Casio QV-3000EX Review
Night Scene Mode
Night Scene mode sets the camera up to take longer exposure shots, it also uses a special "noise reduction" algorithm to remove noise from long exposures. To see the difference this makes the two shots below were taken firstly in Night Scene mode, then a matching 1 second exposure taken in Shutter Priority mode. (Tripod mounted & self-timer)
|Night Scene Mode
1 second, F2.0
|Shutter Priority Mode
1 second, F2.0
As we can see, Night Scene mode indeed removes noise, it also seems to darken and soften the image quite a bit. The normal shot (Shutter Priority) at 1 second is quite noisy. To get the right result for this composition in Night Scene mode we really could have done with a 2 second exposure, unfortunately 1 second is the maximum exposure (hmmm). It also takes about 8 seconds longer to process a Night Scene image (noise removal I presume).
Image Filters (Sharpness / Saturation / Contrast)
The QV-3000EX offers quite a few aftereffect filters, control over the cameras internal sharpening system (a standard part of the algorithm adopted by digital cameras) plus filters to enhance or tone down saturation and contrast.
Shown below are crops from each different setting of a standard test scene. In the interests of bandwidth and storage space originals for this batch are not available.
||Sharpness: Normal||Sharpness: Hard|
||Contrast: Normal||Contrast: High|
||Saturation: Normal||Saturation: High|
The QV-3000EX features FOUR sensitivity levels, on the menu they're represented by "Normal, +1.0, +2.0, +3.0".. No mention is made in the manual of what ISO these equate to but we roughly calculated them to be about ISO 100, 200, 320 and 480. Using the same scene as above four images were shot, one at each ISO a crop from each is shown below.
As you can see noise progressively increases with sensitivity, though I'd say that up to +2.0 is perfectly workable shooting images for the web (in print the noise would be noticeable).
This section applies ONLY to the QV-3000EX/Ir which is available only in Europe
Here's what the Manual says about the Infrared capability of this camera: This camera uses IrDA IrTran-P protocol, which was jointly developed by NTT, Sony, Sharp, Okaya Systemware and CASIO to provide a means for transferring digital camera still images using infrared signals. (January 1998)
Put simply the Infrared mode can only be used to transfer images between the QV-3000EX and another camera which supports the IrTran-P protocol, it cannot be used to transfer files to (say) your notebook (at least with the software supplied by Casio).
UPDATE 23/May/2000: Confirmed, the QV-3000EX/Ir can send images to a PC (Win98 / 2000) with no extra drivers.. Maximum transfer speed is 115kbps (shame).
Transfer works on a per image basis, when you're in playback mode and viewing an image simply press the transmit button (flash button) to send an image or receive button (focus mode) to receive an image.
Other shooting modes
Two other shooting modes are available: Portrait which seems to alter the colour balance to suit skin tones, also seems to use a softening algorithm. Landscape which simply focus to distant objects, disables the flash and fixes the white balance for outdoor shooting.