HP Photosmart R717
Review Date: May 19th 2005
The HP Photosmart R717 has a 6.4 megapixel, 1/1.8 inch CCD that delivers 6.2 effective megapixels. There are 6 image quality settings available (6MP Best, 6MP, 4MP, 2MP and VGA and a Custom setting), which are recorded as JPEGs. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 39–117mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 8x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera has 32 MB internal memory and supports Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards.
The HP Photosmart R717 offers an Auto exposure mode and a number of scene modes (Action, Landscape, Portrait, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Aperture Priority, Panorama, Document, Museum, My Mode). The aperture range is f2.8– f4.8 at wide-angle and f4.9– f8.4, and the shutter speed range is 16 secs. – 1/2000 sec. There are 3 ISO speeds ranging from 100 to 400 and an Auto option. There are 4 different White Balance presets to choose from (Sun, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent), plus Auto and Manual settings. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 3 in 1/3 EV stops and there are also several exposure autobracketing options (± 0.3, ± 0.7, ± 1.0). The R717 offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - average, centre-weighted and spot. It also has HP's unique Adaptive Lighting feature, with 3 settings of Off, Low and High.
The HP Photosmart R717 has a normal shooting mode (still), self-timer (10 seconds), self-timer – 2 shot mode and a burst mode, which allows you take up to 3 shots as quickly as possible until the camera buffer is full. There is also a Panorama mode, enabling you to take between 2-5 shots and stitch them together when downloaded to your computer to form one large image. There are 3 different colour modes on offer - colour, black and white and sepia - and 3 settings (low, medium and high) for saturation, contrast and sharpness. The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 14cms. The built-in flash offers a range of different modes; Flash Off, Auto, Red-eye, Flash On and Night.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the optical viewfinder. The HP Photosmart R717 has a 1.6 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 130,572 pixels. There is also a traditional optical viewfinder with 3x magnification (without diopter control). The HP Photosmart R717 can record movies with sound at one setting; 320x240 pixels at 30 frames per second. This is recorded in the MPEG-1 format. As well as recording movies, the HP Photosmart R717 also doubles up as a voice recorder, allowing you to attach an audio clip up to 60 seconds long to an image that you have taken.
The camera's dimensions are 96mm (W) x 60mm (H) x 35mm (D), and it weighs 180g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by either the supplied rechargeable lithium-ion battery or the 3.3V AC adapter. There is a plastic tripod mount in the bottom-left corner of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a USB cable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, AC adapter, wrist strap, user's manual and a CD-ROM(s) with HP Image Zone v4.5 software for Windows and Macintosh. Note that HP have chosen not to supply a memory card. The HP Photosmart R717 does have 32Mb internal memory, but you can only store 8 images at the highest quality setting. You will therefore need to invest in some SD or MMC Cards to store your images on. HP have also been rather mean by not including either their R-series 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 R-series camera dock. In my opinion they should have included this in the basic kit.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the HP Photosmart R717 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.