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Hewlett Packard's logo. Click here to visit the Hewlett Packard website! HP: 3 new digicams, 4th on the way? (UPDATED)
By
(Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 15:05 EDT)

New 2 and 3 megapixel models share many characteristics but with differing sensor, lens and LCD choices...

Reports are trickling in from around the world (specifically England, Germany [1,2], Russia, Slovenia [1,2,3] and China [1,2] ) of three new digital cameras just announced by Hewlett-Packard, which recently merged with computer company Compaq. (Thanks to IR reader and Mike's fellow ex-Hong Kong'er Bob McKay for alerting us to this!) Of the three, there are a pair of 2-megapixel models and a 3 megapixel one, all of them compatible with the docking station already offered for the 4 megapixel PhotoSmart 812. Whilst our Slovenian is a little rusty (!) we've attempted to compile all of the specs to offer what information we can on the new models:

Model PhotoSmart 320 PhotoSmart 620 PhotoSmart 720
  Hewlett-Packard's Photosmart 320 digital camera. Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Hewlett-Packard's Photosmart 620digital camera. Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Hewlett-Packard's Photosmart 720 digital camera. Courtesy of Hewlett-Packard, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins.
Sensor Resolution 2.1 megapixel 3.3 megapixel
Focal length (equiv.) 38mm 36 - 102mm 34 - 102mm
Optical Zoom None 3x
Aperture Range   f/2.8 - f/4.5 f/2.6 - f/4.5
Focus Fixed Auto (with macro and infinity settings)
Digital Zoom 4x
LCD display 3.8 cm
1.5 in
4.1 cm
1.6 in
Status LCD No Yes (shows battery level, number of pictures and flash settings)
Storage 8MB (Internal)
SD Card slot
16MB (Internal)
SD Card slot
Connectivity USB
Flash Built-in with red-eye reduction
Microphone No Yes
Exposure Auto
White Balance Auto
Movie Mode Yes Yes Yes (w/ audio)
Power 4 x AA alkaline disposable or NiMH rechargeable
Dimensions (W x D x H) 11.3 x 4.4 x 6.9 cm
4.4 x 1.7 x 2.7 in
Unknown 11.8 x 7.5 x 5.3 cm
4.6 x 3.0 x 2.1 in
Weight 160 g
5.6 oz
Unknown 300 g
10.6 oz
Included Accessories HP Photo & Imaging software (has basic editing and printing functionality); HP Memories Disc Creator software (creates slide-shows on CD-R for viewing on a computer or DVD player, or archiving images)
Optional Accessories Photosmart 8881 digital camera dock (including 4 x AA NiMH rechargeable batteries) allows in-camera battery charging, image transfer and video output.
Other HP Instant Share function allows images to be tagged in-camera to be automatically emailed, uploaded or printed to one of 14 predefined locations when the camera is docked.
Can print directly to the HP PSC 950 all-in-one and USB HP color inkjet printers via the USB cable.
Estimated Street Price €249 €299 €449
Availability August 2002
Warranty 12 months
.

In addition to the above, the digitalkamera.de item predicts another model will be announced, the PhotoSmart 850. This will apparently feature an 8x optical zoom lens, LCD viewfinder, 5 cm / 2 inch LCD display, and a combination of the manual and automatic features found in the existing Photosmart 812 and 618 models.

UPDATED 2002-07-10 15:47ET: One note of interest that we forgot to mention whilst first preparing this article is that according to the Digital Photography Now website's article, the new cameras don't bear the Pentax brand-name on the lens. The two companies have cooperated on digital camera designs since February 2000 when they jointly announced the HP PhotoSmart C912 / Pentax EI-2000 and the HP PhotoSmart C618 / Pentax EI-200. Their most recent joint-effort was the HP PhotoSmart 812 announced last January - but several recent Pentax cameras such as the Optio 230, 300 and 430 have had no HP involvement. We'd speculate that after two years' cooperation, one or other company has decided not to extend the relationship. Since Pentax first showed a camera with no HP equivalent back in March 2001, our guess (and it is just speculation) is that they're the party who made the decision to move on - possibly because the jointly designed cameras weren't proving to sell well enough.


Thanks to Bob McKay for this item!

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