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BenQ DC E1000 - BenQ DC E1000
As with most recent BenQ models the build quality is excellent. The body is all metal and the fit and finish is very good. The tripod bush is set right at one end of the base plate, which is not an ideal position, but it does allow the battery/card hatch to open when the camera is fitted to a tripod, and the thread of the bush itself is metal, which is good. The hatch door is also fairly sturdy, with a sprung metal hinge. The monitor screen is very good. It has a diagonal size of 3.0 inches and a resolution of 230k pixels. It is nice and bright, but the highly reflective plastic rear panel does make it a bit difficult to see in bright sunlight. The controls on the rear panel are fairly well spaced out, but the buttons are quite small, and the engraved lettering on them is very hard to read in poor light, and the button action is also a bit on the soft side, which makes the actual operation a bit fiddly at first.
The DC E1000 is primarily a point-and-shoot camera, but it's not short on features. It has 24 different scene modes, including a portrait mode with face detection (doesn't everything?), the usual selection of landscape, sunset, snow, kids, sport etcetera, but including some unusual ones such as the ‘sketch' mode, which renders the image in eight shades of grey, and an ‘oil painting' mode, which uses a reduced colour palette to produce a sort of posterised effect. It doesn't look much like an oil painting, but it is quite attractive. There is an anti-shake mode, but as usual with budget cameras this simply sets a high ISO value to produce a faster shutter speed.
As well as these automatic settings, the E1000 also has some degree of manual exposure control, specifically aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual. The aperture settings are limited to minimum and maximum only, but the shutter speeds can be set between eight seconds and 1/2000th of a second at roughly 1/2EV increments. It also has a good movie mode, with a maximum resolution of 848 x 480 in 16:9 aspect ratio, and 30 frames per second with mono audio. There are a number of other features, such three metering modes, exposure bracketing, portrait highlights, adjustable sharpness and some amusing composite picture frames, but these are all found in the slightly clunky menu.