21st Nov 2005

HP Digital Cameras PhotoSmart C912xi

What the average HP digital camera review doesn’t tell you is that HP and Compaq merged in 2002 blending together common technical backgrounds, and varied product lines, to form a powerhouse provider of computers, peripherals, and digital imaging solutions.

Stanford University classmates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard founded HP in 1939. The company’s first product, built in a Palo Alto garage, was an audio oscillator - an electronic test instrument used by sound engineers. One of HP’s first customers was Walt Disney Studios, which purchased eight oscillators to develop and test an innovative sound system for the movie “Fantasia.”

Compaq Computer Corporation was formed after a 1982 meeting in a Houston, Texas, pie shop. Together, employees in the new HP share a passion for satisfying customers, an intense focus on teamwork, speed and agility, and a commitment to trust and respect for all individuals.

HP Models Range from $49 to $799…

With their massive product lines, the HP digital camera is just a blip on the company’s revenue radar. With 53 models priced from $799 for the HP PhotoSmart C912xi - digital camera…

HP Photosmart 120 1.0MP…all the way down to $49 for the HP PhotoSmart 120, I would have to say that you’re not trying hard enough if you can’t find a model that fits somewhere in your budget.

HP’s Design is not Attractive…

One thing I can say for sure, HP cameras are ugly! Well, I don’t know if ugly is really the right word, they’re, well, kind of retro. In fact, most of them look like some 1950’s designer’s idea of “futuristic”. Sort of like when you visit Tomorrow Land, at Disney, and realize that instead of seeing a glimpse of “Tomorrow”, every there is really the “day before yesterday”. But, I digress. You certainly can’t judge a book by the cover, and HP digital cameras prove that point.

HP PhotoSmart C912xi

Of all the HP cameras, there is one that stands out and is worthy of using the rest of this HP digital camera review article to describe it:

HP PhotoSmart C912xi 2.2MPThe Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart C912xi digital camera is near the top of the line in HP models. This camera is a true SLR (Single Lens Reflex). SLR simply means that when you look through the viewfinder you are looking through the lens of the camera and seeing the exact same image as will be captured by the camera. All non-SLR cameras use a small, separate lens for the viewfinder and the main camera lens to capture the image. The result being that “What you see ain’t always what you get”.

Excellent Macro Capabilities…

The HP C912xi has a 2.2 Mega Pixel CCD, kind of low for a high-end camera, that is capable of producing a screen based image size of 1600 x 1280. The included Pentax lens has a minimum focal distance of 2cm, meaning that you can take a picture of the antennae of a lady bug at distance roughly equivalent to how close her husband is to her when they wake up in the morning! All kidding aside, this qualifies as one of the best macros available for consumer digital cameras and is major feature of this digital camera.

Although the HP PhotoSmart C912xi has a rounded look, and feels comfortable in your hand, its size and weight tend to rival that of a traditional SLR film-based camera. The camera includes a 16 Megabyte memory card with support for Compact Flash Memory cards Type I & II.

It supports JPEG and TIFF file types, but there is no support for RAW. Speaking of no support, there is no serial port interface provided so, if your PC does not have a working USB Port, you’re hosed. Other than that, this is a mighty fine camera.

Help yourself to as much pre-sales information as you need. Since HP cameras are so popular, it’s no chore to find as many HP digital camera reviews as you need to find the model that’s right for you. Just Google the phrase “HP digital camera review” and you’ll be all set.

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