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HP Photosmart R827: Loaded With Features and Fun To Shoot


At a Glance
ProductHP Photosmart R827
Summary7.2MP digital camera with 14 shooting modes, panoramic stitching and more
Pros• 14 automatic shooting modes; three mode bracketing
• In-camera of panoramic shots
• In-camera artistic effects
• Continuous focus reduces shutter latency
Cons• No manual controls for aperture or shutter speed
• Edge mounted lens makes it easy to get your index finger in the picture

The HP Photosmart R827 is a sleek 7.2 Megapixel camera housed in a sturdy brushed metal case, featuring a 2.5" (diagonal) screen that's viewable in all but the brightest direct sunlight. Unlike many cameras with the lens positioned in the center of the body, the lens on the R827 is located in the upper right hand corner (viewed from the front). The positioning of the lens may take some getting used to and you may find your left index finger in your first few photos.

Figure 1: Left rear view

When you power up the R827, the lens cover snaps open to reveal the 6.5 mm-19.6 mm (39 mm - 118 mm 35 mm equivalent) lens. The lens is recessed in the camera body and even when zoomed to the maximum 3X optical, stays recessed. The R827 also features an 8X digital zoom controlled by two buttons on the back of the camera body that you can easily control with your thumb. When you zoom to the maximum 3X optical, the zooming pauses briefly. When you press the zoom button again, a yellow "crop box" appears along with a number that indicates the effective megapixel count of your zoomed image. As you zoom more, the resulting image, along with the effective megapixel number, get smaller.

The top of the camera has a flat surface that's approximately half an inch wide. The shutter release is conveniently positioned in this flat area for your right index finger. The back portion of the top of the camera has a curved radius that contains a cluster of four buttons along with a separate button to start/stop the video. The four controls are for Flash, Macro, the Photosmart Express menu and a button that toggles between capture and playback modes.

Figure 2: Right rear view

The control for flash is quite simple. You have a choice of Auto, on or off. There is no red eye flash setting, as red eye can be removed automatically by the camera, or edited in the camera. The Macro button gives you the option of Auto focus, normal macro, expanding the auto focus range to include macro and infinity. The R827 features continuous focusing, so there's no need to press the shutter release half way before taking your photo. This means that there's very low latency between when you press the shutter release and when the picture is taken.

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