Casio QV-3500 Review
Playback Modes & Screens
Flipping the mode dial to Play will display the last image captured full screen as
shown above. Pressing the SET/DISP button will cycle between this display and the
two following frames with different exposure information shown.
Here you can see the drive mode (single or continuous), the exposure mode (P, A, S, M),
the metering mode (multi, center or spot), the white balance, the flash mode, the
aperture value and shutter speed.
The final play info screen shows a histogram which displays the dynamic range of
the captured image as indicated by the black to white bar underneath. If you press
the DISP button again all of the overlay info is removed, this is useful when doing
a slideshow on a TV screen.
If you push the zoom control lever to the wideangle position during playback it
toggles the thumbnail index mode. Nine small images are displayed per screen and
you can move the arrow to the desired image to quickly display it fullscreen.
If you push the zoom control lever to the telephoto position it enlarges the image 2x or
push it again to enlarge 4x, then you can scroll around the magnified image to check for
critical focus, composition or color.
The QuickTime movies can also be displayed in the camera. Once you start playback the
movie is shown full screen as shown in the next frame.
While the movie is playing you can start/stop it or you can pause it and move forward
or backward one frame at a time using the 4-way selector switch.
While displaying a 2048 x 1536 size still image you can press the focus button and
resize it down to the smaller 1024 x 768 size.
From the Play menu you can enter the SETUP sub menu (shown on the previous page),
Delete one or all images, set DPOF print information, Protect one or all images
or start a Slideshow.
The DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) option lets you select images to be printed
by DPOF-compliant printers with card slots or many locations now have digital printing
kiosks where you can have prints made from your memory card.
Steve's ConclusionCasio has further enhanced their 3-megapixel QV-3000EX and added a number of new features to make it even easier to operate for the novice or experienced user. The most powerful of these features on the new QV-3500EX is the Best-Shot mode which aids the user in taking the best possible pictures in a number or real-world shooting situations. Just press the Best-Shot button and you can select the template that's "just right" for your needs. Want to shoot someone's portrait? No problem, select the appropriate portrait scene and the camera sets the optimal parameters automatically and displays an outline guide on the LCD which you overlay on your subject. The camera comes out of the box with 28 Best-Shot scenes built into it and you can load another 36 scenes from the included software CD to your flash card.
For the more experienced users the QV-3500EX offers the same exposure modes found in the most expensive 35mm film cameras. Program AE makes it simple to let the camera choose the best combination of shutter speed and aperture automatically. Or switch the camera into Shutter-speed mode to capture fast action or shoot time exposures up to 50 seconds in duration. Aperture priority is used when you want to control the depth of field (range of focus) for soft portraits or scenic shots with everything in sharp focus. Need even more control then use the full Manual mode and set both the shutter speed and aperture values independantly. To make sure that you get that perfect picture no matter what the lighting conditions are you can also select the metering mode. Multi metering is good for most shots but the Center-weighted averaging or Spot options may be necessary to get the desired exposure results.
As with all advanced digital cameras the QV-3500EX features variable ISO sensitivity of 100, 180, 300 or 500. And no camera is any better than its lens so Casio has used a fast Canon F2 3x optical zoom that can also be found on many of the other top 3-megapixels cameras today. You have a choice of capturing your images in either 2048x1536 or 1024x768 sizes with one of three levels of quality when using the compressed JPEG mode or for the ultimate image for making large prints or further editing you can save them as uncompressed TIFF. Large images require a lot of storage space and the QV-3500EX is fully Microdrive compatible. The QV-3500EX Plus comes bundled with a 340MB Microdrive and the 512MB or 1GB Microdrives can be used when even more storage space is required. And of course any size CompactFlash Type I or II solid state card can also be used.
One of the unique features of the Casio cameras is their ability to create HTML-based photo albums right in the camera. The user can choose from one of four different page styles. What this means simply is that instead of having to use an often complex graphic program to view your photos all you need is your web browser. You go to the root folder and click on an index file and all of your photos and movies will be displayed just like surfing the web. You can view the images one at a time by clicking on the thumbnails or you can have it display an automatic slideshow. You can copy the image folder from your flash card or Microdrive to your hard drive or to a CD disc and then go back and "browse" your photos whenever you want. You can see an online sample of this from my QV-2000 sample photos.
New to the QV-3500EX is Epson's Print Matching technology which insures that the color that is captured is also the color that is printed when using Epson's new line of photo-quality inkjet printers. The QV-3500EX is fully DPOF-complaint too so you can set printing information during Play mode and then insert your flash card in a printer with a card slot and just press the PRINT button. This DPOF information can also be used in the photo printing kiosks appearing at photo stores and malls all across the country.
The QV-3500EX is a very robust camera, it captures and stores full size images in seconds and can display them just as fast when in Play mode too. The user interface is a very slick and highly graphical menu system that has many shortcut keys to let you get to the parameters you want as quickly as possible. Image quality is always the thing and the QV-3500EX yields beautiful color images with lots of dynamic range. The user has full control of color saturation and sharpness as well as being able to use special color filters for enhancing or adding a special effect to the picture.
Dollar for dollar the QV-3500EX Plus bundle with the 340MB Microdrive costs about the same as other 3-megapixel cameras that come with only a 16MB flash card. This camera is a very good choice for those that want point-n-shoot ease or total flexibility and advanced features all rolled up in the same package!
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