GE Power Pro X500 Review

[rating:4.5/5]

I make it a point to let readers know that I am by no means a professional photographer (though with all these camera reviews I’m getting closer), but I do know what I like in a camera as a consumer.  One thing that I’ve always liked are “bridge cameras” – so called because they bridge the gap between simple point and shoot models, and more advanced SLR models.  Bridge cameras have a very small image sensor that allows their single lens to take on a multitude of functions (from macro to zoom), and while the GE Power Pro X500 might just be the most inexpensive bridge camera I’ve ever seen, its lens doesn’t skimp at all. If you’re looking for film for a camera, take a look at our RE-35 digital film cartridge promises to convert any old school camera to the digital age.

For starters, the Power Pro X500 sports a very impressive 16 megapixel sensor.  The normal range for entry level cameras of this type is a 10-14 MP sensor, so that right there gives it a leg up on the competition.  The camera’s zoom lens can also hit a nice 15x optical zoom – it also has an additional 6x digital zoom, but I’ve gone over my dislike for digital zooms enough in the past.  Most bridge cameras fall into the category of “super zoom” though, so that’s a fairly average zoom length.

In order to keep the cost down for the consumer (and while we’ll get to the price later, I’ll say that this camera is cheap) GE decided to forgo a rechargeable battery of any kind and make this camera run on four AA batteries.  This is a bit of a double edged sword however, as the four batteries add a lot of weight (but it does seem to balance out the weight of the lens nicely), and you can only get about 300 pictures with standard AA batteries (supposedly you can get up to 500 with NiMH AA batteries though).  While this won’t be an issue to the casual camera user, someone that takes a lot of pictures will find their operating costs to rise pretty quickly.

One thing that the Power Pro X500 has that most bridge cameras does not, is an optical view finder, for those times when you’re trying to take pictures on a bright day.  It’s a great addition, and honestly it’s almost needed when dealing with the LCD screen on the back.  It’s a 2.7 inch LCD, but it’s not the best quality at all – there were plenty of times I looked at a picture on the screen and thought I ruined a shot, only to see it look great on my PC monitor.  To be fair, for such a low cost camera, I’m sure some concessions had to be made; the batteries were one, and the screen quality is definitely another. The manual controls are very useful for taking full control of your camera settings. For example, the shutter speed ranges from 1/2,000 seconds to 30 seconds to help you obtain photos with decent image quality no matter the occasion (from portraits and sightseeing to fireworks). To get decent photo quality in various lighting situations, adjust the ISO accordingly until you hit just the right setting.

Along with a nice lens and a good image sensor, the Power Pro X500 is packed with some other nice features.  One is the “on the fly” HRD (High Dynamic Range) adjustment.  After you take a picture, you can go into the the menu and hit the HDR adjust option, and it will adjust the colors, making it brighter and more vivid.  Another nice little feature is the face and smile detection mode, where the camera won’t take a picture until it sees a smile.  It might be kinda cheesy, but it’s fun with the family.  The X500 can also take movies, but like most cameras that take movies, you won’t be using that feature all that much.  While it’s not that the movies look bad (although for HD movies, they don’t look very HD), there are better things you could be using this camera for.

The last feature I want to hit on is the “Panorama Mode”, which was one of my favorite things to mess with.  Basically you turn the mode on, and take a picture at the farthest left edge of what you cant to capture.  After that first picture is taken, you keep moving slightly to the right while lining up cross hairs and snapping pictures as you do.  The camera’s on-board software then splices the individual pictures together making one seamless photo.  Be careful not to get any “moving” areas with this though – the one I did had a ghost car because I wasn’t paying attention, but it looked cool none the less.

At the end of the day, the GE Power Pro X500 is a solid camera that packs amazing performance for the price.  It’s obviously not going to compete with $1000 SLR cameras, but that’s not what it’s meant to do.  While it does have a few failings, for the money it really can’t be beat.  As I said earlier though, you do need to figure the cost of batteries in to the mix, but if you’re not taking hundreds of pictures a day it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

I give the GE Power Pro X500 a final score of four and a half stars out of five.

Pros:

  • 6 MP for the low price is an extremely good deal
  • The lens works great for zooms, wide angles, and even macro images
  • The panorama mode works really great (as long as you do it right)

Cons:

  • Uses four AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery
  • The clarity of the LCD screen leaves a lot to be desired
  • I’m sure this is just a draw-back of using AA batteries, but there’s no hot shoe.

You can get your own GE Power Pro X500 from Amazon for $128.00

// <![CDATA[
cobrand_id = ‘1328’;
product_id = ‘880610496’;
cb_limit = 999;
sml = 1;
open_link_type2 = 1;
show_link_price2 = 1;
cb_width = ‘620’;
head_title_type = ‘1’;
shop_btn_type = 1;
show_picture = ‘1’;
document.write(”);
// ]]>

Also why not check out:

Related Articles

18 Comments

  1. If you don’t have a user manual and allot of batterys you are screwed, way too many options , very hard to figure out and goes through batterys like crazy. never buy another, have to be a computer genues to figure it out.

