Casio QV-2900 Review

By Movable Type Admin


Steve's Digicams


Casio

QV-2900UX





Steve's Conclusion

The QV-2900UX is a QV-2300 with a much bigger zoom, an 8x versus a 3x to be zoom exact. Other than that I can't find much difference between them other than the color of the body. The longer focal length lens is sure to thrill the bird watchers or sports goers out there.

It looks as if Casio is revisiting their roots. Used to be all of their digicams had swiveling lenses, an LCD display and no optical viewfinder. These types of cameras are what a lot of people think about when they picture a digital camera but to be truly useful these cameras must have an optical finder too. There's just too many times when you're outdoors in the bright sunlight and you just can't see a color LCD very well. Indoors however they are a lot of fun.

Powering a large color LCD, the autofocus and power zoom mechanism is a job for high capacity NiMH rechageable batteries, alkalines do not last long at all. Casio should have really completed this camera bundle by tossing in a set of rechargeables and a charger. I highly recommend the Maha C-204F charger and 2 or 3 sets of Maha or Nexcell AA-size rechargeables.

Now that we have the negative points out of the way let's check out the QV-2900's features. Many users have come to love the independant swiveling lenses used on the Casio and Nikon cameras. They may be a little awkward at first but they do give you the ability to capture shots that could otherwise be difficult or impossible with conventional cameras. You can hold the camera high over your head with the LCD turned down towards you or you can put the camera on the floor and see the world the way your dog or cat does. And of course there's the always popular self-portrait taken with the lens turned all the way around while viewing yourself on the LCD.

The QV-2900 captures 2-megapixel images that are capable of being printed in sizes up to 8x10 inches. For those difficult lighting situations you can choose between multi-pattern, center-weighted or spot metering to get the exposure "just right." If you like control this camera has got it - Shutter speed priority with speeds from 1/1000 of a second all the way out to 60 seconds, a special night mode, aperture priority and full manual as well as automatic exposure modes. The 8x zoom lens can bring your subject closer without you having to move and to get really close just switch on the macro mode to focus on small things as close as 1cm away from the camera.

Besides capturing high-res still images the QV-2900 also records up to 16 seconds of motion JPEG and stores it as AVI movies. With the "past record" feature you can even capture the action that happened before you decided to record the action. Actually it's the action that happened previously after you stopped recording the last movie clip. It's hard to explain but it works. There are 28 pre-programmed "scene" modes for setting the camera's exposure system as optimally as possible for common photo- taking situations. You'll find another 36 scenes on the CD that can be copied to a folder on the CF card (or Microdrive) if you need them.

One of the really unique things that the Casio cameras do is to store your images on the CompactFlash card or Microdrive using HTML code. What this means is that you can use your favorite Java-enabled web browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer or whatever) and view your pictures and movies as if they were a photo album. There are four different types of HTML album coding available to suit most anybody's needs. For an example of what I am talking about click here to see one from the QV-2000 we made a while back. Be patient as it loads all the thumbnails, it might take some time.

There's lots more to be discovered in this camera's feature set, hopefully the rest of the review will serve to do that. All in all this is a very capable digicam with a really powerful zoom lens. The menu system is highly graphical but takes a while to get used to, it's quite different from most other digicams. If you need more storage space just remember that this little camera is fully Microdrive compatible, you can use the 170MB to 1GB size Microdrives to store LOTS and LOTS of pictures!






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