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Casio QV-10

by Phil Wherry, 1997


Remember how frustrated you were when you last used a product so badly thought out that you wondered if you and the designers were natives of the same planet?

If not, may I recommend the Casio QV-10? I can guarantee you'll be left wondering about the possibility of alien life forms and their potential role in consumer electronics design on Planet Earth.

The basic design concept of the Casio QV-10 isn't bad; in fact, it's brilliant. But some boneheaded tradeoffs in the implementation along with some really sloppy software design combine to make the QV-10 a really weak product.

Camera Hardware

I should point out right here that no digital camera can compete with its film-based counterparts in terms of image quality. In fact, a $100 35mm camera will produce images which are so much better than those produced by a $1,000 digital camera that you'd be embarrassed to put them side-by-side.

The same can be said for any high-end 35mm SLR and a high-end digital camera like the $28,000 Kodak DCS-460.

That said, the currently-available set of digital cameras remain eminently useful for electronic illustrations such as those commonly found on the Web. If photography is your reason for publishing on the Web, you'll obviously want to use a more traditional method of image transfer, like Photo CD, but for simple illustrations requiring rapid turnaround time, digital cameras can be hard to beat.

Note: All of the inline images in this review are reduced; click on the image to see the full-size version.

The QV-10 is about the size and weight of a small 35mm snapshot camera. One look at the back of the camera, however, tells you that it's not one of those little snapshot cameras. Instead of a viewfinder, there's a small (1.8" diagonal) active-matrix color LCD which shows you what the camera sees. If you've seen Sharp's ViewCam camcorder, you've seen the concept before; this is smaller and lighter, though, since there's really nothing mechanical inside. The viewfinder works quite well in most situations; it is, however, virtually unusable when the camera is outside in bright sunlight. Unlike a 35mm camera, there's no prominent image lens on this camera. The image sensor (a 250,000 element, 1/5" CCD) is housed in the small section off to the right (when viewed from the front). That little section swivels through 270 degrees of travel, so you can even do a self-portrait if you're so inclined.

Here's one place you can find an example of what's right with this camera: when you've got the lens flipped around so it's facing you, the LCD image is a left-to-right mirror image of the camera's actual view. This makes composing the picture easier since the image moves as expected when you move. But when you capture the image, the correct (non-mirror-image) view gets stored.

Images are captured by pressing a "shutter button," just as on a conventional camera. But the shutter is electronic, so there's no noise at all when you take the picture; the only indication you see is the word "WAIT" in the middle of the viewfinder screen for a few seconds while the image is stored to the camera's flash RAM. The camera has 2 megabytes of flash RAM, enough for storage of 96 images.

Exposure control is automatic, though a manual override (in the form of "+" and "-" buttons) is available. The effect of these controls is immediately visible on the LCD screen. The lens also has two mechanical aperture settings: F2 and F8.

The lens is fixed focus; everything beyond 60cm at F2 (28cm at F8) is in focus. A macro setting is available; when active, the lens is set to focus on objects about 14cm away (again, of course, depth of field at F8 increases the acceptable focus range).

The camera takes four AA batteries. A fresh set of alkaline batteries should last you about two hours, says the manual. My experience suggests that that two hours is measured on the alien planet I spoke of earlier; on Planet Earth, you'll have about one hour before you see the "low battery" indicator come on. And you'd better heed that indicator when it comes on (more about this later).

A self-timer button triggers a ten-second countdown, just as with a conventional camera.

Under a little hatch on the top of the camera are three jacks. One connects the camera to a computer; another carries a video signal to a monitor, VCR, or video printer. The third and final jack is a 6-volt power input, which helps tame the camera's voracious appetite for batteries somewhat.

Image Playback

By sliding a switch on the back of the camera from "record" to "play," you can use the monitor on the back of the camera to review the images you've stored. The "+" and "-" buttons move forward and backward through the images you've stored in the camera.

The image on the camera-back monitor is also also sent as NTSC composite video if you have the video cable connected. Here's an image grabbed from this digital output (the object in the photo is a digital pager). The number shown in the upper right-hand corner is the "page number" in the camera (photographers would call this the frame number); the camera's "DISP" button will show or hide this number.

There's a "MODE" button on the top of the camera which can be used to display four pictures at once in a two-by-two grid, or nine pictures at once in a three-by-three grid (pictured here). A "ZOOM" button will allow one to look at a portion of a single image; this looks pretty blocky, though.

