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[Digital Camera]HP Photosmart 945... should I get it?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LifesBane(4Corners), Jul 8, 2004.

  1. LifesBane(4Corners)

    LifesBane(4Corners) Active Member

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    We own a digital camera right now as a family-- a Nikon Coolpics (990 I think) @ 3.32mp It's a family cam though, and I'm probably going to want one for myself for future use. Right now, I can probably get the HP Photosmart 945 for $100 (regularly $450). That's why I'm looking at this camera over anything else.

    I googled around for a bit to what seemed like some fairly detailed review sites... reviews were pretty good, but a little mixed. I don't really know anything about cameras, but it is something that I've always wanted to explore quite a bit more. It sounds like it's decent picture quality, has some cool digital contrast adjustments, records movies w/audio (and you can zoom in/out during recording, but the mic. picks up the motor :p) etc. The main problem everyone seemed to gripe about was night time shots being blury (although some passed this off as being the fault of the review model they were using, and HP said production one's would not do this), and the fact that the LCD/EVF screen blacked out between shots, making it hard to track a moving subject.

    So, my question is... to those of you photo gurus here, how does this camera seem for a basic user who is looking to possibly move into a more intermediate skill level. I don't know what the most popular sites are for digital photography / reviews, so I don't really know what reviews to trust...
    any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. [C22]-Mort

    [C22]-Mort Retired but wearing the tag with pride!

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    Normally I'd steer well clear of HP camera's but from what I've heard this one is pretty good!

    Important Features (for me) ;)
    Resolution : 5.3MP
    Lens: Fuji 7.6-61mm f/2.8-3.1 (35mm equiv. 37-300mm) w. 8x Optical Zoom
    Manual White balance which is a must to move away from novice point and click images!

    here is a nice review and feature list!

    Whilst a fujinon lens isn't the best it certainly is far from the worst and you should have no trouble getting some quality images from it and for that price it's a steal!
     
  3. TheShiningWizard

    TheShiningWizard Because it's more fantastical.

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    Worst case scenario, you could buy it and eBay it for $300 Buy It Now. :D
     
  4. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    Worst case scenario : you buy the camera for $100 and have to pay over $300 for overpriced extras and shipping ...
    Or it's a 'grey import' (= no service)
    Or it won't ship until it's outdated if it ever ships at all
    Or it's broken by default
    Or it is a stolen camera ...

    *yikes* ... that is the equivalent of 2 second lag in on-line games ...
    Plenty of time to miss even slow moving objects.
    Hell ... I'd say it's useless at anything except photographing statues & buildings.

    For example this would be impossible :
    [​IMG]
     
  5. (SDS)benmcl

    (SDS)benmcl Why not visit us here in the real world.

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    Lag is a bitch when dealing with fast moving objects. With me and a Fuji 4900 zoom its horses doing western events. I set colour balance, shutter speed and f-stop to manual and adjust on the fly (out doors lighting can change beween riders or even during a riders run). Use auto focus. I point to where the horse and rider should be for the action shot and push and hold the shutter half way down and wait then fire off 5 frames. If the horse is where its supposed to be I'll get 3 or 4 good frames.

    Even with less expensive cameras you can get some great action shots with just a little thinking.

    I have to agree with JaFo. Be carefull where you get it from. It is well known that cameras can be bought "cheaper" but what they really do is strip the other items out of the box and charge you extra at a much higher price. I heard a lot of horror stories and the high preasure sells tactics.

    I would have to say if I was looking to get a new camera this is one I would seriously look at.

    Edit: Although I would admit the shot JaFo is showing I MAY very well miss because it is not a "planned shot".
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2004
  6. LifesBane(4Corners)

    LifesBane(4Corners) Active Member

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    Don't worry, this is legit. It's through HP themself...It's part of an employee accommodation deal
     
  7. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    I wouldn't look at it because of the lack of speed.
    4 megapixels is enough for A4 sized prints of good quality. More would be nice, but it is definitely not essential for me at least.
    I'd be saving my money for a better/faster camera ... like the Z3 that was announced (12x zoom, image stabilization, 4 megapixels and it may even be as fast as the Z2 & Z1 or even faster) ... ;)

    It is a planned shot ... at least there was a family of ducks sitting at the edge so getting focus-lock was easy.
    Predicting the actual moment of jumping was the difficult part, but the fast speed did help.

    I probably would have had better shots if I'd picked the ultra-highspeed shot-mode instead of the fully automated setting with pre-focussing.
     
  8. (SDS)benmcl

    (SDS)benmcl Why not visit us here in the real world.

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    OK I understand and I can see where the problem could be. My camera would have gotten the shot to.

