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HP PhotoSmart 315

HP's "entry-level+" model offers 2.1 megapixels and ease of use at a bargain price.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 03/14/2001

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2.1-megapixel CCD delivers up to 1,600 x 1,200-pixel photos. (Good for up to 8x10-inch print sizes.)
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38mm equivalent lens provides good scene coverage for snapshots.
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2.5x digital zoom gets you closer, albeit with lower resolution.
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Ultra-simple operation is ideal for entry-level users.
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Manufacturer Overview
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is one of the true giants of the information age. Their products range from scientific instruments to personal computers, to the most popular line of laser printers in existence. Along the way, they've developed a popular line of digital cameras, inkjet printers, and scanners intended to make digital imaging accessible to the home and small-office user. They've apparently succeeded well in this, as their PhotoSmart 315 camera (the subject of this review) was the biggest-selling camera in the US in the 2000 Christmas season. In an earlier review, we were very impressed with their PhotoSmart S20 print/film scanner, which produced very high quality images with virtually no tweaking or adjustment.

As noted, the subject of this review is HP's PhotoSmart 315 digital camera, a 2.1-megapixel unit designed to provide ease of use and enough resolution to make good-looking 8 x 10-inch prints. As with its "little brother," the PhotoSmart 215, part of the 315's simplicity derives from the minimal user controls. Functions we're accustomed to seeing on the more advanced cameras, such as exposure and white balance adjustment, are absent on the 315. That said, it still proved quite capable of producing usable images under a wide range of shooting conditions. For those cases where you'll need to tweak your pictures post-capture, we found its software to be both user-friendly and functional. With enough resolution to make reasonably sharp enlargements, the Photosmart 315 could be a good choice for beginning users on a budget.


High Points

  • 2.1-megapixel CCD delivering up to 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution images.
  • 30-bit color depth.
  • 1.8-inch color LCD monitor with 72,000 pixels.
  • 5.8mm, six element lens, equivalent to a 38mm lens on a 35mm camera.
  • Up to 2.5x digital telephoto.
  • Automatic exposure control.
  • Apertures ranging from f/2.8 to f/9.8.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/750 to two seconds.
  • Sensitivity equivalent to ISO 100.
  • Automatic white balance.
  • Built-in flash with four operating modes.
  • Images saved as JPEGs to CompactFlash (Type I) memory cards (8MB card included).
  • USB and JetSend infrared interfaces (USB cable included).
  • Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compatibility.
  • Two software CDs containing HP PhotoSmart drivers, ArcSoft PhotoImpression, and ArcSoft PhotoMontage.
  • Power from four AA batteries (AC adapter optional).



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