Home > Product Reviews > Camera Reviews > Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless Review

Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless Review

Highs

  • Bluetooth feature; Web camera feature; Small size; Internal memory.

Rating

Our Score 6
User Score 5

Lows

  • Picture quality mixed; cheap feel of camera body.
As far as 2.0 Megapixel cameras go, the Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless was average at best.

Summary

As far as 2.0 Megapixel cameras go, the Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless was average at best. Its ability to transfer images over Bluetooth, while a nice novelty, served no great purpose unless you have a cellular phone or PDA which is Bluetooth-enabled. In this circumstance, it holds higher value in that it saves you the step of cutting out the computer as the middleman while you are shuffling JPEGs from machine to machine.

Other things also distract from the Concord’s ability to be a high quality camera. The body, as mentioned before, doesn’t feel that solid and the picture quality is not that stellar.

On the bright side, the camera does come with some great accessories, including all the wires you will need, a Bluetooth USB transmitter and a high quality owners guide, which provides very easy to follow instructions and should answer most questions. Also, the ability to act as a Web camera, while a novelty like the Bluetooth feature, is a nice touch.

Overall, the Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless will make for a decent “throw in your pocket and go” camera, especially for those with portable devices such as phones or PDAs that can take advantage of its Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

Introduction

With the digital camera market full of cookie-cutter cameras, Concord Camera has added a unique feature to one of their latest offerings: Bluetooth image transfers. Bluetooth enables the Eye-Q Go Wireless digital camera to communicate and send pictures not just to a computer, but to a PDA, wireless phone, or other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Concord’s Eye-Q Go Wireless digital camera features a 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor and has the capability to take still images, capture video and act as a web camera when connected to a Windows-based machine. Images can be transferred from the pocket-sized camera via either a USB 1.1 cable or Bluetooth, making it the first camera to have such a feature, according to the company.

Concord’s Eye-Q Go Wireless features a 2.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor and Bluetooth capability.

Features and Design

The Eye-Q Go Wireless is a 3.4-inch by 2.4-inch by 1.3-inch pocket-sized camera with 7MB of internal storage. While 7MB isn’t much at all by today’s standards, the camera also features an SD/MMC expansion slot located in the battery compartment.

In a small compartment on the left side is a USB 1.1 port and mini-jack TV out plug, giving the Eye-Q Go two other options for connecting to other devices for transferring or viewing images and video.

With a weight of approximately 3.7 ounces and relatively small dimensions, the camera can easily slip into your pocket, but those features also make the camera seem to lack a solid feeling to it. The five buttons on the backside of the camera also felt cheap and difficult to push in, while the playback/camera operation slide on the top felt like it would snap off it pushed too hard. We also found the slide on the front of the camera, which offers scene selection controls, was stiff to the point of annoying.

The camera also offers 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, auto exposure and auto white balance picture quality controls and a 10-second auto timer. Included with the Eye-Q Go Wireless camera is a USB Bluetooth adapter, a soft carrying case with belt loop, a non-adjustable wrist strap, a CR123 lithium battery, a video cable, a USB cable, 2 CD-ROMS with software and drivers, and operating guides. There is also a standard tripod hole on the bottom for those who want more stability in their shots and an auto-shut off feature to help save on battery life, which Concord estimates to be approximately 120 photos.


The included Bluetooth dongle hooks up to any USB port for wireless image transfers.

Images can be captured on the Eye-Q Go at 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, and 640 x 480 pixels. Each image size also has three quality settings: fine, normal and economy. Besides capturing images in JPG format, the Eye-Q Go can capture AVI video files at QVGA resolution (240 x 320), which is perfect for viewing on PDAs.

Compatible with only Windows operating systems (98SE and later) with the USB connection, the Eye-Q Go is also compatible with phones by Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, and Siemens, and with HP iPaq Pocket PCs.

Camera Operation

Menu navigation was simplistic with the Eye-Q Go Wireless. Eight options, including image selection size, indoor/outdoor scene control and brightness, are easily navigable on the built-in LCD screen.

As mentioned before, five buttons adorn the back of the camera. Power, LCD on/off, menu access and “ok” buttons make up four of the five while the larger fifth one acts both as navigation for the on screen menus and zoom in/out.

