HP Photosmart C20

Started Nov 3, 2011 | User reviews thread
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Teletypist New Member • Posts: 4
HP Photosmart C20

My first "quality" digital camera, bought new in 1999 (for what now seems like a ridiculous price LOL). The legitimate reason for getting it was to check lighting and composition for my studio shots, a MUCH cheaper solution than shooting Polaroids.

Still have it, mostly as a curiosity item to remind me how far things have progressed. The most surprising thing is that even now it offers usable pictures, and a feature missing on current compacts, a great optical viewfinder that allows you to see things even in adverse lighting conditions (like darkness or bright sunlight).

It's a ruggedly built camera. I took it on many miles of hikes, hot and cold weather, rain and snow. It never gave me a problem. My Canon DSLRs wouldn't have survived.

My Ratings are based on contemporary camera standards, by today's standards it wouldn't rate even a -5


It's been 100% reliable over a dozen years.

It's a power hog, it will eat batteries rapidly.

The AF was great in its day, but sadly dated even a few years later.

The flash exposure is inconsistent in "rapid fire" (i.e. shoot as soon as the ready light comes on) but fair if you wait an additional 15 seconds.

(A current issue) It's limited to 32MB or less CF cards. No longer made, used ones hard to find and usually at the end of their life (In those days most cards had a 1000x write cycle limit).

HP Photosmart C20
1 megapixels • 1.8 screen • 39 mm
Announced: Feb 12, 1998
Teletypist's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
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