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While other vendors pursue ever-larger LCD screens and longer optical zooms, HP will continue to anchor its camera line around its “Real Life” technologies, using the in-camera image enhancement technology to distinguish the models against similarly priced competitors.
The suite of Real Life technologies, which includes in-camera red-eye removal, panorama stitching and adaptive lighting, will benefit from two additions including adaptive lighting bracketing which automatically captures three versions of the same scene, one with adaptive lighting off, one with it on low and a third with the function on high. There will also be the ability to isolate individual frames in a captured movie to produce a still photo print.
The cameras feature 32MB of internal memory with SD slots for additional memory. They are Pictbridge-enabled.
The 5-megapixel R818 features a 5x optical zoom, 2-inch LCD, 15 shooting modes, manual controls and VGA movie recording at 30 frames per second (fps). It features a new image processor, called the HP Image Engine, for a faster performance and a new “theatre mode” for photographing in low light settings without the flash.
It will ship this month for an estimated $399 and includes a dock for charging batteries and transferring photos to a PC.
The 5-megapixel R817 will ship this month for an estimated $349. It shares most of the features of the R818 except the new image processor and theatre mode.
The 5-megapixel M517 features a 3x optical/8x digital zoom, 2-inch LCD, 32MB of internal memory and works with the company's M-series of Instant Share docks. The M517 ships this month for a suggested $229.
“In-camera technology is not something you can charge more for, because it's very hard to communicate the benefits of the technology,” said Dr. Robert Gann, imaging system architect, HP. “What it does is allow us to offer more value at certain price points than other cameras without it.”
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