GE X5 Digital Camera
The GE X5 measures 10x7x6.5cm however the last figure, the width, can expand up to another 6cm when the camera is fully zoomed.
The face of the unit has the 15x wide angle optical zoom lens with the pop up flash being immediately above the lens but a minimum of 7cm away. The left side has an anchor point for the provided neck strap and this can also be used to tie the lens cap. The right side has the other neck strap anchor point and A/V socket behind a rubberised bung. The base has a hinged door behind which the 4XAA batteries are inserted as well as any SD card you might use.
The top has a ten position wheel to the right of the viewfinder/flash unit and to the right of this on a curved handgrip fitting are the on/off slider, face recognition button. Image stabilization button and the shutter release around which is the wide angle/telephoto control. This leavers the back of the GE X5 to tell you about.
It is dominated by the 5.5x4.5cm (2.7inch diagonal measurement) TFT, above this the viewfinder – another item for the ‘bridge’ as small digital cameras never have one – immediately to the right of the TFT is the viewfinder/TFT toggle and below this an arrangement of four buttons with the ubiquitous five position joystick in between.
This unit can be used in ‘Auto’ mode and produce quite acceptable results but surely the purpose of purchasing something weighing a pound (450grams) is to help you ‘bridge’ the gap to using a DSLR camera sooner or later.
So get used to the wheel options in the quest to use the cameras manual options.
In my somewhat limited test period I only have two sets of images taken with flash and I found these a little disappointing and rather grainy. At this time of year flash is less important but needs to be there when it is required.
All images taken in daylight were excellent and I have no complaints, I would have loved more time so that I could have got to the bottom of the flash problem. Having to open and close the pop up flash means you will – until you are used to it – forget to click the button on occasions but unless it is a one off shot you can soon remedy that.
There are a total of 24 shooting combinations, with every one of the eight different resolutions having three different storage compression options (extra fine, fine and normal) The image capture sizes are 14MP, 12MP (3:2), 10MP (16:9), 8MP, 5MP, 3MP, 2MP (16:9) and 0.3MP VGA. A 14MP image takes around 3.25MB of space.
For video shooting the options are 640x480 and 320x240 both can be captured in either 30FPS or 15FPS. A one minute video clip 640x480 at 30FPS takes around 50MB of hard disc space, but sound and video are fine and you can zoom in and out while capturing.
I was greatly looking forward to this unit when I heard GE were producing it now I feel slightly let down by the rather grainy flash images, it would be nice to know why as every other aspect of the unit worked as it should. However I would say if you are going to use anything like the 15x zoom then invest in a tripod or you will be unable to keep it still as the amount of lens movement makes it an impossibility.
Doing my Internet searches found the GE X5 at a best price of £113.80 including free delivery from Amazon on the first link below. This includes a case and battery charger with batteries.
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