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Software • Cradle / Docking Station • Hand Strap • Lithium Battery
The durable, metal-bodied R927 showcases HP's latest technology, boasting 8.2 megapixels of brilliant photo power and 24x total zoom (3 x optical, 8x digital). So get ready to dazzle your friends and family! Crystal clear, awesome photos are yours for the taking.
When you pick up the compact Photosmart R927, you'll notice two things right off: its giant, bright display (3 inches across) on the back, and how perfectly this camera fits in your hands.
The HP Photosmart R927 is a shiny, attractive, 8.1-megapixel compact digital camera with a huge, 3-inch LCD display. Unfortunately, it appears that Hewlett Packard put their energy into the R927's physical design instead of what really counts - the photos.
Good graphic user interface - especially scrolling images
Nice button layout
Can easily attach audio clip to image
Big lcd has poor image quality and makes the camera too big
Constant auto focus sound is annoying
Poor image quality
Grainy images even at ISO 100
Big and heavy for a point-and-shoot camera
Poorly designed battery door
Mandatory camera dock for downloading and battery charging
Limited zooming capability
I really wanted to like this camera, probably because I like local, San Francisco Bay Area companies and I've visited HP in the past and found their employees to be both friendly and very intelligent. My first impression when I opened the box was positive. The Photosmart R927 is a big, good-looking digital camera.
Hewlett-Packard Photosmart R927 Features
The HP Photosmart R927 includes all the usual suspects as far as exposure modes go - full auto, aperture priority (Av), shutter priority (Tv), and manual. When you're in the "My Mode" shooting mode you can save every function, which is great. If you don't use My Mode, every time you turn the camera off and back on the camera automatically resets every function. But if you select "My Mode" and scroll down to the bottom of the menu to "My Mode Saved Settings," you can choose which settings you'd like to keep. The R927 Shooting Modes also include a "Snow" setting to properly expose for that cold white stuff, and a neat panorama mode, which automatically stitches together 2-5 images.
Left: HP Photosmart R927 Design Gallery main menu Right: HP Photosmart R927 Artistic Effects menu
There are lots of thoughtful and fun features included in the HP R927. One of the neater functions is the built-in "HP Design Gallery," which allows the photographer to add borders or "Artistic Effects", right in the camera. There are many " Artistic Effects", including "Ink Dots," which simulates the pointillism painting technique; "Retro," a two-color, high-contrast look from the 70s; and "Watercolor," which mimics the look of a watercolor painting. What do you do with an out of focus picture? Apply one of the nifty "Artistic Effects " to your blurry photo and no one will ever know the difference! When you use an HP Design Gallery effect, the camera makes a duplicate file so the original image is always preserved. The extra images will take up some extra space. But if you're running out of memory, the Photosmart R927 has a 12-frame buffer (32 megabytes of built-in memory) so you can continue to shoot when your SD card is full or if you don't have one available.
Another neat feature is the ability to attach an audio file to an image. If you take a picture and you're not sure you will remember where the picture was taken, you can record, "this is Chick-Fil-A in Norfolk," and attach the sound file to your photo. Or if you photograph cousin Joe-Bob but know you won't remember his name when you get home, you can record, "this is Joe-Bob, my second cousin from Fresno."
The HP Photosmart R927 comes with a camera dock, which is nice for downloading photos to your desktop computer and keeping your batteries charged. However, the dock is required for downloading and battering charging. So if you're traveling, you have to take it with you.
Hewlett-Packard Photosmart R927 Design
The HP Photosmart R927's overall design is very good. It's a great looking camera with its cool stainless steel case and enormous 3-inch rear LCD display . Whoever designed the body of this camera put a lot of thought into ergonomics. There is a great indentation in the front of the camera that fit my hand super comfortably. The shutter button is in the usual place but smartly raised so it's easy to find by feel.
Left: HP Photosmart R927 3-inch LCD display Right: HP Photosmart R927 button controls
Button layout is very good, with the most important functions (except shooting mode) given their own buttons along the top of the camera. The buttons are big and easy to press so it's easy to turn the flash on and off, switch to the movie mode, etc. The zoom control is placed just about perfectly, on the back right of the camera with the Menu/Ok and scroll buttons right below it. All of these controls are within easy reach of the photographer's thumb. An elegant blue light lets you know the camera power is on.
