Casio Wrist Camera - WQV-10

The Watch

Specs

My verdict

Buy A WQV-10 online.

The Watch

The WQV-10 was a suddenly follow up to the WQV-3 being released in Japan in November 2001. As with all WQV models it is sold in two versions, one with a resin case and strap and the other with a stainless steel one. Like the WQV-3 this watch is able to take full colour photographs and in addition can display them in full colour on its colour LCD sceen.  The watch will take and store up to 100 colour photographs ready to view on screen or upload to your PC.

Specs

www.elvispayne.co.uk

WQV-10D2

If you want the full techinical specifications please click here.

For the rest of you, the WQV-10 is a compact digital watch that has a digital colour camera built into it. Thanks to the 1Mb memory, the watch will store 100 images in its databank at 176 x 144 dpi. (This is 20 more than the colour WQV-3) Via Infra Red the images can then be beamed from the watch to a PC, Palm top or Game Device (in JPEG format). Images can also be sent directly to another WQV-10 watch or indeed a WQV-3 model. (but not a WQV1 or 2)  The watch works just like a normal digital camera and so as soon as you have taken the picture you can review your results in full colour on the watch screen though only part of the image can be seen in black and white as whilst the image is 176x144 the monitor (watch screen) is only 120x120. You can then either keep the image or delete it and take another.  Better still the watch has a facility to type a person’s name, details or phone number on that page and so you can call up a person’s photo and then see their details.

All photos can be viewed as colour thumbnails four at a time along with a page number so that you can track a photo quickly. This model also has a 2x digital Zoom lens.

The WQV-10 features contrast controls so that you can set the contrast of the screen in different light and also has a facility to tell the watch if you are indoors or outdoors to help take better pictures along with a “dusk” setting.  The watch also has the time, a 1/200 second stopwatch, a timer and 5 alarms.

As the display is colour you can choose to have a colour display in the normal time keeping mode and you can have a full colour calender, The Infra red display is almost PC like with its small colour icons..

Power for the watch comes from a CR2032 battery, these are standard  watch and motherboard batteries for PCs and at the right place can be brought for as little as £1.00 each. Casio say they will last around 6 months.   The watch has a great feature that actually turns off the screen when ever you take the watch off and so helps conserve power. When the battery is running low the watch will display a low battery warning.  Best of all if the battery dies you do not lose the images and so you can change the battery without worry

For more detailed data go to http://world.casio.com/asia/wat/collections/wrist_net/wrist_camera10/index.html

My verdict

Having been used to the bulky stainless steel version of the WQV-3 the first thing I noticed about the stainless steel version of the WQV-10 was how light and flimsy it felt. The watch is pretty much the same dimensions as the WQV-3 but it looks a lot more compact and the strap is thinner. Saying that though on the wrist the watch looks more “techy” and expensive. Also as the links on the stainless steel strap are slightly smaller the watch fits better when a link is removed from the strap. (rather than being too big and then too small) The second thing that I noticed was the display. Casio enjoy showing pictures of the watch with bright photos super imposed onto the screen area but it is not like this. Until I set my preferences for the contrast and colours on the time display I found that the screen can be quite hard to see in certain lighting conditions. In bright light the screen is very clear but when its dull the watch really needs a back light.  Whilst in holiday my girlfriend wanting to see pictures I had taken at the end of the day and quite often we had to hold the watch under a lamp to see them better. The colour time display is the same.  I found the best display to be a black background and coloured text as the screen just isn’t bright enough to make the most of the blue background.

My preferred colours in Time keeping mode.

These are just minor points though as the WQV-10 has some great features that includes an auto-timer ( 2 - 10 seconds),  on screen calendar and in addition better usability and graphics as the icons are now in colour. I found the features of the WQV-3 much easier to use than on the WQV-1 but on the WQV-10 they appear better still.  As mentioned physically the watch looks more compact than its predecessors and unlike the WQV-3 the watch glass is now flush with the case again.  Whether this means it will be easier to scratch I've yet to find out. The watch has a section of polished chrome above the display so if you like shiny watches you will love this one.

Whether it was because my PC was configured for my WQV-3 or if the software is much better I do not know but once I installed the software everything work instantly.

The watch has a 2x digital zoom control on it but I’m not sure how useful this is as on the occasions I have tried it the zoomed images have been very blurry. As for the quality of the images Casio have done something as this watch now holds 100 images like the WQV-1. A few images I have taken have been on par with the WQV-3 ones but quite a few have turned out rather pleasingly, I think it really does depend on the lighting conditions at the time and more importantly how many drinks you’ve had affecting how steady your arm is when taking them.

In a nutshell the watch I have to say that I like the WQV-10.  At first things were a bit touch and go as the chunky WQV-3 seemed a much better watch.  After I’d adjusted the WQV-10 though to my liking I really liked it and again the watch never fails to capture attention - no matter where you are. Whilst in the Arabian desert I was taking a picture of a new born camel when a couple suddenly stopped, came over and asked, what are you doing.  As soon as they saw the camel, in full colour of the watch screen they were amazed. With the WQV-3 people would look at pictures on the screen and I would say, “Its black and white on the screen but colour when you upload it to the PC”. With the WQV-10 you needn’t say a word.  The colour image on the display says it all and leaves people in awe. I loved my WQV-1, the WQV-3 was superb, but the WQV-10 .... its the best yet!

Note:

I brought my WQV-10 over the Internet from www.watch-heaven.com This company had provided excellent service when I brought my WQV-3 and sure enough they did for the WQV-10 as well. I remain most impressed and for that reason feel happy to sing their praises, so if you want one I recommend you visit them.

Elvis Payne March 2002

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