Review: Casio QV-2300UX Plus
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Monday, August 14, 2000
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2001
design of the Casio QV-2300UX hearkens back to the Casio cameras
of old. People who have been following digital cameras for a long
time will recognize the resemblance to the old QV-10 and QV-100
series, with the swiveling lens, plastic body, and the lack of an
optical viewfinder. While the $799 QV-2300UX
Plus shares those traits, it adds many features found on the
high-end digital camera, and perhaps the best part of all, the IBM
in the Box?
"plus" in QV-2300UX Plus means that you get a Microdrive
in the bundle. I'm not aware of any regular non plus model available.
The bundle you get with the camera is very good:
2.1 Mpixel Casio QV-2300UX camera
IBM Microdrive (travel kit)
reference and full manuals
get everything you need in the box, with the exception of rechargeable
batteries and an AC adapter. On other models, Casio has made a "Pro"
package available, which includes both.
Microdrive set inside the PC Card adapter
Microdrive Travel Kit, worth over $400, includes the 340MB Microdrive
plus a PC Card adapter and plastic carrying case. Two notes about
the Microdrive: One, it uses up your batteries a lot faster than
your conventional CompactFlash card. Secondly, it won't work in
high altitudes or in areas with low barometric pressure. The table
below shows you just how many photos you can store on the Microdrive
in this camera:
in the highest quality mode, you've got room for way more photos
than you could possibly take! (Well, me at least).
plastic lens cap protects your lens, and thankfully includes a strap.
didn't use the PhotoLoader software that came with the camera, but
in the past it's been about average.
manual that I was given wasn't complete yet, so I won't comment
on its quality.
I said in the introduction to this review, the QV-2300UX has inherited
many traits from the original Casio cameras, including some not-so-desirable
ones. For one, the plastic body feels cheap, and the various doors
on the camera look like they could snap off. Something else that
I'm not a big fan of is the lack of an optical viewfinder. While
this might not bother some people, it's a must for me.
camera does fit well in your hand, with adequate room for both hands.
Size-wize, it's about 4.5 x 2.25 x 2.5 inches. It weighs 245 grams
without batteries, according to the manual.
a look at the back of the camera, you can see rotating zoom lens
on the left, and the LCD and buttons on the right. The 1.8"
LCD is fluid but a bit on the grainy side. Once you're in bright
light, it becomes unusable (as on all digital cameras). And since
you don't have an optical viewfinder, you'll have to cover up the
LCD so you can see it!
button just above the word "Casio" is the power button;
just east of that is the zoom lever. The zoom mechanism is responsive
and smooth when activated.
buttons below the LCD play duel roles -- it will be one thing in
record mode, and another in play mode. In record mode, you've got
(left to right): Shift (for changing settings like shutter speed,
white balance, etc), flash, macro/infinity/manual focus, and self-timer
(2 or 10 sec). In play mode, you've got: photo info, change folders,
thumbnail mode, and delete.
switch to the right of the LCD toggles between record and play mode.
now at the top of the camera, you can see the menu button and arrows
for navigating it. Just above that is the shutter release button,
which gives good feedback. If you've seen some of Casio's other
recent offerings, you'll notice that the 2300 doesn't have the Mode
button -- or the electronic mode wheel -- that their other cameras
a plastic panel to the left of all the buttons, you'll find ports
for serial, USB, and video out, as well as one for your AC adapter.
While this plastic panel stays shut, it looks like it could bust
off if you're not careful when it's open.
one side of the camera, not much to see here.
the other side, complete with that CompactFlash Type II slot. If
you think the 340MB Microdrive can store lots of photos, wait until
the 1gb version ships this Fall! The plastic door covering this
slot is questionable too, so be careful.
finally, the bottom of the camera. There's four batteries in that
compartment on the right, and there is also a plastic tripod mount
in the middle.
the Casio QV-2300UX
with our more detailed reviews, I'll talk about the following in
this second: Record mode, Movie Mode, and Playback Mode.
camera takes about six seconds to "warm up" before it's
ready to start taking photos. If you put your ear up to the camera,
you can hear the hard drive sounds of the Microdrive.
are a number of different modes you can put the camera in:
mode is the point-and-shoot mode. When you compose your photo and
push the shutter release down halfway, you'll have to wait for around
a second while the focus locks. When you push it down all the way,
there is no noticeable lag. In the highest quality mode, you'll
have to wait about 4 seconds before you can take another photo.
landscape, and night scene mode automatically choose the best settings
for each of these situations.
was an example of night scene mode, taken from the usual spot on
Twin Peaks. There's a little noise in there, but the quality is
comparable to the other 2 Megapixel cameras out there.
