Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

BenQ DC C1050 Digital Camera Digital Camera Review

BenQ DC C1050 Digital Camera Digital Camera Review - Have BenQ finally conquered the world of digital imaging with the DC C1050? Rebecca Bradley investigates.

 Add Comment

BenQ BenQ DC C1050 in Compact Cameras

The DC C1050 is the upgrade model to the DC C1000 released in 2006, including an extra inch of screen, 5x rather than 3x zoom and 9Mb of internal memory instead of 24Mb.

At £99, the DC C1050 is aimed at those wanting a simple, non-fussy budget price camera. For the same price tag you can also buy a Canon PowerShot A550 (7.1Mp), Fuji FinePix Z10fd (7Mp) or Nikon Coolpix L18 (8Mp).
BenQ DC C1050

BenQ DC C1050: Specifications

  • Sensor: CCD - 10.1Mp
  • Zoom: 3x optical, 4 x digital
  • Image Size: 3648 x 2736
  • Lens: f/7.94 - 22.71
  • Focus: TTL Auto
  • Focus range: Normal: 40cm - infinity, Macro: 10cm
  • Metering: Center, Multi, Spot
  • ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
  • White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, MWB
  • Scene Modes: Landscape, Backlight, Night Scene, Snow, Fireworks, Building, High ISO Portrait, Food, Text, Kids, Sunset.
  • Macro: 10cm
  • Monitor: 2.4in TFT LCD
  • Movie Mode: Yes
  • Storage: 9Mb Internal, SD
  • Batteries: 2 x AA
  • Video Output: Yes
  • Size/Weight: 91.5 x 61.5 x 26mm – 140g
  • Transfer: USB 2.0

BenQ DC C1050 SideBenQ DC C1050: Modes and Features
The program mode of the DC C1050 offers quite a lot of control allowing the user to change the aperture and shutter speed of the camera, resolution, image quality, metering mode, white balance, ISO, exposure drive mode, AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing), highlight areas, sharpness and effect (phew!).

Then there is a movie mode as well as a Shake Free setting which works to reduce blur caused by camera movement by selecting a higher ISO setting in low light conditions.

Scene modes offered here include Landscape, Backlight (changes metering for backlit subjects), Night Scene, Snow, Fireworks, Building, High ISO Portrait, Food, Text, Kids, Sunset and a Voice Recording option.

One thing I did find slightly odd was that there was no 'regular' portrait mode, just a high ISO portrait mode for use in low light conditions. When I actually took a shot with this function the camera selected an ISO of 100 - hardly high at all.

Available white balance options include Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Florescent_H, Florescent_L, and a custom white balance for accurate settings when light source cannot be specified.

I found this to be a good feature as white balance presets are not always accurate. Metering modes offered are the regular Centre, Multi and Spot and the ISO settings range from 50 to 1000 and of course an auto ISO option.

Another thing I found very strange here is that the EXIF data of the shot taken at ISO1000 actually shows ISO1030. The sharpness menu allows the user to select from Hard, Normal or Soft when in Program Mode, and there is a macro mode offered here but this only focuses from within 10cm, which I found quite disappointing judging by the fact that macro photography is supposed to be close-up.

BenQ DC C1050: Build and HandlingBenQ DC C1050
The DC C1050 is very basic in design, with square features, a plastic outer casing and mock-leather strip down the left hand side.

The lens is chunky and very prominent giving the camera a slightly retro feel. The camera feels extremely lightweight and slightly on the cheap and plasticky side.

On the top of the camera is a small on/off button and a large chunky shutter release. On the back is a small zoom rocker, playback button, menu button, control joypad, delete function and mode selection.

Menus and controls are very simple to use and the camera would be ideal for a first time digital camera user, although menus have to be backed out of completely before returning to the shooting screen, which can be time consuming and slightly annoying. The zoom rocker is easy to use and provides a smooth zoom movement between telephoto and wide-angle shots.

BenQ DC C1050: Flash Options
Flash options offered by the DC C1050 include Auto, Red Eye Reduction -which fires strobes of light before the actual flash to close down the pupils, Force On - which fires every time a shot is taken, Slow Sync for uses with slow shutter speeds and Always Off.

BenQ DC C1050: Performance
In the colour chart test most of the colours were extremely accurate, with the red and green mixes matching the original colour chart. The only colours that did differ slightly were the blues, which appeared lighter and brighter than they were originally.

When using the macro function the camera struggled to focus on anything closer than 10cm, as stated in the manual. Having said that, good results were achieved in the mode, with sharp detail in the petals and stamen.

Portraits taken in program mode using flash were disappointingly out of focus and quite dark, while portrait mode with flash has produced a good result. Selecting an aperture of f/5.3 and shutter speed of 1/60s, this mode has warmed the skin tones and provided a good amount of detail in the hair, eyebrows and skin.

