Olympus C-720 Ultra ZoomOlympus packs an 8x zoom lens into an amazingly small body, for an amazingly low price.
(Next): Executive Overview>>
Page 1:Intro and HighlightsReview First Posted: 7/1/2002
||3 megapixel resolution for 1984 x 1488 images|
||8x zoom lens|
||Surprisingly compact body for a long-zoom camera|
||Inexpensive for a long-zoom camera|
EZ Print Link
Readers have requested free-formatted versions of my reviews (without the graphical accouterments of our page design), to make printing easier. I'm accommodating this request with special copies of each review, formatted to allow the text flow to be dictated by the browser window. Click here for a print-optimized page.
For several years now, Olympus has been a dominant player in the digicam marketplace. It boasts one of the broadest digital camera lineups in the industry, with numerous models ranging from pure entry-level, point-and-shoot digicams to the incredible E-10 and E-20 SLRs. Currently (June of 2002), some of the hottest action in their lineup is in the three megapixel category. Recently, they introduced the D-550 Zoom, an excellent little pocket camera with point & shoot ease but plenty of more advanced features, and great picture quality. Simultaneous with the D550, they also unveiled the C-720 UltraZoom, also a three megapixel model, but this time with an incredible 8x optical zoom lens.
In most aspects, the C-720 UltraZoom is a direct follow-on model to last year's 2-megapixel, 10x zoom C-700 camera. It's the same size and weight, the main differences being the increased pixel count and slightly reduced zoom ratio. Like the C-700, the C-720 is one of the smallest long-zoom cameras I've reviewed to date, no larger or heavier than its 3x zoom counterparts. It offers a broad range of exposure controls, with four fully automatic settings, four manual modes, QuickTime movie capabilities, panoramic stitching, and a continuous shooting function. It also carries forward the "My Camera" menu, which lets the user custom-configure a broad range of settings to meet their specific needs. With a street price of under $600, the C-720 UltraZoom definitely deserves strong consideration if you're looking for the great versatility in a long-zoom digicam.
- 3.0-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 1,984 x 1,488 pixels.
- 1.5-inch, color LCD display and 0.5-inch electronic viewfinder (EVF).
- Olympus 8x Zoom, 6.4-51.2mm aspherical glass lens (equivalent to a 40-320mm lens on a 35mm camera).
- 3x Digital Zoom.
- Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to eight seconds for still images; 1/8,000 to 1/30 seconds for movies.
- Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus three Scene modes.
- Spot or Digital ESP metering systems.
- Auto Bracketing, Sequence, Panoramic, and "2-in-1" capture modes.
- Adjustable White Balance with five settings.
- Variable ISO setting.
- Contrast and Sharpness image adjustments.
- Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes.
- QuickTime Movie mode.
- "My" mode for saving customized settings.
- JPEG and uncompressed TIFF file formats.
- Images saved on SmartMedia cards (16MB card included).
- USB cable for fast connection to a computer.
- NTSC video cable.
- Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master 4.0 utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
- DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility and print settings.
- Power from two CR-V3 battery packs or four AA batteries (AC adapter optional).
Reader Comments! --> Visit our discussion forum for the Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom!