Review posted for Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart R707|
(Wednesday, October 6, 2004 - 12:45 EDT)
We've just finished reviewing the HP PhotoSmart R707, and I'm finding myself having distinctly mixed feelings.
On the one hand, it captured good-looking photos with accurate color, even if its images lacked the "punch" delivered by the deliberate over-saturation of most consumer digicams currently on the market. I also really liked HP's "Adaptive Lighting" technology, even if it can result in slightly noisy-looking shadows. I think most consumers would benefit a great deal from the "digital fill flash" effect that this technology offers. And for novice users, the R707's built-in help, tips, and image advice features are absolutely unparalleled.
On the down side though, the R707 seems to suffer in the lens department, as I found fairly severe optical artifacts in many of our photos. Also, while its image noise is generally within an acceptable range, close inspection of its images reveals that the camera trades away significant amounts of subject detail in areas of subtle contrast. (Hair and foliage or grass are places where it's easy to see this.)
At the end of the day, how you'll feel about the R707 will probably come down to how you intend to use your photos. If you mostly print your photos at 4x6 inches for photo albums and sharing with friends or family, it's quite possible that you'll never notice any of the issues I just mentioned. In that usage, the PhotoSmart R707 would make an excellent consumer camera, and you're likely to be very happy with it. On the other hand, if your photo plans involve lots of large prints, you'll probably be better served with a different model. Check it out!