Its compact camera rivals boast similar specs, so what makes the 12.Mp GE E1235 stand out?

Although an American brand, GE's cameras have apparently benefited from Japanese technology and design. That's not immediately apparent in the lozenge shaped GE E1235, but it does boast the highest resolution in the fledgling compact camera range, marrying an impressive 12Mp to a 3x optical zoom in a slender pocket-friendly body just 24mm thick.

Its rivals boast similar specs, so what makes GE's E1235 stand out?

Well, it's all about ease of use. For starters, GE has introduced a new feature on its cameras not hitherto seen elsewhere: namely blink detection. While not infallible this theoretically detects whether any portrait subject has their eyes shut and issues an alert so you can go on to take another shot. Like GE's other models, the General Electric E1235's standard features include face detection, electronic image stabilisation, 14 pre-optimised scene modes for shooting common subjects, in-camera stitching for panoramas, red-eye removal and the ability to shoot in low light without flash (here up to ISO3200) - so the GE E1235 has most of the boxes ticked.

But then you turn the General Electric E1235 on and it's a sluggish 2-3 seconds before you're ready to take an image, the lens barrel making its way from storage close to the body to maximum wideangle setting (35mm) and the large-ish 2.7in rear LCD flickering into life. There's no optical viewfinder, so this screen is used exclusively for capturing and reviewing images.

While that's fine for indoors, you're forced to cup a hand around the screen when outside to improve visibility. Controls are nevertheless easy to use and identical to the G2 - indeed the cameras share a manual - with the General Electric E1235's additional width allowing a more spacious layout.

We did however find the GE E1235 slower to determine focus than its 8Mp little brother, the screen blanking out for a couple of seconds while a full size, maximum resolution image is committed to memory (either a 26MB internal cache or removable SD card).

Similarly it takes the General Electric E1235 a second or two longer to power down than it does to start up, while its build curiously feels more plastic and less solid than the smaller G2.

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General Electric E1235: Specs

  • 12.1Mp resolution
  • 3x optical zoom (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm terms)
  • 2.7in TFT colour LCD
  • JPEG still image capture
  • 640x480 pixel video clips at 20fps
  • ISO 64-3200
  • 26MB internal memory plus card slot for optional SD or SDHC memory cards
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • bundled user manual and ArcSoft PhotoImpression software
  • 103x56x24mm, 145g (body only)
  • 12.1Mp resolution
  • 3x optical zoom (35-105mm equivalent in 35mm terms)
  • 2.7in TFT colour LCD
  • JPEG still image capture
  • 640x480 pixel video clips at 20fps
  • ISO 64-3200
  • 26MB internal memory plus card slot for optional SD or SDHC memory cards
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • bundled user manual and ArcSoft PhotoImpression software
  • 103x56x24mm, 145g (body only)

OUR VERDICT

Like any digital camera, the General Electric E1235 is not just about usability: it stands and falls on its images. A light sensitivity range stretching from ISO64 up to ISO3200 is impressive, but inevitably grain-like image noise creeps in dramatically upwards of ISO800, reaching sandstorm-like proportions by ISO3200. While that's no better or worse than rivals, we did get the odd soft shot even with plenty of light around, yet more positively colours are well saturated and pleasing to the eye. In truth it's really only in its plastic-y build and occasional operational sluggishness that the General Electric E1235 betrays its budget price tag.

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