HP PhotoSmart 850 Review

Steve's Digicams

Features and Controls

HP PhotoSmart 850

The PhotoSmart 850 is equipped with a Fuji Photo Optical CO Ltd., Autofocus, 8x optical zoom 7.6 - 61mm, F2.8 - 3.1. The 35mm equivalent focal is approximately 37 - 300mm coverage. This is further extended by a 7x digital zoom feature.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The auto focus range is from 19.7 in. to infinity (wide), 35.5 in. to infinity (tele), and from 3.9 in. - 27.6 in. (macro mode, wide angle.) There is a low-light focus assist lamp that illuminates when needed. The lens extends when powered up and when powered down it's retracted back into the body. HP provides a snap-on type of lens cap.

HP PhotoSmart 850

Here's a quick example of the focal range of an 8x zoom lens

HP PhotoSmart 850

The eyelevel finder is a color micro-LCD display like those found on modern camcorders. This is an EVF (electronic viewfinder) and gives you a SLR-like view through the lens. It also allows for display of camera information over the live view image as well as image review. The outer eyecup turns to adjust the diopter and those two holes below it are the eye-start sensors. To save battery power the EVF is only powered up when your face is near the camera.

More info:

The LightViewQVGA Microdisplay Engine from Displaytech Inc., Longmont, Colo., USA, is the electronic viewfinder (EVF) in the HP Photosmart 850 digital camera. The EVF functions as an information center, showing a full array of shooting information and monitoring effects of image manipulation and control. Displaytech's microdisplay delivers a visual resolution equivalent to approximately 230,000 pixels, nearly two times more than most direct-view LCDs found in other digital still cameras.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The built-in manual popup flash has settings for Auto, On, Off, Red eye, Night, Night with red eye. Flash recycle time is about 3 seconds. Maximum range is 3.5m at ISO 100.

HP PhotoSmart 850

Controls on the back: Across the top is the Flash mode button and Macro focus button. The The Display button to the right of the 2-inch color LCD, turns the display on or off. In the middle is the Playback mode button and below that is the SHARE button to select printing and emailing options. The OK button calls up the onscreen menu and accepts selections. The 4-way selector is for navigating menus and selecting pictures for playback.

HP PhotoSmart 850

Controls on the top: the Mode Dial around the Shutter Release, it has positions for Movie record, Self-timer and Still image record and functions as the On/Off switch too. To the left is the popup flash release lever and below the mode dial is the speaker.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The PhotoSmart 850 comes with a 16MB Secure Digital memory card and is compatible with SD cards up to 256MB. It is not compatible with MultiMedia type cards.

16MB SD Card Capacity
    ***BEST 5 - 4MP images, 13 - 1MP images
    **BETTER 13 - 4MP images, 35 - 1MP images
    *GOOD 26 - 4MP images, 71 - 1MP images.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The I/O ports are located on the side and include:

USB 1.1 port for downloading data to computer. It can also be used to directly connect the camera to most HP printers.

Audio-Video out for connection to a TV set

The DC IN port on the bottom is for the optional AC power adapter.

On the bottom of the camera is an 8-pin connector for the HP 8881 Digital Dock that carries audio, video, USB and power.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The PhotoSmart 850 is powered by four standard AA type batteries and comes with a set of alkaline batteries. We recommend using high-capacity NiMH rechargeables which are more environmentally friendly and pack 3-5x the power.

HP PhotoSmart 850

The optional HP 8881 Digital Dock (street price $79.99, as of 08/2002) includes four NiMH batteries and charges them whenever the camera is docked. The buttons on the front let you quickly download images to the computer, output to a HP photo printer or display a slide show on your TV set.

HP PhotoSmart 620

The HP Digital Dock has I/O connectors for power in from the AC adapter, video out to television, USB out to printer and USB I/O to computer(cables included). It has a neat little sliding cover over the USB ports which keeps you from having both connected at the same time.

Continue on to
Page Three

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.