Casio QV-4000 Review
Casio should be complemented for their aesthetically pleasing design. The QV-4000 has an attractive, nicely shaped and well thought-out design, the 'chunky' lens barrel surround dominates the front of the camera and its proportion to the rest of the camera does give it a stylish look. The body itself is made from a relatively tough plastic material, the metal is found surrounding the lens barrel, on the small hand-grip, the top dials and the lighter coloured strip which runs around the top and sides of the body.
Control layout is logical enough, although the rather unique 'layered dials' may take a little getting used to. Most operations are carried out with a button press in combination with the metal selector dial or by using the 4-way control button. The moulding on the back of the camera means that your thumb will fit snugly and aid camera grip. The rubber hand-grip strip around the front may seem small but thanks to the depth (girth) of the grip it's more than sufficient.
Despite its plastic case the QV-4000's build quality is very good, no creaks or rattles, all doors and buttons have a solid enough feel (except maybe for the top layered drive / exposure dials which do have a little lateral movement) on the whole a solid feeling camera which seems well built.
Here you can see the QV-4000 beside some of its competition, Canon's PowerShot G2. Note the identical lens (Canon 7 - 21 mm, F2.0 - F2.5). Looking at this shot I prefer the QV-4000's design, strangely the G2 looks a dated (for a new camera!). Having said that the G2 does have that nifty fold-out and twist LCD and a flash hot-shoe.
The QV-4000 feels comfortable in your hand, the moulded rear thumb grip and control layout mean that there's a natural grip position as soon as you pick up the camera. I personally would like to have seen a slightly deeper hand grip and more use of rubber around the front, but it looks as though the designer decided on that.
Top status LCD 'data panel'
The status LCD on the top of the QV-4000 provides an instant view of camera settings (battery, metering, focus, flash etc.) and frames remaining. In Program mode The current exposure (shutter speed / aperture) are displayed when you half-press the shutter release, in aperture priority, shutter priority or manual the selected shutter speed or aperture are displayed all the time.
A complete breakdown of information displayed on the top status LCD is shown below.
Rear LCD Monitor
Just like most other compact digital cameras the QV-4000 features an 'optical tunnel' type viewfinder, the view through which isn't particularly big, clear or accurate (and closer distances there will be some frame shift due to parallax error). The viewfinder itself has a central aiming crosshair which indicates the center of the frame (for distant shots).
The lights beside the viewfinder indicate:
|Green Steady||Good auto focus lock|
|Green Blinking||Camera busy / starting / saving / movie ready|
|Red Steady||Can not focus|
|Orange Steady||Flash charged and will fire with exposure|
|Orange Blinking||Flash charging|
The QV-4000's battery compartment is located in the base of the camera. It's opened by flipping a small locking clip (which, if sprung would have been easier to close in a hurry). The QV-4000 is supplied with a set of four excellent 1600 mAH NiMH AA rechargeable batteries and a battery charger, Kudos Casio.
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