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Small fish, large pond?
Take a company with absolutely zero pedigree in film cameras or accessories, watch them create a midrange product that's certain to go toe-to-toe with photographic giants like Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus and the like yet still hold its own and then listen to them claim to have kept the price keen without cutting any corners and let's be honest, it all sounds about as likely as me landing a date with Claudia Schiffer...again.

Acer, I'm sure you know the name from their laptop range, tell me they've created a digital camera with a very respectable 6.3Megapixel CCD sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens that retails for under 200 (and sells online for a mere 150), has a stylish 18mm deep stainless steel body, a large, bright 230x400 LTPS (Low Temperature Polysilicon Thin Film Transistor) LCD screen and...wait for it...takes great photographs too! Oh how we laughed when we heard of this, indeed it gifted us many joyous evenings as we spoke sarcastically of flying pigs and pots of gold that reside at the end of rainbows. What I was expecting was a mobile phone camera...but without the phone.

When the CU-6530 arrived here my first reaction was to admire Acer's marketing trickery. They'd only emblazoned the box with loads of images of a real camera, you know, one of those modern, slim, stylish looking things with a retractable lens, two-tone brushed steel and chrome body and its own charging/image transfer dock. "Crafty sods, how can they get away with that kind of stunt?". Easy really, they did it by putting the same camera inside the box as appears on the outside of it. I wasn't expecting that!

Pixel resolution Total 6.36 MP (2934 x 2171)
Effective 6.16 MP (2864 x 2152)
Image sensor 1/2.5" CCD
Lens Optical zoom 3X
Digital zoom 4.4X
Aperture range F2.8 (W) / F4.8 (T)
Shutter speed Auto 1/2 - 1/1000 sec
Manual NA
Sensitivity Auto, ISO 50/100/200
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Manual
Shooting modes Auto, Portrait, Night, Night Portrait, Macro, Candlelight, Fireworks, Sports, Landscape, Natural Green, Sunrise, Sunset, Black & White, Sepia, Splash Water, Flowing Water, Pets
LCD screen 2.5" LTPS TFT LCD (230,400 pixels)
Dimensions & weight 90 x 54 x 18 mm; 125 g without battery