up to hundred years when you store in an album, the ES40 is the perfect way to creatively print and preserve your much treasured family memories for several generations to come.  When you connect the ES40 to a PC, you may get more creative content, courtesy the ‘SELPHY Photo Print’ Software that comes in conjunction with an interface that is pretty easy and simple to use.


Users of the Canon ES40 have access to the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY absolutely free. This is an online photo sharing solution and you can enjoy fabulous, new features including increased storage capacity of 2GB and this means you can upload and share hundreds of top quality images. Your friends and family can enjoy the benefits of viewing the photo albums from the mobile phones online using the latest feature of mobile browsing. Besides, users of PIXMA inkjet printers could now make, share, in addition to printing images from the photo album making use of the latest PIXMA Album Printing feature. The ideal website for sharing memorable and high-quality videos and photos with friends and family is the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY.

Free automatic correction software:

An integrated Auto Image Optimise technology is ideal to use in the home photo lab because it can automatically correct photos and images making use of red-eye removal, noise reduction, colour correction and face brightness for naturally stunning images.

Print Speed:

Canon does boast printing photo of postcard sizes in less than a minute, but we found on average, the Canon ES40 consumes just more than a minute for printing a borderless 4 x 6 colour print. Adding decorations or effects does not tend to slow down the print times of Selphy ES40 from what we can describe and neither did printing of multiple photographs.

Printing Quality:

We found the photo print quality on the Canon ES40 Digital Photo Printer reasonably good. The images are sharp and the colours are bright, though there is some fuzziness when it comes to out of focus and high contrast areas which are common in dye sublimation printers. In general, you may find that this printer gives photo lab quality images nearly all the time. As we mentioned with the users of the CP790, they should ensure that they check the size of the image before printing from your computer. More often than not, if you are not printing the original image or photo captured from a digital camera, somewhere down the way, the size of the image is perhaps reduced. The photo may seem completely normal if you view it on a computer monitor, although it would come out pixilated or fuzzy. When you are using a memory card that you had taken from the PictBridge function or digital camera, users should not find much pixilated images.

Ink tests:

The Canon Selphy ES40 makes use of Easy Photo Pack that blends ink and photo paper in a single easy to insert print cartridge. Every photo pack provides an accurate number of images, therefore there was not a lot to test in this regard. The manufacturer sells two different types of paper sizes namely the 2.1” x 3.4” card size or 4” x 6” postcard size. It does appear to be pricey when you could otherwise get bulk photographs for cheaper rates at many photo labs. Nonetheless, as we pointed out that with the CP790, there is the convenience of capturing a photo, then editing it and immediately printing with the Canon Selphy ES40. You may also add a lot of innovative and creative features for free that will lead to additional costs at photo labs.

Energy consumption:

The ES40 Compact Size Photo Printer makes use of nearly 10 W of energy at the time of its brief warm up and then in the ready mode, it only consumes about 2 W of energy. When we are printing, the Canon Selphy ES40 only consumes a reasonable amount of energy as it makes use of heat for transferring the ink to the special photo while it is reproducing 16.8 million colours. The energy consumed during the heat transfer is 55 W, but generally hovers between 35 W and 45 W during the process of printing. Once you are done with the printing, the ES40 printer’s energy consumption is reduced to 2 W. The Selphy ES40 is automatically turned off when the printer is not in use and this may save you additional power.


Some of the accessories that you get alongside the product include built-in AC adapter and a BU-30 Bluetooth unit that helps you in printing from compatible PDAs & camera phones.

Prices & Availability:

The Selphy ES40 is available on the market online for about £170 and there are several places online where you may get this photo printer with the average price range of £150 to £165. There are Easy Photo Packs available in the form of 50 sheet and 100 sheet postcard size.

Manufacturer warranty:

The Canon SELPHY ES40 is covered under a 3 year warranty in the UK which commences from the original date of purchase.


The Canon SELPHY ES40 is an easy to use, fun and dedicated photo printer which offers users the instant gratification of printing 4×6 size photo only minutes after you have taken the photo, courtesy its new voice guided feature. Using the ES40 is simple enough that even a child can dabble at it. The only downside to the printer is the cost per print which is on the higher side when purchasing the smaller photo pack. We would rather suggest that you go for the larger photo pack so as to bring about the cost per print down to an extent. Apart from this, the Selphy ES40 is a simple and fast way for getting creative or simple prints at any time and a great feature laden family printer.

Canon Selphy ES40 Portable Photo Printer – Technical Specification Table

Manufacturer Canon
Model Name Canon SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer
Type Compact photo – Dye sublimation – Colour
Technology Thermal dye sublimation
Form Factor Portable
Dimensions (W x D x H) 226.3mm x 225.0mm x 138.0mm
Weight 2090g (excluding Paper/Ink Integrated Cartridge)
Maximum Resolution (colour) 300 x 600 dpi
Sheet Feeder Auto feed (from integrated cartridge)
Interface Camera: USB type A port
LCD Monitor: 3.5″ Colour TFT viewer ( multi-language user interface)
Computer USB type B port
Connection Type Standard USB cable
Print Speed Postcard Size: approx. 55 sec, Credit Card Size: approx. 33 sec,
Credit Card Size Stickers: approx. 33 sec, L Size: approx. 47 sec
Supported Flash Memory Cards miniSD Card, microSD Card, microSDHC Card, MMCplus Card,
MultiMediaCard, CF Card, RS-MMC Card, xD-Picture Card,
MMCmobile Card, Microdrive, Memory Stick, miniSDHC Card,
HC MMCplus Card, Memory Stick PRO Duo,
Memory Stick Micro, SD Memory Card, Memory Stick PRO,
Memory Stick Duo, SDHC Memory Card, MMCmicro Card
Media Input Auto feed from integrated cartridge
Media Support Postcard Size: 148 x 100mm
L Size 119 x 89mm
Credit Card Size Stickers: 86 x 54mm
Credit Card Size: 86 x 54mm
Fade Resistance Up to 100 years (print)
Ink tank types Three colour ink with over coating
Direct Printing Specifications PictBridge compliant, Bluetooth Unit BU-30 (optional)
Power Source Built-in AC adapter
Power Consumption Approx. 70W (printing), 4W (standby)
Printing Software SELPHY Photo Print v1.1 (PC/Mac) & PC/Mac Drivers
Accessories Built-in AC adapter, BU-30 Bluetooth Unit
(to print from compatible PDAs & camera phones)
Compatible OS Mac OS X v10.4 – v10.5, Windows XP SP2-3 / Vista (Including SP1)
Warranty 3 years