When an image is on-screen, the "DEL" button can be pressed; you're given the choice to delete an individual image (pictured at left) or all images (at right).

Any of the images in the camera's memory can be marked "protected;" when this is done, the image(s) will survive the "delete all" operation and are not candidates for individual deletion.

Using the QV-10 with a Computer

I installed version 1.2 of the QV-PC software on my Windows 95 machine and connected the faintly ridiculous-looking serial cable to my machine. (Mac software and a cable adapter are also included).

The software installed easily, and had no problems establishing a connection with the camera. Thumbnail images (in essence, a contact sheet), can be downloaded from the camera. Clicking on an image causes the LCD display (and attached video device, if any) to display that image; this could potentially be really useful for giving presentations. Double-clicking an image will download it from the camera to the computer. The only problem with this is that the images look really awful. Images downloaded from the camera have very visible compression artifacts. The astute reader will note that the pictures which follow are in JPEG format. I converted these from the .BMP format saved by the camera software using Photoshop at the "high quality" setting. The compression artifacts you see are the camera's work; they're not from the conversion process. (Remember, click on the small photo to view the zoomed-in version; the thumbnail images here don't look all that bad.)

Digital pager photographed in macro mode.

Low-light, high-contrast image. Check out those compression artifacts! (They're especially visible around the head of the lamp).

This is a pretty well-lit shot designed to test both resolution and color.

Another resolution-and-color test, this time in macro mode.

Macro-mode close-up of some fine detail. Again, check out the compression artifacts! I never thought I'd say this about anything, but the frame-grabbed NTSC video output from the device actually looks better (in general) than the straight digital output. (I used Play Incorporated's "Snappy" video capture device for all of the video-captured stuff in this document). Compare these NTSC grabs with the digitally-transferred images. The left-hand column is the captured video (I had the DISP function on, so you can also identify them by the frame number in the upper-right hand corner). (Click on any image for an enlarged version)

Presentations to Go

One of the most intriguing features of the QV-10 is that images can be uploaded from the computer to the camera; these bitmaps, of course, need not necessarily be photographs. Assuming the compression artifacts aren't too objectionable (and that your type is large enough), the camera is a formidable presentation tool since an entire talk can be put on a very portable device; there's no need for a laptop computer, LCD panel, scan converter, or any of the other gadgets usually associated with giving a presentation from a computer. Just find a large-screen monitor/TV, plug in, and go.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

So, what's wrong with this picture? OK, so the image quality isn't great, but the camera's really small, holds a lot of images, and has great potential as a portable presentation tool Every time you write to the camera's flash memory, you risk turning it into a paperweight. Included with the camera was a scary-looking yellow scrap of paper with warnings in about eight different languages. A power interruption while writing to the camera's flash memory (after taking a picture or while uploading from the computer) or a data communications problem while uploading from a computer to the camera will cause the message "MEMORY ERROR - CALL TECH SUPPORT" to appear on the display. According to the sheet, "whenever this happens, the unit cannot be used and all of the digital images stored in the camera's memory will be lost." "Well," I thought, "I'll call tech support now and find out how to reset the camera rather than wait for this to happen, which it invariably will some Friday at 5:01pm, right after their tech support folks go home. After about ten minutes in a tight redial-busy-hangup-pickup loop, I got through to their tech support number. Their automated attendant system informed me that there were two calls ahead of me (suggesting strongly that their national tech support operation is in possession of not one, not two, but three telephone lines for incoming calls. Color me impressed.)

The technician who answered said that he was familiar with this situation and had, in fact, just spoken with one of the senior technicians about this very issue. There is no way for the user to reset the camera; it must be sent in to Casio for service.

The technician elaborated: this was a design decision to do this (to safeguard any pictures not destroyed by the problem which caused the error to occur--yes, I know this is at odds with the little yellow warning sheet), and that the reset to clear the problem is strictly a software operation. Yes, that's right, you send your camera back to them, and they plug it into their PC, run a software reset program through the very same serial port interface used in normal operation, then pack it up and send it back to you. I asked: no, the software isn't available to end users; in fact it's so closely guarded that the service centers don't even have it. They have to send the cameras suffering from this problem off to Casio USA's headquarters (I assume this process differs if you're outside of the U.S.) All of this "usually takes less than two weeks," according to the technician. (Random aside: what is it that takes so long about getting consumer electronic equipment fixed? I have a mental vision of the Factory Authorized Service Center Corporation, a gigantic warehouse full of broken electronic gear. Every once in a while, the lone person working there takes another piece of hardware off the shelf, opens it up, scratches his head, and mutters to himself, "Look at all them wires in there!" It goes downhill from there.)

