Affordable camera, but with quirks

Benq GH 600 is a good option for first-time digital camera buyers
Nandagopal Rajan | Print Edition: August 2013

Rs 10,999
Rating: 3.5/5
Specs: Sony 16MP sensor, 1/2.3 inch CCD, f = 25~525mm, F3.1, 1/2000, ISO 6400, HD 720p, 21x zoom

Benq entered the Indian camera market recently with a clear strategy to provide value for money devices. This means their cameras are often cheaper than others with similar specs. But does this mean the buyer is getting a decent camera?

The latest Benq camera on our test bench is the GH600 which packs a 21X optical zoom with image stabilisation. The GH 600 looks like a regular, largish, point and shoot. It has a good grip and a 3-inch LCD zoom. A mode dial on the top gives access to automatic as well as manual settings. Manual controls are easy to tweak using the arrow keys, but the options are limited, especially with the aperture values.

To bring down the price, the GH 600 uses four dry cells and not a rechargeable battery. Yes, it makes the camera cheaper, but affects the user experience drastically.

The one thing that is hard to miss with the camera is the slow auto-focus in the manual modes. It takes time to lock on to subjects, especially at the long end of the zoom. Also you have to make sure that the macro is not on while clicking anything else. Then the LCD does not give good detail, even though the results have the same. Try clicking a magazine cover and you can't clearly read the text on it.

The results in the 16MP are quite decent though. Even with the 21x zoom we felt that the image stabilisation took away most of the shake, giving clean shots. The colour reproduction is good, though we would have liked it to be more vivid. There are lots of scene options and colour options to play around with. There is also an easy to use panorama mode which clicks the pictures itself as you move into position. However, it stitches just three picture together. The best feature of the camera in undoubtedly the macro mode which gives crisp pictures every time.

The GH 600 has its quirks, but for its price tag it does give you lots of extra options. We think this would make a good first camera for many people.


Good for first-time digital camera buyers

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