Olympus 730 Review

 
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Olympus Stylus 730 Design

The compact design and two-tone styling of the Olympus Stylus 730 All Weather makes it an attractive digicam. With seals on its battery compartment door, and even the small rubber flap that protects the multi-connector port, it's safe from splashes and water spray; however, it is not truly waterproof, because it can't survive a dunking. Measuring 3.6 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches (91.5 x 61.5 x 21.0mm), and weighing just 5.04 ounces (143 grams) loaded with a battery and memory card, it's perfectly at home in any pocket. The lens cover slides down into the body on power up, and the lens stays inside the body so there's no protrusion to snag on anything. The indispensable wrist strap can be attached to the either the top, or bottom right corner; a nice touch.


The front of the Stylus 730 is flat with very few distractions. The lens occupies most of the top right corner (facing the camera) with a small self-timer lamp just to its right. There is no autofocus assist lamp. On the left side of the camera three holes form the microphone grill to the left of the small flash tube.


The right side of the camera (seen from the rear) holds the multi-connector port at the top behind a rubber flap, and, just below it, a flexible keypad to toggle between Normal and Simple operating modes. The two wriststrap eyelets are also on this side of the camera, but you can only see them from the front or rear view.


The left side is featureless but flat enough to stand the camera upright.


The top panel of the Stylus 730 has five controls aligned to the right side. From left to right, they are the Stabilizer/Print button, Reset button, Power button, Shutter button, and Zoom lever.


The large 3.0-inch LCD dominates the back panel. Along its right side is the speaker behind a grill incorporated into the thumb grip that sits above the button panel. The button panel's top two buttons activate Record mode and Playback mode. Below them is a square arrow pad with an OK/Function button in the middle. The arrow buttons themselves also function as EV compensation, Flash mode, Self-Timer, and Macro buttons. Below the arrow pad are the Menu and Erase buttons. The icons on all these buttons are illuminated.


On the bottom panel is the tripod screw mount just off center, and adjacent to the hinge on the battery/memory card compartment. You can't change the battery or memory card when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

 

Olympus Stylus 730 External Controls


Power Button: Located on the top panel, this small, well-recessed, round button turns the camera on and off.


Shutter Button: The larger, raised, round button adjacent to the Power button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed.


Zoom Lever: Positioned in the top right corner of the top panel, this small lever (marked with a W and a T) controls optical zoom and digital zoom.

In Playback mode, the W button repeatedly cycles through the 4, 9, 16, 25-image, and Calendar index display modes. The T button returns to the normal image display, and also enlarges the current display for closer viewing of fine details. (Pressing the W button again during playback enlargement returns to the normal display.)


Record Mode Button: At the top left of the button group on the rear panel, this button controls the camera's exposure mode when pressed repeatedly. The first press brings up the Shooting Mode menu of four options: Still Picture mode, Movie mode, Scene mode with 20 options, and Guide, with the currently selected option highlighted. Pressing the button again cycles through the options. Pressing the OK button in the center of the Four-way navigator selects the currently highlighted mode.


Playback Button: Directly to the right of the Record Mode button, this button puts the camera into Playback mode.


Four-way navigator: Located just below those two buttons on the rear panel, this four-way rocker button serves as a navigator when moving through menu items, moving the highlight up, down, left, and right, with an OK/Func. button in the middle. Pressing this center button confirms selections.

In all record modes but Guide Mode and Simple mode, the Up button displays the Exposure Compensation adjustment, from -2 to +2 EV in 1/3 EV increments. The right button controls the Flash mode, cycling through Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Forced, and Suppressed modes. The Left arrow turns the Macro and Super Macro modes on and off, and Down arrow accesses the Self-Timer mode.

In Playback mode, the Right, and Left buttons scroll through captured images. When Playback zoom is enabled, all four arrows scroll around within the enlarged view.

OK/Func button (see image above): Also in most record modes, the OK/Func. button pulls up the Function menu (see Operation tab).


Delete Button: Bottom right of camera back, deletes recorded images or videos.


Menu Button: Below left of the four-way arrow pad, this button activates the settings menu in any camera mode. The Menu button also turns off the menu display.


Print Button: Top of camera leftmost button, this button enables direct printing to a compatible printer.


Mode Keypad: This button on the right side of the camera toggles between Normal mode and Simple mode (which eliminates many options and menus so they can't be changed).

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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