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BenQ might not be the first manufacturer you think of when it comes to digital cameras ... or even the second, third, fourth or fifth. But the new G1 is an intriguing proposition, featuring as it does a fast F1.8 lens, a swivel-screen, and thumb wheel for manual settings, while still coming in at a modest price of 239 (that`s around US$291).
Though being billed as "the worlds slimmest F1.8 swivel-screen digital camera," it`s important to note that the BenQ G1 only boasts F1.8 at the widest point of its 4.6x optical zoom lens. By the time you reach the maximum zoom (the lens has a 35mm effective focal length of 24mm-110mm) this is limited to F4.5.
In a bid to keep the camera svelte, BenQ opted to use a lens which was designed in-house. As such, it`s constructed from seven lenses in six groups and features an aspherical lens element to improve focus. However, the Taiwanese firm decided to pair this with a 14-megapixel Panasonic 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor.
On the rear of the G1 there`s a 3-inch 920k pixel swivel-screen that allows for multiple-angle shooting and has a wide color gamut for more saturated colors and realistic images. There`s also all the usual buttons you`d expect, along with a thumb wheel for dialing through commonly-used features and controlling manual settings - a feature normally reserved for higher-end models.