BenQ – T700 review

stylish little camera with touch-sensitive display
Photo of BenQ – T700

Gone are the days when a camera was purchased simply for the range of its functions and the sharpness of its images. In a very crowded and competitive digital camera market, what makes your model stand out above the rest is more often than not style as opposed to substance.

The first thing that strikes you about the BenQ T700 is the shiny attractiveness of its smooth steel finish (it cunningly comes in four shades, ranging from cherry red and silver to iPod white and black) and its wafer thinness: it’s a mere 14.9mm thick.

Weighing in at just 180g plus the battery, this 7-megapixel camera is the first of the T series to have a 3-inch touch-screen display and it’s acknowledged to be the world’s slimmest. This means you have the largest possible preview of your snaps at a screen resolution of 232,000 pixels.

Operating controls are reduced to a minimum, so apart from your on/off and shutter buttons on the top, there’s a zoom variation beside the touch screen, alongside menu and playback buttons. Touching the menu button brings up the large scale icons on the display and you can either navigate through them with your finger or by using the supplied touch-pen.

Built-in storage is a paltry 12MB so you’ll need to install an SD card of a decent size. Power is supplied via a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and you get all the usual extras such as a recharger, pouch, hand strap, USB and AV cables. Although the controls are simple, the T700 employs a top-tier SMC Pentax lens which produces high-contrast images and high-colour saturation.

If your hand is less than steady, the incorporated Super Shake-Free system does help faster moving objects to stay in focus, and still images can be captured via a high light sensitivity portrait mode of ISO1200. In addition there are three movie modes with resolutions of 640 x 480, 320 x 240 and 160 x 128 and a top frame rate of 30fps, all in camcorder quality MPEG4 format. Most of the time you won’t even need artificial flash as you can bump the ISO up to 4000.

Once captured, you can then play around with the finished image by adding various stamps and frames, writing memos, or painting and adding signs. Specific areas of the photo can be enlarged by just marking them with your finger and then tapping.

Company: BenQ

Contact: 01442 301 000

The BenQ T700 has been specifically designed to appeal to style conscious people who don't want lots of fussy controls or anything too bulky but want high grade images with the minimum amount of effort. It achieves this aim pretty well.