Hewlett Packard Inc.
is continuing its largest ever consumer product rollout — a US$1.2 billion investment, including nearly 50 products worldwide — today with the introduction of four new digital imaging products: a digital camera, a photo printer and two scanners.
All the products are due in late October or early November and all are compatible with Mac OS 9.1 (and higher) and OS X 10.1 (and higher).
The Photosmart 850 digital camera, which has an estimated street price of US$499, features 4.1-megapixel total resolution and an 8x optical zoom, 7x digital zoom. You can use manual controls to select camera settings for ISO, exposure, white balance and more. The Photosmart 850 lets you print photos directly from the camera to USB-enabled HP Photosmart printers, HP Deskjet printers or HP all-in-one printers
The electronic viewfinder comes in handy for enhancing the framing of photos. You can preview the photo you’ve just taken without having to switch on any buttons or jump into a separate preview mode. The 850 offers auto exposure, auto flash and redeye reduction. You can also capture sound and motion using the video clip capture with audio.
The 850 digital camera facilitates close-ups and panoramic views via its automatic focus. You can use the included Memories Disc Creator software to create digital photo slide shows and organize and store digital photos on CD. An optional AC adapter is available.
The camera supports the HP Instant Share technology. With it, you can send multiple digital images at one time without worrying about the images being too large to download or view by their receivers, Ken Fleming, HP’s digital imaging solutions marketing manager, told MacCentral. You can also receive and view photos easily, without waiting for large file attachments to download, he added. Recipients of your photos can choose from multiple options for viewing and managing digital images, such as reply to sender, forward to a friend, save to hpphoto.com (a free, online storage site), order prints or save to their computer.
The $249 HP Photosmart 230 printer allows you to edit and preview photos before printing with the 1.8-inch color LCD screen. Though it offers Mac connectivity thanks to USB, you can print photos without a computer via Compact Flash, Memory Stick, MultiMedia, Secure Digital and SmartMedia memory cards.
The Photosmart 230 lets you print professional looking 4 x 6-inch borderless photos using HP premium photo papers, Fleming said. The 230 is designed to be portable, thanks to a “compact, on-the-go design.” What’s compact? It’s 8.8 inches wide, 5.3 inches tall, 4.3 inches deep, and weighs under three pounds.
Print speeds vary depending on the mode and complexity of the image being printed. However, the “average” 4 x 6 photo will print in approximately 1.5 minutes.
You can use the Memories Disc Creator software to create digital photo slide shows to view on a personal computer or TV with a DVD player. The software can also be used to organize and store digital photos on CD and print your favorites.
“The Photosmart 230 connects to the PC, but is positioned more as a camera accessory — a portable device for personal user,” Fleming said.
With the $299 HP Scanjet 5500c scanner, you can scan a stack of 4 x 6-inch or 3 x 5-inch photos, and even organize and store the images or print a photo album using the automatic photo feeder. It offers up to 2400 dpi and 48-bit color for printing, e-mailing and posting on the Web. It’s the industry’s first scanner to feature an automatic photo feeder, according to HP. Bringing electronic organization to shoeboxes full of photos, the HP Scanjet 5500c scanner allows users to scan a stack of up to 24 photos, the same number of photos in a typical roll of film, by placing them in the feeder and pressing a button.
And it’s fast, Fleming said. You can purportedly scan a 4 x 6-inch photo into a Word document in under 30 seconds. In fact, you can start scanning immediately and view scans in about five seconds, as no warm-up time is needed.
The Scanjet 5500c lets you scan 35 mm negatives and slides using the included lighted adapter. You can use the seven, one-touch buttons for a variety of projects, including scan-to-Web sites, CDs, printers, e-mail and more. Front-panel controls let you select one to 99 color or black and white copies. You can even convert documents to electronic text with the included OCR (optical character recognition) software.
The $199 HP scanjet 4570c scanner offers the speed and many of the features (such as 2400 x 2400 dpi, 48-bit color, the lighted adapter , seven one-touch buttons, front-panel controls, and software) as the 5500c. However, it doesn’t come with the 5500c’s auto photo feeder, though it can be purchased online as an accessory.