Five years ago writing reviews of digital cameras was very much easier, because there was a far wider variety in style, specification and quality. There was a large number of appallingly bad cameras being produced, and relatively few really good ones.
Now however the situation is reversed. The vast majority of digital cameras are very good, so writing a review tends to become an exercise in nit-picking, finding small faults in otherwise excellent products. While there are still some extremely bad cameras around they are usually instantly recognisable and easy to avoid, while nearly all of the cameras produced by the big name brands are safely above mediocrity. It is with some relief therefore that I come to write this review of the latest model from the well-known Goodmans brand. In a market filled with cameras ranging from the superb to the merely adequate the G-Shot 3027TFT comes as a refreshing change.
To provide some mitigating evidence in its defence, the G-Shot 3027TFT is a very cheap camera. Like a lot of Goodmans-branded home electronics it is sold primarily via catalogues such as Kays or Great Universal, and is priced at just £59.99, which is pretty cheap for a 3.1 megapixel digital camera. Included in the price is a carrying case (well, a cloth bag with a drawstring), wrist strap, USB cable, software CD with a copy of Ulead Photo Explorer 8.0, a couple of Duracell AAA batteries and a reasonably good manual. The 3027 is also extremely compact, comparable in size to the Pentax Optio S5n. It is easily small enough to slip into a shirt pocket for a night out.
To continue in a positive vein, build quality is also not at all bad. The case is silver-coloured plastic, but it feels quite solid and well-made, and the controls are solidly mounted and quite durable. Cameras of this type are cheaply mass-produced, most likely in Indonesia or Malaysia, but the G-Shot is apparently made to Goodmans’ own design and specification, so some degree of quality control is presumably taking place somewhere along the line. The overall design is quite attractive, and the initial impression is generally positive.