The super macro mode can focus as close as 0.4 inch, the Normal focus mode can only lock beyond 31.5 inches, while a Total mode focuses as close as 4 inches; theoretically, by limiting the range of focus distances in Normal mode the camera can lock focus faster. Nonetheless, the E1 generally focuses pretty slowly--even more so in low light. Plus, with underwater reflections it takes even longer. The manual focus locks at stepped intervals, which means you eventually end up focusing with your feet. These focus issues, combined with the iffy shutter button, results in perceptible lag when photographing.
On top of performance issues, the E1 gets mixed marks for video and still quality as well. On one hand, it can take some very nice photos. But more often, the photos suffer from the camera shake caused by frantic presses, followed by jabs, at the unresponsive shutter button. The photos tend to have a little more image noise than I like at sensitivity values above ISO 50, but that's typical for its class. And as usual, I don't recommend setting it above ISO 200 and can't imagine shooting at ISO 1,600, much less ISO 7,200. Video shot in outdoor light looks pretty typical--OK for YouTube or mobile device playback, but not recommended for editing and reencoding. Video shot in low light looks especially muddy and noisy. And the E1 could use a wind filter.
If you want a waterproof camera with the longer zoom, then the Sanyo Xacti VPC-E1, for better or worse, floats to the top of the pile. But you can get the same underwater performance and a better shooting experience--for less--from the Olympus Stylus 770SW.
- Similar model: $
- Set Price Alert