HP Photosmart 945
Review Date: October 28th 2004
The HP Photosmart 945 has a 5.3 megapixel, 1/1.8 inch CCD that delivers 5.08 megapixels. There are 2 image sizes available (2608 x 1952 (5 megapixel) and 1296 x 976 (1 megapixel)), which can be recorded as JPEGs in 3 different compression settings, giving a total of 6 different image settings. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera features a Fuji Photo Optical 8X optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 37–300mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 7x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera uses Secure Digital (SD) memory cards.
This camera offers a range of selectable exposure modes, with auto, aperture-priority and shutter-speed priority, as well as a number of scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Action). Sadly there is no fully manual mode. The HP Photosmart 945 has 3 exposure metering modes (centre-weighted (default setting), spot, average) and there are 2 different types of focusing available (Autofocus / Manual Focus). The aperture range is f2.8 – f11 and the shutter speed range is 16 sec. – 1/2000 sec. There are 3 ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 400. There are 4 different White Balance settings to choose from (Sun, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent), plus a Manual setting. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 3 in 1/3 EV stops, but there is no autobracketing of either exposure or white balance available.
The HP Photosmart 945 has a normal shooting mode (single-shot), self-timer, self-timer – 2 shot mode and a burst mode, which allows you take up to 6 shots at roughly 0.5 second intervals. There are 3 different colour modes on offer - colour, black and white, and sepia. The built-in flash offers a range of different modes; Flash Off, Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Flash On, Flash On with red-eye reduction, Night, Night with red-eye reduction. The working distance at ISO 100 at the wide angle lens setting is: 2.4m, and at the telephoto setting 2.2m.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the electronic viewfinder. The HP Photosmart 945 has a 2 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 180,468 pixels. There is also an electronic SLR-type microdisplay viewfinder with diopter control. The HP Photosmart 945 can record movies with sound at one setting; 320x240 pixels at 30 frames per second. This is recorded in the Motion JPEG format, a type of AVI format that can handle images and sound as a single file, and can be played back by QuickTime 3 or later. As well as recording movies, the HP Photosmart 945 also doubles up as a voice recorder, allowing you to attach an audio clip to an image that you have taken.
The camera's dimensions are 123mm (W) x 85mm (H) x 85mm (D), and it weighs 300g without batteries and storage cards fitted. The camera is powered by 4 x AA size alkaline batteries or 4 x Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a 32 MB Secure Digital (SD) memory card, 4 AA photo-lithium batteries, neck strap, CD containing HP Photo and Imaging software, user manual, USB cable, USB host cable to printer, warranty card, hp 8881 dock insert. You will need to invest in a few more SD Cards to store your images on, as the supplied 32Mb can only store approximately 12 images at the default 5M file quality setting. You will also have to budget for some rechargeable batteries and a recharger, as the supplied batteries don't last very long. HP have also been rather mean by not including either their camera dock or an A/V cable to connect the camera to a TV. This is because they want you to purchase the optional Photosmart 8881 camera dock, to "further enhance your experience" as the first page of the manual states! In my opinion they should have included this in the basic kit. The camera has a 1 year warranty.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the HP Photosmart 945 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.