HP Photosmart M417 review

Started Dec 21, 2006 | User reviews thread
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Tomek_C
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HP Photosmart M417 review
Dec 21, 2006

I've been using this camera for few months as a back-up to my 35 mm SLR.
It's compact and light, handy for taking on hiking or cycling trips when I don't want to lug the SLR and lenses with me.
It gives average results as a point and shoot camera in auto mode. If you want to have more control, you can manually select ISO, White Balance, Scene Mode and exposure compensation, but it takes some hunting in the menus to adjust the settings.
Image and colour quality is good in bright, outdoor conditions, but results can be poor and noisy in low light or shady conditions. I use a mini tripod whenever I can to avoid problems with hand shake.
The sensor appears vulnerable to blooming and highlights are burnt-out in high contrast images (a problem common to many digital cameras). Mostly I do landscape photography. I've got some quite good shots using the tripod and "Landscape" scene mode to force smaller apertures and longer exposures. Attempts at sunrises/sunsets or night photography of buildings took a lot of experimenting with exposure compensation and scene mode.

It's been fun playing with this camera, but I'll be saving up for an entry-level DSLR or Bridge Camera for when I finally retire the film camera.

This is quite an old model now, so read the other reviews and go for something with a better sensor and image processing features.

Problems:

Automatic White balance frequently doesn't work, leading to a blue cast on bright but overcast days. The manual setting for "shady" conditions gives a brownish cast.

Screen is poor and refreshes too slowly for action photography.

Zoom control is not fine enough. It tends to jump.

Macro mode poor compared to other Digital compacts by Canon and Olympus.

Tomek_C's score
3.0
Average community score
3.4
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