Digital Camera Home > Digital Camera Reviews > Casio Digital Cameras > Casio QV-3000EX

Casio QV-3000EX

Casio steps into the 3-megapixel era with great picture quality and 340 megabytes of storage!

<<Reference: Datasheet :(Previous) | (Next): Print-Friendly Review Version>>

QV-3000EX Sample Images

Review First Posted: 2/14/2000

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: (1136k) 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. We shot this image using the automatic (1130k), manual (1126k) and daylight (1137k) white balance settings. Both the automatic and daylight versions looked very similar, so we chose the daylight setting for our main shot (1136k) because it offered the best skin tones and whites. The manual setting produced much cooler results. The QV-3000EX did a pretty good job here with color balance, judging from the extremely difficult blues of the flowers and the model's pants. Many digicams have a tendency to reproduce these with a purplish hue and although the QV-3000EX didn't go to that extreme, it did reproduce the blue a little warmer than it actually is. No real problem with this though, we're just glad it didn't come out purple. The highlight areas look really good and there's just a hint of blue in the shadows, but overall color balance is very nice. Detail also looks good in the shadow areas and noise is very minimal. Resolution looks very nice, particularly in the small leaves next to the model's shirt. We only required one exposure compensation adjustment on this shot for our main image, which managed to get the best exposure overall without blowing the highlights in the shirt and white flowers. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.33 EV.

Exposure Variations:
0.0 EV
Shutter: 1/403
Aperture: F8
(1145k)
+0.33EV
Shutter: 1/318
Aperture: F8
(1135k)
+0.67 EV
Shutter: 1/575
Aperture: F8
(1130k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/452
Aperture: F8
(1115k)
1.33 EV
Shutter: 1/311
Aperture: F8
(1194k)


 
Closer Portrait: (1200k) The QV-3000EX does a nice job with this "portrait" shot, thanks in part to its 3x optical 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-up people shots). As is typical with this closer shot, our main shot (1200k) required no exposure compensation at all, even the slightest adjustment made the highlight areas too intense (in fact, the highlight areas border on being too bright even at this setting). Sharpness and detail remain nice and crisp in both the highlight and shadow areas, still maintaining a very minimal amount of noise. The table below shows the results of a range of exposure settings from zero to +1.33 EV.

Exposure Variations:
0.0 EV
Shutter: 1/488
Aperture: F5.6
(1200k)
+0.33EV
Shutter: 1/415
Aperture: F5.6
(1210k)
+0.67 EV
Shutter: 1/559
Aperture: F5.6
(1143k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/435
Aperture: F5.6
(1131k)
1.33 EV
Shutter: 1/348
Aperture: F5.6
(1158k)


 
Indoor portrait, flash: (1128k) This shot is always 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, which the QV-3000EX didn't fall prey to. There are some bluish tints in the shadow areas, however, but not too bad overall. The default flash exposure setting (1128k) did a nice job of illuminating both foreground and background without over-blowing the highlights. Color saturation and accuracy looks nice as well. We played with the camera's flash intensity settings, snapping this (1163k) image with the flash set on the weakest setting, and this (1083k) image with the flash on the strongest setting. We still liked the normal sensitivity setting best, as the weak setting was too dark and the strong too hot.

 
Indoor portrait, no flash: (1107k) This shot is a very tough test of a camera's white balance capabilities, due to the strong yellowish cast of the household incandescent lighting it's shot under. The QV-3000EX did an unusually nice job with this difficult light source, with the best results achieved in automatic white balance mode (1107k). The incandescent (1090k) setting gave the entire image a warm, yellowish cast and the manual (1099k) setting also came out warm (although not as warm as the incandescent).

The table below shows the results of various exposure compensation settings in the automatic white balance setting. (The main shot was taken with an exposure compensation of +1.0 EV units).

