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VistaQuest VQ1005 Digital Keychain Camera

I picked one of these up when I was on an extended business trip and wanted a cheap camera to take on my explorations. As soon as I downloaded the images, I sa a resemblance to images shot with my Holga. I swear one of the shots even has some vignetting!

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Sun, 17 Sep 2006 21:23:51 -0700

After taking the camera apart and correcting the focus here is an actual shot. The focus was originally too close.

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Sun, 24 Sep 2006 19:00:18 -0700

This does not understant the concept of infinity. however, with the SD card it does make an interesting toy to play with. See: Rail Ride on Flickr for an example and my other comments.

Thu, 12 Oct 2006 10:12:09 -0700

For some reason, this camera won't operate as a webcam for me...

Fri, 20 Oct 2006 04:07:50 -0700

Damn good camera for $20 at Wal-Mart. I got it for the megapixels and single AAA battery use, and was surprised later to find the fine print about the SD slot! It also comes up as a mass storage device, so it saved me having to buy a card reader. Just remember to toss the included battery and use a real one.

Old Comedywriter
Fri, 27 Oct 2006 17:20:46 -0700

I totally agree but would like to hear about how you reset the lens.

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 16:05:45 -0800

I reset the lens by taking the screws out and opening the camera, then discovering that the lens screws in and out, that's how the built in focus adjuster works. I simply figured out by trial and error which direction and exactly how much to turn the lens till the "infinity" setting was actual infinity. As far as this camera can do infinity, at least...

Wed, 22 Nov 2006 19:17:27 -0800

I was just given one of these "toys"
was impressed with the pics I downloaded
BUT lost several others when I replaced battery. Batteries last about a nano second. Planning on getting the external memory card, maybe that will help, at least I shouldn't lose any more snaps

Fri, 08 Dec 2006 12:53:49 -0800

I bought this camera not expecting anything high quality because of the price & 1.3 mgapxls. This was really small and something I could take with me all the time. I found out though that this was really a OK investment. The pictures I took indoors were blurry and a 2 second delay when taking a picture.I also used my picture software to try to touch it up but with no luck.The video was also something less to be desired indoors,If you had a lot of light it might be better though.Outdoor pictures were a different story. I took a few of my car & house and even did a small video and they all turned decent. Still not real sharp but a lot better than indoors. The natural light really makes a difference with this camera I would reccomend this to someone who wants to be introduced to digital photography or just someone wanting something very small to take pictures outdoors most of the time.Good luck.

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Sun, 10 Dec 2006 11:11:30 -0800

My Brother gave me a gift and said it is camera. I was surprise, I am happy with this camera. I want to buy a SD card. I am in India where can I buy SD card. Please inform me and in this camera very soon battery gets discharge get me Solution plz.

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 11:43:27 -0800

I must be doing something wrong, but I'm not sure what...every picture I've taken has turned out so dark that all you can see is either the light fixture in the room, or the person's nose, etc. I'm taking the picture in good lighting, and I've put the camera on high resolution. Anything else I should try?

Tue, 02 Jan 2007 14:56:59 -0800

This camera won't work well indoors. There is not enough lights inside your house for a proper exposure. To use this camera indoors, you'll need to set-up proper lighting, with flood lights, etc.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:06:20 -0800

All my pictures are upside down (which I can rotate) and the reverse image of what I actually took! (I don't know how to fix that). Is anyone else having this problem?

Tue, 09 Jan 2007 14:06:11 -0800

Bought one at Walmart. Pictures are very good for a $20 camera. See attached indoor photo. The viewfinder stinks, can't get things centered. The battery (using a high quality alkaline) lasts less than 8 hours. Can't afford that, so the camera is going back for a refund.

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test 033.jpg

Thu, 11 Jan 2007 08:46:14 -0800

Here is a website with the VistaQuest used as a cat observation camera. Automatic trigger using a microcontroller powered by the camera.
Can't wait to see pictures from the cat...

Wed, 28 Feb 2007 17:48:30 -0800

There is a short video review of the VQ1005 at Vistaquest VQ1005 - Review
I could not find the full res samples he speaks of; it might be you have to register as a
user to see them.

Sat, 17 Mar 2007 17:56:40 -0800

"The battery (using a high quality alkaline) lasts less than 8 hours. Can't afford that, so the camera is going back for a refund."

Some people are so incredibly stupid I fear for the future of the world. I just hope she is too stupid to reproduce - or if she does, find out she has made a mistake and take it back for a refund!

Tue, 12 Jun 2007 12:29:08 -0700

I purchased this camera with eagerness and an open mind. Other comments about the view finder, battery life, storage capacity, size, etc... gave me all the indications that this would either be a wonderful little camera full of surprises or a complete waste of $20.

