Any Experience with Mitsubishi CP-M1 Dye Sublimation Printer

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by tomweis, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Hi - has anyone here used the Mitsubishi CP-M1 at an event for a photo booth, etc..? Pros/Cons? Print quality (both color and B&W)? It weighs 30 pounds which is sort of a bummer, but I'm curious to know if anyone here has actually used it at a gig and made hundreds of prints with it. Thanks!
  2. Hi, no, I haven't used that model. I've had a lot of background experience with pro-level dye sub printers, in general, though.

    Here's the general breakdown. They can make very high-quality color images, provided that they have a high-quality ICC profile. They DO need a specific media, made just for that printer (media consists of paper and ribbon). I would suggest to plan your purchase with the intention of paying it off within a relatively short time, meaning just a few years, just in case. When it gets to where the manufacturer doesn't support it anymore, media-wise, it's just a paperweight. So it's something you want to buy as a piece of production equipment for your business, that's essentially pumping out profit.

    FWIW there are essentially no surface options aside from glossy. Some makers have a "matte" surface available, but it doesn't really have a texture - it's made by "dithering" the overcoat layer. I've seen some that looked really good, but I'd personally avoid using because of potential long-term image stability issues.

    Because of these issues it may sound like a bad idea. But if you plan to do on-site event printing there is nothing else to compete. Pro dye subs print fast, and the prints are completely finished, ready to hand out, when they come out the end. No waiting to finish drying, etc. No worries about ink drying in a print head, or anything like that. Just keep the printer in a case until your next event, haul it there, and start printing.

    FWIW I've only used them indoors, under office-like conditions, so I have no idea about tolerance for higher temperature or humidity, etc. One other point is to protect them from dust. If you get any dust particles on the paper they'll show up on the print (the dust gets between the ribbon and the paper, blocking the dye at that point).

    Let me know if any other general questions.
  3. As well as I know, many retailers with in-store printing, such as Walgreens, went to Dye-sub some years ago.
    I once knew the model that a nearby store used, but I forget now. I believe it was less portable
    than you want.

    Personally, I liked the older machines with scanning lasers exposing silver based paper, as in the end
    it reminds me of the days before digital printers. As well as I know, the larger mail-order retailers,
    like Shutterfly, still use wet printers. (Last time I used them, the paper says "Fuji Crystal Archive"
    on the back.)

    If you look up the Fuji paper, they give the reciprocity values for microsecond and many seconds
    exposure. The paper is designed for either scanned lasers or traditional enlargers.

    I believe that the dye sublimation printers are better at getting the full dynamic range,
    and doing it accurately, than inkjet. It is not so easy to get inkjet printers to make the
    small drops needed for lighter areas, and the larger drops needed for dark areas.
  4. Thanks for all you answers! I called Mitsubishi to see if they had a driver for macOS Big Sur, and they do not. The guy I spoke to said that Mitsubishi does not make the CP-M1 any longer and has no plans for a replacement. I'm so glad I didn't buy one! I went with the DNP DP-QW410 instead. We'll see how it work out.
  5. Good move.

    Regarding DNP, some years ago they bought out Sony's dye sub business in the US, so will likely continue to be a player. The only thing I'd worry about with the model you picked is the limited media size. (It's limited by the width of the print head, 4.5 inches per their website.) If your intention is to make money with the printer it may be hard to charge much for a 4x6" print (or whatever size a 4.5" wide unit gives). So might consider stepping up to something that has options to print on 5" wide paper, allowing 5x7" prints, as well as 4" paper, for 4x6" prints. (I don't know that DNP actually has such a model, but it seems likely.) Just some food for thought.

    One last comment... dye sub printers use a full-width thermal head that has to be periodically cleaned, meaning that it has to be reachable with a Q-tip or the like. If someone ever puts a little nick in it, perhaps from a ring, the printhead, the most expensive part of the machine, will have to be replaced in a factory service center. I'm sure the user manual will emphasize this, but it's something you might wanna know up front.

    Best of luck with your selection.
  6. Thanks, Bill. I'm OK with 4x6 prints at least for now. The feature I like about the DP-QW410 is that it weighs only about 15 pounds - easy to pack, easy to carry. At 30 seconds per prints it's not the fastest, but it's not the most expensive either. This will be my first "photo booth" type of event. If I find myself booking these shoots in the future I may add a faster printer with more print size options.
    Thanks for the tips about keeping the printhead clean and protecting it from damage!
  7. You're welcome. Best of luck with it.

    If you end up hauling it a lot consider something like a Pelican case for it. O-ring seal to keep out dust, and cut-out foam to soak up shocks.
  8. The Mitsubishi CP-M1 is like the Cadillac of Dye Subs. When I was researching Dye Sub printers the reviews always gave this printer high marks as well as the other Dye-subs that Mitsubishi makes. However, I went for the Sinfonia C2 due to it's size and weight.

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