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After using Canon 1000d for almost a year, I finally decided that I really do not need an SLR especially when I travel. The reason is that when I travel I end up wasting 1 hand carry luggage just for bringing the SLR gear in a bag. After a couple of contemplations, I decided to switch over to a bridge camera. The next problem is, what bridge camera to decide. There are tons of bridge cameras out there, with besting features such a telephoto zoom lenses etc. But what's striking is also their tag prices. A bridge camera like Fuji HS10 or Lumix LX3 would range mid Php25,000 - and that's already bordering a the entry level SLR.
And then I saw one the shelf of a store a nice looking thing called GE x5 Bridge Camera. Although unfamiliar brand, I do know GE makes durable refs so most probably they also build durable Bridge Cameras. Another striking feature is that the body looks like a small SLR. For those advanced users, it also has that Manual Mode which I do need when I travel. And the best part is its price, and almost half of it competitors and offers much more!
The package that I bought includes a strap, batteriers and a charger, 4Gig memory card and a Motorola Rokr Phone (not sure why they included it there).
Of course I have to test it immediately. Surprisingly its shutter speed (manual) ranges from 30 seconds to 1/2000 second - even better than Powershot G10 with the slowest shutter speed of 15 seconds. What does that mean? Well, you can just take fantastic night shots, which I will try to post later.
Below are sample of night shots taken from MOA
Overall, I would recommend this for hobbyist in photography, that does have a hard time carrying a couple of lenses and then carrying a bag. The GE X5 does well as a bridge camera that does act out basic SLR features.
Here are some down-sized photos highlighting the focusing capability of GE X5.