Top critical review
52 people found this helpful
Good digital camera, but not an upgrade.
on December 4, 2004
Here are the great features of this camera:
* Easy for point and shoot.
* Very light and small! It easily fits in your pocket.
* Great full color LCD viewscreen and easy to understand buttons.
* Wonderful shutter button and "video record" buttons (some cameras require you to twist knobs, pull levers and shift gears to go from picture taking to video recording, this camera makes it a snap!)
* Video Recording will fill up all the space you have. With a 1GB SD card, it will record nearly 90 minutes of video. The video is decent quality (the QVGA 30fps mpeg) and has allowed us to stop taking the bulky 8mm video camera along with us. With Windows Movie Maker software, we can easily mix still photos and live videos for sharing with friends on the web or burn to DVD. It is NOT digital video recorder quality (or even an 8mm) but when you are juggling the kids, keys, diaper bags, towels, and everything else, if you can eliminate a camera and still have the functionality, life is good!
Our first digital camera was an HP Photosmart 735. We purchased the M407 as a replacement. The price and features seemed to make it equal with the 735 but with some enhancements. However, that is not entirely true.
* Strange as it may seem, the 4 MB Best selection doesn't seem to produce the same crystal clear vibrant colors that the 3.2 megapixel 735 did. The flash seems to make this even worse.
* The camera does not have a speaker. It has a mic to record video and audio-over, but you can't play it back and listen to it. You must transfer it to your computer. The 735 came with a built in speaker which made it a great way to check audio quality as well as the picture. I am sad that HP didn't continue that with this camera.
* As with the 735, you still can't operate the zoom when you are recording. This is annoying, but you can work around it. Zoom before you start video recording and it will record at that zoom level (just remember that you can't change it until you stop recording).
* The video recording sound is a little soft. The 735 had an aggressive auto level control that often went overboard, but you never missed audio. The M407 gives "cleaner" audio but at the cost of low levels. I don't know what is best.
* HP eliminated the simple LCD screen that was on the top of the 735 camera that would show the number of pictures left (or minutes left for video recording) which was a nice feature but not critical.
* The view finder is very small and you will probably use the LCD screen instead to frame your shots. The screen is a bit slow (as with other HP cameras).
Overall, it is an excellent camera for the money, but don't expect to see it as an upgrade from the older 3.2M 735 model.