General Electric is not known for its photographic equipment they have actually been producing some decent inexpensive options. No, these cameras aren’t as compact as your smartphone, and they aren’t as powerful as the offerings from Sony, Canon, or Nikon, but the GE cameras do get the job. Their most recent entry is the GE X450 camera. Let’s take a look.
This is the third camera from GE that we have reviewed. The first thing you will notice about this Eye-Fi compatible camera is the way in which it attempts to look like a pricey DSLR. It has a solid body, a substantial grip, and the overall shape we have come to expect from digital cameras. Its built-in flash works well enough, and the button and dial layout is reminiscent of the ones on my Sony NEX-6. This is, of course, not a DSLR, but it is also under $150. GE describes the X450 this way:
The new X450 is packed full of features and a long zoom lens that makes taking quality photos a cinch. A wide-angle lens captures more in every frame and the convenient Eye-Fi compatibility feature allows you to connect and upload your favorite shots right as they’re captured. What could be easier?
In the box you’ll find:
- 4xAA Alkaline Battery
- USB Cable
- Shoulder Strap
- Lens Cover
- User Manual
- Quick Start Guide
- Warranty Card
In order to give this a proper look, we need to divide this review into three parts – the camera design, a picture, and the advantages it (potentially) offers over a far more expensive DSLR or Mirrorless camera like the Sony NEX line.
The GE X450’s Design:
The camera has all the visual cues of a DSLR. As previously mentioned the grip is substantial. A dial at the top lets you change modes with ease. The button layout on the back will be immediately familiar. The LCD screen looks like it means business. The 24mm lens has a 25X zoom that will let you get closer to your subject, and the camera shoots HD video at 720p and takes 16MP stills. Specialized features such as object tracking and optical image stabilization add even more value. The company also makes a big deal out of the fact that the GE X450 has “convenient Eye-Fi compatibility”. Its worth noting however that the camera does not ship with one of these cards.
In all the design and feature set are impressive for a camera with an MSRP of just $149.99. Unfortunately, when you actually pick up the camera the reality creeps back in. It feels light, a bit on the cheap side, and the buttons and dials feel “soft”. It’s not that this GE camera is bad, but while the features belie the price — the feel of the camera doesn’t.
With regard to picture quality, I think I’ll simply let you be judge. Here are pictures of the same fruit bowl taken first with the GE camera …
And here are two sets of three taken first with the GE camera …
Finally lets talk about the advantages offered by the GE Eye-Fi Compatible X450.
The first advantage is simply the price. For far less than you will pay for other cameras, you can have something that looks substantial and takes decent pictures and video. That’s great if you are on a budget, but it is also great if you are looking to purchase a camera for a child who is interested in photography. At this price, you can purchase the camera and not fret too terribly much if it is lost or damaged. You certainly won’t be as upset as you would were it your iPhone 5S or $500-$700 camera being damaged or lost.
The next advantage is the use of AAA batteries rather than rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. I love using rechargeable batteries for both the convenience and the environmental benefits, but there is a great deal to be said about being able to simply pop in another set of batteries in when yours run out. The number of times I have run out of juice with my Sony RX100 and had to wait for one of my batteries to recharge are too numerous to count. With this camera, I would simply have to pop in the new batteries, and then I could be up and going again in a matter of seconds.
The third advantage is … actually, other than the fact that it takes decent pictures and it costs under $150, those are the only two advantages I could come up with. I could say that the GE X450 is simple to use, but the other cameras I have mentioned in this review have simple functionality when you want it as well. The iPhone and the Sony also have the advantage of far more complex setups and use scenarios (on the iPhone you can download any number of camera applications that allow for a great deal of tweaking).
So there you have it -– the GE X450 is a simple and inexpensive camera that is good for things it is good for, and it is under $150. If you keep that in mind when you go to make your purchase, you’ll be quite satisfied. If you are expecting much more, then you’re going to be disappointed because that’s not what this is all about.
What I Like: Surprisingly good pictures and decent video; Under $150; Takes standard batteries; Eye-Fi Compatible
What Needs Improvement: Actual feel of the camera is just okay
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the GE X450 that was returned