My first guess upon hearing this was that the technician didn't really know the answer, so he was simply making something up which seemed plausible to him but not me. After asking a number of fairly detailed questions, though, it became clear that he really did know this product pretty well, and this problem in particular.

He did make the alarming suggestion, however, that I use nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries after I expressed dismay at the camera's hunger for AA cells. One wonders about the wisdom of this move, though, given the fact that the camera will self-destruct if the camera loses power when flash RAM is being written. The low-battery warning with alkaline AA cells is only issued with about seven minutes' operating time remaining; given the discharge curves of NiCd batteries, this time could be a lot shorter.

I was able to confirm that NiCd batteries are, indeed, unwise for use in the QV-10. Kimura Kazushi maintains some information on his web pages about the QV-10, including the Japanese-language FAQ. Since no English-language version of the FAQ exists, he was kind enough to mail me a translation of the section on the FATAL ERROR message (same as the MEMORY ERROR message in the US version of the camera):

There is no way to recover from a FATAL ERROR :-(
Then all you can do is send QV-10 to the shop for repair.

How to avoid the FATAL ERROR:
        - Take care when you take a picture.
                (Because FATAL ERROR is a flash memory *WRITE* error.)
        - Avoid low battery voltage
                You should take heed of the low-battery indicator.
                Don't use NiCd batteries or manganese battery.
        - Avoid DC power supply disconnect--even if it's only momentary.
                Don't touch the QV-10 and the cables when uploading;-)
        - Use a lithium battery, if you can.
                It is expensive but has a very long life span.

So, it's just a matter of time, in my opinion, before the camera self-destructs. Maybe you'll be lucky. Maybe you won't. Put another way, would you trust the health of your hardware to the ability of Microsoft Windows to reliably communicate with the serial port?

In Conclusion

The concept behind this camera is, as I said before, simply brilliant. If it were just the fact that the image quality is kind of weak, it would be easy to forgive; after all, the device is a mass-market item based on camcorder technology. But it's also fairly easy to, well, destroy the camera in the course of normal use, particularly if you use it for offline presentations--one of its greatest strengths. Combine that with a difficult-to-reach tech support organization, bad information regarding product usage, obstructionist policies regarding the software reset tool, and a lengthy turnaround time when service is necessary, and you have a great idea with some really fatal flaws.

Casio has just announced their QV-30 camera. A revised version of the QV-10, it has a telephoto lens and a larger LCD panel display. The image capture electronics, however, remain largely (if not completely) unchanged. Image memory, in particular, has not been increased from the 2Mbytes of RAM found in the QV-10 This suggests that any improvements in image quality will be incremental improvements at best. According to the technician, the QV-30 will behave identically with the QV-10 if a flash write is interrupted, so this new camera has paperweight potential as well.

It's a great idea, really. But it's ruined by flaws in the implementation.

Readers' Comments


Add a comment



Agnius Griskevicius , January 03, 1997; 02:02 A.M.

I purchased QV-10 summer of 96 and played with it for about 2 weeks before I returned it. Yes, the camera is really nifty, and girls in my class always wanted to see themselves on that cute LCD screen, but that killed the batteries very quickly. Whatever savings you think you are going to get over the your M6 in film costs, the savings evaporate in battery purchases. Plus, the image quality is marginal. But what made me return the camera was the following experience: I had a 486 PC from a friend and used that to download the images from the camera. I got plenty of problems while doing that by not being able to do batch transfers properly, software crapped out after the first image. However, the biggest bummer was when I tried taking the images to my fathers Mac, Casio's software on a Mac side refused the images downloaded on a PC side. That was final straw that broke my back and camera was back in the store pronto. Again, cute product, but awfull implementation. But what would you expect from one of the first ones?! I am sure by now Casio has solved most of the problems I have experienced, but I am not ready to trade in my EOS system just quite yet.

Agnius

Mark Jerling , March 14, 1997; 12:55 P.M.

