HP Photosmart R837 Review

Review Date: April 2nd 2007
Author: Gavin Stoker

Leave a comment about this Review

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were captured using the 7.2MP 3112 x 2328 pixel image size option, producing a file that is around 3.5Mb in size.

Noise

The HP Photosmart R837 only has 3 ISO settings. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting. There is little noise at ISO 100, some noise at 200, and high levels at the fastest speed of ISO 400.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images at the default setting are soft and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop, or you change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

The HP Photosmart R837 dealt fairly well with chromatic aberrations during the review. Pixel fringing is readily visible if you're actually looking for it, but easily overlooked if you're not. Here are some 100% crops which show the typical chromatic aberrations that you can expect:

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)
Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)
   

Macro

The HP Photosmart R837 allows you to focus on a subject that is 10cms away from the camera with the supplied lens. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

Macro Shot (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the HP Photosmart R837 are Auto (default), Flash on, Flash off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (39mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (39mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (118mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (118mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, the Flash On option caused a significant amount of red-eye. Applying the red-eye reduction fix just turned half the pupil black!

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The HP Photosmart R837 maximum shutter speed is 10 seconds, which is fairly good news if you're interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/60th second, aperture of f/3.6 at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   

Overall Image Quality

Fans of Brit photographer Martin Parr and his day-glow studies of the human condition (myself included) will be pleased by the warm, well-saturated colours that the R837 delivers as a default indeed they're the first thing that hit you when reviewing shots on a desktop. If you prefer your shots pale and interesting then perhaps this isn't the camera for you. Night shots without flash inevitably reveal noise and a top light sensitivity setting of ISO 400 isn't going to win any prizes but at least at this maximum setting such artifacts aren't going to prove any real problem either. Camera shake is perhaps inevitable, though I can see the R837's target audience families basically relying on the traditional flash in the main. Images also benefit from unsharp mask in Photoshop and there's obvious loss of highlight detail under bright sunshine but then not any more so than most compacts in this sub-200 price range. Pixel fringing is readily visible if you're actually looking for it, but easily overlooked if you're not. As for HP's in-camera editing: the 'pet eye fix' was a variable tool turning my flash-bleached cat's eyes a cartoon-ish black instead of natural green, while the camera failed to detect human red eye when it was readily visible. That said, the ability to zero in on and zap any spots or facial moles on the fly will appeal to any teenager. So think fun more than anything. So, to sum up, image quality is no better or worse than the competition at this level in fact it's exactly what you'd expect, so in that sense there's no disappointment or nasty surprises.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the HP Photosmart R837 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

Compare Prices

Support PhotographyBLOG: Buy the HP Photosmart R837 from one of our affiliate retailers: