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BenQ Digital Camera DC X600 

While this name may be new to you I have followed their introduction to the UK a few years ago, now they are firmly here in the camera, projector and flat panel aeras.

This is a small - shirt pocket - but quite powerful digital camera. It is 8.5x5x2cm and the weight is only just over 100grams. It is a 6MP offering with the standard 3x zoom.

It has a Pentax lens 6.2 to 18.6mm.

The unit is brushed silver and grey, the front has the lens and the flash and although they are fairly close it does not seem to suffer to much from Red Eye. The left side is blank and the right side has an anchor point for a wrist strap and a slide door behind which are the solid battery and optional SD/MMC card. The base has only the anchor point for a tripod.

This leaves the back and top. Just three items on the shiny silver top speaker outlet, power button and the shutter release. The back is dominated by the 5x3.8cm TFT display, this is a little difficult to view in strong sunlight. There is no viewfinder so taking images in really bright light could be difficult and of course reviewing the taken images could find you hunting for shade. The other controls are to the right of the TFT these consist of the wide angle/telephoto rocker, display, menu and delete button as well as the ubiquitous five position joystick with the centre button being the 'action' button and the four '+' positions being flash, mode, self timer and macro buttons.

Pressing the menu button negates the above actions, the screen then displays a very comprehensive Recording Mode structure controlled by the joystick. There are seven different resolutions from the 6MP down to VGA. There are three image compression modes. Six white balance modes for various conditions, various AF Focus settings and much more. There is also a setup menu.

As with almost all modern digital cameras you can take movies at both VGA and quarter VGA mode the only limitation is the size of the SD/MMC card. On that the unit comes with 24MB of internal storage only. However with SD cards being very cheap this is no real problem.

The battery needs to be removed to charge in the provided charging cradle. You can print direct from the camera using Pict Bridge or of course the SD card can be slotted into a card reader to transfer to a PC or printed from directly if your printer supports cards.

Three pieces of Ulead software (recently purchased by Corel) are provided for those without any such software they are Photo Express, Photo Explorer and Video Studio all are perfectly useable for the jobs they do.

A 36 page manual describes everything and should be of use to the novice. I know at least one manufacturer who claims that 6MP is now entry level, this is certainly not an entry level offering.

If I have a slight query it is that the flash could be better at around two metres, less than that it is fine. The images taken in normal light were good, those taken with flash okay unless over around two metres then you would be better off using a tripod and turning the flash off and doing that I got some perfectly acceptable images. However try using the Night and Candlelight modes when outside normal flash distance. You will find that the images are sharp and well lit.

This is a perfectly acceptable camera for the novice and is as easy to have in the pocket as a mobile phone and of course the image quality is a lot better than what most mobiles can give you and as yet few mobiles have flash.

Doing my Internet searches found the BenQ DC X600 at a best price of £116.33 including delivery from the first link below.

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/ProductInfo.aspx?ProductID=13365&source=Kelkoo  

http://www.benq.co.uk/products/digicam/?showAll

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Comment by Michael Malega, May 9, 2007 13:02

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