The X1 makes it clear that Konica is well aware of our penchant to gravitate toward, hold, and purchase shiny objects. However, unless you care little about performance and getting the highest-quality images possible for your dollar, there are better options available.
The X1 looks great on paper: It’s the first compact camera with folded optics to sport an 8-megapixel CCD and anti-shake technology. The anti-shake mode kicks in automatically when hand movement is detected, adjusting the lens accordingly. It’s effective; we’d rather have it than not. It’s particularly useful in low light and when shooting video—a slick indicator light comes on to let you know when anti-shake is on.
The smooth, metallic body is comfortable to hold, and the buttons are well-placed for easy use. We especially like that you can customize the functions of the four-way controller on the back of the camera.
Unfortunately, while the body finish looks nice, it’s impractical. It’s prone to fingerprints, and is highly reflective—so much so that shots can be difficult to compose outdoors in direct sunlight (there’s no optical viewfinder, so you must use the LCD). To make matters worse, the LCD display is very grainy, which makes it hard to tell if your snaps are correctly exposed in the field.
All of this might be forgivable if the X1’s image quality was tip-top, but it’s average at best. Noise was more prevalent overall than with other competitive cameras we’ve tested—and its fastest ISO speed is a lowly 200. Outdoor shots tended to be well-exposed with good color saturation, but just not as sharp or vibrant as other compacts we’ve tested lately, such as Canon’s SD500.
Also, the X1’s a pretty sluggish performer: Lag time between shots at the highest resolution was a bit more than three seconds, which is below average. Video quality was also average and capped at 20fps—30fps is becoming the norm these days.
Indeed, once you get past the X1’s looks, there’s not much to warrant a recommendation, given the performance of its competitors.