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Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Jan 18, 2023 at 01:21 pm
Latest change: Retest Mar 16, 2023 at 09:20 am
Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer Picture

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is a compact photo printer with a built-in battery. It only connects to iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth and can only print 2" x 3" pictures on proprietary ZINK photo paper through Canon's IVY mobile app. The ZINK photo paper is also water-resistant, smudge-proof, and has an adhesive backing, allowing you to use the photos as decorations or in a collage. Its rechargeable battery is good for 20 prints and charges over Micro USB.

Our Verdict

N/A Family

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is aย poor printer for family use. While it's primarily meant for use as a compact photo printer, it prints poor-quality photos that aren't suitable for detailed family photos or professional-grade graduation portraits. It doesn't have scanning features, and you can only use Android or iOS devices to print using the dedicated Canon Mini Print app.

Pros
  • Extremely compact and easy to bring around.
  • No moving parts or consumables to worry about.
Cons
  • Poor-quality photos with lost details and red pixelation.
  • Lots of banding within color gradients.
  • Can only print via iOS or Android devices using the dedicated app.
  • No scanning features.
N/A Small/Home Office

The Canon IVY Mini isn't designed for small or home office use, as it's a portable photo printer that can only print 2" x 3" photos on proprietary ZINK paper.

Pros
Cons
  • No scanning features.
  • Very slow to print overall.
  • 2" x 3" ZINK photo paper unsuitable for documents.
N/A Student

The Canon IVY Mini is awful for student use, although it works well for recreation, like casually printing out snaps with friends. Unfortunately, it's slow to print, it doesn't have a scanner, and you can't directly print most commonly used files other than photos.

Pros
  • Extremely compact and easy to bring around.
  • No moving parts or consumables to worry about.
Cons
  • Can only print via iOS or Android devices using the dedicated app.
  • No scanning features.
  • Very slow to print overall.
  • 2" x 3" ZINK photo paper unsuitable for documents.
N/A Black & White

The Canon IVY Mini isn't designed to print black & white sheets, as it's a portable photo printer that can only print 2" x 3" photos on proprietary ZINK paper.

Pros
Cons
  • No scanning features.
  • Very slow to print overall.
  • 2" x 3" ZINK photo paper unsuitable for documents.
N/A Photo

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer performs poorly overall as a photo printer. Since the sheets are so small, it loses fine details that would be present on larger prints. There's also lots of banding in gradients and transitions between colors, as well as red pixelation that's most visible in darker areas. Colors are passably accurate, but the tone could make faces look off. However, it's designed to be a portable printer for recreation, so it's great for printing casual snapshots while on the go.

Pros
  • Extremely compact and easy to bring around.
  • No moving parts or consumables to worry about.
Cons
  • Poor-quality photos with lost details and red pixelation.
  • Lots of banding within color gradients.
  • Can only print via iOS or Android devices using the dedicated app.
  • Compatible only with 2" x 3" ZINK sheets.
  • N/A Family
  • N/A Small/Home Office
  • N/A Student
  • N/A Black & White
  • N/A Photo
  1. Updated Mar 16, 2023: We've changed the printer type to Photo Only in the Build Quality section because this printer can only print photos. This change doesn't affect the score.
  2. Updated Jan 18, 2023: We've updated the review to improve clarity and added more information in the Small Details section.
  3. Updated Aug 30, 2022: Added mention of the Fujifilm instax mini Link 2 as an alternative with faster printing speed.
  4. Updated Aug 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  5. Updated Jul 20, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  6. Updated May 27, 2022: We changed the Drum Unit result from 'None' to 'No Drum Unit' to be consistent with our other reviews.
  7. Updated Feb 23, 2022: Fixed issues with displaying the correct color page yield and cost-per-print values.
  8. Updated Feb 14, 2022: Retested the Color Accuracy test.
  9. Updated Dec 23, 2021: Review published.
  10. Updated Dec 21, 2021: Early access published.
  11. Updated Oct 21, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Oct 19, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Oct 12, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Canon IVY Mini in the Rose Gold trim. It's also available in Mint Green and Slate Gray trims.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Canon IVY Mini is a compact photo printer that's easy to carry around for on-the-go recreational use. Its print quality isn't nearly as good as most desktop printers; however, it may still be a good option if you're looking for a more polaroid-like look.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best cheap printers, and the best Canon printers.

Fujifilm instax mini Link 2

The Fujifilm instax mini Link 2 and the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer are both compact photo printers designed for use with smartphones. The Canon is slightly better in print quality because it has a wider color range and produces finer details. It's also more cost-effective than the Fujifilm printer as its photo paper is less expensive. On the other hand, the Fujifilm model prints faster and has longer battery life.