Bought Casio's latest model (QV-300) about a week ago. It does have some improvements, namely, better resolution (640x480 max) and larger LCD screen (2.5") However, same problem remains with the possibility of a power interrupt destroying the camera during an image transfer. Seems like Casio should have fixed this by now but they didn't. Also, battery consumption is still bad. I did a test and got 97 minutes of play (without taking pictures) vs 130 claimed in the manual, and only 57 pictures at one per minute vs 96 in the manual. Each time I used brand new batteries. While attempting to transfer images to the PC on batteries, the low battery indicator came on during the second picture and this was with brand new batteries too!!!!

I think the camera is OK, but am very disappointed in the battery consumption and the possibility of wrecking the camera.

Mark Jerling

Steve Quinn , April 22, 1997; 12:05 P.M.

I've just bought the QV120, which continues the problem with a power loss while writing to the flash memory, but the impression you're all giving is that Casio won't return your camera in working order - everyone's using the term "destroy" as if to imply that the camera will never function again. And, by the way, some of the under $10.00 disposables will outperform all but the most expensive digitals. For me, the lure was being able to take just a few pictures without having to waste the remainder of even a 12-exposure roll. I enjoyed the review. Thanks.

George W. Blair , May 19, 1997; 04:12 P.M.

My agency purchased the QV-10 some time ago, and we (my department) inherited it. I worked fine, except for the huge nuber of batteries it went through. Camera to video worked well, and was more fun when adding music (not through the camera, of course). Then, we upgraded computers. You know, delete this, you get that, swapping computers, etc. Well, we needed to reinstall the QV-10 software. No dice. We had a corrupted disk. So, I call tech support. Long wait. Then, I told the techie what was wrong. He infuriatingly suggested that I shouldn't put the software on more than one machine (thus insulting me both by not listening and insinuating the copywright infringement). He gave me a fax number to plead for replacement (not toll free) and an 800 number to order replacement software. $39.95 plus $6.50, for that?! Wow. I've rarely been that steamed. Thanks Casio. Thanks a lot.

jack chiniski , July 17, 1997; 10:22 P.M.

I purchased the QV-10 and was very impressed with it until I tried to use a mac that was not mine to download pictures to disk. I got a message on the Mac i was using that said I had a corrupted disk, so here i am 2000 miles from my computer with no way to download my full camera which was purchased for taking pictures the prodution of a multi-city show. I called Casio and was told I could not use the disk on more then one machine. I did manage however to hack around the disk corrution problem by opening pictures on another disk I had, then installing the program on the rental computer ! But now I have a boat anchor camera because I used it while I had a low battery. I get a message on the screen that looks like japenese writing. I have to send the Camera to a Casio factory repair center. 2 weeks they tell me for repair, we'll see !

Rick Wooton , July 31, 1997; 07:17 A.M.

I must make one comment about your comparison of digital cameras to 35mm. True, most digitals don't stand up at all, but I wouldn't say all....

I have a Minolta RD-175 that takes spectacular pictures, and with my Kodak DS8650 Dye-sub printer, I regularly plop down 8 x 10's that are as good or even better than I can with film. Our study uses the digital almost exclusively, and except for the expensive toys related to it, and the time it takes to acquire images for processing, we (and our customers) like it much better. (Especially when they don't have to come back next week to look at proofs.)

E. DELEON , September 18, 1997; 08:19 A.M.

Thanks for the info about being carefully when the batteries gets low. I bought my QV10 just this Sept 15,1997 $499 Aust with free QV Link 2.03 kit. I love it because it is fun to use. I can get 96 pic with 4 fresh alkaline ($0.59 each). I upload the pic to my website and my relatives can see all 96 pic. I conserve battery power by not replaying too much while I am on the field. The TFT LCD is where much of the power is consumed. The cost of color toner or ink to make a hard copy is not worth it. So in my opinion QV10 is good for e-mail and homepages which is where the fun is. Accept the limitation and you will have some fun .

Dave Fuller , September 27, 1997; 11:11 P.M.

A few months ago I bought a QV-300, which is the latest incarnation of the QV... series. It's a very fun thing to own but it has its flaws.

First, there's no warnings about the camera self-destructing and requiring factory reset, and so far, I have had no problems, although I always put the camera on a DC convertor when I down or upload.

It's been great for capturing photos during our various outings and the ability to e-mail photos the next day has been a great novelty.

The QV-link software is dorky. It's hard to coax JPEG images out of the camera until you master the quirks of the software. I have not fiddled with the TWAIN driver to any great degree but it seems to be as addled as it tries to deposit the .CAM images.

