In general, though, I had no real problems when using this camera. The preset modes obeyed the rules of their programming well, but I have to say that the movie quality was not very impressive for a 5megapixel camera. This was rather jaggy and highlights were very blown out. Recorded sounds such as talking and music were discernible, but there was a very clear background hiss present throughout playback. And as for the mirrored finish, I have no doubt you will be perpetually cleaning the surface to rid it of those smeary fingerprint marks.
Needless to say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so it was time to take some test shots. The shots on the next page only represent a sample from what I actually took but I feel they represent the cameras capabilities.
On first impressions the pictures looked promising, but upon closer inspection the DC C50’s CCD didn’t score well when it came to image clarity. Noise was a big problem and despite shooting at ISO 100, image noise was still evident across many of the images. This was even more noticeable when the ISO was set to 200 and 400, and in low-light scenes noise was simply too pronounced.
This is a camera that can only really justify its five megapixels of resolution when used in conditions of bright sunlight where the apparent noise was kept to a minimum. That said, when zoomed to 100% pixel noise is still discernable. More positively, shooting on a bright day revealed that the colour balance was commendably accurate and chromatic aberrations across the scope of the zoom were minimal. The digital zoom also appeared to work well but you’ll probably get better results by enlarging pictures within a photo-editing software package. The macro setting proved to be its only other plus point as I was able to get in close and maintain focus and a decent exposure even with the flash – albeit with a sprinkling of undesirable noise in the final result.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself whether spending less on a camera that is feature-rich makes up for questionable images. For me it does not, and if you’re serious about digital photography, there are other cameras that can produce better results with fewer megapixels and at higher ISO sensitivities.
Despite its good looks, commendable build quality, and a relatively high level of manual control for the price, the BenQ DC C50 is basically limited to taking pictures on bright days at ISO 100 – and even then other cameras can still better it.