Exposure Series:
0.0 EV
Shutter: 1/26
Aperture: F2
(1153k)
+0.33EV
Shutter: 1/19
Aperture: F2
(1131k)
+0.67 EV
Shutter: 1/15
Aperture: F2
(1108k)
+1.0 EV
Shutter: 1/13
Aperture: F2
(1106k)
1.33 EV
Shutter: 1/11
Aperture: F2
(1086k)
1.67 EV
Shutter: 1/8
Aperture: F2
(1028k)


We also played around with the camera's variable sensitivity settings on this shot, which range from Normal to +3. The results were as you'd expect with the noise level going from almost nonexistent at the Normal setting to a moderate amount at the +3 setting. We should also note that the noise grain is very fine and somewhat harder to distinguish in this lighting scenario than in darker shots.

Sensitivity Series:
Normal
Shutter: 1/13
Aperture: F2
(1087k)
+1
Shutter: 1/23
Aperture: F2
(1247k)
+2
Shutter: 1/41
Aperture: F2
(1467k)
+3
Shutter: 1/82
Aperture: F2
(1396k)


 
House shot: (1344k) 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-3000EX with previously-tested cameras, here's a shot of the original house poster. (1423k)

The QV-3000EX did the best job with the automatic white balance (371k) setting on this shot, although the daylight setting (369k) came in extremely close (just a bit warmer). We shot a sample in the manual (370k) setting, which produced a much cooler image. Resolution and detail are excellent in the brick and shingle areas, although it seems to fall off towards the soft side just a hair in the shrubbery and tree limbs. The shingles show only a minimal amount of noise, which is so fine that is easily at an acceptable level. (It may even be the texture of the shingles themselves coming through.) In-camera sharpening does a good job as well, as we detected just the slightest halo effect on the dark and light edges of the rooflines. A great job overall. The table below shows our standard resolution series.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1343k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1054k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(650k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(370k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(247k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(149k)


We shot a series of images at each of the camera's sharpness settings, with the results in the table below.

Sharpness Series:
Low
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1252k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1427k)


We also shot a series of images at each of the camera's contrast settings, with the results in the table below. The QV-3000EX does a nice job in this category.

Contrast Series:
Low
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1327k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1346k)


The QV-3000EX also has variable color saturation settings and we snapped an image at each one. Results are listed in the table below.

Saturation Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1342k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/110
Aperture: F2
(1363k)


 
 
Far-Field shot: 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.

Unfortunately, just prior to shooting the Far-Field test images, our prototype evaluation unit appeared to suffer a malfunction, with very bright objects (like the glaring white paint on the front of the house in this picture) "fooling" its white balance into capturing images with a very blue cast. We'll try to get a replacement unit and re-shoot this test as soon as practical.)

 
"Musicians" poster: (1336k) We shot samples of this using auto (361k), daylight (364k) and manual (364k) white balance options, but it was a close call between the daylight and auto settings. We eventually decided on the auto setting for our main shot (1336k), after closely examining the skin tones of the models, although the image has an overall somewhat warm cast. (Note the somewhat yellowish cast to the Oriental model's hairband: It should be a pretty pure white.) Manual came out just a little too cool (some cameras are tricked by the extensive amount of blue in the image). Color saturation looks pretty good on this one, judging by the nearly-accurate blue of the model's robe, although we'd prefer just a little more saturation and contrast. Resolution and detail look just slightly soft, judging by the detail of the bird's wings and the tiny silver threads on the Oriental model's robe, but the overall image looks very nice. The table below carries links to our standard resolution/quality series. (We also shot a series of contrast, sharpness and saturation variations, listed in the tables further down).

