HP Photosmart M307

13

Comments

  • edited July 14

    @win32 said:
    What OS are you using? On Windows Vista and above it will rely on MTP instead of USB mass-storage class support. Windows 9x and 2000 don't really have MTP support available (2000 with WMP10 technically yes, but I had issues).

    Windows 8.1. It works just fine, and I didn't have any problems transfering data from the camera to computer despite the corrupted ones, obviously makes sense after all...

    What probably plays a factor in killing lots of battery-powered devices nowadays is the shitty non-rechargable Duracell batteries. They have leaked in four different devices of mine in the past couple of years and the only brand to leak at all!!!!

    Yeah. When I first discovered this M307 camera after it was long forgotten, I took the batteries out and they leaked out all over the place. Someone didn't take out the stupid alkalines... Lucky that the leak didn't damage the camera. Although the leak affected one of the battery terminals. Because of that I couldn't run the camera. It took me some effort for me to clean up that shit... It was dark in that battery compartment so I needed to hold a flash in there while cleaning up. In the end it was worth it. The camera successfully worked and everything after that just went fine.

    I think the reason why big battery companies like Duracell even keep alkalines going is because most tech over the years now have the batteries INSIDE them. so now alkalines are worth nothing more than just remote controls and such...

    Fuck alkalines batteries man. Just fuck them. Recharagables are like 100 million times better and you save your money in the long run. Thank you @SomeGuy and @yourepicfailure for telling me this. Alkalines truly are garbage...

  • edited July 14

    There's alot to discover about this camera however...
    I wonder how the camera was viewed upon by consumers when it came out on 2004/2005. Was probably mentioned on several tech magazines.

    But it shows that how fucking shit alkalines can be. They leak over the years, have an abysmal capacity (they can't even last a minute on the camera!) and they are temporary! Ready to die and end up in the garbage.. Rechargables are much better. They can be recharged thousands of times and they last much longer than any alkaline.

  • edited July 14

    The reason for a loss of resolution is how the camera handles zooms beyond its hardware/optical zoom. As you noticed.

    This means that the lens&mechanism allow the camera to produce a true 3x zoom at max. However, to provide that advertised "super close 18x zoom!" the camera crops the image to provide an illusion of a more zoomed in image.

    Compared to most smartphone cameras that have no optical zoom, they simply crop the image depending on the requested zoom amount and the image processor does some algorithm to enlarge it to the original resolution. Then factor all the noise reduction and it looks like a picasso oil pastel. It's utter garbage and usually noisier and less sharp than simply cropping and enlarging with a computer.

    Zoom shots are always difficult anyways. The closer you try to get to a far out subject, the greater the angle changes can affect its position on the sensor. This is where stabilization comes into play.
    I hate software image stabilization. Yeah try correcting motion blur with the already loss of detail. Shame optical stabilization wasn't much of a thing back then.

    And great to hear you finally leaving disposables. What brand did you ultimately settle on?

    BTW, you think this camera was a PITA? Try dealing with a 1.5mp DCS420 (my first digital camera). Want to plug it in to your computer? You'll specifically need a very specific parallel SCSI adapter, and nothing else works. It also needs to be the last device on the chain because it's self-terminating. It uses pcmia cards for storage, hard to come by decent ones today for cheap. If you get a pcmia to cf, you can use up to 512mb cards. Plus, the card must be specifically fat8 DOS formatted or the camera will not write to the card correctly. It does not have a built-in format ability. And it produces raw images on some non-standard format in a tif container unreadable on any software today. Took me hours to find a working cs6 plugin.
    Oh and no image review screen (just a status LCD and two LEDs), and you can only delete one image at a time starting from the most recent one you took and going backwards to the first on the card. No way to choose which one to delete out of that order. If you press that delete button one too many times, tough luck that picture's gone.
    Not to mention the sensor has some nasty 2.6x crop factor, so a wide 28mm lens (would capture a large area) gets turned into somewhere around a 60mm lens giving it an often undesirable zooming effect.
    Great for its time, big PITA two and a half decades later.

  • edited July 15

    @yourepicfailure said:
    The reason for a loss of resolution is how the camera handles zooms beyond its hardware/optical zoom. As you noticed.

    Yeah, that was what I was talking about.

    @yourepicfailure said:
    This means that the lens&mechanism allow the camera to produce a true 3x zoom at max. However, to provide that advertised "super close 18x zoom!" the camera crops the image to provide an illusion of a more zoomed in image.

