Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Check out the HP Digital Cameras with a Slimming Effect, Really!

By Christina VanGinkel

Now I have heard it all! In my mail yesterday was a magazine styled catalog of new products, and products that are hot sellers. There is everything in its pages from clothing to electronics. A digital camera with a unique feature caught my attention. A feature that I at first thought was a joke, that is until I read further, and then sat down at the computer to look it up, as I was still not convinced that it was not just a hoax. I had never read the magazine that I first saw it in before yesterday, it was my very first issue, so I considered that the editors had a bit of a funny side and liked to toss in a joke here and there, for surely the description of the camera's feature was a joke right? Wrong!

The HP R927, along with several other HP cameras, is sporting a new 'slimming' effect. Look a bit fat in a picture, no problem; just hit the slimming effect to make some subtle, but slimming changes to the picture. Let me stop right here and tell you that I have not seen this effect in action, I can only relate to you what I read in the review in the magazine, and what I read online at the HP site and from a few other reviews that I was able to find.

The feature is actually part of an in-camera design gallery. While altering pictures in various photo editing software independent of your camera has been available for some time, more camera makers have been adding editing features such as removal of red eye, and black and white lens right into the camera itself. Part of the trend I believe is because of the various photo printers now available that consumers can just pop their cameras onto or connect via USB cables, bypassing the computer completely. Sometimes this is done because the computer is not convenient to access, or maybe the consumer does not even own one, or is not comfortable going through all the steps required to import their photographs into the photo editing software. They want the ease of taking their photos via their digital cameras, and making any and all adjustments right there. This new line of cameras from HP is most likely the first step of many to do just this.

The in-camera design gallery features the ability to alter your snapshots instantly. You can apply the subtle (their word) effect to both people and pets. The effect is said to easily remove ten or so pounds from an average person's frame. The in-camera design gallery also allows the user to add simple, yet artistic borders, add special effects including the two Cartoon and Kaleidoscope, and the ability to enhance sky and ground colors. There is not software to learn to maneuver through, and all of these effects can be added after the pictures are taken.

The cameras from HP that include this innovative in-camera design gallery, include the newer M-series, including the M425, M525, and M527, along with their R-series, the R725, the R727, and the R927. For an up-close look at one of these cameras, check with your local dealer, or head to the HP website for an HP Design Gallery Technology Tour. (While you are there, be sure to check out their free classes on digital photography too). With more than 25 creative effects available, including 13 artistic effects, if you own one of the M or R series cameras, you might never have to download your photos for editing again. Digging further on the HP site to find out exactly what is included, I came up with the following information. The 25 creative effects are broken down into 13 effects, 4 color schemes, and 10 borders, which can all be interchanged for really an unlimited number of changes. I also was able to determine that when you do apply an effect, that version of your photo is saved on your memory card independently of the original, so you can always go back and start over, or just use the original. All your touchups and quick fixes can be accomplished right in your camera.

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