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Largest digital camera touchscreen yet

The $80 camera from HP

HP aims to hide your pets' tapetum lucidum
HP to sell $80 five-megapixel digital camera in July

HP introduced nine new digital cameras on Thursday, including one with the largest touchscreen LCD display of any compact digital camera in the industry.

The HP Photosmart R937 Digital Camera has a 3.6-inch Auto-bright touchscreen display for editing and organizing photos directly on the camera. Included within the touchscreen is a Microsoft Windows Vista-compatible tagging feature and a virtual keyboard, making photo organization and management quicker and easier once the camera is connected to a PC.

The 8-megapixel R937 also features the latest generation of HP Design Gallery, which includes the popular ‘slimming’ feature that can take up to 10 pounds off photographed subjects, HP pet-eye fix to correct glowing pet eyes and touch-up technology for removal of blemishes.

The HP Photosmart Mz67 Digital Camera, which produces 8-megapixel photos, is HP’s first compact midrange zoom digital camera. The Mz67 features a big 6x optical zoom and a 2.5-inch display.

Setting a new low for entry pricing into digital cameras is the 5-megapixel HP Photosmart E337 Digital Camera, set to retail below $80 and is expected to be available for purchase in July.

HP Photosmart R937 Digital Camera, HP Photosmart Mz67 Digital Camera and the rest of the new line up are expected to be available for purchase in August.


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Don't like it
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/22/2007 10:19:42 AM , Rating: 5
Never liked any HP camera... And the idea of touch screens for digicams is something I don't understand at all, yet I know about many that drool over that feature, so I assume it is good business to put one for HP.
This is more of the same, lots of MPs in a tiny sensor and with some run of the mill lens.
Hopefully some day we'll have pocketable point and shoots which focus on good picture quality than on lousy features that do not add anything to a camera's main function (that of taking pictures?).
I think with today's sensors, we could get great looking, low noise 3mp pics, instead of these high-res, high-noise, high-distortion, high-"yes-nonsense"-feature-packed cameras.

If AMD, some day, could convince the world that more mhz wasn't always synonym of more performance, camera builders could also try to pursue a real breakthrough and show the illiterate that not always more resolution leads to better image quality.
what do people win by taking an 8mp picture which has lost detail due to agressive noise reduction systems and only looks good when down sampling it to half the resolution or less?




RE: Don't like it
By audiophi1e on 6/22/2007 10:48:35 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed.
I sold my 4yr old 2MP Canon S200 which took great pictures with little noise and last year bought myself a 7MP Canon S800. I'm not happy with this new camera, even though it is smaller, has more MP, and has Image Stabilizing capabilities.

It has much more noise, and is much more finicky about the ambient lighting conditions. The higher MP count simply allows the camera to record all the imperfections of the optics in detail, whereas my lower MP camera with probably very similar optics was able to capture a better image simply because the sensor lacks the MP count to capture all the artifacts and noise. heh

could someone recommend me a good point & shoot with good optics? i don't want to lug around a DSLR


RE: Don't like it
By xsilver on 6/22/2007 11:01:12 AM , Rating: 2
the fuji fxx (f30) are meant to be the best with noise and low light indoor conditions due to its impressive iso speeds.

or you could come from a totally different angle and go for something like a canon S series


RE: Don't like it
By xsilver on 6/22/07, Rating: 0
RE: Don't like it
By porkpie on 6/22/2007 12:44:45 PM , Rating: 2
Um, did you read the article? Their $80 budget camera is NOT the one that has this touchscreen.


RE: Don't like it
By MrTeal on 6/23/2007 11:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed.
I sold my 4yr old 2MP Canon S200 which took great pictures with little noise and last year bought myself a 7MP Canon S800. I'm not happy with this new camera, even though it is smaller, has more MP, and has Image Stabilizing capabilities.


quote:
or you could come from a totally different angle and go for something like a canon S series


Yeah. Completely different angle.


RE: Don't like it
By xsilver on 6/24/2007 9:57:57 AM , Rating: 3
sorry as you can tell from the comment above I SO skimmed the article and comments.

however the op comment refers to the canon ixus 800 camera which is not a part of the S series as he states.

I however was talking about the S series cameras, the ones with 12x optical zoom, which is really an upgraded version of the ixus series; but gives you much more flexibility outdoors although the OP probably would like the major improvments to be indoors.
The better balanced body would probably also help in holding the camera steady.
This type of camera known as the prosumer (DSLR shape) can produce better pics under certain conditions and for people with dslr's can not feel so "toy" like.


RE: Don't like it
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/22/2007 12:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
High resolution yet tiny-sensors, are relatively cheap nowadays (and they give you a noise hell)
But high quality lenses, on the other hand, are still very expensive.

