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Review along with Tips for your new GE x500,
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This review is from: GE Power Pro X500-WH 16 MP with 15 x Optical Zoom Digital Camera, White (Electronics)
REVIEW: My last two digital cameras have been point & shoot Kodak's and it took so long for the camera to reset in between pictures I was missing shot after shot. Plus, the Kodak's didn't have any kind of picture stabilization so half the pictures came out blurry. With that said, I was in the market for a different brand of camera.
I was considering the Nikon L120 but really didn't want to shell out that kind of money so I kept putting the purchase off. Then I came across this GE x500 with its list of equally good features, great reviews and incredible price. I didn't even know GE made cameras so I have to say I was a bit leery about how good it would be compared to SLR style cameras with name recognition but I went for it and it has ended up being the perfect camera for my picture taking needs (vacations, special occasions, holidays, parties, pets, occasional on line classified ad or auction).
TIPS: I haven't had the camera that long and with all the features, figuring it out can be a little intimidating but I've played around with it enough to discover the setting I found easiest for starting out and I wanted to pass it on. When you turn the camera on for the first time it will lead you through the language and date set. (Super easy to do.) Once that's set up if you turn the wheel on the top of the camera to SCN, 20 little icons will show up along the bottom of the LCD screen. As you scroll through the icons it gives you a description of what each one is for. Some of the icon modes include: Sport (for fast moving objects), Beach (for strong sunlight), Fireworks (bright images against night sky), Glass (for shooting images behind glass), Sunset, Snow, Indoor, Portraits, Landscape, plus several more including a few special affect modes. When you choose the icon/mode for your situation the camera automatically sets itself to take the best picture in that circumstance. Last night I took pictures in the house with the flash on and using the Indoor mode and I couldn't believe how crystal clear they came out. I was also able to take one picture right after the other (unlike my Kodak)! I'm very pleased and can't wait to discover what else can be done with this camera.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED: You should also know you will need an SDHC Card since the camera only has internal room for 3 images. I bought the Transcend 8GB, Class 10 for $13.00 here on Amazon and it works perfectly even without formatting. The Class 6 would probably work as well if you want to save a few bucks although they are currently the same price...go figure. (The Class determines the speed in between shots, the higher the class the faster.) I also recommend the SMALL Zeikos Camera Bag available on Amazon for $5.00. (The Medium would be too big.) It's padded and the perfect size for this camera plus a few essentials like extra batteries, cleaning cloth, cables, etc. I actually put my Flip Video Camera in the bag too.) Next, I recommend the Duracell Value Charger if you don't already have one. It comes with 4 pre charged Nimh batteries for around $13 on Amazon. You'll have all the accessories you need after these purchases. On a side note, I went ahead and paid the $10 extra to get this camera in white and it was worth it. Love the look over basic black.
CONS: I was super disappointed that it came with a CD instead of a paper Users Manual but I printed out the pages I thought I'd refer to most (but that doesn't help if I need instructions on another feature and I don't have a computer and the CD on me. I would have preferred a small instruction book that fit in my case. It creates a .thm file (thumbnail) for every picture you download to your computer. The only purpose for this file is for viewing your pictures while IN YOUR CAMERA. It is not needed once you transfer pics to your computer so it can be deleted once transferred but it's a bit of a pain. It's a small file and barely takes up any computer memory but I don't like computer clutter so it bugs me. I think it should have come with a screen/lens cleaning cloth (no biggie, just sayin).
SUMMARY: Well, that's it. If you're in the market for an SLR style camera I really don't think you can go wrong with this one if you're an amateur photographer who wants to take better than average pictures (and as long as keep in mind that although it does have some point and shoot features it is an SLR which means you'll have some figuring out to do to take full advantage of those professional photography shots) You should also keep in mind that this is a nice camera for the money not a $500 - $800 camera that a professional photographer would use for his business.
UPDATE: Even though the Duracell battery's charge is *impressively long* while in the camera, you might want to consider purchasing an extra set of (4) Nimh batteries so you always have a set of freshly charged batteries in the charger. That way you can just switch them out without having to wait 6 hours to recharge each time. Lastly, I found another handy feature using the camera wheel on top of the camera. If you set it on ASCN the picture taking conditions are detected and the most suitable settings will automatically be selected without any manual adjustments. This feature is similar to the other one I mentioned (SCN) but with this one the camera automatically selects for you. It's also similar to the "auto" setting (the camera symbol on the wheel) but it makes more adjustments for you than just one preset "auto" mode. (For instance, when on the ASCN setting it knows when you're taking a close up and adjusts itself accordingly.) I know the look of the camera probably isn't a very big determining factor when purchasing but I have yet to pull this camera out without someone saying, wow, nice camera.
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Showing 1-10 of 75 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 29, 2011 10:50:30 AM PDT
Thank you for the review, It was extremely helpful to me because I am considering buying this camera...all the extras you mentioned was what I needed to know...:O)
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2011 1:04:00 PM PDT
I'm glad the review helped and I thank you for letting me know. <3
Posted on Nov 23, 2011 11:45:20 AM PST
Watch fan says:
The ArcSoft picture management program came with mine in the same CD where the manual is. Just need to install it from the CD menu.
Posted on Dec 30, 2011 9:24:26 AM PST
Tina C. Dudley says:
Thanks PG, your comments helped me in making a decision to buy the Power Pro x500, all of my friends told me to purchase the Nikkon or Canon. I also didn't want to spend that much on a camera. Not in my budget at all. I'm not a photographer, just wanted a new camera to take on my cruise. I broke my last Kodak easy share, which I thought was a great camera also. Thanks for the advice about the camera case, batteries, SDHC card. I purchased everything you mentioned and I was very impressed. Amazon didn't take long even during the holidays to ship my purchase, they are great!!!!! I'm still learning the functions, but so far I'm VERY PLEASED.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2012 6:20:48 AM PST
Thank you for your kind words! I've been taking more picture than I ever have with any other camera. It's my new years resolution to take the time to figure out how all the manual settings work. Have a wonderful time on your cruise and capturing special memories!
Posted on Feb 2, 2012 4:39:01 PM PST
Thank you so much for your very insightful review. Not only did you help me make up my mind but you also helped me get the accessories that I needed. This is an excellent review!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 5:11:07 AM PST
Thank you too, Alex. It was very nice of you to let me know.
Posted on Mar 20, 2012 3:28:10 PM PDT
Posted on May 9, 2012 6:33:08 PM PDT
I'm getting this camera & the extras, bc of you. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2012 7:35:52 AM PDT
I think you'll like everything. I have never used a camara as much as I've used this one. The manual adjustments take some figuring out (it's not a point & shoot) but in the end it's a fun camera to take pictures with. Thanks for letting me know!