Casio took these preset "scenes" and one went big step
further when they created "Scene mode". Here, you can
choose from 30 different situations (and create your own), and the
camera will use the settings needed for said situation. You've got
your choice of:
scene with people
lights (think long exposure of cars on a freeway)
effects (different filters)
of these different scenes has it's own screen in the menus (see
above), and it tells you what it's changing. Autumn leaves, for
example, requires hard sharpness, high saturation, and enhanced
reds. Fireworks gets you a small aperture, bulb shutter, infinite
focus, and daylight white balance. It even tells you to use a tripod
-- good advice. If you want to make your own scenes, you can do
our traditional macro test, I couldn't help but notice that Mickey
seemed a little "soft" in the sharpness department. So
I went into the menus and bumped up the sharpness to "hard".
If you blow them up and look carefully, you can see the difference.
the whole, a lot of the QV-2300UX 's photos seemed a little soft, and
a little "brown" too. I'm not sure of the cause for either.
back to modes now -- there are also shutter priority, aperture priority,
and full manual modes available. In shutter priority mode, you can
choose from speeds as slow as 60 seconds (bulb mode) to as fast
as 1/2000 sec. In aperture priority mode, you can choose from f2.8
or f5.6. Finally, there's full manual mode, which is something that
Casio's cameras have had for quite some time, but they've never
actually mentioned it in the manual until now. In this mode, you
can select both the aperture and shutter settings that you want.
You've got the same choices as in the individual priority modes.
now, a quick look at the menu system. Casio continues to have the
flashiest menus out there-- but they're also some of the best designed.
you hit Menu while in Record mode, you'll see the menu above left.
All those little icons are animated, and when you move all the way
to the right, it scrolls over to the menu above right.
you chose Function in the previous menu -- then you'd be presented
with the above left screen. If you choose "Size/Quality",
you'll get the menu above right. Here are the options available
in the Function menu:
(ISO) - 80, 160, 320
- B&W, sepia, red, green, blue, yellow, pink, purple (haven't
seen this many choices before)
mode - Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, full manual
- multi, center-weighted, spot
balance (the usuals plus manual mode)
(superimposes a grid over on the LCD for helping you compose a
saturation, and contrast
zoom - auto, 2X, 4X
other misc. settings
not always found of having to delve through menus to change things,
and the engineers at Casio know that. You can change a few of the
settings found in the function menu by holding down "Shift"
when you're in record mode.
has had movie mode for quite a long time, although they still are
just video-only. You have your choice of normal movie mode, where
you hit the shutter release and record for up to 16 seconds. Or
you can do "past" mode, where it saves the 10 seconds
of video that happened BEFORE you pressed the shutter release button.
Movies are saved in AVI format, using the M-JPEG codec.
the QV-2300UX is one of those cameras where you can use the optical
zoom during filming. Here's a little sample for you:
the movie (1.3MB, M-JPEG codec required)
like to see longer recording times here, and maybe some sound too,
but overall it's a nice extra feature to have.
has had one of the best playback modes for a long time, with lots
of features and fast processing times.
you scroll between photos, it loads up a lower res version first,
then replaces it seamlessly with the high res version. That makes
going from photo to photo nice and quick. If you want to view more
information about the photo, just hit Info, and you'll get the information
you can see above.
the Menu button gives you the usual options, such as zoom, DPOF,
and slide show. The zoom and scroll features is fast and smooth,
though navigating inside a zoomed photo is clumsy since there's
no four-way switch on the camera. You can delete the photos without
a trip to the menu by just hitting the delete button below the LCD.
Casio exclusive feature is the ability for the camera to generate
HTML files for your photos. I'm not going to give you all the details
in this review, but you can see a sample
from a previous one to see what I mean.
Does it Compare?
are two ways to look at the QV-2300UX Plus: As a $800 camera, and
as a $400 camera with a $400 memory card. I tend to choose the latter
option, though the camera is really packed with features for a $400
camera. The downside here is that the body quality is sub-par, and
the lack of the optical viewfinder would immediately remove it from
my list if I was in the market. I am a big fan of Casio's other
recent cameras though -- the QV-2000UX
In fact, you can pick up a QV-2000UX Plus with a Microdrive and
almost the same feature set as the QV-2300UX Plus, plus an optical
viewfinder and better photo quality, for around the same money.
designed user interface
Microdrive in the box
quality plastic body
uncompressed TIFF mode
sound with video
quality often soft and "brownish"
aren't any other cameras that have this many features with a Microdrive
in the box, at this price. Well, except for the two Casio cameras
I mentioned at the top of this section. The only other cameras that
stand out as competitors (in that they can use the Microdrive) are
the Canon PowerShot S10
though they have far fewer features than the Casio cameras do.
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try these
cameras yourself before you make any purchases.
how does the photo quality stand up? Check out the sample photos
in our photo gallery!
a second opinion?
out Steve's Digicams First
Look at the QV-2300UX.
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.