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Canon know how to make good digital cameras.
My experience with two Canon Ixus cameras and another Canon Powershot, each of them capable of taking great photos, meant I had high expectations for this interesting looking camera.
In a shop display, the Canon Powershot E1 stands out immediately from the other digital cameras.
With soft, curvy lines, it looks like a 1960s product rather than an 2008 offering.
The choice of colours - baby pink, baby blue and white - only reinforces the retro feel.
It is not the tiniest of cameras [ W = 10.5cm x H = 6.5cm x D = 3.5cm ] and with its curved design, certainly not the kind that will fit into a small pocket, much less stay there unobtrusively. Oh no.
And quite rightly so - this is a camera to be seen.
At 223g, it is also not the lightest camera around, although still very easy to carry.
Although aesthetics are not a consideration of utmost importance to me when it comes to technology (my priority is to get the best quality product I can) I must say that the camera is indeed very cute, and is a welcome change from the abundance of regular looking cameras.
It has grown on me, and I like it more now than I did when I first saw it, when I thought it might be a bit too quirky.
The Canon Powershot E1 is a 10 megapixels compact digital camera.
The flash is great, albeit non-adjustable, and is very quick to operate: from being switched on to being able to take the first picture only takes 2.4 seconds.
The camera has a 4x zoom lens and an optical viewfinder, face-detection technology and image stabiliser (to help when taking photographs in unsteady circumstances) and there are 13 scene modes to choose from.
The photographs are very good, for this type of camera, with good colour reproduction.
Most impressive are the photographs taken in poor lighting - their quality surpasses that of many more expensive and supposedly more sophisticated cameras.
The camera also takes short movies, the quality of which is better than that of my Canon Powershot A480 and even better than the Canon Ixus 80 IS.
Of course, a video sequence of 640 x 480 at 30 images per second, the quality of the videos cannot be compared to that of digital camcorders, but for a digital point-and-shoot camera it is quite good.
This camera also has the advantage of having an exceptionally good battery life, taking some 250 photos per pair of standard alkaline AA batteries (which is greatly increased with rechargeables) the best result I have got per AA battery charge..
On the other hand, there is limited manual focusing, which is not a problem for those who mostly stick to the automatic mode, but may be unsatisfactory for more experienced photographers who like to be more hands-on.
The viewfinder is also not entirely accurate, although I have not found this to be in any way detrimental to the quality photographs.
* 10 mega pixels
* 4 x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom.
* LCD screen size: W 50mm x H 38mm
* 9 focus points
* Face detection: 9 faces
* Lens: 6.2-24.8mm
* Maximum wide angle: 35mm
* Maximum tele zoom: 140mm
* Camera red eye fix
* Dual anti-blur functions: optical image stabilizer, and motion detection technology
* Memory card formats: SD/SDHC/MMC/MMC plus
* PictBridge compatible
* ISO range 80-1600.
* Maximum manually selectable ISO: 3200 [ when at 2MP resolution ]
Included with the camera are:
- User manual
- 32 Mb memory card
- AV cable
- Interface cable for USB
- 2 AA batteries
The RRP for this camera is £140.
Currently, Amazon is selling them for £109, while Argos has the best prices, from £74.99 (Pink) to £78.99 (Blue).
Stylish and capable of high quality photographs and reasonably good short movies, this is a remarkable camera at an affordable price that won't leave anyone indifferent to it.
My 5 star rating takes in consideration the type of camera it is and its value for money.