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GE X600 Bridge Camera Review

GE X600 Bridge Camera Review - GE X600, we test the advanced bridge camera, with a 26x optical zoom lens from GE.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : GE X600
Price : £155
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

GE X600 (1)

The GE X600 is the latest ultra zoom camera from GE, and features a wide angle 26x optical zoom lens, and a high speed 14.4 megapixel CMOS sensor. GE call it their "Power Pro Series" and the compact bridge camera offers manual controls as well as a built in electronic viewfinder (EVF).

GE X600 Features

GE X600 (2)

The GE X600 features a wide angle 26x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 26mm to 676mm in 35mm terms, and has a high speed CMOS sensor for high speed continuous shooting and full HD video. An electronic viewfinder helps take shots in bright sunlight, and holding the viewfinder against your face helps steady the camera when using the optical zoom, as well as the built in optical image stabilisation.

The screen on the back is 2.7 inches, and the camera has a mode dial on the top which includes manual options, scene modes, panoramic mode, video modes and additional modes such as black and white and custom. There are dedicated video and drive mode buttons on top of the camera, and the camera is powered by a lithium ion battery.

GE X600 (3)

Key Features

  • 14.4 megapixel high speed CMOS sensor
  • 26x optical zoom lens - 26mm wide - 676mm telephoto
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 2.7 inch screen
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Full HD video 1080p
  • ISO100 - 3200
  • High speed shooting
  • High Dynamic Range mode
  • 5cm Macro
  • Available in black or white

GE X600 Handling

GE X600 (4)

Handling - The GE X600 is a compact camera considering it has a 26x optical zoom lens and it has a large rubberised hand grip, with a textured area on the back for you thumb. The electronic viewfinder is small but has a rubberised surround which is a nice touch for an entry level camera. The camera feels well built despite the plastic construction and has a textured pattern to give it an enhanced look. There are also a decent number of buttons and controls on the camera, which should mean you don't have to enter the menus too much. A large strap is provided in the box.

The +/- exposure compensation button is used to change a number of settings depending what mode you are in, such as exposure compensation, ISO, and shutter / aperture settings when in the relevant Shutter priority or Manual modes. The continuous shooting button on the top is where you'll find continuous shooting options (high speed full resolution, VGA or 4m), as well as time-lapse shooting.


GE X600 (5)

Menus – The func/menu brings up a number of settings overlaid onto the screen, and if you scroll to the bottom you can access the setup menu. The i button lets you choose a number of colour effects such as vivid, vignetting, salon and dreamy. The setup menu is split in to four main areas: Photo, Setup, Connections, and Card options and is easy enough to navigate, although would benefit from colour coded options. Playback has a number of additional effects that can be applied to images, including HDR.
GE X600 (7)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 240 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take over 350 shots before the battery went flat.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

  GE X600 Sony RX100
Shutter Response 0.1-0.15 0.0
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.35 0.3
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.7 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 3.8 2.2
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.6s 0.9
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.8s 2.1
Continuous Shooting
(shots before slow down)
7fps (150 shots) 7fps (speed priority mode, 15 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash N/A 1.6s
Continuous Shooting - RAW N/A 4fps (13 shots)


Shutter response is a little slower than normal, however focus speeds are good at the wide end of the lens and reasonable at full optical zoom. Particularly impressive is the cameras ability to take 150 shots before slowdown with continuous shooting at 7fps, when using a Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s card.

GE X600 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

GE X600 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Colour is good and the camera takes a very good portrait with no red-eye. Detail isn't great, but images should be good for sharing on the web. Images are quite heavily compressed on default settings, so we'd recommend using the "Best" setting.

GE X600 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Purple fringing is very high particularly in areas of high contrast as can be seen in the shot of the trees above. Images are generally quite soft, but exposure is good, and there is detail into the corners which is better than some cameras. Image stabilisation struggled to keep steady the image at full optical zoom, when handheld, as the camera didn't increase the shutter speed adequately, and instead better results were found by manually setting the shutter speed.

GE X600 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO100, but increases slightly at ISO200. Noise increases again at ISO400 with the softening of detail. Noise increases again at ISO800. At ISO1600 noise becomes more dominant with black dots appearing, and we'd recommend you avoid ISO1600 and above.

