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.
|CCD effective megapixels||8.0 megapixels|
|LCD screen size||2.7in|
|LCD screen resolution||230,000 pixels|
|Zoom 35mm equivalent||35-105mm|
|Maximum image resolution||3,264×2,448|
|Maximum movie resolution||720×400|
|Movie frame rate at max quality||30fps|
|File formats||JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)|
|Mermory supplied||16MB internal|
|Battery type||2x AA|
|Battery Life (tested)||400 shots|
|Accessories||USB and AV cables, soft case|
|Exposure modes||program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual|
|Shutter speed||8 to 1/2,000 seconds|
|Aperture range||f/2.8 to f/5.6|
|ISO range (at full resolution)||50 to 1600|
|Exposure compensation||+/-2 EV|
|White balance||auto, 5 presets, manual|
|Additional image controls||sharpness|
|Closest macro focus||15cm|
|Auto-focus modes||multi, face detect|
|Metering modes||multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect|
|Flash||auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction|
|Drive modes||single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, smile detect|