Concord Eye-Q 4060AF Review
Among the first to put a 4-megapixel imager in an entry-level camera at the $200 price point, Concord has packed a lot of resolution into its Eye-Q 4060 AF. It is a basic point-n-shoot, but includes 6 scene modes to help beginners obtain good exposures in a variety of shooting conditions. It offers only automatic exposure, but allows the user to adjust EV (+/-1.8) and white balance. While the 4060 AF seems to offer a great value with its high-resolution, there's more to image quality than the number of megapixels produced by the imager.
The fixed focal length lens produced below-average results in our testing; not a single one of our test shots could be considered sharp. The quality one would expect from a 4-megapixel imager was not realized because of the marginal lens quality. On the other hand, the 4-megapixel imager helps overcome the absence of an optical zoom lens by providing enough image content to allow cropping in a photo editor.
The Concord 4060 AF's shooting performance is average for a camera in this class. From power-on to the capture of your first image takes under 11 seconds. We also observed this long startup time as the 4060 AF woke up from it's power-saving Auto Off mode. Both of these timings were obtained using a 256MB SD memory card. Shutter delay, the elapsed time between releasing the shutter and capturing the image, measured 1/2 second when pre-focused, and 8/10 second including autofocus time. Shot-to-shot took just under 5 seconds, and continuous shooting mode captured 7 images in 2.6 seconds. These times are based on 2272 x 1704 images without the flash on. The 4060 AF is not responsive enough for you to capture images of your children's sports activities or other moving subjects; you'll obtain its best results by shooting family events and travel photos.
Outdoors, the Concord 4060 AF produced unacceptable results; exposures were inconsistent, poorly balanced with a green cast, and frequently overexposed. The 48mm (35mm-equivalent) lens is a good compromise for a fixed focal length lens, offering enough field of view for many scenic shots. Although the LCD viewfinder has no anti-reflective coating, its brightness can be adjusted and we found it to be usable in most outdoor shooting situations. The 4060 AF is also equipped with an optical viewfinder that you will find preferable to use on the brightest of days.
Because of the limited flash range and the limited field of view of the 48mm lens, you'll realize the best indoor results when shooting portraits of individuals and small groups; even large groups are beyond the 4060 AF's capability. You'll be able to include yourself in group portraits because the Concord 4060 AF is equipped with both a tripod socket and self-timer. You'll have some difficulty obtaining good results in low ambient light; the 4060 AF is not equipped with a focus-assist lamp and you'll sometimes be notified of its failure to autofocus. In addition, the 4060 AF had a tendency to use low shutter speeds even when using the flash, as if it set the exposure based on ambient light; we noticed blur caused by camera shake on many of our test shots using flash. Macro shots were poorly focused, so the 4060 AF is not an acceptable camera for online auction product shots. We also found the LCD viewfinder difficult to use in low ambient light, so you'll be happy that the 4060 AF is equipped with an optical viewfinder.
The 4060 AF's battery life was acceptable during our tests. Using a pair of AA NiMH 2200 mAh rechargeable batteries, we were able to capture over 100 images with the LCD on before a low battery warning occurred. We always recommend using NiMH batteries when possible, and you should have several charged pairs on hand.
At an MSRP of $249.99, Concord is offering a questionable value in the Eye-Q 4060 AF. The high-resolution 4-megapixel imager can not overcome this camera's poor focus, outdoor overexposure, and poor color balance. If you're in the market for an entry-level camera under $250, your needs would be better served by a camera with lower resolution, but a better balance of image quality and features. Consider the recently-reviewed Canon A60, or the Sony Cyber-shot P32.
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