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HP Photosmart 315 Digital Camera Review

HP Photosmart 315 Digital Camera Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: With the ever growing popularity of digital cameras it's no surprise that this market has not only attracted traditional photography giants such as Kodak or Olympus, but also has brought forth competition in the form of devices from such consumer electronics manufacturers such as Sony and Toshiba.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: Digital Cameras Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: HP Mar 17 2001   D. Deveaux  
Home > Reviews > Digital Cameras > HP Photosmart 315

HP Photosmart 315 Digital Camera Review


With the ever growing popularity of digital cameras it's no surprise that this market has not only attracted traditional photography giants such as Kodak or Olympus, but also has brought forth competition in the form of devices from such consumer electronics manufacturers such as Sony and Toshiba.

One of the reasons for this can be attributed to the fact that such companies are used to producing various electronic devices, and as such, are well able to produce solid digital cameras. One manufacturer in particular however, clearly has the potential to make an excellent digicam, as they have a strong background in digital imagery. With a long history is selling top quality printers and scanners, it's no surprise that Hewlett Packard has chosen to adopt digital cameras as a major product line for themselves.

As a company who has been in the digital camera market for a few years now, HP has recently refreshed their camera lineup to include the Photosmart 215, 315, 618, and 912. The Photosmart 215 and 315 cameras are catered towards families and other general purpose users, while the 618 and 912 are aimed at the "prosumer" class (those who don't quite need a high quality (and high priced) digital SLR camera, but need a more versatile camera than what a basic unit offers).

You may notice that these cameras share the same name as HP's highly regarded Photosmart printers. This is definitely by no means a mere coincidence, as the cameras and printers are designed to work together to facilitate both the input and output of digital images. Photosmart printers, for example, are able to accept Compact flash memory cards from Photosmart cameras (as well as other digicams), and print wirelessly from the new Photosmart cameras via infrared.

Today, we'll be taking a look at the Photosmart 315 unit in particular, which boasts a native resolution of 2.1 megapixels, and an amazing suggested price of $299 (US). These two features alone have been virtually unheard of until now, as most cameras priced around $300 offer only 1.3 megapixels or less.

Features and Specifications

· Resolution: 2.1 Megapixels
· Exposure Rating: ISO 100
· Shutter Speed: 1/750 to 2 sec
· Lens system: 5 element glass lens; f/2.8; TTL auto focus; 5.8 mm (38 mm equivalent)
· Connectivity, Std: USB to PC or Mac; HP Jetsend Infrared; Standard tripod mount
· Power Supply: 4 AA batteries (included) or optional AC adapter
· Timer: 10 sec delay
· Memory Interface: Compact Flash
· Zoom Type: Digital
· Zoom Range: 1.0 2.5x in 0.5x increments
· Weight: 8 oz without batteries
· Minimum System Requirements: Windows 98, 2000 Professional, Me, NT 4.0, 133 MHz Pentium processor or better, 32 MB RAM, 800 x 600; 16 bit color display
· Dimensions: (W x D x H) 5 x 2.7 x 1.3 in


A quick glance at the specifications for this camera shows that aside from the aforementioned 2.1 megapixel resolution, there are a few other notable enhancements made to the camera. For one, HP uses USB to transfer images from the camera to a PC or Macintosh. Considering 2.1 megapixel images are fairly large, opting for USB was a wise decision. As we'll see later on, USB enables this camera to download images very quickly, despite their large file sizes.

Other than that, the camera bundle is fairly plain. No AC adapter is included (though one is available from HP's website at a suggested price of $49.99). While this may be cause for concern, do take note that this camera uses standard AA batteries, which can be replaced easily when drained.

Perhaps the greatest cost cutting measure used with this camera would be its limited zoom capabilities. Offering no optical zoom (the preferred method of zooming, as it maintains full image quality), the camera instead relies on a 2.5x digital zoom capability. Take note however, as HP is definitely not alone in this regard. With only a few exceptions, most cameras priced around $300 lack this same ability. Even still, if HP had been able to cram an optical zoom lens into the unit, while maintaining it's already low price, it would have been icing on the cake.

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Contents of Article: HP Photosmart 315
 Pg 1.  — HP Photosmart 315 Digital Camera Review
 Pg 2.  Camera Layout
 Pg 3.  Performance & Image Quality

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