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Digital Cameras - Casio QV-2000 Test Images

(Original test posting: 1/12/00)

We've begun including links in our reviews to a Thumber-generated index page for our test shots. The Thumber data includes a host of information on the images, including shutter speed, ISO setting, compression setting, etc. Rather than clutter the page below with *all* that detail, we're posting the Thumber index so only those interested in the information need wade through it! ;)

Outdoor portrait: (848k) This is a tough shot for many digicams, due to the extreme tonal range. (Which is why we set it up this way!) The trick is to hold highlight and shadow detail without producing a "flat" picture with muddy colors. The QV-2000 is a bit more contrasty than most, and so tends to both lose the highlights and plug the shadows a bit quicker. We shot this image using both the automatic (859k) and manual (848k) white balance settings. We felt the automatic versions resulted in a slightly yellowish cast (even more so with the daylight option, not shown here), so we chose the manual setting for our main shot (848k) here. The Q-2000 has a tendendy to produce a slight magenta cast in highlights and high-key subjects, but the color balance is otherwise good. Notably, the blues in the flowers and model's pants show none of the purplish tendency evidenced by many digicams in this shot. As usual, this shot required some exposure compensation, about 1/3 of an EV unit in our main image. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from - to +1.0 EV, with the exception of the +0.7 EV shot, which we unfortunately lost 'twixt the camera and the computer...

Exposure Variations:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/439
Aperture: F5.6
(864k)
+0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/362
Aperture: F5.6
(868k)
+0.7 EV
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/310
Aperture: F4.5
(811k)


 
Closer portrait: (824k) The QV-2000 does a decent job with this "portrait" shot, thanks to its zoom lens. (Shorter focal length lenses tend to distort facial features in close-up shots like this: The availability of longer focal lengths is a key feature if you're going to be shooting close-in people shots like this.) As usual, this closer version of the above shot required less exposure compensation, with our main shot (824k) having no adjustment at all. Sharpness and detail are good, but not exceptional, roughly in the middle of the pack of the current (December, 1999) range of two megapixel cameras. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from - to +1.3 EV.

Exposure Variations:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/380
Aperture: F5.6
(824k)
+0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/398
Aperture: F5
(819k)
+0.7 EV
Shutter: 1/319
Aperture: F5
(810k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/382
Aperture: F4.5
(801k)
+1.3 EV
Shutter: 1/277
Aperture: F4.5
(774k)


 
Indoor portrait, flash: (857k) This shot is tricky because of the potential differences between the color balance of the flash and the bright room lighting. Many cameras produce odd bluish highlights here, but the QV-2000 didn't fall prey to that trap. It did produce a somewhat magenta-colored image though, very possibly due to the bright incandescent lighting. The default flash exposure setting (834k) tended to wash out the highlights in the model's shirt, another common problem in this shot. One of the nice features of the QV-2000 though, is its option for reduced flash output, which produced the more evenly-lit version we used for our main shot (857k). In this shot, the pinkish color cast is more pronounced, but highlight detail is well-preserved. The pink cast is fairly easily removed using Photoshop(tm), or our favorite post-exposure image-tweaking program, PhotoGenetics.

 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (782k) This shot is a very tough test of a camera's white balance capabilities, thanks to the strong yellowish cast of the household incandescent lighting it's shot under. The QV-2000 did remarkably well with this difficult light source, although the best results were again achieved in manual white balance mode (782k). The auto white balance setting (795k) produced a very good result, but actually over-compensated slightly for the room lighting, resulting in cooler tones. As is frequently the case with digicams, the incandescent white balance option (750k) appears to be balanced for professional tungsten lighting, leaving a rather warm cast in the resulting image. We also tried shots with both normal (782k) and high sensitivity (848k) light sensitivity settings. The high sensitivity version produced a slightly sharper image, as well as one that was somewhat better color-balanced, but at the usual cost of increased noise. Interestingly, while Casio doesn't indicate the effective ISO of the QV-2000 (either in the manual or in the file headers), it appears that the sensitivity boost in "high" mode is relatively modest, increasing the shutter speed by about 50% all else being equal. This smaller sensitivity boost also translates into a somewhat smaller increase in image noise than we're accustomed to seeing with other variable-ISO cameras.

The tables below show the results of various exposure-compensation settings, in both normal and high-sensitivity exposure modes. (The main shot was taken with an exposure compensation of +0.7EV units.)