Liene Amber M100

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer and the Liene Amber M100 both use heat to print their images. The Canon uses ZINK paper that contains dye crystals within it, meaning colors show up when the crystals are exposed to different heat intensities. While you don't need to worry about a cartridge, the colors look much darker than they're supposed to. The Canon has a battery, so it's easier to carry around than the Liene, which uses a power cord. On the other hand, the Liene model prints nicer-looking photos with much more accurate colors. It prints larger 4" x 6" photos instead of 2" x 3" photos like the Canon.

Canon SELPHY Square QX10

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer and the Canon SELPHY Square QX10 are both instant photo printers. The IVY uses ZINK sheets, which contain dye crystals that become visible when exposed to different heat intensities. While you only need to worry about refilling the paper, its colors and photos are much darker and bluer than they should be. On the other hand, the SELPHY has a cartridge with dye transfer films for each color that transfer to the photo sheet once heat is applied. It has much more detailed photos, and its colors look much more vibrant and accurate.

Canon PIXMA TR8620

The Canon PIXMA TR8620 is a color inkjet printer that produces excellent-quality photos, while the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is a compact, battery-powered model that only prints photos. The PIXMA performs better as a traditional printer, as it has a far superior cost-per-print, prints significantly better-detailed, vibrant photos with much more accurate colors, and has an outstanding variety of connectivity options, including direct printing from SD cards. On the other hand, the IVY is a better option if you want a printer that can quickly and easily print casual 2" x 3" photos from a mobile device while on the go.

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is a compact, battery-powered photo printer for casual photo printing, while the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is a supertank printer that's great for families or students. On paper, the Canon performs worse in almost every way, but it prints 2" x 3" photos in under a minute using special water-resistant, adhesive-backed paper and is great if you only need to print from your mobile device. On the other hand, the Epson has incredible page yields, an exceptionally low cost-per-print, a flatbed scanner, and great connectivity options that make it better suited for general, all-purpose use.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300

The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 is a professional-grade photo printer with a 10-cartridge system, while the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is a compact, battery-powered photo printer that easily produces casual prints from your smartphone. The imagePROGRAF is far superior for photo printing, as it produces superbly detailed photos with no banding, amazingly accurate colors, and an outstanding color gamut. Also, it has significantly more connectivity options. On the other hand, the IVY performs much worse on paper, but the quality of its 2" x 3" prints and its method of use might appeal to people who want a simple-to-use photo printer that you can bring along on the go.

+ Show more

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
N/A
Design
Build Quality
Type Photo Only

The Canon IVY Mini has an exceptionally compact design but feels a bit cheap, as it bends easily when you apply pressure. Unfortunately, the output tray is exposed, so it's easy for dirt to get inside if you're bringing it around with you. On the upside, it's easy to access the paper tray, and you can use it while charging.

Design
Dimensions
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)
Height When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Width When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Weight
Lock lbs (Lock kg)
N/A
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Locked
Drum Unit
Locked

The Canon IVY doesn't require traditional print maintenance, like cleaning out printheads or replacing drum units. Instead, every time you replace the pack of ZINK sheets, you need to use the included blue SMART SHEET to recalibrate the printer for use with each new pack. It's very easy to open the lid and fill the printer with paper. Cleaning is also easy since the sheet roller is also in the paper tray.

You can see the user manual here

N/A
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Locked
Display Screen Size
N/A
Touchscreen Locked

The Canon IVY Mini has an LED light that indicates the power status. The only way to check the battery's exact level is by using the mobile companion app, as the LED only turns red when the battery runs low.

N/A
Design
Cartridge
Technology Inkless
SuperTank
No
Photo Cartridge
Locked
Color Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
N/A
Black Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Black Page Yield
N/A
Estimated Black Page Yield
N/A
Color Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Third Party Cartridge
Locked
Ink Type
Locked
High Yield Cartridge
Locked

This printer uses special water-resistant, smudge-proof, adhesive-backed ZINK photo paper sheets, which don't require any ink or toner to print. Instead, each color of ink already exists within the paper itself, sandwiched in a layer separate from the other colors. The colors themselves are dye crystals that become visible when exposed to different intensities of heat for different lengths of time and can be exposed independently of the other colors. It gives the printer fine control over mixing the cyan, magenta, and yellow color layers to obtain the desired color. The print head on the printer itself contains the heating elements necessary to expose each color.

You can get regular ZINK photo sheets in packs of 20 or 50. The special, pre-cut circle sticker paper is available in packs of 20.

