Casio QV-5700 Review
Steve's ConclusionCasio took the best from their 4-megapixel QV-4000EX and updated the imager to 5-megapixels. This camera is loaded with features to make it even easier to operate for novice users. 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-5700 offers the same exposure modes found in advanced 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. They have also included a PC connection for an external flash unit, a very nice feature for the pro or advanced amateur.
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 (2560x1920, 2544x1696(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-5700 is fully Microdrive compatible (average Fine JPEG 2.3MB average TIFF 14MB). The QV-5700 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 camera is powered by four AA type batteries, NiMH type is highly recommended and Casio supplies a set of four high-capacity NiMH and an overnight charger with the camera. We also used a battery pack supplied to us from Digital Camera Battery.com for some of our sample photos. This high-capacity NiMH battery pack can power both an external flash and a camera for many hours of shooting.
The QV-5700 is compatible with Epson Print Image 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-5700 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-5700 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 5- 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-5700 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-5700 is a good camera that yields 5-megapixel images that can make prints up to 13x19 inches in size. In this day and age of shrinking cameras it may be too big for some of you, if that's the case then check out the diminuitive Casio EX-Z3. The "fit n finish" of the camera and the ergonomics are also good. It could benefit from a beefier handgrip, an illuminated data LCD display and a microphone for audio with the movies though. 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 high resolution with brilliant color and is visible in all but the brightest "high noon" type lighting environments.
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