NI-CD batteries are a bad idea. The problem is that nicads have a very low internal resistance and can delivery prodigious amperage at full charge. The problem is that when they are being drained quickly and as they hit depletion they get HOT. Hot enough to hurt the camera, IMHO.

Still, a fun toy - not a general purpose instrument but a great thing to photograph events and create web images.

ray stommel , October 14, 1997; 04:11 P.M.

Phil Wherry's review of the Casio QV-10 was well-done and interesting. However, he is way off the point on cheap digital cameras. They are toys, rather like Polaroids. I enjoy my QV-30,but I'm not selling my Minolta or my Leica. I am glad to get his warning on power interruptions, although I do use a Casio 6-volt converter for downloading purposes. As he says, take batteries!

Ignacio Rodrmguez , October 21, 1997; 08:15 P.M.

I have had a lot of fun with my QV-10a. As the webmaster for an ISP, this toy has been of great value to me for the purpose of quickly putting images of events and people on the site. Specially interesting: the Photoshop Plug-In. I rarely use and image without some kind of help from Photoshop so the possibility of downloading them directly into the program and then saving them as JPEG's or GIF's is a must. I think I trashed the QV-Mac (1.2) application the second or third day.

Idea: I think it would be really interesting to adapt a zoom lens from a broken video camera onto the QV-10 CCD module. This could not only be nice just for the zooming, it could also help get better performance under low-light conditions. Has anybody tried this sort of thing?

Donald James Voge , October 25, 1997; 09:44 P.M.

I purchased a QV-120 in August, 1997, and was somewhat dismayed at the resolution, even at 640x480 still seemed a little fuzzy, but I realized that lower end digital cameras still have a ways to go to match traditional print film. Remember, traditional photography has about a 150 year head start over digital. In regards to heavy battery use: I also went through about a million batteries and quickly figured that the savings I anticipated in not having processing costs were rapidly evaporating, till I found a cure. I also read that Ni-cads were not good for the camera, but Ray-O-Vac has renewable alkaline batteries with a plug in charger. The total cost for the charger and 8 AA batteries (to be able to continuously rotate fresh batteries) came to about $20.00, and has probably saved me ten times that much in new batteries. The rechargable alkalines don't last quite as long as Ni-cad, but I have been recharging these for months, and so far they are doing fine. Also, once you have purchased the rechargable unit, new Ray-O-Vac rechargable batteries are relatively inexpensive. I found the recharger and the batteries at Target. FYI

Ed Lancaster , December 11, 1997; 09:34 P.M.

My discs are also corrupted. Sounds like Cascio has built them to self destruct after a few loadings. Any one know where can get copies of the discs?? Please?? I like the camera though.

Ricky Valdivia , December 20, 1997; 12:17 P.M.

Thanks to Bill Gates!!!!

I have a Casio QV-10a and when was downloading photos of the chamber to the PC the Windows 95 hung up and after that the camera get me the famous FATAL MEMORY ERROR.

A year ago that I can not use my camera, because I live in Argentina and the only one dealer of Casio that says be capable of accomplishing a software reset said me that would cost around U$S 80.

I think this is too expensive, because a software reset it's very simple to do.

I'll never paid U$S 80 for plug my camera to a PC and run this software reset.

I am electronic technician and I can not fix my camera by my self. That's ridiculous.

Again... Thanks to Bill Gates!!! For your wonderful and very stable Windows 95.

If anyone have this software please answer me.

Steve Mace , December 31, 1997; 05:48 A.M.

I bought a QV-300 a couple of months ago with the intention of using it to display snapshots on the Web for my family back in the States (I'm working in Amsterdam). My primary gripe with this camera is no flash capability. My friend has a Ricoh with flash that takes much better pictures in poor light. For pictures indoors with the QV300, lighting conditions have to pretty optimal for any results worth using. I would never recommend buying a digital camera without a flash, as this area seems to be overlooked in your review. Thanks for a great website on photography in general.

Jim Brust , January 16, 1998; 05:22 P.M.

Not seeming to be a very friendly device in NT. I don't imagine QV-Link is compatable. Is there any way around this? Where is this Photoshop plug-in?

Alf Stockton , January 17, 1998; 02:00 A.M.

With all the complaints re battery usage in the Casio QV-10 etc I fail to understand why users have not switched to using re-chargable ni-cads. This works well for. Granted the initial layout is high but after that it costs very little.

David Meir Cieplinski , April 23, 1998; 01:55 P.M.

