This HP point-and-shoot offers a lot of value for the money. HOWEVER, there are better cameras out there. While price makes up for a lot, you have to live with it for the long term. HP cameras are not known for their photographic excellence, but I will admit that this one packs a lot of features into this inexpensive and attractive package.
This digicam is small and light and easy to put in a bag or large pocket, so it is there when you need it. The user interface is feature filled and fairly easy to use, and quite a few (25) scene modes, many of them useful. The rear LCD is more viewable than most in outdoor light. The Smile Shutter feature is nice, but Blink Detection hasn't worked very well for me so far. Picture quality is OK, just slightly below similar Kodak cameras if I had to place it. It is acceptable for snapshots can be good if you have bright lighting conditions and a steady hand. The white balance highly variable from one shot to the next, so color consistency is not a strong point. The HP CW450 sucks down the juice from it's 2 AA batteries pretty quickly so having 2 sets of rechargeable NiMHs on hand is a good idea. They also last longer than disposables. The time between clicks is normally 3 seconds or so (longer with flash), so don't expect to go snap, snap, snap. The camera works best with still subjects. Video quality is so-so.
12 MP for around seventy bucks is a pretty good deal. Find it on sale and you have a great stocking stuffer! If you need a camera and are on a tight budget, then you should definitely consider this HP. I would equate it to the film version of a disposable camera -- it's good to have on hand if you need it, but if you want real quality, you should look elsewhere. Make sure to get a memory card too, the HP CW450 doesn't come with one, or any internal memory. An optical viewfinder would have been nice too, but good luck finding one on a P&S these days.
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