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HP's Photosmart E317 digital camera. Courtesy of HP, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. HP: new entry-level compact digicam (UPDATED)
(Monday, August 15, 2005 - 11:21 EDT)

Hewlett Packard Co. has (as so often seems to be the case) quietly introduced a new digital camera model on its website sometime in the last few weeks, which we've just now noticed.

The Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart E317 looks to be closely related to the existing E217, M22 and M23 models, but with a number of significant changes from each. Both the E217 and E317 adopt fixed focus, fixed-focal length lenses, where the M22 and M23 both have autofocus, fixed focal length lenses. The E217 and E317 also lack the in-camera red-eye removal software seen in the M-series cameras. HP's site also suggests that the E-series cameras lack weather sealing that is found in the M22 and M23. Finally, the M-series cameras have a stronger digital zoom function - although this will come at the price of reduced image quality.

So - what's the difference between the E217 and E317? The E317 is slightly smaller, heavier, has a lower-resolution LCD display, has a wider and brighter lens, longer maximum exposure time, and more scene modes.

No information has been provided by HP on pricing or availability for the new camera at this time.

Hewlett Packard PhotoSmart E317
HP's Photosmart E317 digital camera. Courtesy of HP, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Hewlett Packard
Model Number E317
Dimensions 3.8 x 1.9 x 1.1"
96.0 x 49.0 x 28.8mm
Weight 120.0 g
4.2 oz
Warranty 3 months
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 1.5", 61,600 pixels
Lens Type HP Precision FF Lens
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.1mm (actual)
36mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 or f/6.5
Focusing Range Normal: 21" - infinity (51 cm - infinity)
Macro: 8.2" - 21" (20 cm - 51 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 15 - 1/1800 second
Exposure Compensation +/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto (default), Sun, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent
Internal Flash Modes: Flash Off, Auto Flash (default), Red-Eye, Flash On, Night
Scene Modes Auto, Macro, Action, Landscape, Portrait, Panorama, Beach, Snow, Sunset
Digital Zoom 4x
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds
Movie Format MPEG 1 with audio
Max. frame-rate: 24 frames per second
Recording Medium SD/MMC, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1
Other Camera dock, DC in
Battery Type Alkaline or Lithium disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 2 x AA
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger 2 x AA alkaline disposable battery
Flash Memory 16.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
Operating System Compatibility Windows, MacOS

UPDATED 2005-08-17 09:09ET: Our friend Joshua Waller, editor of DigiCamReview.com, emailed to point out that the E317 is available now to British readers, with pricing of £119 at Argos. Ignoring exchange rate fluctuations, taxes and duties, this is roughly equivalent to US$215 / CAD$259 / €175 / ¥23,600.

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