However, the large LCD screen makes the R927 quite bulky and heavy for a point-and-shoot digital camera. It does fit in a pocket, though a bit uncomfortably. I really like the stainless steel look though I was constantly worried about scratching the camera. But if you like the look of stainless - and who doesn't these days - then you'll love the look of the HP R927. An extra bonus is that you can leave it in your kitchen with your stainless steel appliances and it'll blend right in.
HP Photosmart R927 during capture
HP Photosmart R927 playback mode
HP Photosmart R927 playback mode with all image info displayed
HP Photosmart R927 Playback Menu with Image Advice selected
One would think that with current technology, a point-and-shoot camera would be virtually silent. The HP Photosmart R927 is not quiet. When you turn it on it makes an audible "whrrr-zzzz." And it makes the same obtrusive noise when you turn it off. The noisy auto focus was an unpleasant surprise. The camera is constantly auto-focusing, which wouldn't be half as annoying if the auto focus was silent, as it should be. Of course if you're in a noisy location you won't notice it. But if you're in a quiet place and want to be unobtrusive, then the R927 may be noisy enough to make you uncomfortable.
Most people will be excited by the huge 3-inch LCD display on the back of the 927. However, the quality of the display is grainy soft, and generally pretty poor. I'd prefer a sharper LCD even if it had to be smaller. And even with the big LCD, sharing photos is awkward. You can't turn the on R927 without the lens popping out. So even if I you just want to share an image with someone, you can't power up the camera and review photos without the noisy lens popping out and getting in the way.
As I already mentioned in the Features section of the review, one of the major drawbacks for me is the docking station. It's nice of HP to include it with the R927. But it's not optional. You have to use the docking station to charge the camera and to download your images to a computer. If you're traveling and you remember the charger but not the docking station, then you're out of luck - the charger won't work without the docking station. If you use the same desktop computer all the time this isn't an issue. But if you travel a lot and need to charge and download on the road then this means one more item to bring with you. And if you forget to bring the dock with you, it will be a big problem because you won't be able to charge or download without it.
The battery door is clunky and doesn't automatically re-latch when closed. You have to physically move the latch back and forth to open or close the door. I was surprised that a camera with an obvious emphasis on physical design would have a problem like this. With such a beautiful brushed steel body, you would think that every design element, especially the utilitarian details, would perfect.
The printed manual is weak. You really need to refer to the CD for a real, detailed instruction manual. The electronic manual is almost 60 pages long, whereas the paper manual that comes in the box has only 20 pages. As an idealist, I believe HP is saving paper because they're environmentally sensitive and not because they're trying to save money. In any case, don't count on the printed manual if you need information.
ISO is auto or can be manually set between ISO 100 and 400. Of course, like most digital point-and-shoot cameras, as soon as you go past 100 ISO there is a sharp drop in quality. See our studio tests to compare image quality at the different ISO settings.
The HP Photosmart R927 images are huge - about 8x11 inches at 300 dpi or 12x16.5 inches at 200 dpi. But as is so often the case - bigger isn't always better. When viewing at 100% images aren't very sharp and there is a lot of digital grain (noise) in the shadows. The colors are pretty good, though a bit over-saturated.
The flash exposes well and maintains good skin tone so using it is recommended. I was impressed with the HP R927's exposure metering. One image I took of a bright white wall was amazingly well exposed. Typically, auto exposure metering will compensate for the bright wall and underexpose, making the white wall appear gray. And the easily accessible exposure compensation control can correct for any over or under exposure.
In the final image quality evaluation, if you're going to be sharing images on the web then the HP R927 is fine. If you need to make big prints (over 11x14) or expect excellent image quality, then the R927 will likely disappoint you with obvious noise and over-saturated color.
Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.
Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.
Unfortunately you can't judge this book by its cover. Using a car analogy - from an exterior design point of view it's an Audi, but it's got the engine of a Gremlin. It seems that a lot of energy and thought were put into some elements of the HP Photosmart R927 design: build quality, physical design, and features. However, very little of that ingenuity was invested in image quality, or functional details like the camera's docking station and battery door.
Personally, I wouldn't buy the HP R927 because it's too big, the loud auto focus is annoying, and image quality is poor.
Who Should Buy The Hewlett-Packard Photosmart R927
The HP Photosmart R927 digital camera will work for someone who wants a sturdy, cool looking camera but isn't too concerned about image quality. It will accessorize well with other metallic objects such as hot tuner cars, nose rings, and studded belts. If you're tired of tiny cameras with tiny buttons, then you'll enjoy this camera. And if image quality isn't the most important thing - for example if you're just planning on sharing images with family and friends online - then you'll be happy with this camera. Consider another camera if you're looking for great image quality.