    I think that's a neat tactic on Hewlett-Packard's part. I'm not sure if other cameras of the era did the same digital zooming thing as that.

    Zoom shots are always difficult anyways. The closer you try to get to a far out subject, the greater the angle changes can affect its position on the sensor. This is where stabilization comes into play.

    I don't think this camera has any stabilization to deal with shaky hands. Especially if you want to do very zoomed in shots. So if you want to take pictures that doesn't look like if they have motion blur or they are moving, try your best to stay still or put the camera on a flat surface then take a capture. But I don't know if this camera has some sort of active stabilization algorithm.

    And great to hear you finally leaving disposables. What brand did you ultimately settle on?

    The brand is Varta.

    BTW, you think this camera was a PITA? Try dealing with a 1.5mp DCS420 (my first digital camera). Want to plug it in to your computer? You'll specifically need a very specific parallel SCSI adapter, and nothing else works. It also needs to be the last device on the chain because it's self-terminating. It uses pcmia cards for storage, hard to come by decent ones today for cheap. If you get a pcmia to cf, you can use up to 512mb cards. Plus, the card must be specifically fat8 DOS formatted or the camera will not write to the card correctly. It does not have a built-in format ability. And it produces raw images on some non-standard format in a tif container unreadable on any software today. Took me hours to find a working cs6 plugin.
    Oh and no image review screen (just a status LCD and two LEDs), and you can only delete one image at a time starting from the most recent one you took and going backwards to the first on the card. No way to choose which one to delete out of that order. If you press that delete button one too many times, tough luck that picture's gone.
    Not to mention the sensor has some nasty 2.6x crop factor, so a wide 28mm lens (would capture a large area) gets turned into somewhere around a 60mm lens giving it an often undesirable zooming effect.
    Great for its time, big PITA two and a half decades later.

    Yeah, if you want to make cameras decades old work, then you have to deal with it being a PITA. Fortunately this one is from 2004 and kind of easy to work with. Here's all the stuff I had to deal with. Firstly this camera only supports a different USB cable. So your traditional smartphone cables wont fit on this. Thirdly you need an SD card <2 gb. Also you have to format the SD card to be FAT32. But if you don't have an SD card or a USB cable, you are screwed. Whatever you've taken will be locked inside the camera and you can't move it anywhere else. Also the fact that this camera runs only AA batteries, the batteries were a HUGE FUCKING pain in the ass. But fortunately I got me some rechargables so that's not a issue to deal with.

  • Here is a zoomed in shot.

  • Although it is nice that this camera has a good viewfinder and in addition you can view whatever the hell you took on this camera. Unfortunately the viewfinder can be hard to see in sunlight so make sure you are on a shadowy area. Also you can delete and manage which pictures you want to stay on the camera.

  • Also given that the camera gives you other photo resolution settings (1MP and VGA), you can save alot more space with this. So these settings should do you just fine if you didn't get a SD card with this camera. With 1MP, it can store around 10 pictures, VGA is around 20. But I recommend to still use a SD card with it.

  • edited July 15

    You can also print or e-mail these pictures (I suppose) through the HP Instant Share setup. To do this you need to setup the program, connect the camera (by the USB, duh.) and choose which pictures. Considering that alot of people were using emails to communicate (I think.), this camera allowed you to e-mail these pictures to your freinds, your family, etc. Pretty neat.

  • edited July 15

    Also this camera can record audio. To record audio you go to the playback audio and click "Record Audio" OR, after taking a picture, you hold down the shutter button and it will show a microphone icon indicating that it is recording audio. But since the camera has no built-in speaker, it can not play any audio.

  • You can even make zoomed in shots in the VGA resolution! For some reason one VGA photo I took looked glitchy, grainy and nothing was in the shot so I had to delete it.

  • edited July 15

    Looking at the manual, even HP themselves said to not use alkaline batteries. HP is smart.

    Do not use ordinary alkaline batteries. For best results, use Energizer Lithium AA or rechargeable NiMH AA batteries.

    Also I was right, the camera does not have speakers so you can't hear anything recorded on the camera.

    NOTE Because the camera does not have a speaker, you cannot hear audio clips when using Playback on the camera. Instead, you must use a television (TV) or computer to hear audio clips.

    But I wonder if anyone bought the M-series dock back in the day. (I don't have the dock btw.)

