Photosmart R967

Photosmart R967

Remember, more megapixels doesn't automatically mean a better camera.


The 10-megapixel Photosmart R967 supplants the 8-megapixel Photosmart R927 at the top of HP's point-and-shoot line. In additional to its higher resolution, it also adds an antishake mode and 10x digital zoom. While the updates look good on paper, we don't think they're significant enough to choose the R967 over the now-cheaper R927 ($299.99).


The R967 sticks with a lot of the core features that make the R927 such a good thing. First, there's the big, bright, and beautiful 3-inch LCD. Framing shots is easy, and the screen remains viewable even under strong daylight. The intuitive controls found on the R927 find their way onto the R967 - adjusting the mode and shuffling through menus and pics are effortless. Image-editing features are built in, too. You can remove red-eye, modify color, and apply artistic effects right in the camera - fun and convenient, especially if you're away from your Mac. All this in addition to the 3x optical zoom lens, VGA video connector, PictBridge support, and rechargeable lithium-ion battery make for a complete package.


Just like the R927, the R967 produces great-looking images. Colors are vivid and accurate, and overall sharpness is excellent with noise noticeable only in photos taken in low light. The R967's adaptive lighting technology helps bring out details in high-contrast photos - it does just as advertised, but we found that the best results came when it was set to low, while using the high setting would sometimes wash out details.


In an attempt to rid photos of motion blur during low-light situations, the R967 adds a new antishake mode. It works by digitally "pushing the film" (underexposing the image and then overdeveloping it). The technology needs more tuning, however; in our tests, antishake didn't eliminate or even minimize blur significantly and added tons of noise to our photos.


On the other hand, the new digital zoom, surprisingly, works like a charm. Image quality was impressive in pics we took with digital zoom totally maxed out; degradation wasn't as drastic as we normally see with digital zoom.


The bottom line. While the R967 improves on the R927, the changes aren't groundbreaking. It's hard to recommend the R967 over the R927 when the R927 is still such a capable (and now cheaper) camera. When it comes down to it, if you need the extra megapixels and more successful digital zoom, go for the R967. Otherwise, the R927 remains your best bet.


CONTACT: 800-752-0900,
PRICE: $349.99
REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3.9 or later, USB
Chock-full o' features. Impressive digital zoom - for once. Nice LCD. Good image quality.
Antishake doesn't work well. Many features are found on the cheaper R927.





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