GE X600 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) under tungsten light gives a magenta cast, with the tungsten preset giving a better result. AWB does a better job under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a warmer result.

Panoramic | 1/125 sec | f/7.5 | 4.7 mm | ISO 127
Panoramic | 1/125 sec | f/7.5 | 4.7 mm | ISO 127

Panorama mode - Panoramic mode automatically stitches together the photo as you pan the camera and results are quite good although there is some ghosting visible.

GE X600 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The camera has a number of colour options and effects, as shown above. Multi shot takes 6 images and combines them into one image with the action shown in one image, here it has captured Daniel running across the frame three times. Other scene modes include HDR, combining a number of shots at different exposures for extended dynamic range.

Video - The camera records full HD video, and allows the use of optical zoom while recording, however the built in image stabilisation struggles to keep the video steady when the camera is handheld when using zoom. We found the same when shooting at full optical zoom, and therefore a tripod is recommended if you plan to use the longer end of the telephoto lens for video. Apart from this, video quality appears quite good, although compression is quite high at 8mbps, so you can see some artefacts. Additional examples can be found on our YouTube channel. A high speed video can be found here, recorded at 120fps, VGA resolution.


Value For Money

The GE X600 is available for around £130 which makes it excellent value for money as one of the cheapest ultra zoom cameras available with full HD video recording, particularly up against the following cameras, shown below, with the latest price information:

Olympus SP-720UZ, 26x optical zoom, full HD video, £165
Nikon Coolpix L810, 26x optical zoom, 720p video, £160
Pentax X-5, 26x optical zoom, full HD video, £169
Fujifilm FinePix SL260, 26x optical zoom, 720p video, £151
Samsung WB100, 26x optical zoom, 720p video, £129

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

GE X600 Verdict

If image quality isn't your primary concern, but you would like a lot of optical zoom in a compact bridge camera, then the GE X600 fits the bill particularly if budget plays an important part in your buying decision. The camera has full HD video, HDR mode, and high speed continuous shooting as well as manual controls going beyond what most entry level cameras offer, and if you're happy to use a tripod or manually boost the shutter speed the full optical zoom can be used for sharp shots.

 
  The GE X600 offers some advanced features not expected at this price point and is excellent value for money.

GE X600 Pros

HDR mode
Full HD video
Large strap provided
7fps continuous shooting
Excellent value for money
Good colour
Manual controls

GE X600 Cons

Slow shutter response
Low resolution screen
Images are a little soft

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  


GE X600 Specifications

ManufacturerGE
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.2 - f/5.6
35mm equivalent26mm - 676mm
Optical Zoom26x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels14.4Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeNo Data
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Manual
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting7fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPS30, 60, 120
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
CIPA Rating240
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion Battery, USB cable, Shoulder strap, CD ROM Manual, Quick Start Guide, Arcsoft Photo Impression 6
Dimensions
Weight350g
Width103mm
Height74mm
Depth68mm

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Comments


callancool 10 5
28 Dec 2012 12:17AM
Why are you comparing this with a camera costing 3 - 4 X the price? It's as good as it's rivals out there. I doubt you'd compare an entry level Fuji, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Samsung, Panny or Olympus bridge, to a top of the range enthusiasts compact. Yes it has it's (few for the price) faults, but you criticise it's level of detail, which is comparable to the competition. If you want to spend 400 on an all in one superzoom, it fails, but for 130, 7 FPS UNLIMITED burst mode is not matched by even my HS20EXR (12 FPS @3Mp for 32 images) or my Eos 600D (3 Fps for 34 images). Shot to shot times are equivalent, if not better than it's rivals, and although the Aptina CMOS sensor isn't BSI, it does an excellent job. Add the HDR and multi exposure modes and it's unbeatable at the price!

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8 Aug 2013 7:30AM
Completely agree with callancool. You really shouldn't compare this camera to one over twice its price. This camera is(as far as I know) unbeatable for the value. The features alone make the camera worth the price, then add the looks(the white looks way more modern then the black) and solid feel it has. Amazing entry level camera. Plus, I even managed to get this camera along with a 4 year warranty for 200 flat.

p.s. GE's customer service is awesome too. Called to ask a couple simple questions and the lady who answered seemed very professional.

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