The HP 935 isn't likely to win any beauty contests, but then it is still completely functional. The boxy design has a subtly molded front hand grip which is just about enough to provide a little extra hold. From the front the first impression is that the lens seems to small for the body, having said that the lines are clean and everything is where you expect it. The back of the camera is dominated by the LCD monitor and its dark gray surround, three functional buttons running down the edge of this surround. The zoom controller continues the square theme as does the 'flick style' on/off power button. More controls are available on the top of the camera, continuing HP's use of LED's to indicate settings.
Side by side
Here you can see the HP 935 beside the similarly specified Canon PowerShot S50, both cameras have 1/1.8" five megapixel sensors, both cameras have three times optical zoom lenses, both cameras have some manual controls (although the Canon is better in this respect). Out of the two the HP is the lighter by just 25 g (1 oz).
In your hand
In your hand the camera continues to feel boxy, although not uncomfortably so. On the rear of the camera your thumb naturally rests on the zoom controller, on the top the shutter release button is also suitably well located. Because of its use of just two AA batteries the 935 doesn't feel heavy and weight balance is good because the batteries reside in the hand grip.
The HP 935 has a bright 1.5" 114,000 pixel LCD monitor, it has an anti-reflective coating (although not as good as some we have seen). This LCD is a considerable improvement over that found on the 812 and 850, it's brighter, sharper and far easier to see outdoors than the old two inch unit used on those cameras.
The LCD monitor provides approximately 98% frame coverage.
The 935 has a very aggressive power saving strategy, when the camera is first turned on the LCD live view is off, you have to deliberately switch it on. After 60 seconds of inactivity the LCD monitor is turned off. This reduces battery usage considerably.
Nothing unusual here, no electronic viewfinder from the 850, just a normal 'optical tunnel' hole-through-the-case. The 935 offers no dioptre adjustment and has no parallax correction lines, however it does have center-of-frame brackets. The viewfinder provides approximately 88% frame coverage.
The two lights beside the viewfinder indicate the following:
|Red Steady||Recording video|
|Red Flashing||Memory card full / no memory card|
|Green Steady||Ready to shoot - Auto Focus locked and/or flash charged|
|Green Flashing||Not ready - can not lock auto focus / flash is charging|
|Green & Red Flashing||Memory card full / no memory card|