With a list price of £299, but available for around £256, the X1 is quite expensive for a compact, even one that looks this good, but it does offer a lot of shooting power for your money. Although there are several 8 megapixel compacts on the market the X1 is by far the smallest. It is also the smallest camera to be equipped with anti-shake technology, which is more usually found on cameras with longer lenses.
Obviously designed primarily as a social camera, the X1 doesn’t offer much in the way of manual options, but the controls for quick day-to-day shooting are effective and easy to use. The camera has two main shooting modes, controlled by a slider switch on the top plate. Normal mode is full auto, with exposure compensation adjusted by the up and down directions on the D-pad and white balance, ISO sensitivity, metering options and drive mode altered via the menu.
In the other, simpler shooting modes, left and right on the D-pad give access to scene modes including portrait, landscape, 5cm super macro, sunset, night scene and night portrait and text mode. In this mode the menu system is hardly needed unless you want to change the image size/quality or the drive mode. Once the camera is set up the way you like it you can forget the menu and just use the scene modes.
In use the X1 performs well, although the position of the lens makes it very easy to get your finger in the shot when using it two-handed. The camera starts up extremely quickly in under a second, and the monitor screen is large, bright and easy to see in most lighting conditions, although the highly polished surface of the rear panel does lead to annoying reflections making the screen difficult to see in bright sunlight. Fortunately increasing the screen brightness compensates to some extent.