Casio QV-8000SX Digital Camera

This was my first digital camera. It was a good camera in its day (circa July 1999), but alas its day has passed.

1) 8X optical Zoom
2) USB Interface
3) Macro focus to 1cm
4) Storage: Compact Flash Card
5) Long exposure: 64 seconds and bulb
6) EXCELLENT remote control
7) Large 2.5 inch LCD display
8) Full Manual exsposure control.
9) Full manual focus control.
10) Did I mention the 8X optical zoom!

1) Consumes AA batteries.
2) 1280 x 960 pixels, 1.3 MPixels
3) LCD is too dim to see in the sunlight (bright or otherwise)
4) No optical view finder

Casio QV-8000SX, Casio Remote, Normal, 50% zoom, full 8x optical zoom. Casio QV-8000SX Casio Remote Casio at Wide Angle Casio at 50% zoom Casio at full zoom

To put things in perspective, this camera came out at the same time as the Nikon CP-800, Nikon CP-950, Canon Powershot A10 and Sony DCS-F505. All of these other cameras had more than 2 MPixels. The little Casio tried to do more with less ... darn near made it.

Many features of this camera were years ahead of the of the rest of the field. Even today I am aware no digital camera manufacturer that has ever offered a remote control that has as many features or functions. The QV-8000SX is able to record five consecutive images with just a quarter-second delay between each. For night shots it has dark frame noise reduction and "bulb" exsposure. I do not believe there was another compact digital camera on the market with an 8X optical zoom (320mm equivalent) at the time. That is still a fairly long zoom for digital cameras. It really increases the camera's "FUN" factor.

The QV-8000SX had two big handicaps. The first is that it was power hungry. It goes through AA batteries faster than any camera I have used. Still one can get heavy duty rechargable batteries to deal with that problem. The second problem was the dim LCD display. The 2-1/2 inch display is great indoors (compare it to the typical 1-1/2 you see on most digital cameras), but it was far too dim to be of any use outside. That coupled with the fact that it had no optical viewfinder made the camera a pain in the real world. Photosolve's Extend-A-View Pro Wide can resolve this problem, but I believe this and the somewhat low resolution were the problems that were most devastating to the QV-8000SX in the market place.

My first atemp to get a longer zoom was to use a Kenko 2.0X Video Teleconverter via 43mm to 49mm step ring. I then tried a Tiffen MegaPlus 2X Telephoto Converter. This at least had a matching 43mm thread. These would only work at full zoom (640mm equivalnet). Automatic focus with either of these adapters was hit or miss. Lastly the picture quality was just not up to par.
That is when I got interested in Digiscoping. The camera has a 43mm lens thread. That is 50% larger than the Nikon Coolpix's 28mm. While this would not in itself prelclude the camera form being used for Digiscoping, it is not a positive sign. I started with a Celestron C90 f/10 1000mm telescope and series of eyepieces aquired from EBAY. I made a series of eyepiece adapters from PVC pipe fittings. None of them worked very well. Eventually I purpchased a William Optics DCL-4337 40mm eyepiece.

The F10 c90 was slow and dim. The helical focus on the C90 was so sensitive that focusing was nearly impossible. When I "zoomed" in on the C90 (with its secondary mirror obstruction) the avoid vigetting the image got really dark. The way light is bent thru a mirror telescope leads to a commonly known halo effect on highlights. There were very funny things happening with the image over the entire zoom range. I would start with a bright spot in the middle, go to an image, fade to black, get a full frame image with a brignt spot, get a full frame image with a dark spot. It was very difficult to find the "sweet" spot.

So next I aquired a Celestron WideView 80 refractor. This combination is fairly good but the 40mm eyepiece with a 400mm telescope is only a 10X advantage. People were doing nearly that well with the Nikon Coolpix and monoculars ---- in lot smaller package.

Extenders, WO eyepiece, Casio digital camera and Celestron telescope. 2X Extenders WO 40mm WO 40mm 2 2X Extenders WO 40mm

Taken with Tiffen MegaPlus (1X and 8X).
Telephone pole in next block at full zoom and with Tiffen MegaPlus (1X and 8X). Tiffen 1X Tiffen 8X Tiffen 1X Tiffen 8X Tiffen 1X

I will probably keep the little Casio despite its low 1.3Mpixel output. This size picture is adeqate for EBAY and most internet purposes. It uses standard AA batteries that are easy to come by and standard compact flash cards (I will never buy another SONY with one of those cursed memory sticks). I have yet to find a newer camera that offers the equivalent features and I love the remote. Did I mention the 8X optical zoom. It may not be the camera for digiscoping, but this camera is just plain fun.

Casio QV-8000SX Links:
Review: MegaPixel dot Net
Review: Digital Camera Resource Page
Review: Steve's Digicams
Casio USA: QV-8000SX page
Serial RS-232 remote control software.