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BenQ DC C1000 10-Megapixel Compact Camera - BenQ DC C1000
The initial impression is of a solidly made and nicely designed camera. The body is half metal and half plastic, and finished in a nice matt black with chrome details. Overall build quality is excellent, with no embarrassing creaks or groans when squeezed. It is quite chunky compared to some more expensive models, and weighs in at a not insubstantial 140g without batteries. It runs on 2x AA’s, so add a couple of Duracells and that weight will go up to a hefty 190g.
The control layout is sensible, making the most of the limited amount of space on the back panel. I found that I kept accidentally pressing the scene mode button with my thumb while shooting, but then I have enormous hands so this won’t be a problem for everyone.
The control interface is a little complex, but not too confusing once you get used to it. The main menu is only used for setting things like picture quality and metering mode. Other frequently used functions such as white balance, exposure compensation and ISO setting are controlled via the ‘Set’ button in the middle of the D-pad, while the 15 scene modes and manual settings are activated via the up button on the D-pad. The scene modes include all the usual suspects, such as portrait, landscape, night scene, sunsets, sports etc.
Unusually for a snapshot compact, the DC C1000 offers manual exposure control, including aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual. The lens has an aperture range of f2.8 to f6.4 at wide angle, or f5.2 to f11.6 at telephoto, which while a bit slow over most of the zoom range is nonetheless quite a respectable aperture range for a camera of this size. In aperture priority or manual modes the aperture can be altered in 1/3-stop increments. The manual shutter range is eight seconds to 1/2000th of a second in ½-stop increments, again not too shabby and quite useful for creative photography.
Overall performance is quite good, but with a few exceptions. The camera starts up in just under four seconds, which is a touch on the slow side by today’s standards, but not at all bad.
In single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of about three seconds which pretty good, however the continuous shooting mode lets it down badly. It shoots four shots in about six seconds while you hold the shutter button down, but since the screen goes blank and there is no shutter sound, it’s impossible to tell when it’s taking a picture, or when it’s finished.