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Hewlett Packard Photosmart 945 Review at Imaging Resource
Submitted by sfpeter a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2009
Strengths: It takes decent pictures in good light
OK, that's about it. Battery life is okay but nothing to make you jump for joy.
Weaknesses: As with many cameras of the era it powers on and runs through a self test as it extends the lens, meanwhile your shot gets away.
Has the dreaded push button zoom.
The "movie" mode is a webcam quality 288X208 for all of 60 seconds, but does have sound.
A max ISO of 400 and the general slow operation means it's not a camera for action or dim lighting.
The viewfinder is an annoying EVF, I don't think I ever used it.
I have heard of the 945's having mechanical/image quality problems, although mine's didn't give me any trouble.
I had one of these around 2005, and only kept it for about six months. It wasn't a bad camera, but it wasn't very good either. It was a typical "prosumer" zoom for the time, with 5.3MP resolution, a 8X optical zoom, 4AA batteries, and an ISO range up to a blazing 400.
New-ish for the time was SD card storage, and a dock that charged the batteries and let you download pictures at the same time. It also featured the "digital flash," which was HP's term for the in-camera brightening of dark area that everyone uses.
The 945 was popular enough it had a fan website at one time, but I think it's long gone. The was also about as far as HP got with making a "pro" looking or acting camera.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $200.00
Purchased At: Online
Similar Products Used: HP 912
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by mykecusa a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2004
Strengths: 8X optical zoom lens that provides a very fine photo image to begin with, Digital Flash that truly increases the dynamic range of the digital image, excellent HP photoimaging postprocessing ... I find images ready to print right out of the camera, with no need to "fine tune" the image through photo editing. The strength of the HP 945 I can best summarize by saying lies with the excellent imaage quality produced.
Weaknesses: In one word, SLOW. Slow only in the human interface ... the Fuji 8X zoom lens is quite fast for such a big zoom lens. The Electronic View Finder (EVF) will "blackout", the camera will freeze while processing images, the refiewing of images ceases while the camera asks if you want to delete the last shot ... In many ways, this camera can test my patience ... but after all is said and done, when I view the finished product, I smile and think it was afterall worth the wait.
For the price, this is a great digicam. It is a slow shooter, in that the shutter lag is bothersome, and the in-camera image processing time can test ones patience. However, the wait is well worth the time invested, and if you want action shots, buy a camcorder.
I was hesitant about accepting the 945 as replacement for the 912 after reading some mixed reviews. True this camera is quite slow in operation. True there is no "Hot shoe" for an external flash. True there is no full manual mode for the purist. True the 7X digital zoom is no better than cropping the original 8X optical zoom image.
However, I have found: That HP can: 1) crop and postprocess the image in-camera a whole lot faster than I can with splendid results, 2) my old Vivitar 2800 external flash mounted on a digitial "Slave" trigger unit works just fine, and 3) the slow image processing time results in images I have no desire to post process myself in Photoshop ... HP does a superb job of it.
The feature set is such that I do not miss full manual. Even beginners can select a mode and rest assured that HP will do justice to that particular mode. It then simply becomes a matter of experimenting with various options, such as ISO, White Balance, Digital Flash, resolution, compression, saturation, shapness, and contrast.All of these settings are in easy reach with the simple menu system of the 945.
Purchased At: warranty replacement
Similar Products Used: HP C912, Fuji S602, Fuji S7000, Canon S50, Sanyo VPC-350X
Submitted by Marshall a Professional
Date Reviewed: March 10, 2004
Strengths: 5MP, decent built in flash, saves photos to SD card faster than previous HP models.
Weaknesses: Lousy viewfinder LCD, I mean, why bother?
Lack of resolution options.
Can't demo the macro mode without an SD card installed.
No external flash Sync (hey, even Kodak is adapting that!).
Since there are as yet no reviews for this camera, I thought I would get it started, despite the fact that I didn't keep it, and here's why I did not. The 945 may be HP's first decent camera, and you might be happy with it, if you are an expert or less. For the money, it is a good 5MP camera. It has a decent lens and a good feel, plus a basic option wheel on top of the camera to select more manual features like Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed. And now the bad news: The internal LCD viewscreen is the worst I've ever seen. I feel like I should be wearing 3D glasses when I look through it, because there are red and purple lines that do not rest on the real life image correctly. Even the old Olympus C-720 has a better LCD. The external LCD on the camera's back is okay though, although a bit dim in bright flourescent light. There is what appears to be a lens thread on the lens barrel, but that is just for the lens cap; the real barrel extends past it quite a ways, and has no thread. The design of the camera is bland compaired to others like the Nikon 5700 or Kodak 6490. It is a black box, deviod of anything impressing other than its large lens. The features in the menu are showing signs of catching up to the options that most $200 digital cameras now have, such as Saturation control and sharpness, but the engineering oversights from a company new to the photograpghy market are evident, such as this: You have two resolutions to choose from: 5 MP or 1MP, nothing inbetween if you want to get a few snapshots of the dog between your Grand Canyon calender shots. Also, 1 MP is still a bit too large to be filling up web pages with. Where are the 3MP and VGA settings? The HP rep says you can get them by changing the compression ratios on the camera. Excuse me, but I will not compress a photo any more than the fact that I'm saving it to a jpg in the first place. Raising compression is not the same as choosing a lower resolution.
There is no external flash possibility, although the built-in flash was thoughtfully designed to project almost an inch above the lens to help prevent red-eye. Overall, the Kodak 6490 blows this camera away EVEN though it is a megapixel less. I've never been a large Kodak fan either, but I do reccomend the 6490, which I did purchase, and a very thorough review will be written in a month or two.
Price Paid: $499.00
Purchased At: An electronics store
Similar Products Used: Canon G3, G1, A70, A40, Rebel
Kodak 6490, Olympus C-720
Related Photosmart 945 Forum Posts
The Photosmart 945 is kind of an ugly duckling camera. The camera feels plasticky, chunky, and uninspiring. It never gave me a feeling of confidence when I was taking pictures. However, whenever I downloaded the 945 image files to my computer, the photos were much better than I expected. This is pro ... Read More »
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