Value in focus : BenQ G1, Fujifilm XF1

3/15/2013 9:19:41 AM

BenQ G1

Price: $ 273

Specs: 14 MP1 /2.3-inch CMOS; f 24-11 Omm; f 1.8,1/2000-2 sec; ISO 6400; Full HD 1080p/30fps; SD cards (up to 32GB).


The BenQ G1 is the world’s slimmest swivel camera. So what, you might ask. Swivel screens are nothing new, both DSLRs and compacts have them now. But not on bodies this thin. And yet, this isn’t the USP of this camera. That has to be the f1.8 aperture.

Firstly, the 3-inch swivel screen is very flexible and folds back on to the body with the screen facing you. While the swivel screen is good for taking shots at tricky angles, it is also a great way to protect the LED. The 920K LED screen has good clarity. It’s only when we kept poking icons on it that we realized it had no touch. But with Benq indicating which dial controls each value on the screen, life is not so tough.

Now for the f1.8, a setting that will naturally give you better results in low light. But at this point, the lens is too wide for a point and shoot and you have to zoom in to frame a good shot. The 4.6x zoom is decent (it also has a so-so digital 6x that has to be activated]. The G1 has everything you would expect of a 14-MP camera of this price range, even an ugly retro-looking cover. And when you see the crisp and vibrant results, it is hard to make out that all this was created by a camera that cost half as much as a smartphone.

The BenQ G1 is the world’s slimmest swivel camera

The BenQ G1 is the world’s slimmest swivel camera

Continuous shooting is fast though it takes a while afterwards to save the pictures. The Filter mode, in which you can click some kiosk-like, sketch finish and oil painting pictures, is good as it the HDR. We also thought that the background defocus mode was a good addition. However, the wait time to get such images processed was a dampener.

The video quality is good too, with FullHD at 30 fps. There is so video mode though and you just have to click the separate record button to start/stop filming. No, you cannot click photos as you are recording a movie, but the zoom is one of the smoothest we have seen in a camera like this.

Benq has tried to bring a lot of premium features to a very affordable camera, the latter being the forte of this company With all the features, this camera has the potential to become a one-stop imaging solution for the family, combining fun and quality. Seems Benq has a winner here.

Classy Compact

Fujifilm XF1

Price: $619

Specs: 12MP 2/3-inch EXR CMOS; f 6.4-25.6 mm, FI .8 to F4.9 / 30 sec. to 1/2000 sec; ISO 12800; / FullHD 1080p; SD card.


With compact mirror-less cameras gaining popularity across the world, camera manufacturers are trying their hand at premium point-and-shoot cameras. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 was the first of the type to enter the Indian market. Now, Fujifilm is trying its luck with the XF1, a stylish camera which, without a doubt, is aimed at a niche consumer base.

Control options

The control ring on top gives you all possible options auto, manual, shutter and aperture priority, two custom settings and even Fujifilm's very own EXR settings. What you will miss is a movie mode, for which you just have to push the record button. While you have to use the lens ring to zoom in, the mode dial and control ring can be used to shift to numerous other settings. There is also the Fn key in case you want to tweak more settings.

What is different

At first sight the leather-bound body of the XFl gives it a retro look. The pancake lens only adds to this effect. But the lens can be rotated to switch on the camera and then reveal a 25-100mm equivalent, FI .8-4.9 lens. The zoom is mechanical and the lens can collapse back into barrel to shut the camera. This makes the camera very compact despite the impressive lens range. On the flip side, you have to open the lens even when all you want to do is playback pictures you have shot.

At first sight the leather-bound body of the XFl gives it a retro look

At first sight the leather-bound body of the XFl gives it a retro look


The XF1 has a 12MP 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor which is good enough for most uses. Maybe, they could have packed in a bit more pixels, but this isn't inadequate either. The results are good, especially in natural light. At FI .8, the macro is stunningly good. But at 12MP, the maximum ISO range is 3200. At 12800, the pixel quality is jut 3MP and the picture is extremely grainy. This was a bit of a disappointment. But then these high ISO ranges are not usually used by enthusiasts, at whom the camera is aimed. The EXR mode, on the other hand, has very good low-light results. The camera is superfast in the burst modes and the unique sound of the shutter will have any photographer excited. The video quality is impressive too, and being a mechanical zoom, everything depends on how steady your hands are. The AF is up to the task, whatever you are up to. And, yes, like the RX100, this one shoots in RAW as default.


The XF1 is a good option if you want a camera that is stylish to look at and has loads of advanced features. But be prepared to pay a decent premium for the style and functions.

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