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Back in October last year I reviewed one of BenQ’s earlier forays into the world of digital cameras, the chunky but not disappointing DC C1000, a 10-megapixel compact. It was a re-badged generic Taiwanese model, using BenQ’s brand recognition to get a foothold in the lucrative European market. Since then BenQ’s fortunes have risen and then fallen again. Earlier this year the company announced that it would henceforth be making its own cameras at a shiny new factory in Taiwan. However the company subsequently ran into some major problems. Its mobile phone handset division went spectacularly bankrupt (with a couple of its executives being arrested) and its camera manufacturing capacity has been transferred to Ability Enterprises, a little-known Taiwanese brand specialising in cheap cameras for the re-brand export market. It’s unknown at this time what the long-term future of the BenQ camera brand will hold. (Edit: or indeed if the brand will even exist)
This is a great pity, because just a few months ago BenQ were seemingly poised to launch an entire range of new cameras onto the market, including some very interesting looking models. Now apparently all that remains are the T700 touch-screen camera, which I’ve been trying to get hold of since it was announced back in April and this, the ultra-slim DC X725. It doesn’t seem to be widely available through UK distributors yet, but if you want to track one down you should expect to pay about £127 for it.
At first glance the X725 looks superb. It bears a very strong resemblance to the excellent Casio Exilim EX-S770, even down to the 3x zoom Pentax SMC lens. It is almost exactly the same size as the S770, measuring approximately 93 x 61 x 20mm. I say approximately because I measured it myself. Its official dimensions according to BenQ’s website are 91 x 60 x 14.7mm, and 12.5mm at the thinnest point, which would make it the thinnest 7MP camera in the world. What they’ve done is made the right-hand end of the camera taper slightly, so they can measure it just on the thinnest edge, but in my opinion that’s cheating. In reality it’s 20mm thick including the retracted lens and LCD monitor, and 15mm across the thinnest part of the body. That’s still pretty remarkably skinny, but it’s not 12.5mm. I don’t have any scales handy, so I can’t check the 120g dry weight, but then that doesn’t sound unreasonable.