Exposure Series, Normal Sensitivity:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/23
Aperture: F2
(827k)
+0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/16
Aperture: F2
(813k)
+0.7 EV
Shutter: 1/11
Aperture: F2
(782k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/9
Aperture: F2
(760k)
+1.3 EV
Shutter: 1/6
Aperture: F2
(689k)

Exposure Series, High Sensitivity:
0 EV
Shutter: 1/26
Aperture: F2
(880k)
+0.3 EV
Shutter: 1/23
Aperture: F2
(870k)
+0.7 EV
Shutter: 1/16
Aperture: F2
(850k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/11
Aperture: F2
(790k)
+1.3 EV
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F2
(727k)


 
House shot: (870k) NOTE that this is the "new" house shot, a much higher-resolution poster than we first used in our tests. To compare the image of the QV-2000 with previously-tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster (885k).

In our toughest test of camera resolution, the QV-2000 did fine, producing good resolution and detail, albeit not as much as we've seen in some 2 megapixel cameras, with a slightly soft focus overall, but no apparent additional loss in the corners. The camera also takes excellent pictures in its low-resolution mode, a capability that's not always a given with 2 megapixel camears.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(870k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(710k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(430k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/115
Aperture: F2
(230k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(140k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/115
Aperture: F2
(101k)


We experimented with the QV-2000's white balance options on this shot, and found that the manual preset white balance option again won out, although the "auto" setting did quite well also. The table below shows the results of various white balance settings.

White Balance Variations:
Auto
Shutter: 1/115
Aperture: F2
(231k)
Daylight
Shutter: 1/119
Aperture: F2
(230k)
Cloudy
Shutter: 1/130
Aperture: F2
(227k)
Manual
Shutter: 1/115
Aperture: F2
(230k)


The default in-camera sharpening provides reasonable results, but we found the low-sharpness setting could take tremendous amounts of sharpening in Photoshop(tm), producing very crisp images with little or no adverse effect. (This shot (897k) shows the effect of heavy unsharp masking in Photoshop, 230% at a radius of 0.9 pixels.) We conclude that the lens and sensor of the QV-2000 are quite good, and that better in-camera sharpening could significantly improve the apparent resolution. For critical shots, you may want to capture in the "Soft" sharpness mode and then sharpen the image on the computer later. See the links in the table below for samples of the full range of sharpening options.

Sharpness Variations:
Soft
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(891k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(870k)
Hard
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(890k)
Soft/Photoshop
(897k)


The QV-2000 provides a wider range of image-control options than most cameras we've seen. (December, 1999) Besides sharpening, and color balance, it also provides options to adjust the contrast and color saturation. We can see both of these adjustments being very useful in different shooting situations, and would encourage QV-2000 owners to experiment liberally with them. (Remember, it doesn't cost anything to shoot more pictures!) Given the relationship between tonal balance and color, we weren't surprised to find that the "contrast" setting also had a fairly significant effect on color saturation as well, whereas the "saturation" option generally affected only saturation. Our one criticism of the settings is that the contrast adjustment doesn't really seem to extend the tonal range of the camera, as we would expect it to. (Our expectation was that shooting with lower contrast would help hold detail in both highlight and shadow areas of the images. We found instead that it seemed to have more effect in the midtone areas (more of a gamma adjustment) than at the extremes of the tonal scale.) The tables below contain samples of the different contrast and saturation settings of the camera.

Contrast Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/91
Aperture: F2
(845k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(230k)
High
Shutter: 1/130
Aperture: F2
(890k)


Saturation Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(845k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(230k)
High
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2
(898k)


 
 
Far-Field shot: (366k) This image is shot at infinity to test far-field lens performance. NOTE that this image cannot be directly compared to the other "house" shot, which is a poster, shot in the studio. The rendering of detail in the poster will be very different than in this shot, and color values (and even the presence or absence of leaves on the trees!) will vary in this subject as the seasons progress. In general though, you can evaluate detail in the bricks, shingles, and window detail, and in the tree branches against the sky. Compression artifacts are most likely to show in the trim along the edge of the roof, in the bricks, or in the relatively "flat" areas in the windows

Good detail, although again the best results are obtained by shooting in "Soft" sharpness mode and then applying unsharp masking after the fact in Photoshop(tm). As noted above though, the lens is equally sharp across its field, so the QV-2000 actually does better in the corners than some cameras that may be rated as sharper in the center of the frame. We didn't shoot a range of white balance variations here, but simply used the manual option for our standard resolution/quality series, which appears in the table below.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(875k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/380
Aperture: F5
(710k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(425k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(230k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(150k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(115k)


We again ran a range of sharpness variations on this shot, with the results shown in the table below.

