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Olympus C-211 Zoom

Have your cake and eat it too! - 2 megapixels worth of digital photos, and a built-in Polaroid printer!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 9/25/2000

2.1 megapixel CCD for 1,600x1,200 images
3X optical zoom lens
2-inch LCD monitor
Built-in photo printer uses Polaroid Type 500 film!
Pick the photos you want, print as many copies as you like!


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Manufacturer Overview
An undisputed leader in the digicam marketplace, Olympus America Inc. offers the broadest lineup of consumer/prosumer digital cameras of any manufacturer. Recently, the company teamed up with Polaroid Corporation, the leader in instant photography products, to produce the Olympus Camedia C-211 Zoom, an amazing digicam/photo printer that introduces a whole new category in digital capture devices.

(It's important to note that Fujifilm has also announced digicam/printer combinations, using its own film-based media and thermal autochrome paper, but neither have made it to the U.S. marketplace. Thus, to our knowledge, the Olympus C-211 Zoom is the first such product to hit the US retail stores.)

Most everyone has used a Polaroid instant camera at one time or another. For the average user, however, Polaroid technology has always had two key limitations: 1) Every print (even the bad ones) cost you money, and 2) Short of building an elaborate copy-stand setup, or sending the print to a photo processing lab for copying and printing, there is no way to obtain multiple copies of the photos you've taken.

Because it's fully digital, the C-211 Zoom allows you to shoot and select only the images you want to keep, and since the initial exposure is not made directly on the Polaroid film, as it is in traditional Polaroid models, you have the option of printing only the photographs you want. Likewise, you can make multiple prints of the same digital capture, by simply pressing the "print" button the appropriate number of times.

Finally, the C-211 Zoom allows you to dial-in color and tonal adjustments and apply them to your prints. Combined with the camera's automatic white-balance feature, you can obtain far better prints from the C-211 than you'd normally expect from Polaroid film, especially in tough lighting situations. Best of all, you have permanent high-quality, 2 megapixel digital files of every image you've saved. These can be transferred to a PC for further manipulation, output on desktop digital printer, or uploaded to an online processing service to order larger prints.

With a list price of $799 at introduction, the Camedia C-211 Zoom clearly isn't aimed at the same teenybopper market Polaroid has so successfully won over with its iZone cameras, but it should find a large following in various commercial sectors, where the need for instant prints and digital files go hand-in-hand.

High Points

  • 2.1 megapixel CCD delivers 640 x 480 and 1,600 x 1,200 pixel images.
  • Two-inch color, low-temperature, TFT LCD monitor with backlight feature.
  • 3X optical 5.4-16.2mm, aspherical glass zoom lens (equivalent to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • 2X digital telephoto.
  • Automatic exposure control.
  • Automatic aperture adjustment from f/2.8 to f/8.6.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 1/2 second.
  • Manually adjustable ISO with Auto, 100, 200, and 400 ISO equivalent settings.
  • White balance with five operating modes.
  • Motion picture, sequence, and special text modes.
  • Panorama mode with Olympus media cards.
  • Built-in flash with six operating modes.
  • External flash record mode for working with remote flash slave units.
  • Uncompressed TIFF, JPEG, and Motion JPEG file formats, saved on SmartMedia card (8MB card included with camera).
  • Direct printing to built-in Polaroid print engine, accommodating Polaroid 500 film packs.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) printing compatibility.
  • Power supplied by four AA alkaline, NiMH, lithium, or NiCd batteries, two CR-V3 lithium packs come with the camera.

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