Steve's Digicams

HP PhotoSmart 912

Features & Controls

HP C912 HP C912

Equipped with a Pentax 8.2-25.8mm (34-107mm 35mm equivalent) f/2.5 - f/3.9, zoom lens consisting of 8 elements in 7 groups with 1 aspherical element. The motorized zoom is controlled by turning the rubberized ring on the lens barrel slightly to the left or right. This is a more natural way of operating a power zoom than pressing small buttons or a rocker switch. It allows you to cradle the lens for stability and easily change the focal length with just a twist.

When the color LCD is turned on the digital zoom (1.2x, 1.5x, 2x) is enabled by zooming all the way to full telephoto, releasing and then turning the zoom ring to telephoto again. It will pause for 1/4 sec between digital zoom steps. The digital zoom is disabled whenever the color LCD is turned off or the camera is powered down.

Focusing is accomplished by an AF passive TTL system with user-selectable Wide-Area or Spot focusing points. The autofocus can be set for either Single (default) or Continuous servo modes. In Single AF mode the focus must be locked to trip the shutter, in Continuous mode the shutter will fire anytime the release is pressed.

Manual focus is set by selecting a preset distance (0.1m, 0.2m, 0.3m, 0.5m, 0.7m, 1.0m, 1.5m, 3m, 10m or INFinity). Autofocus range in normal mode is 50 cm (1.64ft) to infinity. Macro mode coverage is from 2 cm (0.07ft) to 60 cm (0.33ft).

HP C912

The lens is threaded for 49mm filters and comes with a snap-on lens cap. Also included is a cover for the optical viewfinder which is used during self-timer and time exposures to block light from entering and protects it when the camera is not in use. HP also supplies a wireless infrared shutter release and even a cover for the flash hot shoe.

HP C912

The 2.0-inch adjustable high-resolution color LCD display can be positioned flat against the back of the camera body or it can swing upwards a full 90. It can be used as a live viewfinder for precise framing or for reviewing captured images and changing menu options. With the LCD tilted up it makes it easier to shoot table-top macro shots.

HP C912

The large and bright eyelevel finder is offset to the lens but still affords a true through the lens (TTL) view of your subject, even in macro mode. It does not use a mirror like conventional SLR cameras but rather a beam-splitting prism optical system.

Dioptric adjustment is accomplished by turning the rubberized eyecup.

HP C912

Due to the captured image dimensions of 1600 x 1280 the viewfinder image seems almost square compared to the more rectangular view of most other cameras.

Inside the viewfinder along the bottom is a digital information panel that displays exposure +/-, AF focus lock, shutter speed, aperture, AE-L and flash status.

HP C912

The built-in intelligent flash features Auto, Auto with Red-Eye Reduction, Forced On, and Forced On with Red-Eye Reduction modes. It is disabled by simply leaving it closed.   (Note that Auto/Redeye and On/Redeye are not available when in Manual mode)

I have been unable to acquire any flash distance specifications.

HP C912

Thanks to the flash hot shoe on top of the C912 you can use most any automatic external flash unit.

The hot shoe flash sync is active while in Manual mode only. You set the lens aperture to match the automatic setting of the flash (f/5.6, f/8, etc.)

HP C912

A CompactFlash Type II socket allows the use of any size CF card including the new higher-capacity CF2 cards like SanDisk's 300MB card. HP supplies a 16MB SanDisk CF card.  The C912 is not compatible with the IBM Microdrive.

The CF card is partially ejected by a folding lever and from there it's easy to catch the edge of the card with your fingernail and pull it the rest of the way out.

HP C912

On the left side are the I/O ports. The AV Out carries both the mono audio and the video output signals. The video signal is user selectable between NTSC and PAL format.

The DC IN jack is for the optional AC power adapter.

On the bottom is a high-speed USB port and note that it uses a regular USB connector, no special cable is required.

Continue on to
Page Three

Return To Our
Reviews Menu


Note: All photographs and page content
Copyright © 2000 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.

Nothing on this page may be used, distributed or
copied without the author's prior permission.