BenQ AE100 Compact Camera Review

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Benq is usually associated with digital projectors, monitors and computer peripherals like keyboards and mice. However, the company has an extensive line of cameras to its name, and it’s recently launched the AE100. This camera boasts of features aimed at the younger generation as well as the budget-conscious consumer. It features a 14 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom, and 720p video recording. Read on to know if this entry-level camera is worth your money.

5x optical zoom

5x optical zoom


Design and Build Quality
The Benq AE100 is a stylish looking camera with a fairly slim profile. There are two colour options available - reddish pink and silver. We received the former in our lab. The front of the camera has a textured feel to it, which Benq describes as a diamond style. This texture lends a fair amount of class and also reduces fingerprints during usage. The branding is featured on the front left of the camera, next to the LED flash, an auto focus assist, and the lens.

The rest of the body has a matte finish, which also helps in preventing fingerprints. The buttons are located to the right of the 2.7-inch screen. These buttons are for the menu, a four-way navigational pad with the select button in the centre, and a function button. There is also a toggle switch for shifting between image capture, video recording and playback. All the buttons on the camera are finished in silver and like the rest of the camera, they are made of plastic. The on/off button is located at the top of the camera along with the shutter release button. Like many cameras nowadays, the zoom rocker is featured next to the shutter release. There is a proprietary USB port located to the side of the camera that is used for charging and transferring data. The battery bay is located on the underside of the camera and it houses the memory card as well.

Thin and extremely lightweight

Thin and extremely lightweight


This is a fancy looking camera and the reddish pink colour would appeal to women. The camera is really slim as well, allowing it to easily fit in a pocket, and small enough to slip into a purse. The build quality feels a bit flimsy and plasticy, but it looks like it could withstand a couple of accidental drops from a low height. 

The Benq A100 has a quite a few features for an entry-level point-and-shoot, the chief feature being the wide aperture of f/2.4. Thanks to this, more light can enter the lens, making it possible to click better images in low light conditions. The other headlining feature is the 14.0 megapixel CCD sensor from Panasonic. The camera features 5x optical zoom along with an image stabilizer, ensuring that there is next to no blur while capturing images. ISO sensitivity on this camera ranges from 100 to 6400, giving users a fair amount to tweak in manual mode.

The buttons are well spaced

The buttons are well spaced


An interesting feature of this camera is the ability to record 720p videos, which is usually found on cameras that are priced higher. With this inclusion, even a budget-conscious consumer to enjoy HD video recording capabilities. The interface is fairly simple to navigate through; all controls can be accessed through the menu button and further settings can be changed by using the function or the set key. Someone who is completely new to digital cameras can get used to it with a little practice, making it the ideal entry-level buy. This camera is also loaded with a ton of shooting modes, allowing one to be entertained for a considerable amount of time by merely playing with the different settings, such as fish-eye, beauty enhancer, self portrait, love portrait, etc.

Overall, the features of this camera are pretty good and it would be the ideal camera for nights out, parties, etc.

The BenQ AE100 was tested in a controlled environment indoors, as well as outdoors.

ISO sensitivity test

ISO sensitivity test


ISO Sensitivity
The lowest ISO setting on this camera is 100 and at this setting, there is no image noise and the colours appear natural. However, from ISO 200 onwards there is a change in the colour. From ISO 800 onwards, the image starts appearing grainy and there is some saturation noticed. ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 had a lot of noise and even in the controlled environment, there was a lot of grain visible.

Aperture priority test

Aperture priority test


Aperture Priority
The main feature of this camera is its wide aperture priority, which is F/ 2.4. At this setting, there was a fair amount of depth of field. At aperture set to F6.0, the image appeared crisp and there was hardly any depth of field noticed.

Zoom test

Zoom test


Zoom Test
The zoom capability of this camera is pretty good. In our zoom test, with the zoom set to maximum (5x), the image stabilizer worked well and there was no blur noticed.

