The Casio QV-3000EX is loaded with Playback features, check out the following menus and screen captures.
Turning the power switch to Play, the QV-3000EX brings up
the last picture taken and displays it as shown above.
The Playback Menu lets you Zoom into the image and then freely scroll
around an enlarged version on the screen. The Multi option generates
9 small thumbnails at a time and lets you quickly jump to and display
which ever one you want. Slideshow automatically scrolls thru the
stored pictures. DPOF (Digital Print Order Form) lets you store
information with selected pictures to be used by a printing service.
The Delete option should be self-explanatory.
The playback image here has been "zoomed" and we can freely pan left to right
and up and down using the 4-way switch.
This is the 9-picture thumbnail screen displayed when you select the
Multi option from the Playback menu. You can quickly jump to any image
in memory and then display it full screen.
The DPOF (Digital Print Order Form) screen allows you to attach printing
information to any or all images stored on the card. This data can be used
later by outside printing services or if you have a DPOF-enabled printer.
The delete menu allows you to erase any given image, all images on the
card or to format the memory card.
This is what you see when you scroll to one of your images that has been
saved as a 30-sec AVI movie. Once you press the Set button you are off
and running, the movie plays right on the LCD or your TV if you're
And this is what a saved panorama image looks like before you play it back,
see the next picture below to see the screen during panorama playback.
Up to nine images can be saved as one panorama. You can actually see the
linked images as they are panned from left to right and then back right
to left, it's really neat!
The QV-2000 was the first sign that Casio has entered the high-end arena of consumer digital cameras. The QV-3000EX further demonstrates their desires to be a serious contender. It's the first 3.3 megapixel camera to come to market and aggressively priced to blow the competition away. Image quality is very good, image processing speed is fast and throw in a Microdrive for $999 and it's a buyer's dream. For $200 less you can pick up the QV-3000 with just a 16MB CF card.
Power on from a cold start is about six seconds, two to three more seconds if you have the flash enabled. It saves a 2048x1536 Fine mode image in less than three seconds and with the internal RAM buffer you can shoot up to three pictures at 0.5 second intervals. Press the Play button and the last image is displayed in two seconds with a second more for it to come completely up. It displays a slightly compressed thumbnail first and loads the entire image about a second later, which is good for rapid scanning of saved images.
The QV-3000EX does have a raw TIFF mode. It is enabled by pressing the SET and Flash buttons at same time. The camera takes around 20 seconds to process these TIFF files that are 6.3MB in size. None of the editing or viewing software I have (PhotoShop 5.5, ThumbsPlus, Qimage, PhotoImpact) will open these TIFF files. They bomb out reporting "unsupported marker type" or a similar read error message. If anyone knows how to decode these files I'd be interested to find out as I'm sure I will be deluged with requests once the camera hits the market.
Another reader tells me that the ACDSee v3.0 program will also view these TIFF files.
For Mac users, Lemkesoft's Graphic Converter will open and edit the files.
People are really interested in shutter lag times and I'm happy to report that the QV-3000 is about "average" at slightly less than a second when shooting in automatic program mode. If you preset the focus by half-presing the shutter button then the camera will snap the shot very quickly, probably in around 1/10th of a second or so.
Battery life is average to good for a four-celled AA battery power supply. You can use alkaline, lithium, or NiMH type, the latter being the most cost-effective as they are rechargeable. Using the Microdrive means terrific storage capability but it comes at about a 25% reduction in battery life versus solid state CF cards. You can extended battery run time by using the large optical viewfinder instead of the color LCD. It has a diopter control and is well suited for someone wearing glasses.
The new Canon 3x optical zoom lens is quite fast with a maximum aperture of F2.0 it lets you shoot in many low light situations without the flash. Besides the fast lens the QV-3000 also lets you manually boost the ISO +1, +2 or +3 to gain a stop or two for those dimly lit subjects. You will see increased CCD noise as you push the sensitivity up. Autofocus is accurate and usually takes a second or less to operate, even in macro mode. Closeup capability is good down to about five inches and varies depending on the focal length of the lens.
The graphical menu system is well designed and easy to navigate. Changing most operating modes or features requires the LCD and menu system with the exception of flash modes, focus modes and selftimer which are on buttons on the top of the camera. Where most cameras have a large command dial to switch operating modes the QV-3000EX uses a menu on the LCD.
Three megapixel resolution, fast image processing and USB are all signs that this is truly a state of the art camera. Existing CompactFlash cards can be used as well as the newer CF Type II devices. Using a 340MB Microdrive allows you to shoot movie clips without worrying about maxing out your CF cards. Image storage with the Microdrive was incredibly fast, like a second and a half on average.
The QV-3000EX operates flawlessly in "P"rogrammed (point-n-shoot) mode and when desired you can switch it into either shutter speed or aperture priority mode for more creative control. It has a Panorama mode that lets you stitch up to nine images for in-camera display later. It assists you in creating panoramas by overlaying a small edge of the previous image on the LCD screen so you can align the next shot properly. The white balance and exposure values are locked after the first picture in the sequence is taken.
The exposure metering system is excellent and offers Multi (matrix), Center and Spot options. You can override the exposure system with compensation values of +/- 6 steps and they show what they're doing in real time on the LCD screen. The white balance setting is also real time on the LCD and has the usual presets of tungsten, flourescent, daylight, shadow and automatic as well as a fully settable manual mode suitable for use with a white card or other target.
The QV-3000EX comes with a USB cable and RS-232C serial cables, allowing data transfer to systems running Windows 95, 98 or NT 4.0 or Macintosh OS 8.1 and higher. The included software CD has:
The Casio QV-3000EX is an excellent camera, the ergonomics and graphical menu system make it a joy to use. Fast camera operations, good battery life and excellent image quality plus manual controls and CF Type II memory slot make this camera a real winner. Bundle it with a 340MB Microdrive and you have a digi-shutterbug's dream machine -- just be sure to buy several sets of NiMH batteries and a good charger as it's the only thing that Casio left out of the box.
Steve's QV-3000EX Sample Pics
Imaging Resource's QV-3000EX Review
DC Resource's QV-3000EX Review
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