Casio – QV-4000 review

well-priced 4-megapixel digital camera
Photo of Casio – QV-4000
£510 + VAT

Top of Casio’s current range of digital cameras, the QV-4000 features a 4.13-million pixel Sony CCD imager, a Canon lens and highly usable interface with an excellent set of features. All this comes with a reasonable price tag too.

The Canon lens fitted to the QV-4000 is a standard 3x zoom item with aperture settings from f2 to f2.5 (34-102mm in 35mm terms) which gives a maximum resolution of 2,240 pixels by 1,680 pixels. This resolution is slightly different to that of other 4-megapixel cameras.

At first glance, the controls for the QV-4000 look daunting, with nine buttons, four dials and cursor control, but this is one of its strengths. Its user interface and overall design are among the best in the digital camera world, with most of the important functions controlled by the clearly labelled buttons and dials which allow access to almost all of the QV-4000′s settings without using the menu interface.

The QV-4000 features a full complement of exposure modes; Automatic, Program AE, Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority and full Manual. A full range of metering options is also provided; matrix, center-weighted and spot. In addition, there are six white balance settings (5 presets plus custom), seven recording modes (single, continuous, AE bracketing, panorama, movie, Best Shot and selftimer) and five focus modes (multi-area AF, Spot AF with 9 selectable areas, manual, infinity and focus lock).

Of these perhaps the most important is the “Best Shot” feature which is unique to Casio. It allows you to select the icon that best reflects your imaging situation. The camera will automatically calculate the best combination of aperture and shutter speed for you. There are icons such as ‘night’ and ‘fireworks’ which can handle tough photographic situations with ‘point-and-shoot’ simplicity.

More useful to advanced photographers is the Real-Time Histogram available in both the recording and playback modes. In manual exposure mode, a histogram (a graph of the image’s brightness range) is displayed on the camera’s LCD and continuously updated as you change your aperture or shutter-speed values, allowing you to precisely determine the optimum exposure.

The only important capability the QV-4000 lacks is a high ISO-equivalent setting for shooting in low light without flash, but it does have a low-light focus-assist illuminator.

Casio supplies a 16MB CompactFlash card with the QV-4000, but it also supports Type II PC Cards and comes bundled with Photo Loader 2.0 and Photohands for Windows 2000, Me, 98 and NT4.

Company: Casio

Contact: 020 8208 9450


Verdict
The QV-4000 is a versatile, well-designed camera that offers high quality images at a very good price and comes packed with an impressive array of features, some of which are hard to find on cameras costing twice as much.