Tuesday, September 14, 2004
BenQ DC C-50
The DC C50's simple but elegant design is up to my liking with its rectangular,
round edged silver body and nickel-plated details. The company used aluminium
sheet and plastic to shape the outer body, which feels rather sturdy and solid
in your hand. Overall, BenQ convinces you that this is a good quality camera,
although it cannot reach the feel of magnesium bodies many prosumer level cameras
Side by side
Here you can see the DC C50 next to an average sized 3MP compact camera,
the Canon Powershot A70 which also uses a 3x zoom lens of similar brightness.
Due to the lack of a hand grip and its slimmer design, the DC C50 is
noticably smaller. It will fit into a pocket much easier.
In your hand
Without a defined handgrip, the camera sits in your hand rather nicely, though
people with big hands could find it difficult to hold it comfortably. The camera's
controls are located to the right, thus making it easy to both shoot and preview
pictures single-handed, provided that you are right handed that is.
|| The average sized
monitor, given that many models utilize 2" displays nowadays, is rather
bright and sharp. Though its brightness can be increased (or decreased),
viewing under strong sunlight is poor. Nothing different from most cameras
in this department.
|| Nothing fancy about the lens. A typical 3x optical
zoom ( 37.5 - 112.5 mm equiv.) of average brightness. Maximum aperture
ranges from F2.8 to F4.7 (wide to telephoto zoom end), which is rather
slow compared to most current 5MP cameras. A lens thread for mounting
filters is not included, and any kind of adapter for them was not predicted.
So expandability of the current optical system is out of the question.
| Memory and Battery Compartment
The memory and the battery share the same compartment,
accessible through a plastic door located at the bottom right of the
camera. The metal, spring loaded hinge seems sturdy and its slide-lock
operation is positive, though I believe it could be better.
| Optical Viewfinder
The optical viewfinder is a typical - real image -
tunnel type design. It is equipped with diopter adjustment and is quite
The possibility of using the optical viewfinder for your average shot
is slim, though it could help in occasions of intense sunlight, which
can make the images in the LCD monitor too hard to see. You could also
be using it to save on battery power. The Viewfinder AF and activity
LED serves as a status indicator in shooting mode, when charging the
battery and when the camera is connected to a PC.
| Flash and AF assist lamp
||The built in flash has a given
range of 0.5 to 3 meters at Auto ISO, an average but not disappointing
value for DC C50's class. Though it is not located far from the lens' optical
center, red-eye reduction appears to be working with consistency in our tests.
Nonetheless, you cannot control flash exposure compensation and items closer
than 1-1,5m tend to come out overexposed or even burned because of the strong
flashes. Fill in performance is adequate.
built in assist lamp is rather effective and helps the camera to achieve
focus even in complete darkness, as long as your subject is located
within 5 meters or so. Many prosumer digital cameras would like to
have its performance.
| Camera base and Tripod Mount
||The metal tripod mount is nicely placed where it
seams to be aligned with the lens' center - a nice feature when taking
panoramas using a non-specialized tripod. The rest of the camera's
base is quite simple in design, as is the rest of the camera.
|| On the left side of the camera are its sole two
connection sockets: a 5V DC-IN socket and the combined USB 1.1 and AV
terminal. The designers haven't utilized any kind of protection over
the terminals. Thus caution should be taken in order to protect them
dirt, fine sand or even light rain, which could cause malfunction or
even damage the device.
|Battery, Charger and AC Adapter
|BenQ includes a 3.7 V - 1035 mAh Li-Ion
battery to power the DC C50. The included charger also doubles as an
AC adapter for using the camera indoors without the need to worry about
battery duration, which is rather good by the way. Nicely done in the
| Camera Pouch
|BenQ also includes a nice camera pouch
made out of leather and synthetic fabric. The camera fits tightly into
the pouch, which also utilizes a safety tie for the hand strap, a strap
for mounting the pouch on your belt and even a small cleaning tissue
for the camera and lens! Inside the pouch you can find a small pocket
containing the cleaning tissue, which could also be used for storing
a couple of SD memory cards. The pouch uses a magnet to hold its cover
closed. Such a stylish accessory should cost a lot of money to buy, so
thanks BenQ for showing the way.
| Box contents
- DC C50 Digital Camera
- Lithium-ion Battery
- SD Memory Card
- AC power adapter - Output 5.0 V ~ 2.0 A
- Camera Pouch
- Hand Strap
- AV Cable
- USB Cable
- User's manual
- DC C50 Software CD-ROM