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Toy Camera Feature - VistaQuest VQ1015 Entry

Toy Camera Feature - The VistaQuest VQ1015 Entry is one of the original "toy cameras" famous for its lomo-esque images.

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VistaQuest VQ1015 Entry
Josh, our Technical Editor, has a look at the VQ1015: The VistaQuest VQ1005 Entry model is a compact toy camera made to recreate some of the more interesting effects available with cheap toy (film) cameras such as the Plastic Diana, Holga, and to some extent the Lomo LC-A.

With strong vignetting, no flash, and a small sensor and lens, the image quality isn't expected to be great, but will the camera's small size, and analogue style shooting method work out in it's favour?

The camera doesn't feature any kind of preview screen, simply an LCD displays a variety of things, mostly how many photos you've taken, and there is a basic optical viewfinder, with questionable accuracy. In fact I found that I would simply point the camera at the subject I wanted to capture and hope for the best - and avoided using the optical viewfinder most of the time anyway.

VistaQuest VQ1015 Entry - Battery

Using the camera: to start with you press the optical viewfinder in, slide the camera out of its sleeve, and you can then put in an AAA battery, put in an SD memory card (max 2gb as it doesn't support SDHC), and slide the camera back in. Press the button on the back of the camera, wait for camera to switch on, on top of the camera is the shutter release, and the button on the back of the camera also lets you switch modes. On the side is a lever to switch between landscape and close up focus modes.

The modes available are: Photo (5 dots), 4 dots, 9 dots, Video (320x240,10fps, no sound), self-timer (there is no LED, just a built in beeper that lets you know when to expect the photo to be taken), continuous shooting (you hold the shutter button down), del (lets you delete photos, although I don't know how you'd know what you were deleting?), plus F, and 60 / 50 modes.

Photo results, click to view full size:
Through the tunnel McDonalds

Whilst the camera clearly produces images of low quality, the camera's high levels of saturation and strong vignetting create an interesting effect. The switch on the side, when set to close-up mode, can create an interestingly dreamy view of the world.
Yellow field A closer view

The camera works best in bright sunny conditions, and low light photos, such as those taken indoors rarely come out well, but the camera's keyring size and simplicity make it a fun camera to carry around with you to take quick "snapshots" and hope for the best.

Photoshop challenge: If you can improve any of the images please post your results here.

Back to the contents page. Next: The Cat shaped camera: Necono Digital Camera.

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