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Conclusion - Pros

  • Overall good image quality, colours are accurate yet not over saturated
  • Resolution is better than 3 megapixel prosumer level digital cameras but not best of class
  • Good metering
  • White balance performed well, even under incandescent light
  • Good control over cameras internal processing algorithms (colour, tone, sharpness)
  • Good design balance between ergonomics and aesthetics
  • Sharp, fast lens with little distortion and little chromatic aberrations
  • Good build quality, though a little more plastic feeling than some of its competitors
  • External controls are easy to use thanks to selector dial
  • Good range of manual controls (aperture, shutter priority, manual exposure)
  • Live view histogram
  • Wide range of digital enhancements and effects
  • Excellently implemented scene mode: 'best shot mode' - user configurable
  • Magnified focus mode available in both AF and MF
  • Long exposure noise reduction works well, good range of shutter speeds
  • Compact Flash Type II and official Microdrive support
  • External flash PC Sync connector for connection to external and studio flash
  • Good shot-to-shot times
  • AF assist lamp
  • Excellent battery life (good supplied NiMH batteries & charger)
  • Ability to generate HTML pages in-camera
  • USB connectivity


Conclusion - Cons

  • Slow startup times (lens extension)
  • Over aggressive flat area noise reduction, no option to disable
  • Consistent underexposure with internal flash
  • Poor continuous shooting speed
  • Slow write times with IBM Microdrive
  • Menu system can seem sluggish
  • Average macro performance
  • Zoom controller does not have enough increments / multiple zoom speed
  • Barrel distortion at wide angle
  • Limited number of apertures
  • Poorly positioned tripod mount


Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Casio QV-4000: (4 megapixel prosumer)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8
Features 9
Image quality 8
Lens / CCD combination 8
Ease of use 8.5
Value for money 9

All this for just $700? Yes, that's the hard truth which manufacturers like Canon, Olympus and Nikon have to face. Casio, not known for their photography equipment, have once more produce a high quality and very well featured digital camera which delivers very good image quality for $200 less than most of its competitors.

It's not perfect, but the few glitches can be forgiven, the QV-4000 produces higher quality, more detailed and better balanced images than its older brother the QV-3000 and goes on to be better than even the best 3 megapixel prosumer digital camera.

Not only have Casio delivered good image quality but they've piled on the features, live view histogram, lots of control over internal processing algorithms, good digital effects and the excellent 'best shot' scene mode which can even be used to memorize your own groups of camera settings.

However, I was disappointed by the aggressive noise reduction, slow Microdrive write speed and flash performance. These things though can be forgiven, and for the most part the QV-4000 delivers image quality which would, to the average user, be indistinguishable from its more expensive competitors. Best bang for your buck?

Recommended

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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