Saturday, 2 June 2012

Casio Wrist Camera WQV-1

For the whole of today, I'm going to be doing my other big hobby, concert photography, at a local music festival. As the day will be lots about me with a camera, I thought I'd wear one on my wrist as well!
The watch I chose was the first of the Casio Wrist Camera range, which came out in 2000, and is called the WQV-1.
The watch face is dominated by a large greyscale dot matrix display (somewhere in the order of 240 x 320 pixels, same as the photo resolution).
By default, this screen shows the time and date, but in camera mode, the screen becomes the camera viewfinder.
It is a 2220 module powering the watch, and modes are: time, camera, alarm (x5), timer, stopwatch, and IR mode. The IR mode is used for photo transfer from the watch to a computer.
The camera lens points forward from your wrist, so that when you hold the watch in front of you, the camera can take what you are looking towards. I only mention this as some watch cameras have the lens on the face which makes it awkward to take shots with. Pressing the shutter button on the front of the watch activates the camera mode, which switches the display to the viewfinder (with a reasonably good refresh rate for an old LCD screen). The camera also has a night mode, and an option to take 2 pictures in one, split down the middle. Storage is very small, with only 100 photos fitting in memory (but these do not disappear even if the battery runs flat).
I bought this on a trip to the US in 2000 for around $200. I remember being asked by a friend "why did you spend so much on a watch that takes pictures ? ", so my response (as he was wearing and expensive Tag watch) was "why did you spend 10 times as much on a watch which only tells the time?! ". As this was very new, and before the time of mobile phone cameras being everywhere, so lots of people (including airport security) were very nervous about it!

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