A good option to consider for newbies on a budget.
Despite the rising popularity of capturing casual moments with a smartphone and the host of photography apps available, compact cameras are still around for three specific reasons: generally better image quality (yes, some might debate this point), physical controls and longer battery life. And while General Electric may seem more synonymous with appliances, electric motors and power plants, not may know that GE actually manufactures digital cameras under its General Imaging brand.
The G100 fits into GE’s Power Pro series, which feature the more powerful cameras in their lineup which offer more manual controls. This 14.4-megapixel shooter manages to pack a 15x optical zoom in its sturdy body. However, the design of the G100 does appear to be pretty dated and chunky, especially when placed alongside Canon’s and Panasonic’s newer and sleeker superzoom compacts.
There’s a rubber that edges out slightly from the camera body for a more secure grip, though would have preferred a grip that was more pronounced. There’s the usual mode dial and shutter button on the top of the body in addition to a pop-up flash. The rear of the camera reveals physical controls, something we personally prefer over touch-enabled interfaces which many brands seem to prefer these days, as the latter are sluggish at best when it comes to both navigation and control. Controls on the rear of the G100 are pretty standard, with a Playback button, a button that toggles the screen display on and off, a button that brings up the special filter effects, and a menu button placement could do with a but more thought though, as it’s placed a little too close to where your thumb would typically sit.
The G100 has some heft, but it’s not so heavy that you’ll find it awkward to handle with one hand. The scroll wheel is responsive, and thus navigating the menus quick and fuss-free. The g100 possesses very simple menu options, though settings for metering, image quality and HDR photography are included as well.
With regards to picture quality, colors are lackluster and we feel that GE could have been more liberal with the default picture setting’s contrast are much improved when Vivid mode was enabled. The G100 scored an average 1500 LPH (vertical) and 1400 LPH (horizontal) for the image resolution test, so there’s no need to be worried about the detail in your snapshots. While the highest ISO sensitivity offered by the G100 is 3200, noise starts to show at ISO 200, and anything past ISO 800 is more or less unusable.
The G100 comes with PSM modes for the intermediate user, while basic modes include Face Beautifier, Panorama Mode and Scene Mode. Aperture values can only be set in manual mode, there’s no dedicated Aperture mode present in the G100. We were also disappointed to find out that the aperture can only be set to two values in manual mode, f/3.9 and f/9.3. But is isn’t all doom and gloom with the G100 however;' its burst mode was quite impressive at 10 frames per second. Macro mode also fared very well, even when we were shooting subjects that were almost touching the lens.
The G100 makes an affordable fist camera for those who are upgrading from their mobile camera.