Sharpness Variations:
Soft
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(882k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(874k)
Hard
Shutter: 1/379
Aperture: F5
(889k)


Here's a series shot with variations in the contrast setting. As we noted before, using a lower contrast setting doesn't appear to affect the camera's overall tonal range, as we'd hoped. It's still useful for high-contrast subjects, but we'd really like to see the contrast option affect tonal range as well.

Contrast Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/461
Aperture: F4.5
(234k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/382
Aperture: F5
(233k)
High
Shutter: 1/369
Aperture: F5
(235k)


And finally, a series shot with different saturation settings. (For whatever reason, we felt the saturation adjustment had a larger effect on these shots than on the House poster above.)

Saturation Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(233k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/389
Aperture: F5
(232k)
High
Shutter: 1/426
Aperture: F5
(237k)


 
Lens Zoom Range (new): We've received a number of requests from readers to take shots showing the lens focal length range of those cameras with zoom lenses. Thus, we're happy to present you here with the following series of shots, showing the field of view with respectively, the lens at full wide-angle, the lens at full telephoto, and the lens at full telephoto with 2x "digital telephoto" enabled. All these images are shot at the QV-2000's small file size, to save download times. One consequence of this though, is that the "digital tele" looks as sharp as the normal images, even though all are shown at the same size. In actual practice, the normal shots could have this level of sharpness at the full 1600x1200 image size, while the digital tele is restricted to the smaller 800x600 dimensions. Overall, with a 3x zoom lens, the QV-2000's performance here is pretty typical of mainstream zoom-equipped digicams.

Wide
(233k)
Shutter: 1/ 334
Aperture: F5
Tele
(228k)
Shutter: 1/ 394
Aperture: F4.5
Digital Tele 2x
(198k)
Shutter: 1/ 372
Aperture: F5.6


"Musicians" poster: (877k) Again, good resolution, although detail is somewhat coarse unless you choose to shoot in "Soft" mode and sharpen later in an imaging program. We shot samples of this using auto (216k), daylight (225k), and cloudy (226k) white balance options. (Sorry, didn't try the manual white balance on this one). We felt the auto won out, although some people may prefer the warmer cast of the daylight version. The resulting color is good, but a bit undersaturated. The table below carries links to our standard resolution/quality series.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(877k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(693k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(426k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(260k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(150k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(120k)


We again ran a range of sharpness variations on this shot, with the results shown in the table below.

Sharpness Variations:
Soft
Shutter: 1/68
Aperture: F2
(899k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/72
Aperture: F2
(877k)
Hard
Shutter: 1/70
Aperture: F2
(898k)


 
Macro shot: (845k) While not in the "microscopic" range, the QV-2000 performs quite well in the macro category, with a minimum area of only 2.25 x 3.0 inches (57 x 76 mm). Good detail, sharpness, and color, although again the slight magenta cast the QV-2000 seems fond of. The QV-2000's flash did a good job of throttling down enough at closest approach, producing this (826k) somewhat dark image. (It actually throttled-down a bit too much, in response to the bright reflection from the coin.) The digital tele works well up close, as seen in this 2x (179k) image, a useful feature for those wanting lower-resolution ultra closeups for web applications.

 
"Davebox" test target: (815k) The QV-2000 slightly overexposed this shot, to the extent that we probably should have reshot it (but didn?t). Color accuracy is quite good, with only a slight weakness in the greens, but the brighter areas show the camera?s tendency to shift toward the magenta somewhat. The overexposure resulted in some loss of the delicate pastels of the Q60 color target at bottom center. Given the overall overexposure, we?d expect to see a bit more detail in the deepest shadows, but actually found the level of detail in the bricks to be about average. In this shot, the daylight (199k) and auto (199k) white balance settings produced nearly identical results, with a slightly warm cast, leading us to choose the manual option (815k) for our main shot. The table below shows the usual range of resolution/quality settings.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/64
Aperture: F2
(815k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/64
Aperture: F2
(636k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/64
Aperture: F2
(380k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/87
Aperture: F2
(196k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/70
Aperture: F2
(150k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/70
Aperture: F2
(120k)


We again ran a range of sharpness variations on this shot, with the results shown in the table below. As usual, the ?soft? setting appears to simply correspond to no sharpening being applied to the raw image, while the ?hard? version is pretty heavy-handed.)

Sharpness Variations:
Soft
Shutter: 1/66
Aperture: F2
(720k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/64
Aperture: F2
(810k)
Hard
Shutter: 1/74
Aperture: F2
(898k)


Here's a series shot with variations in the contrast setting. As we noted before, using a lower contrast setting doesn't appear to affect the camera's overall tonal range, as we'd hoped. It's still useful for high-contrast subjects, but we'd really like to see the contrast option affect tonal range as well.

