GE Power Pro X5

If you need an extensive zoom and can't afford to shell out for a more fully-featured superzoom, the X5 will be adequate enough, but its inconsistent image quality and slow performance won't endear it to anyone more than just a casual photographer.


7.0
CNET Rating
7.5
User Rating

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.


Design and features

If there was an award for ugliest camera of the year, well ... the GE X5 wins hands down. In fact, you wouldn't even need to look at the competition to award the prize.

The X5 is a superzoom of sorts, from the newbie company in digital cameras. GE isn't a company normally associated with imaging, at least in Australia, and given the look and feel of the X5, it shows. A textured black grip flanks the outside of the camera, with a simple PASM mode dial, on/off slider switch and standard directional pad and menu buttons at the rear.

With a 2.7-inch LCD screen and a miniature electronic viewfinder, the X5 certainly feels like a bargain-basement AU$299 camera. The biggest calling card is the 15x optical zoom, which extends from the camera body with a reasonable, but not astounding maximum aperture of f/3-5.2.

GE X5

The back of the X5 shows the spartan design. (Credit: GE)

Though there are manual controls on the camera dial, working out how to use them is harder than teaching an old dog new tricks. There's also no light meter available in manual mode on the screen, which makes it all but guesswork when it comes to altering your exposure. The X5 can also hit a maximum ISO of 3200 — but as we'll see later on, it's not particularly useful given the noise levels.

The X5 uses AA batteries to power its slow-moving lens. Some photographers love these batteries because of their flexibility and availability, others hate the weight and environmental issues caused by incorrect disposal. We're firmly in the latter camp.

Other features of note include a built-in panorama mode, the usual gamut of detection modes (face, smile, blink) and red-eye removal.

Performance

General shooting metrics (in seconds)

  • Time to first shot
  • JPEG shot-to-shot time
  • Shutter lag
  • GE Power Pro X52.33.70.7

Image quality

Depending on your photo expectations, you'll either be satisfied or disappointed with the images the X5 produces. In our tests, the X5 produced inconsistent photos. Images taken at full 15x magnification were quite soft and at ISO 200 and above, noise started to creep in across the frame.

GE X5

An image taken at the wide end of the lens (top) and 15x zoom (bottom). 100 per cent crops are inset. (Credit: CBSi)

Give the X5 a bright, sunny day though, and its images are certainly acceptable for casual photographs and for use at reduced magnification. Chromatic aberration was also quite prominent, and thanks to the small sensor, the X5 blew out highlights like there was no tomorrow. The lens also exhibited pretty bad barrel distortion at its widest end (27mm) and it's quite clear that the sensor has too many megapixels crammed on to it for the lens to be able to resolve with any clarity.

Image samples

Click each image below for JPEGs straight from the X5. No post-processing has been done to alter these photos.

Exposure: 1/30, f/3, ISO 89

Exposure: 1/154, f/7, ISO 64

Exposure: 1/75, f/3, ISO 64

Exposure: 1/105, f/5.1, ISO 64, 15x zoom

(Credit: CBSi)

Conclusion

The X5 is built to a price — a very cheap price at that. If you need an extensive zoom and can't afford to shell out for a more fully-featured superzoom, the X5 will be adequate enough, but its inconsistent image quality and slow performance won't endear it to anyone more than just a casual photographer.

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mdi
10
Rating
 

mdi posted a review   

The Good:Easy to use and CHEAP!

The Bad:Laggy

I can say that for the price.. this product can simply outperform the competition in the same price range. Well for casual users this camera's features and performance would be sufficient enough! Could hardly missed a shot COMPARED to other point and shoot cameras in this price range.

Tony66_au
8
Rating
 

Tony66_au posted a review   

The Good:Cheap, simple, 15 X Zoom and it doesnt eat batteries

The Bad:Manual shooting is haphazard

The GE X5 was a Fathers Day prezzie and I was more than happy to receive it.

I basically loaded the SD card and Batteries and went shooting outside with reasonable results.

As a high spec happy snap it does the job quite well with most things out doors, Low light shooting on Night Portrait setting works well as does the panorama setting although it took a few attempts to get the hang of it.
The Video setting has sound and is of reasonable quality providing you dont zoom while shooting as the auto focus is slow.

Inside and flash shots are so so but I did expect this from a budget camera and at 100 ASA the colour will be a tad off although it is better than my Samsung happy snap.

The highlight for me was the battery life and the batteries supplied lasted me a week of shooting and as an added bonus they didnt drain when left in the camera as so many budget cameras do.

I have yet to explore all the features but as a replacement for a 5x zoom happy snap it more than meets the criteria and is a fairly reasonable unit in most aspects.

The down side is that it is pretty much a sunny day Camera if you want good quality high resolution prints from your endeavours but if you take some time to read the instructions and have a tripod or mono pod handy the low light stuff works quite nicely with good results.

It is also very utilitarian in appearance but im more into the functionality.

Bang for buck id say its pretty good and an excellent full featured happy snap camera without the usual annoying traits.

tabalu
10
Rating
 

tabalu posted a review   

perfect replacement to my canon slr 1000d

Angel
2
Rating
 

Angel posted a review   

takes too long to take a photo.the lens keeps falling off which is super annoying.




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User Reviews / Comments  GE Power Pro X5

  • mdi

    mdi

    Rating10

    "I can say that for the price.. this product can simply outperform the competition in the same price range. Well for casual users this camera's features and performance would be sufficient enough! ..."

  • Tony66_au

    Tony66_au

    Rating8

    "The GE X5 was a Fathers Day prezzie and I was more than happy to receive it.

    I basically loaded the SD card and Batteries and went shooting outside with reasonable results.

  • tabalu

    tabalu

    Rating10

    "perfect replacement to my canon slr 1000d"

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