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HP PhotoSmart 618

HP's capable mid-level model offers 2.1 megapixels, an optical zoom lens, and ease-of-use.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 03/19/2001

2.1-megapixel CCD delivers up to 1,600 x 1,200-pixel photos. (Good for up to 8x10-inch print sizes.)
3x optical zoom equivalent to 34-108mm.
Flexible exposure controls include aperture- and shutter-priority metering modes.
Good white balance system handles a wide range of lighting conditions.

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Manufacturer Overview
Hewlett Packard (HP) is one of the true giants of the information age. Its products range from scientific instruments to personal computers, to the most popular line of laser printers in existence. Along the way, HP 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 the PhotoSmart 315 camera (reviewed elsewhere on this site) was the biggest-selling camera in the US in the 2000 Christmas season. The PhotoSmart 618 model offers more sophisticated exposure controls than the entry level PhotoSmart 215 and 315 models, plus a host of interesting new features (including time-lapse photography), while still maintaining an affordable price.

The PhotoSmart 618 is a 2.1-megapixel digicam that provides enough exposure control and flexibility to interest sophisticated photo enthusiasts, while still offering a comfortable experience for the beginning photographer. Though small enough to fit into a coat pocket, the 618 has a pleasing heft and solidity when your hands grip the body. Like other PhotoSmart cameras we've tested, it ships with a complete software set that's very easy to use -- whether you're performing image enhancement or arranging multiple shots on a page to get the most out of your inkjet printer. The PhotoSmart looks like a solid midrange performer, in the critical "full-featured, 2-megapixel" category. It would be a great choice for beginners who are looking for a basic digital camera that can grow with them as they investigate more advanced exposure and creative control.

High Points

  • 2.11-megapixel CCD delivering up to 1,600 x 1,200-pixel resolution images.
  • Pentax 3x, 5.2-16.5mm zoom lens (equivalent to a 34-108mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • Manual and automatic focus control.
  • Up to 2x digital zoom.
  • 2-inch color LCD monitor.
  • 30-bit color depth.
  • Manually adjustable aperture ranging from f/2.4 to f/9.6.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to four seconds.
  • Automatic, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Landscape, Portrait, and Action exposure modes.
  • One Shot, Continuous, and Time-Lapse photography modes.
  • Black and White and Sepia tone effects.
  • Built-in flash with seven operating modes.
  • Spot, Average, and Center-Weighted metering.
  • Automatic ISO or selectable 100 and 200 sensitivity settings.
  • Adjustable White Balance with four settings.
  • Audio recording capability.
  • JetSend infrared interface for communicating with other HP JetSend devices.
  • USB interface for quick connection to a PC or Mac.
  • Images saved in JPEG or uncompressed TIFF format on CompactFlash memory cards, 16MB card included.
  • NTSC video cable for viewing images on a television set (PAL for European models).
  • Powered by four AA batteries or optional AC adapter (set of four AA alkaline batteries included).
  • Two software CDs featuring HP Photo Imaging Software, User's Guide, and ArcSoft's PhotoImpression and PhotoMontage applications.
  • IR Remote Control included.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

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