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1343k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1054k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(650k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(370k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(247k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(149k)


Sharpness Series:
Low
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1212k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1437k)


Contrast Series:
Low
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1267k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1382k)


Saturation Variations:
Low
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1298k)
Normal
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1344k)
High
Shutter: 1/84
Aperture: F2
(1355k)


 
Macro shot: (1357k) The QV-3000EX performs very well in the macro category, with a minimum area of only 2.23 x 1.67 inches (56.7 x 42.5 mm). Good detail, sharpness and color, although the brooch seems a little bit soft (possibly due to a limited depth of field). Likewise, the QV-3000EX's flash did an excellent job of throttling down, producing this (1280k) well lit image that shows an acceptable amount of reflection on the coin. (The coin often tricks digicams). Here's an example of the digital telephoto, (317k) which does a nice job as well and remains very sharp, considering it's digital zoom. Here's the digital telephoto with the flash.(290k)

 
"Davebox" test target: (1111k) Overall, the QV-3000EX produced pretty good color and tonal results on this test. The image looked a little light and washed-out on our Mac's monitor, but did better on the PC. (On the Mac, adjusting the image gamma to 0.8 in Photoshop's Levels control made a big difference.) We did notice that the magenta, yellow and cyan seem just a tad weak, but the color blocks look good overall although only slightly flat. The QV-3000EX did a great job of distinguishing between the red and magenta color blocks on the middle, horizontal color chart (many digicams have trouble here and try to blend the two). Additionally, the subtle tonal variations in the Q60 chart look very nice, with the QV-3000EX catching up to the "B" range in the pastels. The usually difficult shadow area on the briquettes also turned out very well, with just a moderate amount of noise and a lot of detail. We shot with the daylight, (294k) auto (293k) and manual (289k) white balance settings. Daylight produced the warmest cast while the manual setting looked almost right but a little too cool. In the end, we chose the auto setting for our main shot (1111k) as the whites and overall tones looked best, especially on the mini-resolution target. The table below shows the usual range of resolution/quality settings.

Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(1111k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(853k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(486k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(293k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(213k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/94
Aperture: F2
(128k)


 
 
Low-Light Tests 
As CCDs move to ever-higher resolution levels, while maintaining more or less the same surface area, image noise will become more and more an issue. In the case of the QV-3000, this phenomena showed in the form of poorer low-light performance, with noticeably increased image noise relative to 2 megapixel cameras we've tested. While the camera could capture images down to extremely dim light levels, the image noise became unacceptable (in our opinion) at any light level below about 1 foot-candle (11 lux). The camera's autofocus also became somewhat unreliable below that light level as well. Thus, the camera should be fine for fairly dimly-lit interior scenes, and outdoor shots at night under decent street lighting, but won't get down to the ultra-dim levels of some of the 2 megapixel cameras we've tested. (Actually, we were a little surprised that the QV-3000 didn't do better in this respect, as Casio demonstrated absolutely amazing low-light performance and noise suppression in their 1.5 megapixel QV-8000 camera. Granted, the '8000 was only a 1.5 megapixel camera, but it so far exceeded the performance of other cameras in its class that we expected some of the technology to rub off on the QV-3000 as well. Our only guess is that the noise-suppression techniques used in the QV-8000 required modifications to the CCD itself that weren't available in the stock sensor used in the QV-3000.) All that said, the QV-3000 should be fine for typical amateur available-light shooting: Just don't plan to use it at light levels where you yourself are having a hard time seeing! The table below shows the results we obtained at various light levels, ranging from 8 foot-candles (88 lux) down to 1/8 of a foot-candle (~1.3 lux).

Exposure Compensation series:
8fc (10EV)
Shutter: 1/ 13
Aperture: F2
(1373k)
4fc (9EV)
Shutter: 1/4
Aperture: F2
(1208k)
2fc (8EV)
Shutter: 1/ 8
Aperture: F2
(1403k)
1fc (7EV)
Shutter: 1/ 1
Aperture: F2
(1333k)
1/2fc (6EV)
Shutter: 1.3
Aperture: F2
(1343k)
1/4fc (5EV)
Shutter: 2
Aperture: F2
(1362k)
1/8fc (4EV)
Shutter: 4
Aperture: F2
(1342k)


 
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-3000's flash out to a maximum of 8.2 feet (2.5m) in normal, wide angle mode. We found that it was still relatively effective as far out as 14 feet, although color balance tended to get cooler from about 11 feet on, and the light did definitely drop off some. (Not as rapidly as we've frequently seen though...) The table below shows results obtained at a range of distances from eight to 14 feet.

