The 5-megapixel BenQ DC P500 is a basic entry-level compact that offers a 5x zoom and movie modes.
This is a fairly basic camera, despite the performance tagline, with basic exposure control, and a manual mode that doesn’t seem to do very much at all. It does offer a Pentax 5x zoom and 30fps video though.
This is a solid if somewhat boxy model, but looks better than many other entry-level models thanks to its metal shell. The 2.5in LCD screen is a welcome treat for a camera in this price range, while the controls are average.
The P stands for ‘performance’, which begs the question: What kind of performance can we really expect from a budget 5MP compact? The camera’s a little slow to start up, and there’s some shutter lag too, which is to be expected to some degree on compacts, but nonetheless worse than we’d expect. The EXIF on our test model showed all of our exposures were f/1 at 1 second at ISO 99, which suggests an inherent fault.
Images are surprisingly reasonable, if a little over processed. Noise is visible in shadows, but there’s plenty of detail and sharpness. Exposures are good too.
Value For Money
The addition of the 5x zoom makes this reasonably priced for absolute beginners, but there are better cameras available.
This is hardly a performance model. But it might just pass muster for someone wanting more than mobile phone pictures.