We are always somewhat dubious about digital cameras coming from traditionally non-specialist camera manufacturers. I suppose it's a bit like buying dog food from the butcher's shop. Instinctively something doesn't feel right about it. Needless to say we were therefore slightly dubious about the G-Shot P433 from Genius, a company that up until now has made its name as a manufacturer of mice and keyboards rather than digital cameras.
So it was with pleasant surprise that in tests the P433 proved its self admirably. The sub £200 4 mega pixel camera's shots were clean and impressive with little cause for concern on colour or bright bold colours bleeding into one another. The test shots (see sample images) show that in a number of situations the results are good in both daylight and night time settings.
The 3x optical zoom and the 4x digital zoom offered the standard zoom lengths you would expect on a compact camera such as this one, and was enough to get you into the action without having to move closer. We were however disappointed with the measly 1.6-inch LCD screen on the rear of the camera means that by the time you have all the picture settings displayed, there isn't much room left to see a proper preview shot anyway. Additionally the casing does have a rather cheap feel to it.
Like so many cameras today the Genius P433 has opted for an in-built memory allocation of 11Mb although it does support a SD Card if you wish to expand on your memory further- something we would suggest as you can only fit nine shots on the internal memory. Two AA batteries power the P433 and the amount of zooming and the back LCD will determine how many pictures you get out of it. Across the week of testing we managed one set and took about 30 pictures in that time. Connection to a PC is via USB1.1 rather than the faster USB2.0, presumably to keep costs down.
This is a starter camera that offers a cheap entry into the digital arena. The high 4 mega pixel pictures are crisp and clean, it's just the styling and extras that have suffered. If you are after a camera that you want to been seen out an about with, this isn't the model for you. If however you want good pictures without necessarily looking good while taking them this is certainly a good starting point.