Hewlett-Packard Australia Photosmart R717
- Museum mode is handy, images are good quality, image advice is useful for newbies
- Awkward to handle
Extensive in-camera coaching and some convenient extra features make the easy-to-use HP Photosmart R717 a great choice for an ambitious beginner.
Price$ 368.00 (AUD)
With its rubberised black body and brushed-metal face plate, the 6.2-megapixel HP Photosmart R717 bears a marked family resemblance to its 5.1-megapixel predecessor, the R707. However, it upgrades many of its older sibling's features.
The R717 allows photographers to select from several different scene modes. The usual suspects--including portrait, action and landscape, plus panorama and the user-configurable My Mode--are available. The R717 also has Museum mode, which takes flashless photos and silences the usual camera sounds.
The long, banana-shaped zoom-control button resides on the back. Because it sits in a shallow indentation--a trough it shares with the direction and Menu/OK buttons--we found it a bit awkward to use. Our most successful technique was to run the side of a thumb along it, a motion better suited to a dial than to this smooth and strangely shaped button.
The R717's easily navigated menus borrow many useful features from the R707. For example, you can set HP's Adaptive Lighting function at high or regular levels to even out images with very light and very dark areas. We found it useful for capturing objects in a bright greenhouse window and for reducing flash glare on glassware photographed in a dark room. The in-camera red-eye reduction is simple and effective as well.
The HP Instant Share feature allows you to set up profiles for printers and email addresses; by tagging photos for these destinations while the shots are still in the camera, you can subsequently send the images out within minutes of sitting down at a PC.
From the R717's Playback menu, you can request image advice on shots already taken. It displays text that explains which features and modes might be useful for improving focus, exposure, depth of field and so on. The separate Help menu provides basic definitions and instructions plus "Top Ten Tips" for the new owner who's itching to snap some shots. Although none of this replaces the manual, it's certainly helpful for getting up to speed.
The quality of the R717's photos impressed us, as it produced some of the sharpest images we've seen from a point-and-shoot. Colours looked attractive, though a bit more oversaturated than the actual hues. We also saw a little speckling--possibly the result of oversharpening--on our colour-distortion tests. These were minor weaknesses, however.
The Photosmart R717 runs on either a rechargeable lithium ion battery (included in the box) or a disposable Duracell CP1 battery--which is good to carry in your camera bag in case the rechargeable dies sooner than you expected. Tested with the rechargeable lithium ion battery, the R717 lasted for 227 shots, or a period of just over two hours.
The R717 ships with no media for its SD Card slot, but the 32MB of internal memory suffices for taking a few high-res test shots on your way to the electronics store to buy media. A USB cable is included in the box for connection to a PC or to a PictBridge-compatible printer, or you can purchase HP's optional Photosmart R-series cradle.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCJava Development EngineerNSW
- CCEnterprise ArchitectNSW
- CCSystem TesterQLD
- CCOracle Developer - 3 month contractSA
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- CCContract System Analyst (SQL/.net) 160205/SA/561Asia
- FTNetwork Systems LeadVIC
- FTSenior Mobile Developer - IOSNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - PEXASA
- FTJunior Developer | C#, MVC & SQL | Class FinanceNSW
- CCIT Service Improvement SpecialistNSW
- CCEXCEL Guru / Data AdministratorNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (MS.Net/Visual Basic) 160129/AP/vtdAsia
- CCBusiness Objects DeveloperNSW
- CCProgram Master SchedulerNSW
- CCSolution Architect - .NET TechnologiesNSW
- CCBusiness Process Analyst - Supply ChainVIC
- CCData Migration SpecialistQLD
- CCWindows System Admin, Administrator, Technical SupportNSW
- CCProject Manager IT infrastructureACT
- FTJava Web Development OpportunityVIC
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Reports/JAVA/SQL) 160129/P/vhs-cAsia
- FTServer EngineerNSW