I purchased mine online at No issues at all with the online purchase and it arrived quickly. Walmart stores sold another type of pocket camera but did not allow you to save them to an SD card. I didn't like the keychain either.

The camera overall is exciting. Guess work is involved when using the viewfinder but this can be a charm with it's size. The manual is very helpful b/c there is some button pushing needed to set it up before snapping a pic. Battery life comments are correct. Carry a spare or two and seriously consider rechargables. Changing the battery will be easier so you don't wipe out your already taken photos and you'll have plenty of space to keep snapping. DO BUY an SD card!

The lens does a great job considering but the infinity on mine and my friend's camera is the same... blurry. Learning how to adjust this has not been as easy as (above mentioned) Jeremiah's post. Trying to email him to ask more specifics has not been easy so if anyone else has opened their camera up to adjust the lens, please tell us more. Otherwise, almost everyone's camera is truly out of focus and using a computer's photo tools will be necessary to clean them up. Continue to experiment with close ups, mid range and infinity shots. Don't forget the different lighting conditions such as early morning, afternoon and dusk, indoor and outdoor. There is no flash so be careful of backlight shots that darken a subject in the foreground.

You never know what you're going to get is a great way to explain this little camera. Worth $20 or less, you bet! Figuring out how to adjust the camera lens has been tricky for me but once I learn the trick on adjusting it, I am sure I will be on cloud 9.

I will be posting a nice slideshow w/music of the shots I made on a friend's blog very soon. The lens has not been adjusted yet but the photos have been manipulated with the photo tools on my Mac iBook. Here is one shot from the slideshow to wet your whistle.

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 11:09:02 -0500

Well... photo was added and I see nothing appears.

Let's try one more time. If nothing appears, wait for the slideshow link ;-)

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Flora Heaven.JPG

Wed, 11 Jul 2007 11:17:59 -0500

Look at what this guy did with his VistaQuest camera. Four wires and one 8-pin micro-controller. He wont give up his code, but you can buy the chip from him for $5, which is not that bad.

Fri, 13 Jul 2007 13:57:19 -0500

I just opened my camera and adjusted the lens to get infinate focus. I noticed that someone above asked for more info on how to do it. So I wanted to explain it in just a little detail:

(1) I took out all five screws -- two on top, two on the bottom, and one on the front.

(2) I pulled the two halves apart. You should be able to pull the straight apart without damaging anything, but they won't come apart easily as they have a connector between the two (you will not hurt the connector pulling them apart, but still, take it easy and slow)

(3) Once you have them apart you'll see that the lens is actually designed to rotate rather freely (the big black thing with grooves all around the outside).

(4) Using the camera shell as a clue, you can tell which way you need to turn the lens to make the horizon appear more clearly (looking from the side, this is done by rotating DOWNWARDS)

(5) To make things easier, I simply removed the little gray "closeup - far away" lever so I can adjust my lens after reassembling the camera (which is easier for testing the adjustment) -- to remove the little lever from the casing, you'll need to undo the screw nearby, then the lever will come out quite easily.

(6) Lastly, you'll need to reassemble your camera and put all the screws back in.

If you've done as I did and left the little lever out, the rest of the job it easy... turn on the camera, snap a picture, rotate the dial just a little bit, snap another picture -- do this a few times, then check out the pictures and move the dial back to where it took the best picture.

I'll attach two pictures to try to show a before and after...

Cheers, and happy hacking!

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Jeffrey D. Shaffer
Wed, 22 Aug 2007 03:40:55 +0000

The promised after image:

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Jeffrey D. Shaffer
Wed, 22 Aug 2007 03:41:46 +0000

this is an awesome camera, a fun tool to play with and it sometimes produces happy accidents I love it

Fri, 14 Sep 2007 12:54:02 +0000

fwiw, I've had a Lithium battery in this camera now for over a week, and probably over 100 shots and the battery is still going strong

Tue, 09 Oct 2007 03:02:02 +0000

i've been shooting stuff with this camera for a few years. got it at walmart for 19$- mine eats through AAA batteries like crazy- so am using rechargeable ones- i dont understand about changing the focus- i think the 'screw ups' are what makes it cool. btw there is a VQ1005 group on facebook if you're interested.

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doug duffey
Wed, 11 Feb 2009 18:10:40 +0000


I have this camera... and just moved. I lost my disk to install the driver and my windows xp wont read the cam when i plug it. What do i do? Have a website i could download it from?

Thank you for your help!!

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 07:29:42 +0000

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