Its big LCD reveals a unique menu system with plain-language explanations for every setting along with a function that critiques photos you've taken. The Image Advice feature can identify problems with exposure, focus, motion blur, and noise due to high ISO or camera temperature. The camera then explains the problem and offers tips on how to improve the image. It also displays tutorials on using its features; Top Ten Tips that are specific to the camera but also include general photography pointers. Of course, there's also a list of accessories with copy from the HP marketing department; "Protect and transport your camera in style with HP's new Signature Collection Cases," one part implores.
Like most digital cameras, the R927 includes a bevy of shooting modes, with in-camera explanations of each. Earning its place at the top of HP's line, this Photosmart includes advanced exposure modes such as aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual.
New to this year's line of Photosmarts is the Design Gallery menu, where you can add borders, rotate, remove red-eye from, or add "artistic" effects to your images. Each effect is explained in the menu and includes favorites, such as Solarize and Watercolor, as well as some newer twists, such as Slimming. This last option squeezes the middle of the image horizontally, so your subject appears slightly thinner if you center it in the frame.
Unfortunately, the HP Photosmart R927 is a sluggish performer under all but optimal conditions. It has an extremely short shutter lag of 0.2 second for brightly lit, high-contrast scenes; that jumps to 1.8 seconds when things aren't so bright. Time from power-on to the first shot was a middling 2.5 seconds, and the camera took 2.8 seconds between shots without flash thereafter. With flash, the shot-to-shot time rose to 3.4 seconds. Also, the burst mode was erratic, capturing anywhere from 1 to 3 images in a burst in our tests at a rate of 2.3fps regardless of image size. The LCD, which initially impressed with its size, is severely washed out in sunlight. Also, when magnifying images on the LCD, they were noticeably pixelated even when zoomed only slightly, though this probably was not the fault of the LCD.