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Olympus C-3000 Zoom

Olympus develops a slightly slower, but lot cheaper version of the C-3030 Zoom. (Looks like a great bargain!)

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 5/30/2000

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3.14 megapixel resolution (3.34 megapixel CCD) for 2048 x 1536 images
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Multiple exposure modes, including full manual
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Total of 5 resolution modes, with uncompressed TIFF format available in all
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Optional manual focus with distance readout on LCD screen
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Sync connection for external flash unit
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Movie recording with sound, up to 60 seconds in SQ (160x120) mode

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Manufacturer Overview

With one of the broadest digicam lineups in the industry, Olympus is a traditional camera manufacturer who's successfully making the transition to the digital era. A little over a year ago (this is being written in May, 2000) they introduced one of the first 2 megapixel digicams on the market, the C-2000 Zoom. It proved to be extremely popular, offering a compelling combination of features and excellent picture quality. They subsequently upgrade it with the C-2020 Zoom, a model offering improved functionality and user interface design. Recently, they extended the same basic (and successful) design to the three megapixel arena, with the C-3030 Zoom. The new model was again evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, but once again, Olympus appeared to have listened to customer input and incorporated many of the most-requested features. Overall, the new camera was a very strong entry in the three megapixel arena, and should compete well in that market.

Now, in what we see as one of the most significant digicam announcements so far this year, Olympus has come out with a slightly trimmed-down version of the C-3030 Zoom, the C-3000 Zoom. The new camera drops the huge RAM buffer that made the 3030 so fast, ships with a smaller memory card, and includes a more modest software bundle. The big news though, is that all functions and capabilities other than speed and maximum movie length are identical to those on the C-3030 Zoom, but for a price that's hundreds of dollars less. - That's right, we said "hundreds" of dollars. The resulting unit competes very strongly on a feature-for-feature basis with the best of the current 3-megapixel digicam lineup from other manufacturers, but carries a list price well below even the most aggressive competitors. We're sure this is causing considerable consternation among Olympus' competitors, but it's a huge windfall for the consumer. As of this writing (May 30, 2000), the C-3000 hadn't started shipping to dealers yet, but with the C-3030 Zoom selling for right around $900 from reputable dealers, we expect to see the C-3000 Zoom show up on store shelves at prices at or under $700. That's a fantastic bargain for a camera with such an exceptional level of image quality and photographic control! Unless you need the super-fast cycle time of the C-3030 Zoom, the C-3000 should be an easy choice in the current 3 megapixel marketplace.


Highlights

  • 3.34 megapixel (3.14 effective), 1/2 inch CCD delivering up to 2048 x 1536 pixel images.
  • 1.8 inch, TFT color LCD display.
  • 3x, 6.5 to 19.5mm lens (equivalent to a 32 to 96mm lens on a 35mm camera) with auto and manual focus.
  • 2.5x digital telephoto.
  • Apertures from F/2.8 to F/11.
  • Shutter speed from 1 to 1/800 seconds in Auto exposure mode (16 to 1/800 in Manual).
  • Variable ISO settings of Auto, 100, 200 or 400.
  • Exposure compensation from -2 to +2 in 1/3 EV increments.
  • Adjustable white balance with Auto, Clear, Cloudy, Tungsten and Fluorescent settings.
  • Digital ESP (matrix) and Spot metering options.
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual exposure modes.
  • Movie recording mode with sound and shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/10,000 seconds.
  • Continuous Shooting, Auto-Bracketing, Black & White, Sepia and other special exposure modes.
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off and Slow-Sync modes.
  • External flash PC sync.
  • 12 second self-timer with remote control.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, Wave and QuickTime Motion JPEG file formats.
  • Image capture on SmartMedia.
  • USB and serial computer connections.
  • Direct print capabilities with optional Olympus printer.

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