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GE goes 12 Megapixels 

Arriving as one of its first digital camera offerings in the UK is GE’s (General Electric Co) E1235 model.
GE-1235 compact digital camera
click to enlarge

Like the other cameras in this initial launch batch, the E1235 is designed, manufactured and distributed by General Imaging.  Promising a blend of high technology and performance, the E1235 is currently the only camera from the GE range to feature 12 megapixels achieved with an auto-focus 35-105mm lens featuring 3x optical and 4.5x digital zoom.

With its metal body, this camera is available in black, silver or red (the review unit is a distinctive metallic red which is probably entirely suitable for this Lancashire-bred reviewer).  The E1235 measures 103 x 56 x 24mm (W x H x D) and weighs in at around 145g.  The depth of the camera increases to 57mm when the lens is extended by pressing the recessed (to avoid accidental activation) power button located on the top of the camera

Situated alongside this button are the large shutter control and a zoom scroll wheel.  Dominating the back of the camera is the 2.7-inch LCD screen.  Positioned alongside the screen are a mode dial; navigation wheel which doubles as the selection device for macro, self-timer, function and flash mode; plus buttons for face detection, menu and erase facilities.  Located on the bottom of the camera are concealed compartments for the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and supplied 1GB SD card; plus the USB socket.

You should notice from this list of attributes that no mention is made of a traditional view-finder.  In most cases this omission will not matter as generally the LCD screen gives a clear view of any possible scene for capture.  However there were occasions in bright natural light when all I could see on the LCD screen was my own reflection.  Fortunately this did not affect the quality of the scenes captured.

Providing a range of resolutions for still and movies, the E1235 allows you to select from Normal, Fine or Best compression.  Along with the usual collection of shooting modes, this camera features face, smile and blink detection plus Red-Eye removal.  I was impressed with the results I was able to achieve with this camera.

GE-1235 digital camera - controls rear-view
click to enlarge

One particular feature of the E1235 that really appealed to me was the feedback you get as you change modes.  Turn the mode dial and you are immediately shown an on-screen representation of the dial mode followed by the appropriate icon appearing and then moving to the top left corner of the LCD leaving you in no doubt as to the current mode.

As mentioned earlier, the E1235 uses a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery.  In order to charge this battery you do need to remove it from its compartment and insert it into the supplied battery charger unit.  The initial charge should take four hours.  On a full charge you should be able to capture over 200 images.  Images can be stored using the camera's internal 26MB of memory or SD card.

When viewing your captured image there is a choice of options.  Still images can be displayed individually with a user-defined zoom level; as a slideshow; or as thumbnails.  Video clips can be played in normal, slow motion or frame by frame mode.

Apart from one incident when the camera locked up when powering down (removing the battery cleared the problem), the E1235 performed without any issues throughout the review period.  My one slight criticism would regard the shutter button which I felt was too flush to the camera body - I would prefer it to be raised more.  Included in the box with the E1235 camera unit are the battery charger with power lead, USB lead, AV cable, wrist strap, multi-lingual User Manual, Quick Start sheet and software CD containing an electronic version of the User Guide plus ArcSoft PhotoImpression.

This camera is available from all good independent retailers with a price point of around £139.99. Amazon have the black version available for £119+shipping on the following link :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/E1235-Black-Smile-Blink-Detection/dp/B0016O5Q6M

http://www.general-imaging.com/us/cameras/e/e1235.html

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