    Yes speed is always better. We use a pair of D1Xs a work so I have a very good idea how speed would really helps.
     
  9. Keganator

    Keganator White as Snow Moderator

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    I don't know what camera my sister got, but it's got a 'video' recording mode. It takes a series of 15 images a second, and attaches sound to it, but it does 15 images a second, and that's the important part. All at 4.x megapixels. I want one...but I want more ram first :D
     
  10. [C22]-Mort

    [C22]-Mort Retired but wearing the tag with pride!

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    Well it's up to you...buy a reasonable quality camera now....or save the money which will buy you 1/5 of a camera that isn't out yet. So you will have to find $300-$400 dollars in the meantime and also NOT have a camera in the meantime! ;)

    The choice is yours.

    Whilst most of the criticisms raised above are valid, they are only really of worry to somebody who is really serious about it all.

    and the Auto Focus lag of 1.5secs that was raised is not the actual mean AF time but the time taken to AF if you zoom from close focus to infinity and there are next to no cameras that can do that with a zoom range as large as this camera anywhere near it's price range!

    the actual mean AF time is less than 0.5secs and it has a shutter lag of 0.1-0.2 secs which is comparable to most SLR camera's, so I wouldn't worry about lag if I was you!
     
  11. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    Are you sure it's a true 4Mp recording ?
    Because that would make it one hell of an expensive camera ...
     
  12. LifesBane(4Corners)

    LifesBane(4Corners) Active Member

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    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2014
  13. PBH

    PBH Waiting for Armageddon

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    I just recently bought the old model of the 935 and I love it to death. Even the price I spent on it was worth a decent camera and I defenitly got that and a half. I say go for it.
     
  14. Cunubelin

    Cunubelin Absens haeres non erit (Soccerdad)

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    What's the batterylife in those models?
    I did the bad mistake of buying the Photosmart 812 camera. It gave me all of a dozen pictures before the batteries were drained. I thought the camera or the batteries were faulty. However when I contacted HP support they said it was "normal"...
    I returned the camera and bought a Casio QV-R41 with 256mb memory. This camera gives me up to 900 pictures before I have to recharge the batteries!
    I'm more than happy with this camera.
    Here's a review of the camera.
     
  15. [C22]-Mort

    [C22]-Mort Retired but wearing the tag with pride!

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    Don't worry about the storage-lag after the image has been taken the 945 has a 64Mb Internal-cache and can store up to 6 images that are awaiting writing to the storage medium, so unless you take more than 6 images REALLY quickly you shouldn't even notice :D
     
  16. Crowze

    Crowze Bird Brain

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    I thought about getting the 945, but because of the slow AF (and I couldn't find a shop locally that had it so I could try it) I went for the Minolta Z2. 'Only' 4MP but 10x zoom, and very fast auto focus, great image quality (although I like the look of HP's 'digital flash' thing). They were similarly priced... but for the price you can get it at, I'd say go for the 945.
    Dammit, I just got the Z2... ah well, seemed like a good idea at the time.

    EDIT: The other one I was looking at was the Kodak 6490 or something, similar spec and price to the HP 945. I tried one out, seemed pretty good but was overly aggressive on the jpeg compression. You might want to see what price you can get it for over there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2004
  17. TheShiningWizard

    TheShiningWizard Because it's more fantastical.

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    Minolta is good. I have a DimageG500, and it's teh sex.
     
  18. Derelan

    Derelan Tracer Bullet

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    Minolta is good, I got a dIMAGE A1 (5MP 1000$ camera) for free, their anti-shake feature and flex focus point are nice, but they really rip you off. You gotta pay extra for the dc adapter and the camera control software (for the computer), but tigerdirect.ca has nice prices for both.

    Oh, and incase you haven't already,
    http://www.dpreview.com/

    I haven't yet found a digital camera that doesn't do that.
     
  19. JaFO

    JaFO bugs are features too ...

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    camera-control software ???
    The A1 acts as a 'mass-storage' device when connected to the pc via usb.
    Only if you've got Win98 do you have to install a driver and even that's included in the standard-package.

    Link : http://konicaminolta.com/products/consumer/digital_camera/dimage/dimage-a1/spec.html

    // Crowze :
    I had the same feeling when I saw the Z3 announcement. Altough it's still at least half a year away from release it is annoying to see stuff like this announced at this time.
     
  20. Derelan

    Derelan Tracer Bullet

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    Go into the first page of the 'setup' menu (blue menu) and under "transfer mode", change it to "comp. control".

    When you connect the camera to your computer, you will see it says "Dimage A1". If you would like to see "how" ( ;) ) to get the software, PM me.
     

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