I got a QV-10A as a free incentive from a salesman. So far I have used it to take thousands of pictures, downloaded on my home PC, a PC while on vacation, and a friend's Mac. All worked well, producing medium-quality picture files. I use rechargeable ni-cad batteries, or recharged alkaline batteries, as I do with all my battery-consuming equipment. This has not caused a problem, but I am always alert for the end of battery life. There have been two problems. One is the software, which is terrible. I used an Epson digital camera in 1996, and the `EZPhoto' software with it worked so much better. Also, since it plugs into my mouse port, I can't use both devices at once, which is a big hassle. The second was the FATAL MEMORY ERROR. This was not caused by my use of rechargeable batteries, but by the battery compartment door falling off while I was taking a picture. I can't understand why, as I never treated it roughly. Anyway, it was serviced for free and returned with the lost pictures intact. If Casio had asked me to pay for fatal error recovery, I would have thrown it away.

Richard Davis , April 23, 1998; 06:26 P.M.

I bought a QV-10A, when they dropped the price to $300. This was a waste of good money,the last time I threw away money was at a Casino,funny how the two names are like Casio & Casino. The problem with the camera is you can't download the pictures to Adobe Photoshop,and can send only one picture at a time to this picture editor. Your time and batterys are wasting away just to get a few pictures to Adobe, The company (Casio) didn't spend enough time to write software that could accomplish this.Beware if you buy Casio camera and be sure to get the salesperson to inform you if they have improved this feature.

Brian Ristuccia , May 26, 1998; 08:56 P.M.

I have two qv10a cameras I aquired at about the same time (around 18 months ago). I just recently unboxed the second camera, and within 5 batches of photos, it's having problems.

I keep getting memory error #1's, and resetting the camera doesn't seem to fix the problem. Even after I used the qvplay software to delete all the pictures in the camera and reset it, there were problems. Now it seems to want to take pictures only in black and white. The LCD's not broken, the pictures are actually B&W when downloaded. After only a few shots, it's got a memory error #1 again.

My other qv10a camera has been dropped down stairs, out car windows, and run all the way to totally deal batteries while taking pictures. I haven't had any problems with it, and I've never seen a memory error.

What gives?

Noah -- , June 05, 1998; 07:45 P.M.

I have an almost opposite perspective of the QV-10A camera.

I think too many camera snobs discount the digital cameras because their resolution is lower than a film camera. But a good picture isn't just defined by how clear it is. It's also partly due to framing and composition. It took me a long time to get used to the LCD screen because I was so used to a view-finder, but finally I've decided that I prefer the LCD screen. I think the QV-10A is a good way to learn to compose pictures better because you get instant feedback through the LCD screen and because you don't have to worry about "wasting" film. I've taken some great pictures with this camera. I don't think the 320x240 size limits their impact. Sure, I'd love a megapixel camera, but you get what you pay for, and I think I've had a bigger bang for my buck with this camera.

My QV-10A cost $200 which is below the $300 list price. The QV10A has better color than many more expensive digital cameras I've used. The camera has survived numerous droppings and even dog bites. It doesn't LOOK sturdy! It you want a bang-around, but good quality camera I recommend the QV-10A.

David S. Rose , July 02, 1998; 11:23 P.M.

I think there's a consistent thread here...[sigh]. I too have been unable to successfully download using QV-Link Mac, after switching to System 8 (or maybe System 7). It appears to be some type of power problem, which it can't be because I'm using the power adapter (which I even checked with a DM to make sure it was working). The most outrageous thing, however, is that QV-Link is NOT available for download from the web, for all of us with corrupted disks and those who need upgrades. Come on, Casio, this thing ONLY works with YOUR cameras, and is a required part of the process! Ah well. So, does anyone have any idea as to where a poor soul like me can download the latest (functional) version of QV-Link Mac?

Steve Krajewski , September 28, 1998; 02:05 P.M.