    Also it also explains the digital zoom here.

    Unlike optical zoom, digital zoom uses no moving lens parts. The camera essentially crops the image to give an appearance of the subject of the picture being an additional 1.1x to 5x larger with the HP M307 camera, or 1.1x to 3x larger with the HP M305 camera.

    So the maximum zoom distance isn't 18x, its actually 15x. lol. I think my mind was playing some shit on me when I actually thought it was 18x.

    Video clips: 288 by 216 total pixel count

    The video clips aren't even 240p, they are SCALED UP to 240p. They are actually 288 x 216 but just upscaled to 240p. XD

    EXIF2.2 for still images with embedded audio.

    I thought the audio would be seperate. I wonder how this works.

  • Correction: VGA not 20. On a empty internal storage it can store around 150 shots. 1MP around 30.

  • edited July 15

    @Windows99SE said:
    Yeah, if you want to make cameras decades old work, then you have to deal with it being a PITA. Fortunately this one is from 2004 and kind of easy to work with. Here's all the stuff I had to deal with. Firstly this camera only supports a different USB cable. So your traditional smartphone cables wont fit on this. Thirdly you need an SD card <2 gb. Also you have to format the SD card to be FAT32. But if you don't have an SD card or a USB cable, you are screwed. Whatever you've taken will be locked inside the camera and you can't move it anywhere else. Also the fact that this camera runs only AA batteries, the batteries were a HUGE FUCKING pain in the ass. But fortunately I got me some rechargables so that's not a issue to deal with.

    Not all of them are a pain. My Sony Mavica FD-87 still works very well. Images are recorded to floppy disks (6 per diskette at the highest resolution). The only thing I'm worried about is when its rechargeable battery finally craps out. Currently it still lasts a long time.

    I use mine pretty often for taking pictures for online use, like eBay. It's much easier to transfer the pictures to the computer using a floppy drive than it is from my phone. No cables or weird drivers to deal with. Images are recorded in JPEG format, 1280x960.

  • @nick99nack said:

    @Windows99SE said:
    Yeah, if you want to make cameras decades old work, then you have to deal with it being a PITA. Fortunately this one is from 2004 and kind of easy to work with. Here's all the stuff I had to deal with. Firstly this camera only supports a different USB cable. So your traditional smartphone cables wont fit on this. Thirdly you need an SD card <2 gb. Also you have to format the SD card to be FAT32. But if you don't have an SD card or a USB cable, you are screwed. Whatever you've taken will be locked inside the camera and you can't move it anywhere else. Also the fact that this camera runs only AA batteries, the batteries were a HUGE FUCKING pain in the ass. But fortunately I got me some rechargables so that's not a issue to deal with.

    Not all of them are a pain. My Sony Mavica FD-87 still works very well. Images are recorded to floppy disks (6 per diskette at the highest resolution). The only thing I'm worried about is when its rechargeable battery finally craps out. Currently it still lasts a long time.

    I use mine pretty often for taking pictures for online use, like eBay. It's much easier to transfer the pictures to the computer using a floppy drive than it is from my phone. No cables or weird drivers to deal with. Images are recorded in JPEG format, 1280x960.

    Yeah, I know. The Mavica just used floppy disks to transfer data which, every fucking computer of the time had one. So that made very fucking easy to deal with. But some cameras can be a pain. Like mine. Mostly was the batteries.

  • I'm still curious about the pictures with "embedded audio" thing. I thought the audio would be recorded seperate with the pictures but, I guess not. I am gonna try to record audio in the pictures now.

  • edited July 16

    I wanted this camera have a video resolution option too because... if you are gonna save space, 240p ain't gonna cut it. Like 320x240 or 160x120.

  • edited July 17

    Uhh guys... Problem. The camera's viewfinder doesn't show anything but a black view. I can access the view and the settings and all but the view is completely black, the pictures I take are black and the recordings are all black. Did something happen? Please tell me. I'm worried. Also I don't have a lens cap or whatever on it.

  • Miscommunication between camera and sensor, didn't initialize the sensor correctly. Happens periodically with those digital sensors, as they have a specific procedure to initialize and control sensor, like a CPU. Pull out batteries, wait a bit, put them back in.
    Provided the lens do come out as they should, right?

    The fact both the viewfinder and images come out black further show this.
    Luckily for you this is a point & shoot. Any other camera and I'd say it's mechanical shutter failure.

