VistaQuest VQ15 review

Disposable, single-use digital camera
Photo of VistaQuest VQ15
£10

Most people have seen a disposable, single-use film camera: a simple lens and film spools housed in a plastic case. The whole camera goes to the developer when you’ve taken your shots and the film’s developed. VistaQuest’s VQ15 is a similar idea, only it’s digital disposable.

What’s it like?
The VQ15 is a 35mm-sized plastic camera with a fixed-focus lens, a simple flash, a single red LED and a couple of buttons. The front button switches the camera on (it times out automatically after 2.5 minutes), and subsequent, three-second presses charge the flash.

The shutter release on the top of the camera takes a shot, and is a two-stage button. You need to depress it fully to get the camera to capture, otherwise the counter advances but no shot is taken. Annoyingly, there’s nothing about this in the tiny instruction sheet. You get 40 shots.

The viewfinder is a rectangular hole through the camera’s case and gives a surprisingly restricted view. The camera takes pictures at a resolution of 1,280×960, enabling you to produce prints of up to about 15x10cm (6x4in). In good light, shots come through fairly well, though reds are a bit over-saturated and flash-lit images can be bleached out. Then again, would you expect any more from a £10 camera?

Problems, problems
The most annoying problem with the VQ15 is that once you’ve downloaded any images via a mini-to-standard USB cable (not supplied), you can’t take any more. Even if you’ve only taken 20 or so of your allocation, connecting to a PC locks the camera up. Daft.

Then there’s the wastage. Although the camera’s supplier, Advanced MP3 Players, claims the device is 100 per cent recyclable, it provides no details as to how you set about this.

Company: VistaQuest

Contact: 0131 273 4388

Positives
  • A quick way to capture images of a single event.
Negative
  • Camera locks after first download.

Verdict

If you want a cheap and cheerful digital camera for a single event, the VistaQuest VQ15 does a reasonable job. However, you should maybe consider a pay-as-you-go camera phone, which won't cost you much more, gives you a phone and lets you download and take shots over and over again. While we're not campaigners, we find this device's green credentials distinctly dodgy.