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In response to a query from a friend who has access to a Casio QV-10A
digital camera but not its manual, here are some brief usage notes.
- The camera holds 96 images, each 320x240 pixels and nominally
24 bits deep. Nominally, in that the CCD reads light intensity at
8-bits in a 320x240 array, through regularly arranged colour filters,
and uses them to interpolate 24 bits of colour information at each
- The camera has two focus programs: normal and macro, controlled
by a slider switch on the side. Use macro if you're within about
15 cm (six inches) of your subject, otherwise normal. Always check
this setting before you take a picture, to avoid unfocussed images.
- The camera has two shutter speeds, controlled by the slider switch
below the lens, labelled with an open circle and a solid circle.
You should in general choose which position to use according to the
brightness of the setting. The camera will warn you if there's too
little or too much light by displaying an open or solid circle at
the bottom of the screen. If the circle is displayed even after you've
adjusted the shutter speed, you can still take pictures, but their
dynamic range will be reduced to fewer than 8 bits/pixel.
- Since the camera measures only 8 bits at each pixel, it isn't
great at photographing high-contrast scenes. In particular, strong
backlighting will cause very poor contrast in your shadowed subject.
You'll get better photos in low-contrast, low-light situations, than
in high-contrast, bright-light situations.
- Since the camera records only 320x240 pixels, frame as tightly
as you can. If you're taking a portrait, move in as close as you
can, to get just the subject's head or head and shoulders; remember
that any background you include is just lost subject resolution.
Remember too that rotating the camera lens can allow you to take
candid photos at surprisingly close range - look down into the
camera with the lens pointing forward or forward and upward, or
rest the camera on a restaurant table with the lens pointing at
the person sitting beside you.
- Hold the camera very still, remembering that a film camera is
typically braced against your head, while a digital camera is held
away from your head in your wobbly hands.
- The Windows interface application is better in one way than the
Macintosh, in that if you interrupt the thumbload downloads, you don't
lose the connection to the camera. That is, if you have eighty pictures
in the camera, and want to see what the last few look like, you don't
have to wait for the thumbnails of the first seventy to get downloaded.
- On the other hand, the Macintosh version lets you use your camera
as an AppleScript webcam.
- Leaving the camera in record mode eats batteries. Always switch it
to play mode or off, to save batteries. Consider buying alkaline
rechargeables if you'll be using the camera a lot. Under moderate
usage, one set of batteries should let you capture and download about
- To take a timed exposure, press the timed exposure button (the one
that looks like a stopwatch). If it's a self-portrait, rotate the lens
around 180 degrees, and enjoy the countdown.
- You can lock images in memory by pressing the
'protect' key and then delete all unlocked images.
I don't use this facility very much.
- You can use the 'mode' button when in playback mode to cycle through
single-image display, 2x2 and 3x3 display. Switching to 3x3 display will
let you advance through a large number of pictures quickly.
- You can use the 'zoom' button to examine a picture at 3x magnification,
e.g., to check for focus or closed eyes. Use the plus and minus buttons
to scroll around the picture when zoomed; an icon appears showing you what
part of the picture is being displayed. If the icon isn't there, press
the 'display' button to toggle it back on.
- To delete images, press the 'delete' button and follow the menu
instructions. It's a good idea to delete images as soon as you've
downloaded them, to avoid having to see their thumbnails at next
download. Note though that it doesn't cost battery life to keep
pictures, and they are preserved even if you remove the batteries.
Bob Parker of Sydney (Australia) informed me in May 2003 that the full
manual for the QV-10A is now available at
http://ftp.casio.co.jp/pub/world_manual/qv/en/qv10e.pdf. I've downloaded a copy, and if Casio ever loses their copy, am willing to post it here.