Revisiting the HP M627

My faithful camera fell into the water last week (which you can read about here) and is now living in a bag of rice, with the hope of it soon being functional. Without a digital SLR (well I still got the Canon, but that’s mainly for work), I searched my shelf for something to continue shooting on and experiment with. So I took out my old HP Photosmart M627, which was my first digital camera. I got it at my 14th birthday, so it’s almost 9 years old by now.
This was my first real entry into shooting digital, as I grew up shooting analogue.

kyrkaThis evening, after visiting my grandparents grave and then my aunt, I got back just in time to head out before the sunset. It feels quite weird to be back using a camera that was always with me between the age of 14-16, and which I used to shoot pretty much all of my digital photos until I got the D3000 at age 17½. I even had my first photo exhibitions with pictures taken by this camera, which is a crazy thought when I look back at it.

This is a camera that is all automated. No settings for white-balance, no shutter or f-stop setting, zilch. Focus is somewhat decent, but pretty much a wreck when it comes to taking close-ups. But there’s a certain charm with working with  such limitations – makes me almost feel like im on an episode of “Pro Tog, Cheap Cam” – and a good reminder that it’s not so much the equipment that takes the photos, but the photographer.

The photos below has followed my usual workflow of being “developed” in Lightroom (though this camera just shoots JPEG) if nothing else is stated.

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-2

Even with work in post, it’s noticeable that this camera has a bit of lack in range. The greens in many situations just blends together. 

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-3

An example on how it was shooting macros with this camera: Most often it wouldn’t focus on your subject (like this thin barbed wire, were it would much rather focus on the grass) but something behind. Since this is auto-focus only, I resorted to the old trick of focusing onto my hand, locking the exposure by half-pressing the shutter, and then re-frame my picture. 

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-4

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-5

I should probably not bash the dynamic rang full out though, as with a well lit scenery  + some added contrast and work with whites and blacks in post, you could get a pretty decent range.

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-6

..but one problem is that the highlights gets blown out way too easy. Without .RAW-format at your disposal, this is quite the impossible fixer-upper.

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-7

AREKU water landscape long exposure phoyography with HP Photosmart m327-8All in all, this is a decent camera. Not ment for shooting more than the occasional snaps, but with the potential of actually capturing some nice photos – that is if you learn the trix needed for this camera and got some decent knowledge of post-development.
I could never see myself going back, but it was a nice trip down what once were my daily driver for a couple of years.

 

2 Responses to “Revisiting the HP M627

  • Naaaws! <3 That little 14 year old Areku is the sweetest thing ever!

    Wow, going back to a compact digital is quite the challenge. So happy you did it though because you really show off how good you are. In the end it's not the camera who produces the picture it's you. I mean of course the proper tools will get you further, but how many don't have the coolest kit on the market and don't spend any time figuring out how to use it. It's true you can always improve. Of course this is after all creative work. Still, you could have a real crap camera and still produce some real awesome shots. And it is also true you got to start somewhere. And revisiting that place sometimes makes you appreciate how far you have actually come. For me that exercise is crucial. I often forget how much I have improved and get into one of my "I ain't worth anything" moods. Which on a good day I know is a lie, but on a bad I feel it right through my bones.

    Okay so what about the pictures.
    That church is so aesthetically pleasing it's almost painful. It breaths serenity and authority. I can't see a church without thinking of Proust. He was the first that put words to what had been in my mind when experiencing the church. It's not so much the sermon as it's the aesthetics that is pleasing. I never payed much attention to the religion unless I found it utterly morbid and wrong. But the buildings are simply divine, that church is stunning and always worth a shot. The light is magnificent in this, very warm. And the symbolics surrounding a church is not all to do with the religion itself, the expression to be someone's church is frequently used in common language as well. I'm not sure what the exact meaning of it is but to me it translates to be my everything. Spirit and body, a strength, something like that. I suppose other people might challenge my view though. In my experience this is a language used usually by a man towards someone he needs, often a woman although not exclusively. Don't get me wrong, that is one expression I really like, it's just an observation.

    I have to pause now, and just… Seventeen and a half. That is very childlike and a tinsy bit German-like exactness that… That's so you! It's the tiniest of detail but that makes this text feel very you. Love it!

    Okay back to the pictures. I can see what you mean about the greens melting together. It's still a very nice picture taken with that camera. And if you wanted that home made feeling rather than the professional bright sparkle for any reason, than this is really a way to go. The difference in green between tree and ground is still very strong which makes it very usable. It's mainly the trained eye that will instantly notice the difference.

    Aww, of course he uses that old macro trick. And you didn't take one of your hand. Oh shucks! ;) For that would have been nice too. I do like barbwire. How do you know so much? And noooo not because of all those 90's tattoos, please don't remind me it was a dark era better left in the dark along with those pesky plastic tattoo choker necklaces that seems to have made a comeback. The only thing making me happy about this 90's resurface is some music and more colourful goths and punks reappearing after a few years of black and white boredom. I'm such a digresser. Macros yes, I think you managed to squeeze as much as you could out of that one. Still a very good macro. I'm happy you showed it! Mad skills.

    Leaves, I like how they have a bit of wind about them. I seem to want movement in my pictures don't I? What you learn when thinking ey. They're like little promises in the wind.

    Bark texture is another of my peculiarities. I find it can tell a tale itself. I guess it symbolises in a sense that deep rooted (hardihaha) need for protection, from all that is evil outside. It's a great shot of it. I think the limitation in range actually works for this picture rather than against it. Yet again, showing off the photographer. And that evening light makes it look so magical and the bark turns into a shield.

    Okay so the highlights disappear… But it's still a very pretty light. A little note is that it looks way better on an old laptop screen than it does on my Samsung 6 phone. That is also an important point, what you view a picture on is of relevance. I really like how the colours look on the older screen. It's very soft and it makes the tree pop out a lot more. The sky is really a smooth mix of blue and pink on it, while on my phone the blue comes through while the pink is more faint pinkish white. The greens however are similar. That's interesting. I still very much like the motif though. This was a fun comparison.

    Oh my that rooooad. Drives me crazy it does! I'm really impressed with the lights in this. I'm sorry to the other pictures because they all talk to me, but this road has to be my favourite. I don't even know what to say. That light after the curve can mean just about anything, but something good is coming. Oh yes!

    The last one is so oddly lovely. Electrifying! As I hinted on twitter this made me think of the Elton John song Electricity. Especially since it's coming towards you. Like a spark… chemistry. Enough to revive a heart that's been bruised and left for dead? Yes it is!

    This was so much fun, both to see and to read about your experience of it! You're really good with challenges and once more I have to say I'm deeply impressed. I bet that teenage Areku is dead proud!

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