N/A
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Locked
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
N/A
Duplex Scanning
Locked
Max Flatbed Scan Size
Locked
Max ADF Scan Size
Locked
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
N/A
Fax
Locked
Copy
Locked
OCR Included
Locked
N/A
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
N/A
Max Scan Color Depth
N/A
Design
In The Box

  • Quick start guide
  • USB-A to Micro USB charging cable
  • 1 pack of Canon ZINK photo paper:
    • 10 sheets Canon ZINK photo paper
    • 1 blue SMART SHEET for calibration

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
~Lock prints
Tested Charging Time
Lock min

Canon advertises that the battery lasts long enough to print two packs of ZINK photo sheets, although your mileage may vary depending on the types of photos you print. It takes a while to charge, but you can continue printing while it charges.

Document
N/A
Document
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Locked

The Canon IVY Mini Printer can't print documents.

N/A
Document
Color Documents
N/A
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Color Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
N/A
Color Printing Cost
N/A
Photo Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Ink Subscription
Locked

The Canon IVY photo printer's cost per print is decent. The ZINK photo paper comes in packs of various sizes and isn't overly expensive. However, the cost can add up quickly if you print a lot.

N/A
Document
Printing Speed
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer Printing Speed Video Sample
Black Only Text Document
N/A
Color Document
N/A
Photo Printing Time
Lock s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
N/A
Duplex Printing
Locked
Input Tray Capacity
Lock pages

The Canon IVY can print photos at a good speed, but it can't print anything else. You can add photos to a queue, so you don't have to wait to manually print each one, and its input tray supports up to ten sheets at a time. However, you still need to insert the included blue SMART SHEET to calibrate the printer for each new pack, which takes a few seconds to print before the printer can produce a photo. If you want a portable photo printer with faster printing speed, check out the Fujifilm instax mini Link 2.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
Letter (8.5" x 11") Locked
Legal (8.5" x 14") Locked
Tabloid (11" x 17") Locked
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Locked
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Locked
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Locked
Max Paper Weight
N/A

The Canon IVY printer only accepts 2" x 3"โ€“format Canon ZINK photo paper. There's no other way to get it to print wider or longer sheets. In addition, the paper itself has strict storage temperature requirements due to the ZINK technology it usesโ€”between 1โ€“25ยฐC (34โ€“77ยฐF)โ€”so you need to be careful where you put spare sheets. You can also get special pre-cut circle sticker packs you can peel and paste. If you want a model that prints 4" x 6" photos, check out the Liene Amber M100.

Photo
N/A
Photo
Color Gamut

The Canon IVY has a poor color gamut. It has a hard time producing very light colors, which end up looking too dark, while dark colors look practically black. It also can't print very bright colors, which end up looking dull. Additionally, there's a lot of banding in gradients and transitions between different colors.

N/A
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
Lock

The Canon IVY produces acceptably accurate colors. It's fine for everyday use, but most colors look a bit off from the originals. It isn't ideal for professional-grade prints that require precise color reproduction.

N/A
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
Locked

Although this printer has a low print resolution, it produces better pictures than many inkjet printers, as there aren't any droplets or half-tone (dots) effect. That said, photos still look blurry and lacking in detail.

N/A
Photo
Photo Printing Sizes
Glossy Paper (4" x 6") Locked
Glossy Paper (5" x 7") Locked
Glossy Paper (8" x 10") Locked
Glossy Paper (8.5" x 11") Locked
Glossy Paper (13" x 19") Locked
Borderless Printing
Locked

This printer can only print on 2" x 3" (5cm x 7.6cm) ZINK photo paper.

Mobile App And Connectivity
N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Locked
USB Input To Computer
Locked
Bluetooth
Locked
Wireless Yes
Wi-Fi via Router
Locked
Wi-Fi Direct
Locked
External Storage Support
Locked
Apple AirPrint
Locked
Mopria Print Service
Locked

The Canon IVY printer uses Bluetooth to connect to iOS and Android devices that support the Canon Mini Print app. There isn't any other way to connect to the printer to print, as you can only use the Micro USB port to charge.

N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Locked
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Locked
PDF
Locked
Microsoft Office Files
Locked
Text Files (TXT)
Locked
Webpages (HTML)
Locked

The Canon IVY is compatible with the Canon Mini Print app on Android and iOS. You can use it to print from saved photos on your phone, take a photo to print right away, create a photo collage, and add photos to the print queue. You can also select the "Pre-Cut Sticker" option, which lets you print photos compatible with ZINK paper sheets that have a pre-cut circle sticker. You can also use the app to check the printer's battery level and update its firmware.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Locked
macOS Locked
Chrome OS Locked

The Canon IVY printer is only compatible with smartphones and tablets running iOS 9.0 and up or Android 4.4 or later. You can't print on Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS, and if you try to search for the Canon Mini Print app on the Google Play Store on Chrome OS, it says the device isn't compatible with the app.