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Design

The QV-3000EX takes many of its design hints from traditional compact cameras, big lens placed fairly centrally with a good sized hand grip and rectangular construction. The first thing that strikes you about the 3000EX is its size. Though not much longer than a Coolpix 950 it's certainly thicker and this gives the camera a bit of a bulky feel. That said, the bulk is countered by it's light weight, no magnesium alloy case here, it's all plastic and feels like it, even the hand grip which is the one place I'd have hoped for a little rubber it's just black plastic. This makes the camera feel light and a little "hollow".

Most of the controls are simple plastic buttons, the 4-way direction controller doesn't have enough feel in it for me, it's sometimes difficult to tell if it's been pressed fully (there's no click or enough movement), something else that doesn't really have enough movement to it is the zoom controller which is a diagonally angled rocker which sits under your thumb, it has no noticeable movement and yet a slight push or tug with your thumb controls the zoom.

Here, compared to the Nikon Coolpix 950 you can see similar length dimensions but a much thicker body make the QV-3000EX feel quite bulky.

In-hand

The QV-3000EX feels big in your hand, substantial, the nicely designed thumb mould combined with the camera's size and fairly light weight makes holding the camera steady relatively easy. All controls fall under your finger or thumb easily without blocking the LCD.


Rear LCD Display

The rear LCD is sharp and clear, bright enough to use in daylight, yet it left me with the feeling that Casio could have put something larger on the back of this big digicam, it does look a little swamped by the plastic case...

Plenty of information is displayed on the LCD and the preview image refreshes quickly and doesn't suffer from smear or washed out images. Unfortunately the LCD only gives about 92% view which means you normally get more frame left and right than you've composed.


Top LCD Display

The top LCD displays current status information, it indicates:

Manual Focus mode, Macro mode, Infinity lock, Self-Timer (2s / 10s), Flash-off, Red-eye reduction, battery capacity and remaining number of images.


Viewfinder

The viewfinder is the fairly typical fairly small frame view which is located directly over the main lens (thus parallax errors when taking close-up shots are only vertical). Their is a dioptric adjustment on the side of the viewfinder to ensure correct focus for those using glasses.
The view through the viewfinder has a central "aim" cross for helping in shot composition and also indicates the auto focus spot.

Rear light indicators show the status of:

Green Steady Ready to shoot (good AF lock)
Green Flashing Recording / Busy / No focus / Low light
Amber Steady Flash Charged, ready to shoot
Amber Flashing Flash Charging
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