HP PhotoSmart 945 Review

Steve's Digicams

Features and Controls

HP Photosmart 945

The Photosmart 945 is equipped with a Fujinon autofocus, 8x optical zoom 7.6 - 61mm. This is a high-quality optic consisting of six elements in five groups with aspheric surfaces. The 35mm equivalent focal coverage is approximately 37 to 300mm. This is further extended by a 7x digital zoom feature. The aperture range is F2.8 - F/11.3 (wide) and F/3.1 to F/12.4 (tele.)

HP Photosmart 945

An example of the focal range of the 8x zoom lens

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. If the auto focus fails and the user presses the shutter release anyway, the lens is placed at the hyperfocal position which provides for the maximum depth of field. 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 945

Tiffen makes a lens adapter for the HP Photosmart 945 (also fits HP 850) that lets you mounts 43mm filters and add-on lenses.

HP Photosmart 945

Here's the Tiffen 0.75x wide angle auxilliary lens mounted on the HP 945.

HP Photosmart 945

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. The automatic Eyestart sensor distance is ~30-55mm.

More info:

The LightViewQVGA Microdisplay Engine from Displaytech Inc., Longmont, Colo., USA, is the electronic viewfinder (EVF) in the HP Photosmart 945/850 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.

HP Photosmart 945

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 7.9 ft at ISO 100, 11.2 at ISO 200, 15.7 ft at ISO 400 (wide angle.)

HP Photosmart 945

Controls on the back: Zoom lens controls in the upper right. Above the LCD is the Flash mode button, Drive mode button and Macro/Manual focus button. The button to the right of the LCD with the camera icon turns the display on or off so it can be used as the framing viewfinder when desired. In the middle is the Playback mode button and below that are the PRINT and SHARE buttons 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. And of course the On/Off power switch.

HP Photosmart 945

Controls on the top: the Mode Dial around the Shutter Release, it has positions for: Sports, Landscape, Portrait, Movie, Auto, Tv (Shutter speed priority) and Av (Aperture priority.) To the right is the popup flash release lever and above the mode dial is the speaker.

HP Photosmart 945

The Photosmart 945 comes with a 32MB Secure Digital memory card and is compatible with SD cards up to 512MB (probably 1GB but not tested by me.) Shown here is the spacious and speedy Transcend 512MB SD card.

32MB SD Card Capacity
    BEST 11 - 5MP images (2.6MB), 23 - 1MP images (1.25MB)
    BETTER 23 - 5MP images (1.25MB), 48 - 1MP images (600KB)
    GOOD 48 - 5MP images (600KB), 96 - 1MP images (300KB).

HP Photosmart 945

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 945

The Photosmart 945 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 945

The optional HP 8881 Digital Dock includes four 2000mAh 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.

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