Contrast Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/55
Aperture: F2
(661k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/68
Aperture: F2
(717k)
High
Shutter: 1/74
Aperture: F2
(718k)


And finally, a series shot with different saturation settings. (For whatever reason, we felt the saturation adjustment also had a larger effect on these shots than on the House poster above.)

Saturation Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/63
Aperture: F2
(776k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/63
Aperture: F2
(809k)
High
Shutter: 1/65
Aperture: F2
(882k)


 
 
Low-Light Tests 
Normally, we compare cameras' low-light performance with their published specifications, but in the case of the QV-2000, Casio doesn't provide any equivalent ISO specs, so we're a bit in the dark (so to speak) as to what its "official" capability should be. In our tests, we found that it would produce usable images in lighting levels as low as 1 foot-candle (11 lux), the level we've previously referred to as EV7. This is about equivalent to the illumination level of cityscapes under bright streetlighting. We did find focusing somewhat problematic at this low a light level though. The optional sensitivity boost function helps a little (perhaps on the order of 50%), but still doesn't significantly extend the lower end of the camera's usable light range.

The table below shows the best exposure we were able to obtain for each of a range of illumination levels. Images in this table (like all our sample photos) are untouched, exactly as they came from the camera.


Exposure Compensation series:
8fc (10EV)
Normal Mode
Normal Sens.
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F2
(838k)
4fc (9EV)
Normal Mode
Normal Sens.
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F2
(837k)
2fc (8EV)
Night Mode
High Sensitivity
Shutter: 1/1
Aperture: F2
(876k)
1fc (7EV)
Night Mode
High Sensitivity
Shutter: 1
Aperture: F2
(791k)
0.5fc (6EV)
Night Mode
High Sensitivity
Shutter: 1
Aperture: F2
(645k)


 
Flash Range Test (New)
(This test was added in August 1999, so cameras tested before that time won't have comparison pictures available. As we go forward though, all the new models will have similar tests available.)

Casio rates the QV-2000's flash to 13 feet (4.0 m), which we felt was reasonable, although just a tad further than we'd have said, as we felt there was noticeable light falloff at that point, albeit not severe. We'd say that the flash will work fine out to their rated distance, but the resulting images will be just a little dark...

Flash Range/Distance: 
8 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(216k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(212k)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(193k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(93k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(216k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(216k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/20
Aperture: F4
(216k)


ISO 12233 ("WG-18") resolution target: (249k) We felt the QV-2000 UX's performance in the resolution test was poorer than it appeared in the "natural" test subjects, as it only measured 600-650 lines per picture height in the vertical direction and 650-700 in the horizontal. There were also moderate amounts of aliasing visible as far back as 550 lines per picture height. The camera will certainly produce good-looking 8x10 prints, along with the rest of the 2 megapixel digicam field, but it's sharpness and resolution are at the lower end of the current field. (December, 1999) Still, it provides more resolution and detail than the 1.5 megapixel cameras, and offers a tremendous range of features at an affordable price... As always, the tables below contain samples of all combinations of resolution and image quality, this time for both telephoto and wide angle lens settings.

Wide Angle Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/112
Aperture: F2.2
(703k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/106
Aperture: F2.2
(476k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/113
Aperture: F2.2
(278k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/128
Aperture: F2.2
(165k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/116
Aperture: F2.2
(115k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/107
Aperture: F2.2
(98k)


Telephoto Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(694k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(450k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(268k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(161k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(111k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/81
Aperture: F2
(95k)


Digital Telephoto Resolution/Quality series:
Fine
Shutter: 1/68
Aperture: F2
(160k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/70
Aperture: F2
(113k)


 
Viewfinder accuracy/flash uniformity target: As noted in the main review, the QV-2000 is unusual in the close agreement between the LCD and optical viewfinders, both showing about 88% of the final image area. Overall, we prefer to see 100% of the image in the LCD (a surprisingly rare occurrence among digicams we've tested), but can see that having the LCD and optical viewfinders agree closely is a good thing for most users, since you won't have to "recalibrate" your framing when switching between the two. Numerically, the optical viewfinder showed 88% of the final area at wide angle (299k), and 86% at telephoto (307k). The LCD showed 88% at wide angle (299k) and 89.5% at telephoto (321k).

Optical distortion on the QV-2000 is quite low, with the lens showing 0.73 percent barrel distortion at wide angle and 0.06 percent (one pixel, almost undetectable) at the telephoto setting. Chromatic aberration is almost non-existent, estimated at less than half a pixel at all focal length settings. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target). Flash uniformity is better than most, with only slight falloff at the edges in wide-angle mode, and none at all in telephoto.

 

 

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