HP PhotoSmart 812 Review

Steve's Digicams

Features and Controls

HP PhotoSmart 812

The PhotoSmart 812 is equipped with a Pentax branded 3x optical zoom lens, 7.6 - 22.8mm (equivalent to 37-111mm on 35mm camera). Its maximum aperture is f2.6 - f4.8 and the auto focus range is from 0.5m to infinity in wide angle or telephoto. Macro mode covers from 0.14m to 0.7m (wide), 0.4m to 0.7m in other focal lengths. There is also a 7x digital zoom feature.

The lens extends when powered up and when powered down it is retracted back flush to the body and protected by a built-in lens cap. There are no filter threads or any other visible means of attaching anything to the lens.

HP PhotoSmart 812

The real image optical zoom viewfinder is large and bright with central focusing and closeup framing guides. It shows approximately 78% of the captured image. There is no diopter adjustment. The LEDs indicate focus and flash status.

HP PhotoSmart 812

The built-in auto-adjusting flash has settings for Auto, Fill, Red-eye reduction and Off. Its coverage is about average with a maximum range of 0.5 to 2.8 m in wide angle and 0.5 to 2.0 m in telephoto.

HP PhotoSmart 812

Controls on the back: Next to the optical viewfinder is the Flash mode button with 3 yellow LEDs to indicate the selected mode. Next to that is the Macro focus button and another yellow LED above it that illuminates when macro is selected. The MONitor button to the right of the 1.5-inch color LCD, turns the display on or off. The SHARE button lets you select printing and emailing options. The MENU button calls up the onscreen menu system. The 4-way selector is for navigating menus and selecting pictures for playback. The OK button accepts selections.

HP PhotoSmart 812

Controls on the top: the Mode Dial around the Shutter Release, it has positions for Movie record, Self-timer and Still image record. And the Power on/off button. Off to the left is the speaker.

HP PhotoSmart 812

The PhotoSmart 812 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.

HP PhotoSmart 812HP PhotoSmart 812

The I/O ports are located on the side and include a USB 1.1 port for downloading data to computer. It can also be used to directly connect the camera to most HP printers. 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 812

The PhotoSmart 812 is powered by two 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 812

The optional HP 8881 Digital Dock (street price $79.99, as of 08/2002) includes two sets of 2 NiMH batteries and charges them whenever the camera is docked. The buttons on the front of the dock 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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