Review posted 3/15/2000
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The QV-3000EX proves that Casio is not just satisfied to be a minor player in the digital camera business. Their QV-2000UX was the first digicam to be bundled with an IBM Microdrive and now they've done it again with the new QV-3000EX Plus. The real news is the price -- $999 for the camera AND the 340MB Microdrive or $799 for the camera and a 16MB CF card.
The QV-3000EX features a 3.34 megapixel CCD imager
that yields 2048 x 1536-pixel images of very high-definition and natural
looking color. It can also capture still images at 1024 x 768 resolution
and 320 x 240 AVI movie clips up to 30 seconds in length. To insure superior
low-light picture capability it uses a F2.0 Canon 3X optical zoom lens
and has a special Night Mode with a CASIO original noise reduction system.
Image storage is on CompactFlash Type I or II devices. There's a generous
RAM buffer that allows capture of up to 3 full-size images at 2.5 fps.
It processes and stores Large/Fine mode images in seconds and has a fast
USB port for downloading image data to the host computer.
Exposure options include the usual Program "point-n-shoot" mode as well as Shutter and Aperture Priority. It has special modes for Portrait, Panorama, Landscape and Night. Still image capture resolutions of 2048x1536 or 1024x768 with three different JPG compression levels and a movie mode that captures up to 30 seconds of 320x240 action. Metering options include Multi, Center and Spot.
Read all of the QV-3000EX
On the back is a bright and readable 1.8" HAST color
LCD display with a refresh rate close to 30fps, it does not blur no matter
how fast the camera is panned. The display will slow down in low-light
conditions and get a little grainy as it increases its gain. There is no
adjustment for the backlight however.
A large optical viewfinder is coupled to the 3x zoom lens and can be used for most picture taking tasks except macros.
The optical viewfinder has a diopter adjustment and is useable even by those wearing eye glasses. Be warned though that it only shows about 90% of what the camera actually captures.
The Focus OK green LED and the Flash Status LED are
on the right hand side of the viewfinder.
The QV-3000EX uses an all-glass, 8 element Canon 3x (33-100mm 35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens with a fast F2.0 - F2.5 maximum aperture. It also features a 2x digital zoom option. The aperture can be adjusted manually with settings of 2.0, 2.3, 2.8, 4, 5.6, and 8
The autofocus functions from 1 ft to infinity in
normal mode and 2.4 inches to 1 ft in macro mode. The closest focusing
in macro mode is achieved at the lens' widest focal length setting. Manual
focus is available from 2.4 inches to infinity but it must be judged by
looking at the color LCD, there are no distance indications. To me it would
only be useful if sending the camera's video output to a larger monitor.
The tripod socket is badly positioned on the lens
side and near the front edge of the body. It is not particularly stable
or anywhere near the center of the balance point. The CF card door is on
the side, memory cards can be removed without taking the camera off of
Replacing batteries couldn't be simpler, move the safety latch to open and then slide the battery door open and all four batteries drop out in your hand. I like this type of "easy to swap" arrangement along with the sturdy door and a safety latch to prevent it from accidentally opening at the wrong time.
The documentation indicates that alkaline, lithium
or nickel metal hydride (NiMH) types of batteries may be used. We prefer
NiMH type and wish that Casio would have included them and a charger.
The I/O ports are easy to get to and well hidden behind a securely closing door. There's a 6 VDC input jack, RS-232 serial "digital" data port, USB port and Video out with selectable NTSC or PAL ouput format.
Using the USB port with my Acer 340-T laptop (Pentium
III/500) I was able to move the 1.4MB (average) JPGs from the camera to
the hard drive in about 2 seconds each. I used Windows Explorer and accessed
the camera as "Removeable Drive E" and did a simple drag-n-drop Copy operation.
The QV-3000EX has a single CompactFlash Type II slot that accepts all existing CompactFlash Type I cards as well as the newer CF/2 devices like the IBM Microdrive.
