I have to admit I was initially a little bit skeptical when I received this newly-launched camera from electronics and computer component manufacturer Acer. From past experience with other companies trying to break into the digital market, I assumed that it would be similar to many other low-cost Chinese import cameras bearing the logos of well-know electronics brands. I have seen a number of such cameras, and they have generally proved to be of extremely poor quality. I’m happy to report however, that I was pleasantly surprised when I unpacked the CU-6530.
The camera is being launched at a high street price of £199, which puts is well above the level that could be considered ‘budget’, although it is still towards the low end for an ultra-compact six megapixel camera, especially considering that the actual retail price will very probably be lower than that.
In both style and price it’s competing with the likes of the Pentax Optio S6 and Olympus FE-140, both of which have an RRP of £229. That’s a pretty ambitious start for a company that’s relatively new to the digital camera market. Can this new camera really compete with such long-established brands?
The overall design of the CU-6530 is exceptionally good. The camera is comparable in size, weight and shape to the Optio S6, although it is actually 1mm thinner. The strong all-metal body has rounded corners and smoothly recessed controls, making it the ideal shape to slip into a shirt pocket or handbag. The matt grey finish and chrome details are stylish and durable, and the camera looks and feels a lot more expensive than it actually is.
Some cheaper camera brands cut manufacturing costs by using inferior internal components, resulting in very slow start-up times and poor performance, but the CU-6530 powered up in a very respectable two seconds, faster than many more expensive cameras. The 2.5-inch LCD monitor is exceptionally clear and sharp, with a resolution of 230K pixels, again superior to many other more expensive cameras, and has a fast refresh rate and very little display lag. Certainly there are cameras with faster displays, but this one is by no means bad.