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Genius G-Shot P831 review

Ben Pitt
30 Jan 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
65
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.5in 8.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (35-105mm equivalent), 140g

At £65 including VAT, the P831 could be the ideal camera for those who can't afford, or be trusted with, a more expensive model.

The basic design is agreeable enough and the spacious 2.7in screen is a pleasant surprise at this price. Face detection is another unexpected bonus, although in our tests it appeared to assist with focus but not exposures. A scene preset captures shots automatically when it detects a smile. It's far too slow to be anything more than a gimmick, but it's quite fun. We were amazed to find the full complement of priority and manual exposure modes, plus exposure bracketing, included. Performance was predictably basic, and the camera took around three seconds between shots, rising to five with the flash. However, its 1.1fps continuous capture is impressive at this price.

Our initial image quality tests produced lots of blurred photos, as the Auto ISO setting refused to budge from ISO 50 regardless of light conditions, resulting in exposures as long as one second in dim light. Enabling the Stabiliser option jolted the automatic ISO setting into action, raising it incrementally to 1600 when the shutter speed fell to 1/60 seconds. This is a little cautious for our liking - a 1/15-second shutter is manageable in low light - but the captured images were no noisier than from most cameras costing twice as much. Details were a little vague at ISO 50 and became progressively worse in lower light, but colours were reasonably reliable. Our only real concern was that, with no AF lamp, the autofocus struggled to find subjects in low light.

If your budget is this tight, there isn't much choice. Fortunately, the G-Shot G831 just about meets our expectations for image quality, and has some advanced features for the price. It isn't the most attractive compact camera around, but whether you're buying it for a child or yourself, it's great value.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
CCD effective megapixels8.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.5in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent35-105mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution3,264x2,448
Maximum movie resolution720x400
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied16MB internal
Battery type2x AA
Battery Life (tested)400 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialplastic
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables, soft case
Weight140g
Size62x92x26mm

Buying Information

Price£65
Supplierhttp://www.misco.co.uk
Detailswww.geniusnet.com

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed8 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/2.8 to f/5.6
ISO range (at full resolution)50 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlssharpness
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus15cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, smile detect