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Choosing an HP digital camera

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There’s a digital camera out there for everyone, from novice shutterbugs to photography gurus. We’ll give you a snapshot of what’s currently available, review the most important features, and help you zoom in on the HP camera that is right for you.

Know your needs

The type of digital camera you buy will depend on how you intend to use it. Knowing what kind of photos you’ll be taking most often will help you decide what resolution and other features you’ll need.

Start by identifying your needs. Will you be viewing and sharing your pictures on a computer or do you plan to make a lot of photo prints? Are there specific features you require, like a powerful zoom for close-up photos or a movie-recording mode?

For occasional snapshots, family album projects, or a personal Web site, you’ll probably be happy with an entry-level model with minimal extras. On the other hand, if you want to make really big prints (beyond 8×10 inches), you’ll likely need to look for a model with more manual controls and a slightly higher megapixel count. Likewise, if you’re using the camera for professional graphics work or if your business depends on pro-quality digital images, you’ll definitely appreciate the quality and speed of a more sophisticated camera.

Here’s an overview of what’s available:

• entry-level point-and-shoot

Entry-level digital cameras are a great solution for two types of users: Those who plan to take and share small images of medium quality and people wanting a starter camera to help them get the hang of digital photography before buying more expensive equipment.

Resolutions for these cameras top out around 2 megapixels, manual settings are minimal, and LCDs (liquid-crystal displays) and optical zoom are rare. Most include software that makes downloading and editing images as simple as possible.

For example: The HP 435 digital camera is point-and-shoot simplicity at its best. Get great results with 3.3 megapixel resolution and 5x digital zoom. Removable, reusable 16 MB CompactFlash memory card stores approximately 36 basic photos. (And you can easily add memory using the CompactFlash™ slot.) This model goes beyond what most entry-level cameras offer by adding a 1.8″ color LCD screen to preview photos.

• middle-of-the-road

If you like more control over your results, then you’ll want a higher-end model with more advanced features such as manual shooting modes, quality optics, and more megapixels so you can make large prints and crop effectively. Most intermediate digital cameras have LCDs (liquid-crystal displays), resolutions span from 2 megapixels to 3.3 megapixels, and higher lens quality. Optical zoom and a USB port are universal. This is a large category with a broad range of features and prices.

For example: The HP Photosmart 735 digital camera is fully automatic with 3.24 megapixel resolution and 5x digital zoom. You can preview photos on 1.75″ color view screen with magnification. Features like auto exposure, red-eye reduction and auto flash make it easy to get great shots. You can save photos to 16 MB internal flash memory and easily add memory using the CompactFlash™ slot. Connect to PC or Mac with USB

• high-end sophistication

In the advanced digital camera category, you’ll find more emphasis on creative controls, like increased zoom capabilities. Lenses on cameras in this category tend to be of better quality, resolutions rarely dip below 3 megapixels, you get more memory bundled with your camera, and high-end features start to appear.

For example: Great pics are easy with the HP Photosmart 945 digital camera. It has 5.3 megapixel resolution for super sharp detail, 7x digital zoom to get you close and a 32 MB memory card. HP Instant Share lets you select up to 14 locations where your photos will go when you connect to a computer. Use the special video clip capture feature to record moving pictures and sound. A 1.5-inch color LCD screen lets you review photos easily. And special features abound: auto exposure, red-eye reduction and auto focus for close-ups and panoramic, and more.

Learn more about HP’s digital cameras. And get advice for what features to consider when shopping for a digital camera.

Visit the HP Digital Photography Centre