• Sunday, February 9, 2014

      GE X5 Super Zoom Digital Camera Review

      Let’s face it! Point and Shoot digital cameras are slowly loosing its lust and could someday be replaced by the omnipotent smartphone, I mean seriously some smartphones can take pictures as good as a point and shoot camera and some high-end smartphones can even out-paced it, so why bother for a gadget that can easily be replaced by your smartphone, so much so, that portability and the need to carry a phone every step of the way also contributes to that factor, although there are some things that just can’t be replace by a smartphone, not just yet! One being such is the super zoom also known as the bridge type digital cameras --- in this article I’ll be reviewing the GE X5 super zoom camera.

      GE may be a common name for household appliances but not so with digital cameras, however their strategy to stick with affordable digital cameras certainly paid-off in the last few years or so. The X5 is a well-built and nicely designed super zoom camera that is made affordable to all levels of society and has average to good overall performance, yes it’s cheap! But there are some issues, so consider yourself warned! In this day and age the phrase “you get what you pay for” still pretty much apply to all types of marketing.

      If you have just shifted from a point and shoot camera it might take a bit of a learning curve, however the X5’s interface is properly laid out and buttons are neatly labeled for easy and non-confusing operation, the large dial on top of it help make users navigate from one feature to another with ease, there’s no doubt in my mind that the X5 is one of the most user-friendly super zooms I’ve ever tried, in fact it only took me a couple of minutes or so to get used with most of its basic features.

      The X5 is compact and easy to hold with a comfortable rubber grip on the right side which also houses the four AA batteries, apparently it is also the main reason why the X5 is a bit heavy for its size, more than a quarter of its weight is due to the amount of batteries it carries. To most photographers a double-A powered camera is a downer, “so to speak”, but the way I see it it’s more of a benefit than the other way around, in instances where you’re locked in a day tour and your battery dies out you can easily replace it with an alkaline battery that you bought at 7 ‘eleven, more so, using rechargeable AA batteries with higher amperes gives more life that you can squeeze out of it and it’s a lot cheaper too than lithium battery pack with no apparent news about it going obsolete making sure that your X5 will be in use for as long as you want.

      The X5’s stellar feature is its 15x optical zoom in which no smartphones of today, be it high-end or not can out match, the smartphone’s compact design apparently holds it back from having this feature, it’s pretty obvious that you can’t pack a large and retractable lens inside its slim design, on the other hand this is where the super zoom or bridge type camera really shines, the X5 can take pictures or subjects without the need to get close to it, the powerful GE aspheric lens with 14.1 megapixel sensor really did a good job zooming-in a far away subject within the 15x optical zoom range, however boosting it with a digital zoom really takes a toll on its performance, the subject gets a bit shaky in fact it’s almost impossible to get a clear shot and get the right angles, most often you’ll end up getting pictures that are out of focus, eventhough the X5 is equipped with stabilization mode it really did struggle to get the job done.

      But make no mistakes about it, the X5 is quite a performer, outdoors it takes excellent pictures leaving photographers with expensive DSLR cameras scratching their heads. Pictures are vivid with excellent color reproduction, if you’re skilled enough and know the rudiments of professional photography you might want to use the manual mode to further exploit the full potential of the X5, that said the X5 has all the makings of a DSLR camera and some considers the super zoom or bridge type camera as a great DSLR alternative.

      While the X5 takes excellent pictures outdoors and well lighted areas it's kind of the opposite taking photos indoors, in areas with insufficient lighting it may have a hard time focusing and may be frustrating at times especially when taking photos of random subjects, the use of the EVF Electronic View Finder may help to properly set up the subject before pressing the shutter button however, the X5 is significantly slow so taking photos of pets, children and other moving subjects will most likely be a difficult task, it can also record videos but not in HD although it's sharp enough to satisfy most standards. The X5 also features a sharp 2.7 inch LCD panel which gives detailed information when reviewing snap shots and videos, you can also view your shots on a large screen using the AV out feature, unfortunately, the AV cable is not included in the box.

      The GE X5 is an affordable camera that does what it's supposed to, it may have traded some of its features and performance for price, nevertheless, it's still a solid performer and that goes without saying, so would I recommend the X5........ definitely yes! price do all the talking most of the time but if you're more than wiling to shell out more cash I suggest you consider other options.

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