So, as to keep costs down, you get a sensor that can process so much more resolution than the attached (and non interchangeable) lens will be able to exploit.
This is a clear loose-loose situation for the consumer: sensor that gets more noise, and lenses that can't produce enough detail to handle the sensor's resolution.

That and purple fringing, aberration, not-so-wide field of view...
But hell, you get a touch screen!
Does it come with nokia's snake game? :S


RE: Don't like it
By Omega215D on 6/22/2007 2:46:53 PM , Rating: 2
I am happy with both my Canon SD850 and SD1000 cameras. They both take great pics but the SD850 (the more expensive one) has image stabilizing and takes nice pics without blurring.

As for the touchscreen it does seem pretty interesting and different. I have a Cowon D2 MP3 player and I actually found myself liking the touchscreen better.


RE: Don't like it
By Belard on 6/24/2007 3:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
Check your camera settings. Oddly, Super mode can sometimes create grainer photos that Standard quality mode. Also, I move ISO from AUTO to 50/100 speed.


RE: Don't like it
By FastLaneTX on 6/22/2007 10:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, but more pixels is better... An 8Mpx image looks much better downsampled to 2Mpx image than a raw 2Mpx image ;) And really, nearly everyone downsamples because the massive pictures cameras create these days are way, way too big for most uses. The high-end cameras that use RGB per-pixel instead of RGBR for every four pixels don't have the quality problems of consumer crap.


RE: Don't like it
By Black Rainbow on 6/22/2007 3:26:40 PM , Rating: 2
More MPs is not always better though, I mean a Canon PowerShot G7 (10 MP) is far inferior to a Canon 350D (8 MP).


RE: Don't like it
By Oregonian2 on 6/22/2007 1:33:42 PM , Rating: 1
You're in a bad mood today eh?

Although I do see a lot of complaints in your posting, I see no specifics. Now, I understand if you don't understand why touch screens are a good idea, I'm sure you'll figure that one out yourself eventually. But I don't understand some of your other comments that sounds substantive, but gives no details or specific examples rather than general grumbling (which I understand, but it'd be better to give examples). With cell phones I understand ranting about having tons of stuff not related to, well, phoning. Cameras I've seen have a lot of features and twiddles, but ALL I've seen are photographic features, which is the idea behind a camera (even if most people don't understand adjusting the analog gain off the sensor or why they are experiencing very limited dynamic range without understanding what is is and how the menu tweaks affects things).

You say things like
quote:
I think with today's sensors, we could get great looking, low noise 3mp pics, instead of these high-res, high-noise, high-distortion, high-"yes-nonsense"-feature-packed cameras.


What do you base that on? You think they can make full-frame 35mm CCD's and put them in a camera at a price that is compatible with the point and shoot market, or are you saying that the P&S market can sustain $2K cameras? For quality low noise the sensor needs to be BIG (and the lens in front of it large enough to provide coverage for that larger sensor). That means $$$$$$$. I agree that I'd like it cheap but perhaps the camera mfgrs, unlike the printer mfgrs, don't like to sell their wares at a big loss. The won't make it up selling film for the camera. :-)

So what would you like, and what would you like to pay for it, and are there examples of that technology used in the price class you think it can be made in. Its an interesting subject.


RE: Don't like it
By Clenathan on 6/26/2007 11:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
The average American who buys a point and shoot camera is not a professional photographer and a decent camera works fine for them. If you're really into phtography, you're not going to buy a camera for less than $120 and expect it to be top-of-the-line, correct? I just bought a Samsung S700 and I don't know much about cameras and I'm sure it's features are similar to the problems you are talking about with run-of-the-mill point and shoots, but you know what? This camera works GREAT for me and all my friends (my friend just bought one for his parents after using mine on a trip). You get what you pay for.


more features but....
By Souka on 6/22/2007 11:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
more features but.... can it take good pictures? Along the lines of what #1 said... I just haven't been impressed with HP camera image quality...

Oh yeah, people these days aren't looking for quality, but convience and toys.

Case in point:
Mp3 format
divx video
Verizon video phones
video ipod
caneras on cell phones
any streaming video for that matter
Satellite radio
iPhone - (It might be good, but fact is device hasn't been in consumer hands, yet consumers already claim it to be great....and other people bash the device.... so sad... amazing how people can "know" about a device they've never seen or used....)

The iPhone example is how easily consumers (US especially) are blinded by marketing)

My $.02 of ramblings




RE: more features but....
By Oregonian2 on 6/22/2007 1:40:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
more features but.... can it take good pictures? Along the lines of what #1 said... I just haven't been impressed with HP camera image quality...


