Casio QV-4000 Review

By Movable Type Admin


Steve's Digicams


Casio

QV-4000




Playback Modes & Screens



Casio QV-4000

Flipping the mode dial to Play will display the last image captured full screen as shown above. Pressing the DISP button will cycle between this display and the next frames with exposure information and a histogram.



Casio QV-4000

Here you can see a histogram which displays the dynamic range of the captured image as indicated by the black to white bar underneath. the exposure mode (P, A, S, M, AUTO), the drive mode (single or continuous), the metering mode (multi, center or spot), the flash mode, the aperture value, shutter speed and image file sizes.   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.



Casio QV-4000

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.



Casio QV-4000

If you push the zoom control lever to the telephoto position it enlarges the image up to 4x in 11 steps. Once enlarged you can scroll around the image to check for critical focus, composition or color.



Casio QV-4000

The QV-4000 has a builtin orientation feature that will auto-rotate portrait mode images during playback. The rotated image appears on the color LCD or a TV set if connected to the Video Out port.



Casio QV-4000

The QuickTime movies can also be displayed in the camera. Once you start playback it can be started, stopped or paused and you can move forward or backward one frame at a time using the 4-way selector switch.



Casio QV-4000

While displaying a large image you can press a button and resize it down to the smaller 640 x 480 size.



Casio QV-4000

Play menu options:

    Delete - Erase one or all images

    Protect - Protect one or all images

    DPOF - Set the Digital Print Order Format information,

    Resize - Create smaller images

    Slide Show - Begin automatic playback of images

    Card Browser - Enable the option to generate a HTML index of the pictures on the CF card.



Casio QV-4000

    Format - Format the CF card

    Date - Set the internal clock

    Video Out - NTSC or PAL format

    Language - Set the menu language, English, German or French

    Beep - Enable beep sounds when buttons are pushed

    Reset - Reset all settings to default





Steve's Conclusion

Casio took the best from their 3-megapixel QV-3500EX, updated the imager to a 4-megapixel Sony CCD and put it in a more compact body with additional function buttons and a number of other new features to make it even easier to operate for novice users. The new mode and drive dials and more function buttons simplify the menu system as well as make those functions easier to access. The most powerful of these features is the Best Shot mode which uses pre-programmed "scenes" that automatically set camera parameters to match real-world shooting situations. Set the dial to the Best Shot position and then select the template that's "just right" for your needs. Want to shoot a 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 5 Best Shot scenes built into it and you can load another 100 scenes from the included software CD to your flash card. You can even create your own scenes and use the picture of your choice as its onscreen icon.

For the more experienced users the QV-4000 offers the same exposure modes found in the most expensive 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 60 seconds in duration, even longer with the Bulb option. 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.

No camera is better than its lens so Casio employs a large-diameter, fast F2 Canon 3x optical zoom with eight, all-glass aspherical elements. You have a mulitude of image sizes to choose from (2240x1680, 2256x1504(3:2), 1600x1200, 1280x960 or 640x480) that can be saved as JPEG in one of three levels of quality 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-4000 is fully Microdrive compatible. The QV-4000 Plus comes bundled with a 16MB CF card, any size CompactFlash Type I or II solid state card or Microdrive can 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.

The QV-4000 is Epson Print Image Matching technology compatible 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-4000 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-4000 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 TIFF processing does use all of the camera's resources for about thirty seconds during which time all you see is a frozen LCD display. Most people will use the JPEG modes and they are quite fast for a 4- megapixel image size. The user interface is a slick and simplified menu system that lets you set parameters quickly. Image quality is always the thing and the QV-4000 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.

The QV-4000 is an excellent camera that yields 4-megapixel images that can go head to head with any other comparable digicam out there. The "fit n finish" of the camera and its overall ergonomics are very good. It could use a beefier handgrip, an illuminated data LCD display, a microphone for audio with the movies and a dedicated exposure compensation button, it's too easy to bump the multi selector switch and accidentally set an EV override value by mistake. Otherwise I have no gripes about the design of the camera, the quality of the images or the rest of the controls or where they're placed. The color LCD (HAST type) on this camera is one of the best I've ever seen on any camera -- it's very high resolution with brilliant color and visible in all but "high noon" lighting environments. Casio has been building better and better cameras in the last couple of years and this one equals anything that the "camera" companies have showed us to date. Casio is obviously not just a consumer electronics manufacturer anymore.






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