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Contents of the HP Photosmart R927.
HP Photosmart R927 Digital Camera
HP Photosmart R07 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
HP Photosmart 6220 digital camera dock
5V AC adapter
USB cable for connecting camera to PC or PictBridge compatible printer
Warranty and regulatory brochure
User's manual on CD
Quick Start guide
CD with HP Photosmart software for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh
I bought this HP R927 to replace my lost Exclium (10mp), it doesn't mesure up to it however. This camera has many defieciencies. One; the flash range is poor.
(I tried the highest 400 setting and it did not penetrate past 10 feet or so.
Two; the ambient light is very poor. 2.8 at 2 seconds doesn't make for good phtography. And three; the focus arrangements are very very poor. A poor camera over all, except for simple flash photography. In the day light you can do some things.
Strengths: The sturdy, sleek, modern stainless design, with huge 3" lcd display looks swish !
It fits comfortably in your hand(s), or pocket, and all the controls are easily accessed. The 'in camera' features are very easy to use and may help you to improve your confidence level in digital photography.
HP technology ( while lacking in some areas) goes a long way towards making your picture taking an enjoyable experience !
Weaknesses: This camera eats up battery power - purchase a spare battery (or two), and get an qiuck charge unit, to ensure you have plenty of spare fully charged batteries available ! You should also consider at least a 1.0 MG SD memory card, as the internal memory of this camera, at maximum resolution will fill up rather quickly.
I would also recommend a 'matt finish screen protector' to protect the large shiny lcd screen from scratches, and get a good camera case to protect your camera.
Burst mode on this camera is a joke, so don't expect a lot from it !
Shutter lag, under certain conditions can also be very sloooooooooooooow !
This is my 5th HP Photosmart Digital Camera, you might say I'm brand loyal !
I traded my heavy, bulky, 35mm camera bag with extra lens in favour of something that was light and you could slip into a pocket about 5 years ago.
The HP product line offers you good value for a reasonable cost. Their products are reliable, and customer service is available 24/7 if you have a problem.
As a 'point and shoot' camera the HP R927 fills the bill nicely. While I'm not a professional photographer, I have managed to get some pretty decent memorable digital pictures with this camera under varying types of conditions.
I have experimented with most of the shooting modes this camera offers, and appreciate how easy this camera is to operate. The 'in camera' features are also easy to use, as are all the camera controls. While I probably will not use all of the features this camera has, it's nice to know they are there, should I choose to utilize them. This camera should satisfy most of your creative digital image making requirements !
Similar Products Used: I started with the HP 735, traded it an HP 935, and then traded it on to an HP R707 which I proceeded to drop in a lake - I guess that's why you should use the wrist strap that comes with the camera ? I purchased another HP R707 to replace it, and gave it to my son, so I bought an HP R927, and recently got a deal on an HP R967 which is almost identical to the HP R927 !
I bought the camera because it felt sturdy, and at the shop, it seemed fast. I do mountain biking, so for me it's important to be able to turn on a camera and start shooting. When I bought the camera HP included the travel option, which has an extra battery, portable battery charger, and camera case and a small travel bag.
I liked the camera docking station, since I think it's the easiest way to charge and download pictures when you're at your house. I also bought an external card reader to use when going on travels and bringing on my laptop.
The camera looked so nice, but I think I'm dissapointed, as dissapointed as to have to buy another camera after some months of use. Well, the camera turns on pretty fast, but it takes forever to auto-focus so I still had some lost shots. The quality was so so of the pics, and sometimes the camera says 'Processing' and just wouldn't do nothing... about 1 every 7 to 10 shots, I had to turn the camera off and on to reshoot. Anoying, specially when you were doing a group photo, everybody just trying to make their best faces and you cick clic clic.. darn!
I went to HP site, and the help desk chat was helpfull with the problem, I reseted the camera (the reset button is a small button somewhere in the bay opened for battery replacement) and the problem went away, so it might have been a one time bug.
I bought this camera when I was feeling kinda low and didn't do my homework (research) properly. The salesman was good, and the camera had what I thought at the time good assets: Fast turn on process, is small enough. I do mountain biking, and what I need is a small camera, and one that I can tak ... Read More »