I bought a Casio QV-100B from an on-line auction. I wanted to use it for a "show-and-tell" at the parts store etc.(as in, "See, I want one that looks like this...") also got it for web pix to family on the internet etc. I also found the camera to be a battery gobbler! I talked to Casio about this, they said NOT to use ni-cad batteries as their life was too short (i.e. memory error); and NOT to use lithium batteries as they get too hot in the camera case and could damage the camera. This was after I read in the camera manual that said I could use lithium batteries if I find alkaline life to be too short. At the present time, I am using four lithium AA cells, but am doing a "turn on the camera-take-the picture-turn off camera" sequence. I also made a 110 VAC to 6 VDC adapter; and a D cell battery pack for longer field sessions. The software is a little clumsy, especially when you have to disconnect your scanner and mouse to use the input cable from the camera to the computer. Casio said I couldn't use an input switcher instead of doing all the disconnecting, as the camera and software "won't like that." I do like the feature that lets you download to a VCR tape for picture storage/review. I don't like the poor pix quality in anything but perfect lighting conditions. Overall, I'd buy it again for the price, even though there are some things I would like to see changed...Hey, you get what you pay for. Steve

Marc Majcher , March 06, 1999; 11:47 P.M.

I bought a Casio QV-120 about a year and a bit ago, and it's been okay, with some notable problems. First off, it really seems to dislike low light - it pretty much requires fairly bright natural or flourescent light to get any decent picture out of it at all. Even "normal" incandescent light looks dark. And, of course, the quality is what you would expect of a $300 digital. However, one thing that gets me is that it seems that the image quality is actually going *down* over time! The pictures it takes now are completely out of focus, and there is no manual working of it, so it's more or less completely useless to me now... Has anyone else experienced this?

Malcolm Gin , October 21, 1999; 06:05 P.M.

I have a QV-770. The power problem presumably still remains since Casio still warns against rechargeables. On the advice of a totally different digital camera reviewer (I've lost their URL to the sands of disorganization -- I thought I had their URL bookmarked or memorized, but apparently I was wrong), though, I bought two sets of four of Casio's own NiMH AA type batteries with charger (a sleek, slimline recharger with a flip-out plug). The reviewers recommended (and I've confirmed that this works with my camera) switching to recharged batteries or turning off the camera at the FIRST SIGN of a low battery warning. I've never felt the need to test the camera to its low voltage limits.

I'm mostly disappointed that it doesn't use any forms of removeable media for storage. Otherwise, I pretty much knew what I was getting which was essentially a tool for capturing low-quality pictures from the world to the web with a minimum of fuss. It also works well for those totally uninvolved with the photography community to avoid the whole processing hassle when your camera's filled with pictures you don't want anyone else to see. Simply download to your computer, encrypt, and archive on a CD-R somewhere.

For a look at the last time I used the camera to document a trip, try the link I'll add shortly to my 'photojournal' from a visit to San Francisco to see my family.

So far neither I nor my friend with the QV-10 who got me hooked on this line of cameras has fried his camera due to low power, and we've both had reasonably pleasant glancing blows with Casio sales and support. But especially here, YMMV. I won't go out on a limb and say that others' experiences are any less valid than my own.

Roy Williams , October 01, 2000; 01:03 A.M.

Well folks i have a miracle fix for the camara there are 2 solutions one which works for these ERRORS: MEMORY ERROR #1: Recoverable by yourself. Photos available. MEMORY ERROR #2: Recoverable by yourself. All photos lost. except: MEMORY ERROR #3: Fatal error.

First Solution" turn on the camera, powered by the AC adaptor, whilst holding down [ZOOM] and [DEL]. Then follow the on-screen messages

Second Solution: Go To http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/kn6y-gtu/ Since i do not have permission to copy the information.

yehuda paradise , November 02, 2000; 11:23 P.M.

A friend of mine complained that using the LCD screen as a viewfinder was practically impossible in sunlight. So I dismantled an optical (Newton) finder from an old broken-down "film camera" and glued it to the left side of the Casio QV-10 (the part that swivels). Granted, the viewing angle is not exactly that of the camera lens, but it helps...

Andrew Grant , November 18, 2000; 06:08 P.M.

I am surprised that people are still using this camera. Didn't it come out years ago? I think photo.net needs some reviews of more up to date cameras. The newer digital cameras do a much better job of replacing film cameras. Someone needs to get Phil a Canon EOS D30. His comments would be very interesting.

I am of the school that believes in buying cameras from camera companies. Canon, Nikon and Olympus all make good digital cameras.

Kurt Zoglmann , June 05, 2004; 07:38 P.M.

I'm glad that this camera is classified as "ancient history". I used this camera quite a bit during the good old days. Using the serial port always seemed to cause problems on my computer (I had enough other periphials that I had problems allocating the IRQ necessary for the external COM port!).

I still have tons of pictures taken with this camera. They make me laugh, but also look in awe in how far digital cameras have come. I now own a Canon Digital Rebel with several lens.


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