Its not the camera that takes good pictures. Shown to be true many times in the photo mags where some pro is given a $3 disposable film camera (pure crud technically) and takes very very good photos. While on the other hand one can look at my insane toys and see the crud photos that result.

It isn't the camera (but it can help).


RE: more features but....
By Souka on 6/22/2007 5:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
But in a controlled environment, time and time again sites such as DPreview and Steve's Digi-cams find major issues with HP cameras...

So yes your comment is true, but would a professional take a better picture with a $3 disposable camera (HP Photosmart R937) or a decent consumer camera (Canon Digital Rebel XTi)?


RE: more features but....
By Oregonian2 on 6/25/2007 7:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
To answer the question posed by the fellow I responded to ("can it take good pictures?"), the answer to your variant is that a pro photographer could make good pictures with both of your camera choices. It's not the camera that takes good photos, it's primarily the photographer.

The proper question for your intent is "can it get good numbers in a camera bench test". And from what you tell me, HP's may not do well for the same price camera as other brands.

:-)

P.S. - Think I'd trust Pop-Photo's optical bench tests more than most all web site ones though, even more than the better sites. Wish they'd do more and publish all the results in a downloadable spreadsheet.


heh..
By Enoch2001 on 6/22/2007 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 4
The kid in that pic looks depressed. I think she wanted a cat and got those two dogs instead. :-(




RE: heh..
By jt63 on 6/23/2007 7:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
with those dead lifeless eye, the dog looks like it's been stuffed.


RE: heh..
By oTAL on 6/25/2007 7:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
*lol*
If you look closely he actually does look rather lifeless. On my first look at your post I read snuffed which made it even funnier, since the kid looks like she could do it...


Slimming feature
By Bigginz on 6/22/2007 12:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
includes the popular ‘slimming’ feature that can take up to 10 pounds off photographed subjects


Is this really necessary? It might be kind of fun to play with the first time you get the camera, but after that it's useless. Someone has a self-esteem problem if they use this often.




RE: Slimming feature
By HardwareD00d on 6/22/07, Rating: 0
RE: Slimming feature
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/22/2007 12:37:18 PM , Rating: 2
Synonym for rampant lens distortion? :D

I guess some anorexia / bulimia fighters will found this feature really very appealing...
A truly bright addition to a cam, specially one you could never ever get done by using a photo editing tool, right?


RE: Slimming feature
By FITCamaro on 6/22/2007 3:47:49 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously. That shows you just how fat people are getting that companies are integrating features into hardware designed to make people look thinner.


RE: Slimming feature
By akyp on 6/25/2007 2:13:18 AM , Rating: 2
And how can they omit the, um I don't know, "Enhancement" feature?


To oregonian
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/23/2007 4:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstood me, but well, that's very likely to happen as now I can see that I didn't express myself so well ;)

By this:
quote:

I think with today's sensors, we could get great looking, low noise 3mp pics, instead of these high-res, high-noise, high-distortion, high-"yes-nonsense"-feature-packed cameras.


I just was trying to say that, instead of making more and more pixels fit in the same tiny sensors, they could keep the same tiny sized sensors, with a lower resolution that could prevent high noise, and, as another advantage, keep the resolution to one that the attached and not-replaceable lens can cope with.

For example, if you can cramp 9mp in an 1/2.5" sensor, with more noise (but, lets say, less than triple the noise) than the one an older 3mp 1/2.5" sensor yielded, you could, instead of those 6 extra mp, just take advantage of the actual better sensor manufacturing process, and go for 3 or 4mp 1/2.5" sensors which could shield much lesser noise than those older 3 or 4mp 1/2.5" sensors.
That should not be so expensive, I guess.
Besides, most consumer oriented P&S have lenses which are good for not so high a resolution, and increasing the resolution, you only get worse looking pictures because the lens can't be up to the task.
Sensors' resolutions keep increasing on P&S, but quality of attached lens does not seem to grow equivalently.

That's what I tried to say.

I don't want more pixels or features that do things I could just get done - yet much better - with an image editing software, if those extra pixels and features add to the cost of the camera and not to the quality of pictures it takes.

Just for clarification's sake: English is not my natural language, so that my not-so-well use of the language can - and certainly does - lead me to write quite badly sometimes.
Sorry for that.




RE: To oregonian
By Oregonian2 on 6/26/2007 7:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just was trying to say that, instead of making more and more pixels fit in the same tiny sensors, they could keep the same tiny sized sensors, with a lower resolution that could prevent high noise, and, as another advantage, keep the resolution to one that the attached and not-replaceable lens can cope with


You make a good point and I can see that some may prefer getting less noise at the cost of less resolution. Like most everything, what is better depends upon the assumptions made. Some examples:

1. How bright is the light in typical photos that are to be taken. If it to be mostly bright daylight shots or shots using a suitably strong flash then higher resolution is likely better because noise will be less of a problem.

