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Fire hazard sparks recall of HP digicams

Company recalls 679,000 R707 digital cameras, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, on Tuesday issued a recall of all HP R707 digital cameras.

The recall follows a report of one R707 overheating and catching fire while being used with non-rechargeable batteries.

The CPSC and HP recommend that users of both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries cease using the camera until an update has been completed.

"The digital camera can cause certain non-rechargeable batteries, such as the Duracell CP-1, to overheat when the camera is connected to an AC adapter or docking station, posing a fire hazard," according to a statement released by the CPSC.

The problem occurs when the digital camera attempts to apply a charge to a non-rechargeable battery. A firmware update solves the problem and is available for free download from HP's service Web site.

About 224,000 R707 digital cameras have been sold in the U.S. and 679,000 worldwide, according to the report. So far, no injuries have been reported.

A similar problem occurred in November 2005 with Nikon Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras. However, in that instance, defective Nikon rechargeable lithium ion battery packs were found to be causing the meltdowns. Individual serial numbers for more than 700,000 batteries were recalled, and Nikon offered replacements.

In May, HP made an aggressive push into the consumer digital photography market. The company announced that more than 100 new products geared toward image capture, processing and production will be released by the end of 2006.