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GE E1410SW - digital camera review: GE E1410SW - digital camera

The lens offers a useful range going from a wide-angle 28mm, which is nice for group shots and landscapes, and goes out to 280mm, which is helpful for framing up portraits or getting closer to distant objects. The LCD is less impressive. It is big and gets fairly bright, but subjects looked overly cool and colors quickly invert when you're shooting anywhere above eye level.

Key specs GE E1410SW
Price (MSRP) $159.99
Dimensions (WHD) 3.9 inches by 2.2 inches by 0.7 inch
Weight (with battery and media) 5.2 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 14 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CMOS
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 3-inch LCD, 230K dots/None
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 10x, f3.2-5.6, 28-280mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (.MOV)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,320x3,240 pixels/1,920x1,080 at 30fps
Image stabilization type Optical and digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Li-ion rechargeable, 170 shots
Battery charged in camera Yes; via USB to AC adapter or computer
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Bundled software Arcsoft Photo Impression (Windows)

The camera's controls are large enough to press easily and its interface is simple enough to learn quickly. There are a few minor details that could be better, such as the video record and power buttons essentially being right next to each other and the same tiny size and shape, but no real deal breakers. Well, maybe one.

As mentioned earlier in regard to the camera's flash, every time you shut down the camera, it returns to its default settings. This extends into other settings, like ISO, white balance, AF mode, and exposure compensation. If you're the type to leave Auto and like to take some control away from the camera (which in the case of the E1410SW is how you'll get the best results), you may want to skip this camera. Even changing shooting modes wipes out your setting changes.

Another source of frustration might be the battery life. It's CIPA rated for 170 shots, which is low to begin with, but my battery never reached that mark and was exhausted at about 100. Using the lens a lot, shooting video, or using the burst-shooting features will drain the battery faster, but regardless, you'll probably want to pick up a secondary battery. The battery is charged in camera, too, so you'll need to plan ahead if you're going to be out shooting all day.

General shooting options GE E1410SW
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Fluorescent CWF, Incandescent, Manual
Recording modes Auto, Manual, Face Beauty, Scene, Panorama, Movie
Focus modes Center AF, 9-point multi AF, Face Detection AF, Object Tracking
Macro 1.9 inches (Wide)
Metering modes Multi, Center-weighted average, Spot
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Unlimited continuous

Shooting modes are geared for snapshooters, so you won't find a lot of fine controls for shutter speed or aperture, or anything else really. The Manual mode is simply the type of Program Auto mode that you'll find on just about any camera. In this mode, you can pick settings like metering, white balance, exposure compensation, and ISO, though the latter two are somewhat hidden; you have to hit the Set button to change them instead of going to the logical place under Menu. You can also choose different color settings in Manual: Normal, Vivid, Retro, Black and White, Negative, 70s Film, Pop Art, and Rock. (You can see examples of these in the sample picture slideshow.)

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The E1410SW has 25 scene modes, including an auto scene recognition mode. Sarah Tew/CNET

There are two automatic modes, one for just quick and easy snapshots and an auto scene recognition option that selects an appropriate scene mode for what you're shooting, such as close-ups, landscapes, or portraits. There are a total of 25 scene modes, though, should you want to select a specific one for what you're shooting or take a shot with a specific effect like a frame or fish-eye distortion.

The E1410SW also has a couple extras like HDR (high dynamic range), easy in-camera panorama creation, and a Face Beauty mode for softening skin. HDR can be applied in playback, too, should you want to quickly reveal shadow details. Face touch-ups can also be done after the fact, with skin softening, red-eye reduction, and eye-brightening and enlargement tools in playback.

Conclusion: Recommended with reservations
The GE E1410SW is a decent camera for the money. It's best suited for someone needing a simple automatic point-and-shoot with a long lens to stick in pocket or purse for casual snapshots in daylight to be used for small prints or Web sharing. I know, that's a lot of qualifiers, but that's the case for a lot of sub-$200 cameras. The benefits to getting this model are the lens, the size, and the extra shooting options including fast burst shooting, which, again, you won't find on many, if any, new cameras at this price.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10
Nikon Coolpix S8200
Canon PowerShot Elph 520 HS
GE E1410SW

Typical continuous-shooting speed (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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