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Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Olympus packs a 10x zoom lens into an amazingly small body, for an amazingly low price.

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Page 11:Video, Power, Software

Review First Posted: 5/31/2001

Video Out

The C-700 has a Video Out port that supports the NTSC timing format. (We assume that PAL systems are available for European customers.) The video output can be used for reviewing previously captured images and movies, or running slide shows from the camera. It also shows all of the LCD menu screens, as well as the preview display from the LCD viewfinder.


Power

The C-700 is powered by two CR-V3 lithium battery packs, four AA batteries (alkaline, lithium, NiMH, or NiCd), or by an optional AC adapter that can significantly extend battery life if you're downloading lots of images on the computer or working in a studio environment. Through the Setup menus, the C-700 also offers a Battery Save mode, which reduces the amount of battery consumption after the camera has been left unattended for a while. You can also set the camera to go to sleep after 30 seconds or 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes of inactivity.

Operating Mode
Power Drain
Capture Mode, w/LCD
480 mA, 3.1 watts
Capture Mode, no LCD
420 mA, 2.7 watts
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
630 mA, 4.1 watts
Half-pressed w/o LCD
550 mA, 3.58 watts
Memory Write (transient)
500 mA, 3.25 watts
Flash Recharge (transient)
610 mA, 3.97 watts
Image Playback
320 mA, 2.08 watts
Sleep Mode
? - couldn't measure, doesn't sleep if connected to external power supply.


Because of its electronic viewfinder, the C-700 doesn't sport the incredibly low power drain of other Olympus cameras, running with their rear-panel LCDs off. It does seem to power down to a virtually no-power "sleep" mode quite well though, although we couldn't actually measure the power consumption in that mode, as it refused to "sleep" when plugged into an external power source. Overall though, the C-700's power consumption is a good bit better than average, and you can expect a good couple of hours of capture-mode operating time on a set of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable AA cells, or up to 3 hours of operation in playback mode. We saw very little decrease in battery capacity when the camera was left in "sleep" mode for long periods of time. - This is good, because it meansyou can blithely leave the camera "on" all day, ready for instant picture-taking, without worrying about depleting your batteries.

About Batteries
We've gotten so many emails about power issues for digicams, that we're now inserting this standard notice in the reviews of all AA-powered cameras on our site: Don't even *think* about using alkaline AA batteries in a digicam! Despite their being packed in the box with many cameras, they simply don't have the juice to handle typical digicam demands. (Even the "high power" ones the battery manufacturers say are designed for devices like digital cameras.) Spend the $35-40 or so it takes to get a set (or two) of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good charger! The few dollars up front will save you literally hundreds of dollars in the long run, not to mention the hassle of wimpy batteries running out in the middle of the action. We suggest you buy two sets of batteries, so one can always be in the charger, ready to go, and so have two sets available for longer excursions. Good brands of batteries include Maha (our favorite), GP, Kodak, and Nexcell. Also, buy the highest capacity AAs the manufacturer makes, the few extra dollars for the extra capacity is usually well worth it. Getting a good charger is critical though, almost more so than buying good batteries. We recommend the Maha C-204F (see the photo at right), the charger we use the most in our own studio. - Read our review of it for all the details. Or, just click here to buy one, you won't regret it.


Included Software

Learn what the manual left out -
How to *use* your camera.

Camera manuals are (sometimes) fine for knowing which button does what, but where do you go to learn how and when to use the various features? Dennis Curtin's "Shortcourses" books and CDs are the answer. (Cheap for what you get, too.) Order the Shortcourses manual for the camera reviewed in this article.

The C-700 comes with a nice complement of software on the supplied CD-ROM. Direct camera control and image downloading are provided by Olympus' Camedia Master software package (Version 2.5) for both Mac and Windows platforms (Macintosh OS 8.6 and higher, Windows 98v2 / Me / 200 Pro). USB drivers for both platforms and an Apple QuickTime reader are also included.

Camedia Master allows you to download and organize images, as well as perform minor image correction and enhancement functions (such as adjusting contrast, sharpness, and color balance). For panoramic images, Camedia Master supplies a "stitching" utility to piece together shots vertically or horizontally. A complete printing utility works with the DPOF settings and allows you to print images directly to Olympus or other DPOF-compliant photo printers.


In the Box
Included in the box with the C-700 Ultra Zoom digital camera are the following items:

  • 8MB SmartMedia card
  • Two CR-V3 AA lithium battery packs
  • Software CD containing Camedia Master Version 2.5
  • USB cable
  • NTSC A/V cable (US and Japanese models)
  • Instruction manual
  • Carrying strap
  • Lens cap with strap



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