Created 1st May, 2005 09:20 (UTC), last edited 17th August, 2006 08:49 (UTC)

The HP R707—our old digital camera which is now sadly gone.

I blame it for me taking so many pictures over the year and a bit we had it, some three and half thousand all in. Some I like, many are pretty bad, but a few I really like. Those that I really like will eventually all be here.

The camera itself is very easy to use, although the biggest problem that it has for point-and-shoot photography is also what makes it good for everything else. You have to allow it to focus, and unfortunately the focus rectangle in the middle of the screen is too large and the screen is too small. It's very easy to get it to focus on something behind your subject matter by mistake and you won't notice because the screen isn't big enough that you can see the focus clearly. This also makes the manual focus nearly impossible to use because the screen is too small. At five megapixels any small focus problem can be seen when you look closely at a picture.

Having said those critisisms though everything else about the camera is great. It takes fantastic night photos with long exposure which allows you to do some pretty cool effects. I think though that two of the best things about it are that it

  1. works out the correct orientation of the photo so that you don't have to keep rotating them when you get them to the computer; and
  2. has a very nifty panorama mode that lets you take panorama shots very easily.

The panaroma mode prompts you to take the left most photo first and then draws an outline of the right side of that to the left side of the LCD. You simply line up the outline with what you see and you get much better registration between the images. The camera supports up to five-photo panoramas like this and will show you a preview of them stitched together. The software that comes with the camera handles the final stitching together and corrects the distortion that normally ruins these sorts of shot in practice.

And were did the camera go? No idea. It was downstairs in the office and we're not always great at locking up if we pop upstairs for something so I guess somebody ran off with it. In any case it now seems that we have a spare charger if anybody needs one—but not if it's for a hooky second-hand camera!

Pictures & Photos