Casio WQV-1CR Wristwatch Camera review: Casio WQV-1CR Wristwatch Camera

  • 1
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The sneakiest digital camera.

The Bad PC Link costs extra; low resolution; ultrashort lens.

The Bottom Line The perfect whiz-watch for your inner 10-year-old.

6.0 Overall

Casio's wristwatch camera, the WQV-1CR, lets you stealthily sneak shots from your wrist while you appear to be checking the time. The 0.8-by-0.8-inch screen displays only 14,400 pixels, so it's hard to view photos on it, but we still had fun playing secret agent with this watch-camera. Casio's wristwatch camera, the WQV-1CR, lets you stealthily sneak shots from your wrist while you appear to be checking the time. The 0.8-by-0.8-inch screen displays only 14,400 pixels, so it's hard to view photos on it, but we still had fun playing secret agent with this watch-camera.

Shoot From the Wrist
The pictures from the WQV-1CR are black-and-white, with a 16-step grayscale and a resolution of 25,355 pixels (which is 0.025 megapixel, to put it in perspective). Our first shots with the camera were pretty disappointing. Yet as with any camera, our results improved as we learned how best to use the device. With soft, directional, even lighting, you can get pretty good, if grainy, shots. This watch won't help would-be cheaters trying to photograph tests, though--the resolution is just too low.

Although the exposure is automatic, the brightness can be adjusted to any of 15 levels. The lens's short focal length yields a tremendous depth of field, from 12 inches to infinity. It also has a very wide field of view, which is ideal for a fixed-focus camera. However, in order to fill the frame with a close-up of a face, we had to move in so near that the perspective became somewhat grotesque. However, the resolution is too low to capture enough detail on group shots.

Our inner 10-year-old exulted at three special features: merge, art, and photo sharing. The Merge mode lets you combine two separate shots: one taken on the left side of the frame and one on the right. Want to turn a friend into twins? Or turn a disparate pair of people into a couple? Now you can. The Art mode allows you to shoot high-contrast abstractions in a two- or three-step grayscale. And you can exchange photos via infrared between camera watches.

Expensive Extras
If you're willing to shell out an additional $50, pick up the PC Link, which includes software for beaming images onto your computer via infrared. And you may want this because you'll never see the full detail of your photos on the watch face due to its limited resolution. We'd be much more enthusiastic about this gadget if Casio had included some software. And we'd like it even more if we could beam images to Palm and Pocket PC handhelds.

Casio's latest $200 whiz-watch not only shoots pictures, it also does all the usual digital-watch stuff: time, day and date, five alarms, 60-minute countdown timer with alarm, and 1/100-second stopwatch with a 24-hour range. In all, it's a fun toy but not a great camera.

This self-portrait, taken by author Ivan Berger, demonstrates the image quality of the Casio WQV-1CR.

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