  • edited July 17

    @yourepicfailure said:
    Miscommunication between camera and sensor, didn't initialize the sensor correctly. Happens periodically with those digital sensors, as they have a specific procedure to initialize and control sensor, like a CPU. Pull out batteries, wait a bit, put them back in.

    Damnit. I tried those internet DIY methods of fixing the black and ended up deleting everything I took on the camera, fuck. I'm an idiot. Also was thinking this was the deadline of the camera. Was that close to ending this post.

  • No progress so far. I think I have to repeat the "take batteries out, wait and put back in" process alot of times until it actually works...

  • Tried it for like half an hour, no hope. I think the camera just made itself unusable before I could even have fun with it and take pictures..

  • edited July 17

    The problem is driving a CCD sensor (your camera has a CCD sensor, not CMOS) requires a lot of energy and precisely timed analog signals.
    Believe it or not, driving one of these is based on driving a image capture tube (e.g. Vidicon or Image Orthicon). It is literally scanned across the array of pixels like a CRT, outputting each pixel value on a serial bus (or at least computerized ones. Original design was more analog outputting a raw value to be processed with additional analog circuitry like an image tube). It was designed explicitly to replace image tubes, while maintaining some sort of similarity for engineers.

    Because it is complicated, a lot can go wrong. And something did, as it is not able to get data off the sensor. If pulling out and replacing the batteries did not clear it, then something went wrong with the sync circuitry. Or it's not getting enough power/and or something's wrong with the circuitry providing power. Lastly, some of the circuitry associated with translating the acquired values in the sensor or in the camera could have gone wrong as well. I don't know what sensor you have so it's hard to say. And you can't find that out without dismantling it.

  • @yourepicfailure said:
    The problem is driving a CCD sensor (your camera has a CCD sensor, not CMOS) requires a lot of energy and precisely timed analog signals.

    Because it is complicated, a lot can go wrong. And something did, as it is not able to get data off the sensor. If pulling out and replacing the batteries did not clear it, then something went wrong with the sync circuitry. Or it's not getting enough power/and or something's wrong with the circuitry providing power.

    Will try these tomorrow. I just hope the camera just does what it's supposed to do and not make itself unusable like the situation I had with battery leak problems months ago.

  • And a good idea is to make sure your batteries are fully charged. Some circuits may tolerate lower voltages (like the onboard computer), but something like the CCD & drive circuitry will not.

  • edited July 17

    @yourepicfailure said:
    And a good idea is to make sure your batteries are fully charged. Some circuits may tolerate lower voltages (like the onboard computer), but something like the CCD & drive circuitry will not.

    Maybe this is the problem. But then... The batteries were low on power and the viewfinder wasn't black back then. Maybe something went wrong inside the camera or something.

  • edited July 17

    The good thing is that it's not a MECHANICAL problem. That would require tapping or bopping the camera until the thing is in the right place. And that could damage the camera sensor or lens. Which is never a good thing. I tried doing the MECHANICAL method like those stupid DIYs suggested. Idiot I am...

    Anyway, will try these tomorrow.

  • @Windows99SE said:
    That would require tapping or bopping the camera until the thing is in the right place.

    Uh no, that's not how it works. You haven't seen what I've seen happen mechanically to cameras. But I'll tell you, tapping or bopping almost never works to fix mechanical faults.

    But do give these tips a try, and report back the results.

  • @yourepicfailure said:
    Uh no, that's not how it works. You haven't seen what I've seen happen mechanically to cameras. But I'll tell you, tapping or bopping almost never works to fix mechanical faults.

    Oh, I'm sorry. My bad.

    But do give these tips a try, and report back the results.

    I really hope they work because if not, then the camera is good as dead and the discussion would end right here. And I was just about to get in the fun stuff...

  • edited July 17

    @Windows99SE said:

    Damnit. I tried those internet DIY methods of fixing the black and ended up deleting everything I took on the camera,

    If you can still hook the camera up via USB or put the SD card in a reader, you might be able to image the drive and extract the jpgs using a recovery tool.

  • @SomeGuy said:
    If you can still hook the camera up via USB or put the SD card in a reader, you might be able to image the drive and extract the jpgs using a recovery tool.

    The camera has an option called "Undelete Last Image" which restores whatever you've deleted last. So based off that, I might have a chance to restore content on camera, but I don't know if the camera formatted the memory or just deleted the images (which can be recovered.), either way, I will try that. Thank you.

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