Casio QV-8000SX review
I've had my QV-8000 since Nov. '99 and have plenty of opportunity to evaluate it's functions. My Dad has the Casio QV-770, that's what put me on to the 8000 initially. I also am into astronomy so I was looking for a camera capable of long exposures >30s. With the 8000 you get a MAX of 64s even with the remote (according to Casio techs I spoke with this is due to software limitations in the camera itself.)
Anyway, after extensive web research and some hands on at a local CompUsa I ordered my camera off the internet and haven't looked back. Though the image quality is not on par with a film camera, it is more than adequate for reproduction via a computer/printer setup. Careful attention to setup will reduce unwanted color tinting, and tinkering with all the settings will allow some very creative photo ops.
A viewfinder is a waste in my opinion, and the swivel lens allows me to get shots a fixed camera never could, like over a crowd, reverse shots, ground to sky shots, etc. One of the nicest features is the timed exposures (1min >) I've used this feature for shooting the Christmas Eclipse of 2000, and other similar actvities.
The wired remote is a nice feature, allowing the camera to be kept stable while taking awkward angles, etc. Also, with the myriad of adjustments to time, apeture, focus, etc this camera is versatile to the point of overkill. But working through the menu system is so easy that I can make changes in seconds and get creative right away.
The newer 2800 would be a good choice too as it has a better LCD (visible in daylight) and higher resolution.
As far as batteries go it will eat rechargables and alkalines, but I have found Lithiums are the way to go if you don't want to lug around a batter pack. A set of Energizer Lithiums are worth 5 sets of Alks easy.
The biggest problems I have encountered are dimly lit interior shots. With the limited flash range, indoor lighting is a must. If you will mainly shoot interior shots try for another camera.