HP offers fun for the frugal photographer

Compact cameras for summer offer more in-camera editing for less.

Hewlett-Packard, it seems, is determined to help everyone make photos fixes right in their cameras so there's no trace of the imperfect world transferred to the computer.

On Thursday, the company announced the release of nine cameras (click here to see a full photo gallery) that at first glance are pretty run-of-the-mill. But many of them incorporate the in-camera editing features that were introduced in more expensive models.


Hewlett-Packard
Dogs don't always look good with demon eyes. Hewlett-Packard

Last year, Hewlett-Packard began including software that makes people in your pictures appear slimmer or even tanner. This summer's lineup for the R-series and M-series models, which range in price from $80 to $300, have many of those features.

The R937 for $300, the neatest of the bunch , and the R847 for $230, both offer something called Pet-Eye fix. HP's Pet-Eye fix, which was first introduced on the the HP R837 , changes little Hudson or Dylan from a devil-eyed monster to a wide-eyed pup in about two steps.

Hewlett-Packard
Dogs' eyes after HP's Hewlett-Packard

If you've ever tried to use the human red-eye fix on your dog's glowing orbs, then you know why this is useful. Red-eye fix software doesn't usually know how to deal with fur, and you are often left with a mottled pet.

The 8-megapixel R847 includes the in-camera red-eye removal, slimming feature and blemish remover of the R937, as well as the 32MB of memory. It takes multiple photos and combines them into one panoramic shot right in the camera. HP also claims that the 3-inch display on the R847 can been seen easily is bright light and has a viewing angle of up to 170 degrees.

Hewlett-Packard
HP Mz67 Hewlett-Packard

The HP Mz67, for $200, also gives you 8 megapixels. That's enough resolution to have your photo printed to a poster size and look nice enough to hang in the kitchen, though maybe not the living room. It has a 2.5-inch display and antishake. It's slightly heavier at .4 lbs, but that's due to the fact that it includes a 6x optical zoom lens. That little bit of extra weight is worth it. As many will tell you, when it comes too zoom, it's the optical zoom that counts.

Hewlett-Packard
Eighty bucks gets you the 5-megapixel HP E337. Hewlett-Packard

Now, if you want to go really budget, the Photosmart E337 for is for you.

The 5-megapixel camera with a measly 1.5-inch LCD display is only $80. At that cost, it's great for the child who doesn't want Hello Kitty or "kid tough" emblazoned on his or her electronics , but can't yet be let loose outside with something you'd be afraid to lose. A USB port allows it to easily connect to a Windows or Mac computer. It also has an SD card slot to make up for a lack of minimal on-camera storage, which is typical of most compact cameras these days.

Hewlett-Packard
HP M447 Hewlett-Packard

The HP M447, M547 and M637, all available this August, represent a budget level of compact camera with a 2.4-inch screen, 3x optical zoom, antishake feature to minimize blur when shooting in low light, some video with audio capability, USB port and SD card slot. The only difference between the cameras, as far as we can tell, is in the megapixels. The M637 is a 7.2-megapixel camera for $150, the M547 for $110 has 6.2 megapixels and the M447 for $100 has 5 megapixels.

The M737 for $180 doesn't have the zoom capability of the HP Mz67, but it still has a 2.5-inch display and 8 megapixels for taking nice resolution photos. For those who want to play around with their photos in-camera, the M737 has the in-camera red-eye removal and the slimming feature. It also has a 3x optical zoom lens and an SD card slot.

Also for $180 and available this August, the R742 has 7 megapixels, a 2.5-inch screen, 3x optical zoom lens and an SD card slot. It also has 13 shooting modes for the photography who wants some manual control, but isn't quite ready to start messing with aperture and ISO.

As if that wasn't enough to think about, HP also announced some printers on Thursday, too.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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