2. If one has priority in natural lighting and tends to take photos with less than great lighting one might go for the less noise tradeoff because dim lighting makes the noise more noticeable.

3. But on the other hand if one has good software for noise cancellation (either in camera or with programs like "neat image" that remove noise really well) then perhaps more pixels would be the better tradeoff.

4. With Kodak's new scheme with half the sensors being full-spectrum, that gives a couple stops better performance at the low-light end of operation. This is a scheme that would allow higher resolution for the same noise level (or less noise for the same resolution) or a bit of both.

But reality is that cameras are bought based upon the number of pixels (and even then, it's fake synthesized pixels when counting raw sensors rather than triplets or the like (Foveon being the exception, but even they "translate" into the fake digital camera version of counting). So we'll always get the "more". Only place I've seen the lower noise tradeoff being offered, that I remember, is the old Kodak Nikon-body SLRs that aren't made anymore. Full 35 mm sized sensors and moderately low pixel count. But those were sold to the pros who would be more sensitive to noise in the shadows.

Unfortunately I don't think that which you want will ever happen because if the public has the choice between a 3MP low noise and a 6MP noisier camera (for the same price) they'll nearly all buy the 6MP, even if the 3MP one has nicer looking images. A few will pick the 3MP, but very few I suspect.


RE: To oregonian
By Fnoob on 6/27/2007 8:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately I don't think that which you want will ever happen because if the public has the choice between a 3MP low noise and a 6MP noisier camera (for the same price) they'll nearly all buy the 6MP, even if the 3MP one has nicer looking images. A few will pick the 3MP, but very few I suspect.

Agreed. Sadly.

Consumers at large have killed the art of photography as we know it. Nearly everyone would prefer a "6MP POS P/S camera 14centsaprint Wal-Mart image" versus the old days of essentially 16MP, higher dynamic range 35mm 69cent prints.

I had always thought that a niche market would survive for purists. Unfortunately, the number of 8x10 field camera friends I have are dropping like flies....


Gimmicky consumer crappachino
By Fnoob on 6/22/2007 11:53:48 AM , Rating: 3
Just about any "point and shoot" style digital camera sucks, with a few exceptions. Once you start to get into the 8-10MP range, you really need a decent lens to get good results. A 6MP DSLR is going to take far better pictures than a 10MP P/S. And once you get into the better DLSR bodies, you really begin to see the importance of a good lens. What I find really depressing is all of the "Schneider APO" and "Leica" lenses on these little POS P/S cameras. There was once a time when putting a real Schneider lens on your camera would generally set you back about twice the cost of the body (or more)...

For my needs, the Nikon D80 I bought is phenomenal when paired with a real lens (80-200f2.8) and not the garbage lens they try to package with it. If you don't believe in the importance of a good lens, demo a Canon MK2ds (18MP) with a cheap variable aperature zoom, and then with one of their L series lenses. Night v. Day.




By Oregonian2 on 6/22/2007 1:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What I find really depressing is all of the "Schneider APO" and "Leica" lenses on these little POS P/S cameras. There was once a time when putting a real Schneider lens on your camera would generally set you back about twice the cost of the body (or more)...


Yes, the lenses are usually made in the same country the camera is (Japan, China, etc) by high volume lens manufacturers. Those German names are licensed. I think they do perhaps provide the design (albeit a cost, not performance driven design) and I recall reading that at least one of them requires that they set up the manufacturing test system -- and that they inspect things periodically. For practical and economic reasons they can't make the lenses in that volume and deliver them to the camera manufacturer for that price if they were to make the lenses themselves. So their involvement probably does provide a better lens for the price, it undoubtedly dilutes the quality of their name. But then, if they didn't participate, their name may otherwise had just gone into the history books and McKeowen's (sp?) catalog of past cameras.


Do not be confused
By Sandersann on 6/22/2007 11:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
This article is somewhat deceptive
the 5-megapixel HP Photosmart E337 Digital Camera cost $80 but does not have the 3.6 inch LCD
the one with the3.6-inch is the HP Photosmart R937 Digital Camera with 8-megapixel and the price has not been given
aside from the number of megapixel, the launch date (July) and the price we do not know anything else about the $80 camera
I we will get exicted about it




regarding this artical
By UnkleGpants on 6/24/2007 1:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
HP is just looking bring a wider verity to the consumers. I'm fairly sure that all the new cameras have their respective pluses and minuses,but just remember that Price,ease of use,personal preference's , ....maybe even the coolness factors that determine how these products will sell




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