  2. The extra megapixels do not “give it a leg up on the competition”. The more pixels you cram into such a small sensor, the more noise you get in the image.

    I wish reviewers would at least do a little research before barking out this annoying misconception that more megapixels = better camera. They do IF you have a larger sensor.

  3. Obviously an exact copy of the ever so popular Fuji Finepix S. Spend a few $$ more for the Fuji. You won’t be disappointed.

  4. I just got this camera and I love it, but each time I download my pics to my computer it saves an additional copy of each, which takes up twice as much space on the memory card and I have to go through and delete every other file. Is there a way to eliminate this duplication process?

  5. Question: Everytime I download pictures I get an additional copy of each frame with a .thm  at the end. It looks like a blank page. how do I eliminate this duplication.

  6. I am simply amazed at all the features of this camera. For $155 I got
    the camera, 8GB SDHC Memory Card(SanDisk is the recommended brand)and a
    small Zeikos Case which is waterproof/shock resistant. This is the
    perfect size for travel.

    Background on why I selected this camera:

    I am going to be living abroad for a few months on an internship
    and I wanted a compact camera with powerful Optical Zoom and
    Megapixles. I read reviews and countless buying guides. I originally
    bought the Vivtar T328 but as soon as I got it the touch screen stopped
    working so I returned it.

    Just by chance I came upon this GE X500 model. It is built on a
    Fuji S series camera(it really looks and feels like a Fuji) for a
    fraction of the cost. Don't let the GE/General Imaging brand name fool
    you. The founders of General Imagining retired from Minolta(which is
    now Sony) and Fuji. This goes to show you that they mean business for
    this price point.

    Professional Features:

    I like to be able to take photos in automatic modes for when I
    don't have time to plan my photo shoot. But when I have a day to film
    the big airplanes landing at San Francisco International Airport then I
    like to be able to set the manual modes.

    This camera allows me to set aperture and Shutter Priority as well
    as manual White Balance. I also like being able to set the ISO
    Settings.

    Furthermore I love the 27mm wide angle zoom with 15x Optical Zoom.
    Having only 5x of Digital Zoom says a lot of how professional this
    camera is. The more optical zoom you can get the better. I tried taking
    photos and let me tell you they turn out to be so professional just
    like the expensive Canons.

    I also like the different scene modes, portrait, panorama, Optical
    Image Stabilization and both an electronic viewfinder and an LCD screen
    with automatic brightness control. I like that you can see the menu
    functions in the Electronic View Finder.

    The ArcSoft looks like a good software and I will test that out. I
    recommend that you try it out before going on to the more advanced
    Adobe Photoshop. Be creative.

    In addition I like that I can record movies while I don't need an
    HD recorder as I have a camcorder its a nice way to record short films
    of the photos I took. This does not replace your separate camcorder.
    For avid videographers stick to a movie camera. A lot of the time
    people want high quality video from an all in one camera. As long as I
    can use the optical zoom for shooting video that is enough.

    I also like that the camera comes with a decent strap/lens cap. I
    highly recommend that you buy an 8GB SDHC San Disk Class 4+ Memory
    Card, Zeikos small carrying case as well as 4 AA rechargeable batters
    with a charger.

    I would much rather have AA Batteries over a rechargeable Lion battery as after that goes you have to spend $50+ for a new one.

    Setup:

    Setup was easy. I first turned on the camera and set the date and
    time. Having the World Time feature with a home and travel setting was
    another important feature that I want.

    After setting up the date please don't forget to format the SD Card
    and do this everytime you download the photos to your computer or get a
    new SD Card as it will optimize the saving to the card.

    If you need more space on the card lower the resolution to 10 Megapixles.

    Overall I cannot believe the quality and the price of this camera.
    When I saw the Fuji S camera today and tested it out I was amazed at
    how the GE Camera is so similar for the fraction of the cost. The Fuji
    Camera was $270 vs $155 for everything.

    Who is this camera good for:

    This Bridge Camera is good for those who don't want the extra
    weight of the DSLR and its interchangeable lenses. With airlines
    charging a lot for extra baggage this camera can be the 2nd included
    carry on item as you are allowed one backpack and one personal item.

    If you want the professional features of a DSLR with the ease of a Point and Shoot Camera this is your best choice.

    For a novice who wants the manual functions this camera is good for
    you too. Don't spend the $100 now for a basic point and shoot buy this
    bridge camera and you will be happy for years to come. Its light and
    durable. 

    P.S. If you will buy this Digital Camera I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

  7. I agree with the review. I am using Rayovac rechargable batteries with a USB charger. You can get it at Walmart for around $6.00 and it comes with 2 batteries. Xtra batteries are not that expensive either. I used them in my point and shoot and now in the X500. They just keep going and have saved me a lot of money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close