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I've looked at a few cheaper compact cameras recently, including the Fuji FinePix J12 (£69), the Casio Exilim EX-Z85 (£99) and the Olympus mju 1040 (£115). I'll get back to the fun stuff soon, but I've got one last budget camera to look at, and it's the cheapest of the lot, the £65 Genius G-Shot P831. It's a plastic-bodied 3x zoom compact with an 8-megapixel sensor, a 2.7-inch monitor and a couple of AA batteries for power.

You're probably expecting me to say that you should never buy a camera like this, but in fact ultra-cheap plastic compacts like the P831 do have their place. Let's face it, money's tight all round at the moment, and it may be that you need a camera for a friend's wedding and you really can't afford to spend more than £70 on it. If this is you then the Genius P831 is just what you need. It will do the job, but you just have to remember that when you're paying this little for a camera you can't expect too much in the way of features, quality or performance.

The P831 is a fairly undistinguished-looking camera. It has a generic plastic body roughly similar in size and shape to several of Nikon's current L-series models. It measures approximately 93 x 63 x 31 mm (as measured) and weighs approximately 193g ready-to-shoot, so while it's not quite an ultra-compact it is small and light enough to carry in a jacket pocket. Replacing the two alkaline batteries housed inside the thicker end with lighter Lithium cells will shave about 25g off the weight.

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