BenQ will probably never be the first name to spring to mind when it comes to cameras, but it has been quietly churning out straightforward point-and-shoot compacts for a while now.
The DC E1000 boasts 10 megapixels and packs plenty of features, while still clocking in at a reasonable price. We tested the E1000 to see if this BenQ is worth its average online price of £100.
Despite its blocky shape, there's a minimalist charm to the design of the beefy metal E1000, with a squared silver clickpad, gunmetal accents and a subtle red stripe around the lens. The buttons are, however, a little small.
One button we're really not keen on is the high ISO button next to the shutter. This cancels out camera shake but the resulting image noise means it is far from the best solution. We take issue with manufacturers labelling this an 'enhanced image stabiliser' or 'Super Shake Free function' as BenQ have here.
The E1000 includes a truly enormous 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen, which is great. The screen dominates the rear of the camera. In shooting mode the display is clear and sharp.
The E1000 is a fairly standard compact in many respects, with the usual features like 3x optical zoom, face detection and ISO levels up to 1,600. There is a wealth of scene modes, but two of them are variations on high-ISO settings and some are a bit gimmicky, like the sketch and oil painting modes.
We're more impressed by shutter and aperture priority. Aperture priority only allows you to set minimum and maximum settings, but shutter priority is much more flexible giving you a wide range of shutter speed options, from 1/2000 of a second up to 8 seconds.
There are also three metering modes and exposure bracketing, which allows you to capture three versions of the same picture at different settings. Unfortunately these shooting options aren't particularly accessible, being buried in the menus rather than by dedicated buttons.
As an aside, we're pleased with BenQ's continued policy to provide sturdy pouches with their cameras.