The base QV-3000EX package includes a 16MB CF card,
the QV3000 Plus package substitutes a 340MB Microdrive for the CF card.
Casio does not include the PCMCIA adapter for the Microdrive but the camera's
USB port is as fast as any card reader.
On top of the camera is a monochrome data LCD that
indicates the number of pictures remaining (there's a Microdrive in there
for sure!), battery level, flash mode, selftimer and focus mode.
The most used controls are located on top. The power
switch is recessed so you won't be accidentally turning it on or off. The
large button is for changing the recording Mode and activates a graphical
menu on the color LCD. The other buttons cycle through the flash modes,
focus modes and the selftimer.
|Still Images:||JPEG (Exif. Ver. 2.1), DCF standard, DPOF compliant|
|Movies:||AVI (Open DML Motion JPEG standard)|
|Recording Medium:||CompactFlash™ memory card Type I/II; IBM microdrive compatible|
Recorded Image Resolution
|Still Images||Image Size (Pixels)||Quality|
|2048 x 1536||Fine||Normal||Economy|
|1024 x 768||Fine||Normal||Economy|
|AVI Movies||Image Size (Pixels)||Maximum Movie Length|
||30 seconds (Normal)||10 seconds (Past)|
Approximate Memory Capacity
|Image Size (Pixels)||
|2048 x 1536||5 images||245 images|
|1024 x 768||19 images||943 images|
|Image Deletion:||Direct delete (single-image)
Selective delete (single-image, single-folder)
All-image delete (with image protection)
|Imaging Element:||1/1.8-inch square pixel color CCD (Total Pixels: 3.34 million; Pixel Yield: 3.24 million)|
|Lens:||Canon Lens F2.0 to 2.5 f = 7.0 to 21.0mm (equivalent to 33 to 100mm on a 35mm film camera); 8 elements in 7 groups|
|Zoom:||3X optical zoom; 2X digital zoom; maximum 6X when optical and digital zoom are used in combination|
|Focusing:||Contrast-detect TTL autofocus, manual focus; with Macro Mode; Infinity Mode and focus lock|
|Approximate Focus Range:||Normal: 0.3m to ¥
Macro: 6cm to 30cm (2.4 to 12in)
With Manual Focus: 6cm to ¥
|Exposure:||Exposure Control: Light metering by CCD; multi-pattern,
spot, center weighted
Exposure: Program AE; aperture priority AE; shutter priority AE
Exposure Correction: -2EV to +2EV (1/3EV units)
|Shutter:||CCD shutter, mechanical shutter|
|Shutter Speed:||2 to 1/1000 second
(up to 60 secs in extended mode)
|Aperture:||Automatic switching F2.0/2.3/2.8/4.0/5.6/8.0|
|White Balance:||Automatic/fixed (4 modes), manual switching|
|Self-timer:||2 seconds, 10 seconds|
|Flash Modes:||AUTO, ON, OFF, Red eye reduction|
|Approximate Flash Range:||0.5 to 4 meters|
|Monitor/Viewfinder:||1.8” low-glare color Hyper Amorphous TFT color LCD (122,100 pixels; 555 x 220)|
|Viewfinder:||LCD monitor screen; optical zoom viewfinder|
|Clock:||Built-in quartz digital clock; date and time recorded with image; auto calendar up to 2049|
|Input/Output Terminals:||USB (special mini connector)
DIGITAL (serial) IN/OUT
VIDEO OUT (NTSC and PAL)
AC adapter connector
|Power Supply:||Four AA-size batteries (alkaline or lithium)
Four AA-size rechargeable batteries (NiMH)
Two Panasonic CR-V3P lithium batteries
Optional AC adapter
|Dimensions:||134.5(W) x 80.5(H) x 57.5(D) mm (excluding projections, lens facing upwards)|
|Weight:||Approximately 320g (excluding batteries)|
|Main Standard Accessories:||USB cable; CD-ROM (with Photo Loader software); 16MB CompactFlash memory card; video cable; soft case; neck strap; lens cap|
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