Flash Range/Distance: 
8 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1174k)
9 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1190K)
10 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1227k)
11 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1238k)
12 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1206k)
13 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1180k)
14 ft
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: F2
(1150k)


ISO 12233 ("WG-18") resolution target: (873k) As you'd expect from a 3 megapixel camera, the QV-3000 surpassed the resolution test results of essentially all the 2 megapixel cameras we've tested in the past. (The QV-3000 is the first 3 megapixel camera we've tested, so we don't yet (February, 2000) have any standards to compare it with amongst it's higher-resolution peers.) Still, it wasn't a complete blowout against the 2 megapixel units, as some of them came surprisingly close to the QV-3000's performance in some areas, perhaps because the black/white edges in the QV-3000's shots of this target look slightly "soft." We judged the horizontal resolution at 800 lines per picture height and the vertical resolution at 750-800 lines. (These numbers were obtained with the lens at its wide angle setting: Telephoto numbers were slightly lower, as is usually the case.) The camera does support an uncompressed TIFF mode, via a "hidden" button combination discussed in the main body of the review. We weren't able to evaluate the impact of this though, as the TIFF format used appears to be some sort of "raw" CCD format, and couldn't be read by any of the image-processing applications we have available. We'll try to find out more about this mode in the future. For those who might be interested, here's a direct link to a TIFF-mode file (about a 6 megabyte download).

Wide Angle Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/98
Aperture: F2
(873k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/100
Aperture: F2
(699k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/97
Aperture: F2
(390k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/100
Aperture: F2
(253k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/98
Aperture: F2
(173k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/102
Aperture: F2
(118k)


Telephoto Resolution/Quality series:
Large/Fine
Shutter: 1/68
Aperture: F2
(839k)
Large/Normal
Shutter: 1/67
Aperture: F2
(638k)
Large/Economy
Shutter: 1/68
Aperture: F2
(362k)
Small/Fine
Shutter: 1/70
Aperture: F2
(252k)
Small/Normal
Shutter: 1/69
Aperture: F2
(166k)
Small/Economy
Shutter: 1/66
Aperture: F2
(113k)


 
Viewfinder accuracy/flash uniformity target: We found the QV-3000EX's optical viewfinder to be a bit loose, showing about 88 percent of the final image area in wide angle (863k) and about 84 percent in telephoto. (811k) The percentages were about the same in the smaller 1024 x 768 image sizes. We also noticed that the framing in the optical viewfinder resulted in a slant downwards towards the left side. The LCD monitor was also a bit loose, showing about 90 percent of the final image area in wide angle (861k) and about 93 percent in telephoto. (820k) As with the optical viewfinder, the percentages were the same for the 1024 x 768 image size as the larger 2048 x 1536 size. To give you an idea of what we're looking for, we generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible. We shot at the full 2x (202k) digital telephoto as well, which actually produced quite clear results.

Optical distortion on the QV-3000EX moderate, with the lens showing a 0.54 percent barrel distortion at the wide angle end and a 0.26 percent pincushion distortion on the telephoto end. Chromatic aberration is present but quite low, we characterized it as less than one pixel of coloration on each side of the black res target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target). We did see 2-3 pixels of "coma" at the wide angle setting. (A lightening of the dark target elements, extending radially from the center of the frame, at the extreme edges of the resolution target image.) Flash uniformity looks good at both the wide angle and telephoto ends of the lens range, falling off just slightly in the corners at wide angle.

 

Reader Comments! --> Visit our discussion forum for the Casio QV-3000EX!



<<Reference: Datasheet | Print-Friendly Review Version>>

Follow Imaging Resource:

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 digital camera
Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate