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BenQ DC E1000: Hands-on with the manly metal compact

Despite some baffling descriptions on its Web site, BenQ's DC E1000 is a decent-looking compact, with a girthy screen, manual options and a 10-megapixel resolution

We didn't think BenQ could top the hilarity of the press release announcing the 10-megapixel BenQ DC E1000 compact camera, but its Web site has excelled itself. Now we've got hold of it, it's not a bad camera, either.

"Metal is the primary element symbolized the manhood." You what?! "When talking about metal, hard, cold and rigid say it all."

Okaayyyy. Yes, the E1000 has a solid all-metal body. It is hard, and in today's London weather yes, it's cold, and it is also rigid -- the build quality is excellent. It's slim and stylish in black and brushed gunmetal grey, with a ruby red ring around the 3x zoom lens.

Cheap laughs at poor translation aside, the E1000 is a respectably-specced compact. There's a giant 76mm (3-inch) 230,000-pixel LCD screen, 24 scene modes, exposure bracketing and face detection. Even better, you get more manual control than usual, via aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual modes. You can also capture video up to a maximum resolution of 848x480 pixels in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, at 30 frames per second.

Another ace in the hole is a unique feature that allows you to capture 12 photos in one second. We're looking forward to trying that the next time the Crave team get their wallets out -- blink and you miss it. We'll be testing all these features in our forthcoming full review.

The BenQ DC E1000 will be available next month for around £140. Something to remember if you want to symbolise your manhood, er, with a camera.

Update: A full review of the camera is now available. -Rich Trenholm