The landscape shot has selected an aperture of f/7.1 and shutter speed of 1/131s and, as is often the problem with landscape modes in compact cameras, the aperture selected is not wide enough, and the only part of the image that is truly sharp is the winch and the areas at the forefront of the picture.

Purple fringing is also evident around the wooden post, white steps and any areas where there is a dark/light contrast.

When put into burst mode, the DC C1050 managed eight shots within a 10 second period, which is a fairly impressive amount and the buffer was able to clear quickly between shots.

BenQ DC C1050 Colour Chart
The colour chart test shows accurate results with the only colour mixes differing being the blues.
BenQ DC C1050 Macro
The Macro Shot gives good detail but disappointingly will only focus as close as 10cm.

Program mode with flash
Program mode with flash produced a blurry
result with lack of sharp detail in most areas of the image.

Portrait mode with flash
Portrait mode with flash gives a better result, warming skin tones and providing good amounts of detail in the hair, eyebrows and skin.
BenQ DC 1050 Landscape shot
The landscape shot brings only the forefront of the picture into sharp focus and there is very obvious purple fringing in many areas.

BenQ DC C1050: Noise Tests
In the noise tests ISO50 and ISO100 were super clear, with lots of detail and no evidence of noise or grainy patches. ISO200 is also clear but in ISO400 noise is starting to appear very slightly.

At ISO800 noise is very evident wth coloured artefacts appearing in the grey card area, and by ISO1000 there is a lot of pixelation with only a small amount of detail left in the petal areas.

The ISO50 test.

The ISO100 test.

The ISO200 test.

The ISO400 test.

The ISO800 test.

The ISO1000 test.

BenQ DC C1050 SideBenQ DC C1050: Verdict
Some aspects of the C1050 appeared strange to me - for example - why have a high ISO portrait mode and not a regular one, why does the ISO1000 setting actually use an ISO of 1030?

While it was impressive in some aspects, for example a program mode which allows the user to select aperture and shutter speed settings, it was a let down in other areas. At best, the DC C1050 was average.

BenQ DC C1050 Plus Points:
Program mode offers lots of user control
Good results in portrait mode
Accurate colour rendition

BenQ DC C1050 Negative Points:
Uninspiring and outdated design
ISO test gave poor results
Colour fringing in landscape shot
Sometimes struggles to focus

Rating bar
Rating bar
Rating bar

Rating bar

The BenQ DC C1050 costs £99.00 (RRP). For a list of retailers please visit the BenQ website.

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More



I'm sure that reviewing high-quality products such as new Canon, Nikon, Panasonic or Sony cameras would provide a better stimulus for purchase decisions. Benq have never delivered anything decent really, so why don't you have a look at a similar product in this market segment as e.g. Sony's W120 ore Panasonic's LZ8?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Thanks for your comment.
We try to make everything as varied as possible. Not everyone likes the big names. If they did, no other companies would be in business. Also, the BenQ may have a feature someone is looking for. It's not fair on BenQ (in this example) to exclude them for whatever reason. Smile
Hi Matt,

Thank you for your reply. I must say I like the way you do your reviews, but I'm still not quite convinced with your answer. Is there a Benq feature, aspect of price or quality that justifies giving it the privilege of being reviewed?

I think your reviews stand out in the wilderness of the www. So why not test quality products to make it easier to choose?
I see your point and I'm sure that many others share it, but we have to keep an even keel.
I can't just allow certain names to take all the limelight, it's not fair on the smaller name brands or the people who like to like to know about them.
Not to mention that people will think we're getting paid by the names to just feature them!
We're trying to find the balance and we're on the way to it. Smile
Thanks for the compliments. Smile
Thanks again for your reply.

We're trying to find the balance and we're on the way to it.

And I'm looking forward to it Wink
While Nikon has sure impressed in recent years on the Digital SLR front, I don't recall them ever doing anything interesting on compact digital scene. The most SLR like compact (user interface and controls) is probably the Ricoh GX100, while the most (first) SLR like in terms of image quality is the Sigma DP1. Both cameras come from smallish, non-mainstream makers.
But if you looking for a bargain basement, no frills camera why not test the Kodak EasyShare C513?
Extremely ordinary in specification the C513 may be, but, at the time of writing, it is the only compact to have a CMOS sensor; therefore, it may prove to be a suprise packet, image quality wise.
But I believe other CMOS compacts are just around the corner.
I think there is a fair amount of snobbery going on here. Reminds me of when Skoda first hit the UK....Look at them now. Every one has to start somewhere. IMHO

Quote:I think there is a fair amount of snobbery going on here. Reminds me of when Skoda first hit the UK....Look at them now. Every one has to start somewhere. IMHO

So you think Nikon should buy out BenQ? Like Volkswagen did with Skoda? Wink

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.