* Prices may differ from that shown
As already mentioned in my i pod review, I'm somewhat behind the times when it comes to technology. I replaced my cassette walkman with an i pod shuffle a mere 2 years ago, and my advancement with regard to cameras has been equally slow. Since I upgraded to this digital camera from a series of disposables, it's possible I don't see any disadvantages as clearly as someone who's had previous digital experience. Still, here goes...
The first thing that drew me to this particular model (aside from the fact that it was reduced to about half price) was the nice, big display screen. This is a distinct advantage, along with the clear image and high resolution pictures you can take. Aside from this, it's easy to take pictures, especially if you're an amateur. There's an autofocus setting, which means you can take a picture at any distance and you don't have to decide for yourself what focus to use in order to get decent quality pictures. Also helpful for this is the zoom. It's not incredibly powerful but again, if you're an amateur photographer then you may not be particularly interested in having a powerful zoom.
Other features I've found particularly useful include the macro setting, for taking close-up pictures of flowers / insects etc, and the settings for taking photos at night-time. The night-time landscape setting is unfortunately not very useful- whenever I've tried using this, I end up with incredibly blurred pictures that look as if I've taken them on the run. Significantly better is the portrait setting, which appears to be for taking night-time pictures of people, but is much more effective for photographing night-time landscapes than the landscape setting itself. It would still produce much better quality pictures if used in tandem with a tripod, but then, I'm not likely to care enough to be buying one of them any time soon.
A distinct disadvantage to buying this camera, however, is the battery life. Whether it's because I don't use the camera on an overly regular basis, I don't know, but sometimes I switch it on, having charged it and barely used it since, and the battery is dead again. It's not like I leave it in a drawer for months on end either- I'd say I use it about once a month.
It's obvious when the camera is charging, which is useful, as there's a flashing blue LED light which stays on constant once it's fully charged. However, it seems to take a few hours to charge fully.
Other people have complained that the camera freezes, and that they have to remove the battery to get it working again, thus losing any pictures they've recently taken. I can't say I've ever experienced this problem, and I've had the camera for over three years now.
I've also never experienced what appears to be another common problem with this model of camera- trouble loading pictures onto the computer. I've always found this to be a very simple task. I just need to plug the usb cable into the computer and into the camera stand and then select 'view files' and transfer any pictures I want onto the laptop. As mentioned, there is a stand that comes with the camera, which is something of an annoyance. When it comes to charging the camera or uploading photos, you can't simply plug the camera in, but have to locate the stand and plug the camera into that and then into the mains or the computer. This isn't usually a huge inconvenience but can be annoying.
However, if you want to take your camera travelling then you need to remember to take the stand as well, particularly as the battery has a tendency to be unreliable, as mentioned. Fortunately the camera isn't particularly large or heavy, and nor is the stand. It's just a question of being organised enough before a holiday to remember to take both, and organisation isn't exactly my strong point!
Currently this camera seems to have been discontinued, but if it does come back, or there's a similar model out there, I'd cautiously recommend it, provided you're aware of some of the drawbacks.
Get HP's latest technology in a powerful camera with 8.2 MP and 24x total zoom - 3x internal optical zoom, 8x digital. View on a big, bright, 3-inch image display with a wide viewing angle, so it's easy to share photos from nearly any position. This small camera has a premium, metal finish and robust manual controls. Get the photo you intended to take, without red eyes or shadows on faces, using HP Real Life technologies. Get photo-taking tips with HP Image Advice, or print stills of VGA video clips directly from the camera. Easily transfer photos and recharge, using an included dock, or choose an optional dock to view photos on TV. 32 MB internal memory included with optional SD card. Do more with your photos, without a PC. Snap panorama photos and stitch in the camera. Apply artistic effects and fun borders with HP Design Gallery, in the camera. Print photos almost anywhere, using an HP Photosmart compact photo printer. Rely on HP for beautiful prints you'll love to share.