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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 11:Video, Power, Software

Review First Posted: 03/14/2001

Video Out
The PhotoSmart 315 does not have a video output capability.

Four AA alkaline batteries accompany the PhotoSmart 315 for powering the camera. You can also use lithium-ion, NiCd, or NiMH AA batteries, or the accessory AC adapter (which is available separately as an option). As always, we highly recommend picking up a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and keeping a spare set charged at all times, as well as purchasing the accessory AC adapter, if you plan on downloading images directly from the camera or spending a lot of time reviewing captured images.

The 315 doesn't rely heavily on its LCD display, which is good for power consumption, and since you can control the basic camera functions without resorting to the LCD menu, the 315 should run very efficiently off most battery sources. We also found that the camera automatically shuts the LCD monitor off if a picture has not been taken after 60 seconds. A battery icon on the status display panel reports the approximate amount of battery power consumption. The icon flashes and the camera beeps when the batteries get too low.

Hewlett-Packard also offers a lithium-ion battery pack as an accessory, as well as a battery charger.

Operating Mode
Power Drain
Capture Mode, w/LCD
720 mA
Capture Mode, no LCD
50 mA
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
700 mA
Half-pressed w/o LCD
420 mA
Memory Write (transient)
130/400 mA
Flash Recharge (transient)
(variable, couldn't measure)
Image Playback
380 mA

The PhotoSmart 315 draws a fair amount of power when the LCD is on in Record mode, but when the LCD is off, it is among the most power-efficient cameras we've tested. With good quality batteries, such as NiMH rechargeables, the LCD-off power drain is low enough that you could easily leave the camera on all day without running out of battery power. With the LCD turned on, it's a different story: You could expect about two hours of run time from a set of high-capacity NiMH cells.

Included Software
Packaged with the 315 is a USB cable and two software CDs. The first CD contains HP's 315/315vm/315xi photo imaging software, for Windows only (98/2000/Me/NT 4.0). The second CD contains ArcSoft PhotoImpression and ArcSoft PhotoMontage, for both Windows and Macintosh (OS 8.6 and higher) operating systems. PhotoSmart is essentially a downloading utility that automatically launches when the camera is connected to a PC loaded with the software. PhotoSmart offers basic printing, viewing, and editing utilities, as well as e-mail and image sharing tools for use with the Internet. Though PhotoSmart is not compliant with the Macintosh operating system, Mac users can take advantage of ArcSoft PhotoImpression, which offers similar utilities. PhotoImpression provides downloading, organization, printing, and minor editing utilities for digital images. Images can be organized into "albums," or cropped, rotated, or flipped before being printed. PhotoMontage is a fun, creative application that allows you to create one large mosaic image made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny images. You can use either your own digital images or the application's library of image files to create a montage.

In the Box

Included in the box are the following:

  • HP PhotoSmart 315 digital camera
  • Wrist strap
  • 8MB CompactFlash (Type I) card
  • Four AA alkaline batteries
  • USB cable
  • Two software CDs containing ArcSoft's PhotoMontage and PhotoImpression, as well as camera drivers and HP's PhotoSmart software
  • User's guide
  • Registration kit

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