Yes, that’s right. Almost as out-of-nowhere as the announcement of Samsung’s EX2F a few days ago, came the announcement of the BenQ G1, another contender in the category of the fast-lens-point-and-shoot. However, the BenQ announcement went by almost unnoticed, and we would probably have overlooked it ourselves if we hadn’t stumbled upon it by chance. Because, seriously, who in the world gets excited when BenQ announces a new camera? (Or should I rather ask: who even knows that BenQ actually makes cameras?) But this one is a little different and a little confusing.
This camera is different because so far, BenQ has been (un-)known for making cheap-and-cheerful p&s cameras for the entry-level consumer market, most of which come with your standard couple-x zoom with a slow initial aperture, and no specs to get excited about. The newly announced G1, however, comes with an f1.8 initial 4.6x zoom lens — and that’s what caught our attention. With a lens this fast, it seems almost as if BenQ were trying to attack the likes of the Canon S100, Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ-1 and the aforementioned Samsung EX2F. However, what sets the G1 apart from these cameras — and this is where I am confused — is that the former are all so-called “photographer’s” cameras; i.e. they come with lots of dials and buttons that make gearheads happy, and offer RAW shooting for best possible image quality. The BenQ G1, however, comes with a pretty basic interface, no RAW mode and almost no bells and whistles.
Anyhow, I believe the fast f1.8 lens will attract many who are looking for a small, portable camera that you can actually use when light gets dim. Even with the now five choices (I exclude the Sony RX100 here for its oversized sensor), we still have to few of these serious compacts. With BenQ, an utter no-name in the camera industry, entering this part of the market, maybe we’ll generally see more fast-lens compacts in he future? Who knows? In the meantime, we shall try and get our hands on that little G1, because we’re really curious to see how it performs, and if it can actually hold a candle to its alleged contenders.
BenQ G1 Specifications
|Sensor||Panasonic 14 Mega Pixels, 1/2.3 inch CMOS|
|Picture Resolution||14M / 8M / 4M / 2M / 16:9 / VGA|
|Lens||f = 4.5 (W) ~ 94.5 (T) mm
F = 1.8 (W) ~ 4.9 (T)
(f = 24 ~ 110 mm, 35 mm equivalent)
Digital: up to 6x (preview) / up to 12x (playback)
|Focus Range||Normal: W = 30 cm ~ Infinity; T = 60 cm ~ Infinity
Macro: W = 3 cm ~ Infinity
|Shutter Speed||Auto: 1/2000 ~ 2 sec.
Manual Mode: 1/2000 ~ 15 sec.
|Display Size||3.0″ 920k pixels swivel LCD|
|ISO Equivalent||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|White Balance||Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent H / Fluorescent L / Manual|
|Exposure||-2.0 ~ +2.0 EV (0.3EV / step)|
|Flash||Auto Flash, Auto Anti Red-eye, Force On, Slow Sync, Force Off|
|Drive Mode||10 sec. / 2 sec. / Smile Detection / Off|
|Movie Mode||FHD 1080p (1920 x 1080) 30fps / HD 720p (1280 x 720) 30fps / VGA (640 x 480) 30fps
Continuous recording with sound
Slow Motion: VGA (640 x 480) 120fps / HD 720p (1280 x 720) 60fps
Fast Motion: Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) 15fps
|Storage||Built-in Approx. 82MB (± 5%)
4GB SD / 32GB SDHC / SDXC (> 32GB) card compatible
|Interface||Digital Output: USB 2.0 compatible|
|Video / Audio Output||(NTSC / PAL / HDMI)|
|Power Source||CIPA approx 260 base on bundle Li-ion battery|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||114 x 62.5 x 25.5 mm|
|Weight||195g (without battery & SD card)|
|Included accessories||USB Cable / USB Adapter/ Li-ion Battery / Software & UM CD / Quick Guide / Neck Strap and Pouch (optional)|
|File format||Still Image: JPEG (EXIF 2.3 compatible)
|Product Color||Black / White|