Typical Record mode screen, shown here with the Shift button pressed which
puts the Exposure Mode indicator, Metering mode and White balance icons on
the bottom of the screen. Normal icons displayed are flash, focus, selftimer,
recording mode, digital zoom, remaining images, image size, image quality,
date/time, aperture value, shutter speed and battery condition.
When using the 4x digital zoom function this yellow rectangle will be
overlayed on the screen to indicate the portion of hte frame being captured.
Besides the Program (automatic) AE mode, the user can select Aperture Priority,
Shutter Prioirty or full Manual exposure modes.
The Interval recording mode lets you specify the interval time (1 to
60 mins), the number of shots to take (1 to maximum number remaining) and when to
start taking the pictures (hh:mm am/pm).
Typical play mode screen shown here when the Info button has been pressed.
Additional icon/info for exposure mode, metering mode, flash, aperture, shutter
speed,folder name, file number and white balance at time of the exposure. Normal
Play mode icons include image protection, image size, image quality, time/date and
The thumbnail (index) mode displays 9 small previews at a time to let you quickly
search through the stored images to find one to display full screen.
While viewing an image full screen you can select the Zoom option from the Menu
(see below) and magnify the image 2x or 4x and then scroll around inside of the
image to check for detail or focus.
This is the Menu screen while in Play mode. From here you can Zoom, Delete,
embed DPOF (Digital Print Order Form) information on the card, Protect images,
begin a Slideshow or enter the Setup menus (see page 2).
Steve's ConclusionThe QV-2300 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.
The QV-2300UX Plus comes bundled with the IBM 340MB Microdrive so there's storage space for around 400 of its highest quality 850KB 1600x1200 images or up to 2054 of the economy mode 800x600 images. You'll go through one or two or maybe three sets of batteries before you fill the Microdrive. Powering a large color LCD, the autofocus, power zoom and the Microdrive 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 those points out of the way let's check out the QV-2300'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-2300 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." Shutter speeds from 1/500 of a second all the way out to 64 seconds, a special night mode and a fast F2.8 lens means that even those impossible shots can be realized. The 3x 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-2300 also records up to 30 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.
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 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 massive amount of portable storage. The menu system is highly graphical but will take a while to get used to as it is quite different from most other digicams but once you do learn it you'll find it easy to understand. It is more of an indoor camera than an outdoor camera because of the LCD-only viewfinder but it could be just the camera you need to catch Junior's first steps either as a still picture or as a movie clip to send to Grandma via the Internet. You can always impress the digicam-doubters by pulling out that Microdrive and showing them that it has a miniature 340MB hard drive for picture storage.
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