A feature-packed metal-bodied 7MP compact
Sanyo might not be the first name to spring to mind when choosing a digital compact, but perhaps the 7MP E7 can change that…
With ISO settings up to 800, a multi-area AF system and advanced metering functions such as centreweighted and spot, the E7 is packed with features. Despite being a point-and-shoot model you can also make a lot of decisions for yourself, which makes a nice change.
The E7’s simple, yet stylish, rectangular silver metal casing is hardly radical, but it looks and feels good, and the controls are nicely laid out in typical compact fashion. Unfortunately the low-resolution 2.5in LCD lets the side down – a shame as there’s no viewfinder.
One of the E7’s key selling points is its touch-sensor shutter release. When activated the camera automatically focuses when your finger’s over the release. This works really well and reduces shutter lag to almost nothing, but it also makes it quite easy to ‘shoot blanks’.
You may be able to set the sensitivity on the E7 manually, but above ISO 200 things get very nasty. Disintegrating edge definition leads to impressionistic watercolours rather than photographs, and even at ISO 100 it fails to impress.
Value For Money
Pictures could be better, but a metal-bodied 7MP compact under £200 on its release early in 2007 represented good value.
The Xacti E7’s metal shell is packed full of features, but this fails to compensate for fundamentally poor image quality.