A slide on the top of the camera allows you to switch between playback mode and picture taking mode, with the shutter button positioned between the two. Another slide on the front lets you choose between three picture taking modes for different conditions, be it distance, number of subjects or setting.

Image and Video Quality

Outfitted with a CMOS sensor, picture quality on the Concord was decent though only in the best light with the best settings. The three picture resolutions can easily be selected via the on screen menu, and confirmed with a reminder on the LCD.

For those wanting to use the 4x digital zoom, it’s important to note that in VGA mode (640 x 480) zoom is not available. Also, the zoom can not be monitored through the lens finder, but only the LCD.

Picture quality can also be further fine tuned by choosing from one of three options which determines the JPEG compression. Choices here include fine (5.1:1 compression ratio), normal (12:1) and economy (24.1). These settings make great sense in terms of both memory storage and how the photos will be used, be it as a print for display or an image sent via email.

With a default setting of 640 x 480 and economy, which is the best for transferring files via Bluetooth, picture quality seemed to be the sharpest. Images under normal conditions (decent lighting, little movement) were fine at the other resolutions, but any changes in these environments brought muted results. As is often the case with CMOS-based cameras, photos turned out too dark, too light, blurry and, in some cases, with a blue tint.

640 x 480 - Economy Mode640 x 480 image taken in Normal mode. Click thumbnail for full-size image.

1600 x 1200 -  Normal Mode1600 x 1200 image taken in Normal mode. Click thumbnail for full-size image.

1280 x 960 - Economy Mode1280 x 960 image taken in Economy mode. Click thumbnail for full-size image.

1600 x 1200 - Economy Mode1600 x 1200 image taken in Economy mode. Click thumbnail for full-size image.

Video recorded on the Eye-Q Go Wireless was fairly clear at 320 x 240 and playback, at 15 frames per second, didn’t skip a beat. As with image quality however, the overall impact of the AVI video playback is influenced by everything from the steadiness of your hand to the lighting quality around you.

Click here to download a video sample recorded on the Eye-Q Wireless.

Image and Video Size and Transfer

The ability to transfer images over Bluetooth (video transfer wirelessly is not an option) is the main selling point of this camera. Results on this front were very mixed. Transfer times varied depending upon file size and distance, with a maximum range of about 30 feet. Larger picture sizes (highest resolution settings) took several minutes, while small photos went in a few seconds. By contrast, speeds over the USB cable option were decidedly quicker.

Another thing to note with the Bluetooth option is that you can not do batch transfers of pictures; if you have 205 images, which is the max the Concord’s internal memory will hold at it’s lowest settings, and opt to go the wireless route, you could be sitting around for quite some time since you’ll have to baby-sit each individual photo transfer.

As with other digital cameras, image storage size is about tradeoffs in size versus quality. For example – if you want to take 1600 x 1200 fine quality JPEG shots, you’ll quickly fill the memory with only 9 photos. By contrast, 1280 x 960 at economy resolution will give you 54 images. Those planning to take a lot of photos will definitely want to consider an SD or MMC card to plug into the expansion slot.

With video storage, the internal 7MB of memory will get you 40 seconds for an AVI video clip. This could be a problem if you are taking photos and videos at the same time, as you could quickly run out of space for your still images.

Conclusion

As far as 2.0 Megapixel cameras go, the Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless was average at best. Its ability to transfer images over Bluetooth, while a nice novelty, served no great purpose unless you have a cellular phone or PDA which is Bluetooth-enabled. In this circumstance, it holds higher value in that it saves you the step of cutting out the computer as the middleman while you are shuffling JPEGs from machine to machine.

Other things also distract from the Concord’s ability to be a high quality camera. The body, as mentioned before, doesn’t feel that solid and the picture quality is not that stellar.

On the bright side, the camera does come with some great accessories, including all the wires you will need, a Bluetooth USB transmitter and a high quality owners guide, which provides very easy to follow instructions and should answer most questions. Also, the ability to act as a Web camera, while a novelty like the Bluetooth feature, is a nice touch.

Overall, the Concord Eye-Q Go Wireless will make for a decent “throw in your pocket and go” camera, especially for those with portable devices such as phones or PDAs that can take advantage of its Bluetooth wireless connectivity.

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