Indoor images showed a fair amount of detail

Indoor images showed a fair amount of detail




Performance Continued

While capturing images outdoors, when in a well-lit area, we noticed some anomalies across the screen. However, images captured well and these anomalies were not visible. The camera takes time adjusting to the light, making it difficult sometimes to capture images quickly from a dark area to a bright one. While capturing indoor pictures, there was no grain noticeable and the camera performed quite well. While recording videos at 720p, the video recorded well and the playback was smooth. For a 31 second video, the size is approximately 30.3 MB, which is fairly decent for a clip of this length. The flash is pretty powerful and lights up an area of around 12 feet. Benq has bundled a 700mAh battery with this camera and the company rates it at approximately 200 shots on a full charge.

Diamond style textured finish

Diamond style textured finish


The Benq AE100 is available in India at a market price of Rs 4,699. This is a decent camera and can be the perfect companion during get-togethers and parties. The camera is extremely lightweight, so carrying it around is not a task at all. However, the performance is not as great as some of the other cameras available in the market that cost a thousand rupees or so more. But for this price, this is a good camera encased in a stylish design.


BenQ’s AE100 makes great nighttime shots easy. Wherever you go—brightly lit or dimly illuminated—a gorgeously vivid photo is just a press of the AE100’s shutter button away. The 14-megapixel AE100 features a large-aperture wide-angle lens with 5x optical zoom—higher-end specifications seldom seen in a compact camera. The F2.4-aperture lens helps reduce the effects of camera shake under low-light conditions, and that means you can more reliably get great photos indoors and in other dimly lit locations. The panorama feature was designed to capture the entire skyline in one single shot by stitching 2 to 3 images into one single and seamless large picture. The AE100 guides you frame by frame into creating the panoramic view you want. Take shots from as close as five centimeters away, for incredible detail and an intimate feel with subjects like a dew-speckled blossom or an intricately textured tapestry. The AE100 gives you some delightful special effects that take the fun of photography to a whole new level. Besides pure fun, the LOMO, FISHEYE, and COLOR ACCENT also let you give your shots a unique personal touch. ecoFACTS can tell you how eco-friendly BenQ products are! Development of eco-friendly products, BenQ doesn\'t just want to comply with green regulations passively, but also to actively develop eco-friendly products! ecoFACTS declares BenQ\'s greatest efforts on the replacement of hazardous substances, material selection, packaging design, energy-saving design and other aspects of the products.


Type of Card SD, SDHC, SDXC


Type of Camera Compact
Effective Resolution 14MP
Sensor Type CCD
Digital Zoom 5x


Optical Zoom 5x
Focal length f/2.4-6.1


LCD Size 2.7
Resolution 230K
Aspect Ratio 16:9

Shooting Specs

ISO Sensitivity Range Auto / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 (3M or lower) / 6400 (3M or lower)
White Balance Auto / Daylight / Cloudy / Tungsten / Fluorescent H / Fluorescent L / Manual
Shutter Speed 1-1/2000 (Fireworks 2 sec.; Night Scene 1/2000 - 15 sec.)


Maximum Resolution 1280 x 720
Maximum Frame rate 30fps


Storage SD, SDHC
File formats supported JPEG


USB Cable Yes


Type of Battery Li-Ion
Numbers of Shots 200
Number of Batteries 1


Dimensions (W x D x H) 98.1 x 18.5 x 57.9 mm
Weight 110 grams

Camera Features

Sensor Resolution 14
Digital Zoom 5x

More Features

Other Features Nighttime photos made easy|#|Panorama|#|5cm super macro|#|Discover your inner artist|#|Web Auction|#|Self/ Love Portrait|#|Speedy Burst|#|HDR|#|Advanced Smart Scene|#|ecoFACTS Label

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1


Warranty Period 1

Published Date: Oct 28, 2011 02:45 pm | Updated Date: Oct 28, 2011 02:45 pm