BenQ DC C500 – Renaissance phone; jack of all traits

Those among us who loathe bringing around bulky gadgets, including cameras, will surely like the BenQ DC C500. This model is part of the highly-diversified product offerings of the Taiwanese tech giant BenQ which also sells computers and mobile phones. BenQ’s DC C500 is so light you don’t almost feel it’s there. This works great for me since I prefer carrying small handbags when I get out of the house. Weighing only 80 grams, this cam is as inconspicuous as a cellphone and proved to be handy during last minute photo opportunities. Its small size means I can just take it out of my bag or pouch and shoot decent pictures. The DC C500 was also good-looking enough to be praised by my friends. When they held it in their hands, a common question asked was: “Totoo ba ito? Parang laruan!” (Is this real? It looks like a toy) Having said so, there is nothing complicated about the DC C500. It is after all a point and shoot, fixed- focus camera. To use it, you simply had to slide open the lens cover and you’re ready to go. Your desired objects can be viewed using the 1.7″ TFT LCD monitor with the various navigation buttons on the right side. Mastering the buttons took a while getting used to as I seemed to be confused between the Menu and the Mode. Thankfully, you just had to press the “Return” or “Exit” arrow to go back where you started. In terms of storage, this cam only has 16 MB of internal memory which was only capable of storing only 18 to 20 high-resolution photos. However, if you choose VGA-sized photos at 640 x 480 pixels, the built-in memory can store more. It goes without saying that you need an SD card if you’d like to bring along the gadget for taking photos and videos of your summer trips. We learned that although this is basically a 5 mp cam, the size of the image can even be effectively adjusted up to 7 megapixels or 3072 x 2304 pixels. Playing further with the settings, I learned that this basic cam has other desirable features such as 4x digital zoom and auto flash (which unfortunately cannot be used in video mode), self-timer, slideshow display and file protection function. There are the usual scene choices for capturing images (e.g. sports, night, portrait, landscape, backlight) and various color types (full color, sepia, black & white). There are also options for choosing the white balance, exposure value ( lightening or darkening the image), sharpness, saturation and ISO equivalent ( for example, the higher the ISO, the grainer the image but it will be possible for you to shoot in dark locations.) The BenQ DC C500 has an accompanying USB cable which made it possible for me to automatically download the files to my computer without a hassle. One function which I was not able to use was the camera’s webcam capability. You can use this function if your PC has a microphone, sound card, speakers, and internet connection. A separate software is necessary if you opt to have live video conference with your work colleagues or family. Considering that it is “the lightest 5 mp cam today,” the BenQ DC C500’s host of options makes it one small but terrible gadget indeed. A couple of weeks that it that it has been with me and I now consider it my perfect companion. Check it out now and make your vacation rock. Source: Manila Bulletin Online

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Rich Gates

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