capsule review

HP Photosmart R967

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder HP Photosmart R967 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

The 10-megapixel Photosmart R967 ($400 as of 10/6/06, including camera dock) is very similar to its predecessor, the 8.2-megapixel R927. Like the R927, this point-and-shoot has a big, 3-inch LCD and a compact, sturdy metal body. For an extra $50, the R967 offers an antishake mode and automatic red-eye removal, in addition to more megapixels. Also like it's predecessor, the R967 is well designed and delivers high image quality, but battery life is disappointing.

The R967 took very sharp photos in our tests, and earned high marks across the board for its image quality, earning an overall image quality score of Very Good. The only exception was its score for distortion, which was below average.

The R967 is best suited for point-and-click photographers who don't need manual controls at their fingertips. There is no mode dial, and so the only shooting mode you can initiate via a dedicated button or dial is the macro mode; for all scene modes, you have to navigate the menus. The camera is also a bit on the heavy side at 7.7 ounces; at 1-inch thick, it's not ultraslim, but nor is it overly bulky.

The R967 puts a few other options at your fingertips as well.One button turns the flash on and off. Another launches the Photosmart Express Menu, which you use to print directly from the camera, as well as to access options for tagging images or buying prints from HP's EasyShare Gallery Web site. For these last two options, you need to use a PC and the included Photosmart software.

However, the R967's features aim to make a PC a rare necessity. Best among those features are automatic red-eye reduction and an antishake mode, both of which worked well in my informal testing. In addition, the camera offers a wealth of processing options that can let you add creative effects to your photos--such as subtle color modifications, cartoon simulations, or watercolor effects--without your having to use image editing software. The camera's more extreme creative effects seem like gimmicks that won't get much use over the long haul. But its more traditional color tone effects are a handy alternative to using editing software on a PC.

Applying the effects is a relatively quick process--it usually takes up to 10 seconds to apply one effect to a 10-megapixel image. Also, the R967 performs in-camera panorama stitching for up to five photos; this process can take significantly longer than applying a routine effect--a three-shot panorama took half a minute to stitch. A five-shot series took the camera over a minute, though I deliberately had not aligned a couple of shots precisely with the panorama mode's guidelines; these guides (a series of white hash marks) appear on the LCD to help you line up each shot, though it's not always obvious what they're depicting. You may prefer to perform these panorama functions on a PC using the included software, considering the R967's poor battery life--its lithium ion battery lasted a mere 180 shots on one charge, which is almost 100 photos short of the average.

One potentially useful feature is the adaptive lighting mode. Its strength is its ability adjust the intensity of the flash, which helped me get appealing results on indoor shots. If you prefer to shoot without the flash, however, it may not be as helpful. When using this feature while shooting in theater mode (which suppresses the flash), I saw little difference in shots taken with and without adaptive lighting turned on.

Eric Butterfield

This story, "HP Photosmart R967" was originally published by PCWorld.

To comment on this article and other TechHive content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Nearly identical to the R927, the R967 adds an antishake mode and slightly better battery life. A camera dock is included.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon