Inexpensive 5Mp camera: DC C50

Aluminium and high-gloss plastic styling aside, the 5Mp CCD and low price are sure to bring the DC C50 attention. Power is supplied by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and a 32MB SD card is bundled. The DC C50’s top resolution of 2560x1920 pixels and highest quality setting is good for around 10 shots before you need to upload or swap cards.

The lens is a standard 3X optical zoom with a maximum aperture of f2.8, so it’s not as well equipped for dim lighting conditions as some of the more expensive 5Mp models. Also, the 1.5in LCD can get a little crowded with information at times.

Manual controls include aperture and shutter priority modes, exposure bracketing, ISO equivalences of 100, 200 and 400, plus a full manual mode. There’s a choice of manual balance plus six lighting presets, spot or average weight (multipoint) metering, and three exposure presets for portrait, sports and low-light photography.

The autofocus illuminator will prove handy for shooting in the dark and it also has a time-lapse mode with up to one-minute intervals as well as a three-shot full-resolution burst mode.

The camera itself is fairly easy to operate with a clear menu system and logical switchgear. We also liked the way it pauses slightly before engaging the 4X digital zoom, letting you know when you’ve left the range of the lens.

Image quality is about what you’d expect for the price, with a tendency towards over-sharpening and slightly vivid colour balance, although to be fair these can be adjusted along with image contrast in the camera setup. However, the image detail isn’t quite as crisp as you might anticipate from a 5Mp model, suggesting that the optics aren’t really up to scratch. Despite the low price, though, BenQ hasn’t cut many corners.

In brief:
BenQ DC C50
Competent but not outstanding, the DC C50 is worth a look if you want a compact 5Mp camera.
Price: $679
Vendor: BenQ Australia
Phone: (02) 9714 6800
http://www.benq.com.au

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