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Olympus C-740 Ultra Zoom

3.2 megapixels, a sharp 10x zoom lens, tons of features, and an affordable price!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 03/02/2003, Updated: 07/17/03

3.2-megapixel resolution for 3,200 x 2,400 images. (Interpolated, native size is 2,048 x 1,536)
10x zoom lens.
ISO sensitivity from 100-400
xD-Picture Card memory storage
 No external flash connection (See C-750 Ultra Zoom for this feature.)


Full review of production model camera
This is a full review, now updated to reflect results from a production-level camera. The Sample Pictures page, Test Results, and conclusion now reflect my experience with a production-level model.

Note: This review is very similar to that of the Olympus C-750 Ultra Zoom. If you've read that review, you know most of what this camera can do as well. The biggest differences are that the C-740 has a 3.2 megapixel CCD vs the 4.0 megapixel sensor on the C-750, the C-750 has a "hot shoe" for attaching an external flash unit, which the C-740 lacks, and the C-750 records movies with sound, whereas the C-740 has no sound recording capability.


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Manufacturer Overview
With its very successful line of Camedia digital cameras, Olympus has long been a dominant player in the digicam marketplace. They currently boast one of the broadest digital camera lineups in the industry, with numerous models ranging from pure entry-level, point-and-shoot digicams to the E-20 high-end SLR. Previously introducing the C-730 Ultra Zoom in the impressive three-megapixel category, Olympus updated the line with an incredible 10x optical zoom lens and incredible manual exposure control. The latest model, the C-740 Ultra Zoom, is an ever-so-slightly pared down version, offering the same great 10x optical zoom and manual control.

In most respects, the C-740 Ultra Zoom is nearly identical to the C-730. It's about the same size and weight, and has the same zoom ratio and manual controls (such as adjustable AF area, long exposure times, and scene modes). What's missing is the ability to record sound, the external flash sync terminal, and the dual memory card formats. (The previous C-730 accepted both SmartMedia and xD-Picture Cards, while the C-740 writes only to xD-Picture Cards.) The 740 does carry forward the "My Camera" menu, which lets the user custom-configure a broad range of settings to meet specific needs. Overall, the C-740 looks like a great option for good resolution, lots of features, and a long zoom on a budget.

High Points

  • 3.2-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 3,200 x 2,400 pixels (interpolated).
  • 1.5-inch, color LCD display and 0.44-inch electronic viewfinder (EVF).
  • Olympus 10x Zoom, 6.3-63mm aspherical glass lens (equivalent to a 38-380mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • 3x Digital Zoom.
  • Adjustable AF Area, plus manual and automatic focus modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 16 seconds for still images.
  • Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus six Scene modes.
  • Spot or Digital ESP metering systems, plus a Multi-Metering option.
  • Auto Bracketing, Sequence, AF Sequence, and Hi Sequence capture modes.
  • Adjustable White Balance with eight settings, including a manual adjustment.
  • Variable ISO setting, with ISO equivalents from 100 to 400.
  • Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness image adjustments.
  • Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes.
  • QuickTime Movie mode (without sound).
  • Panorama and "2 in 1" capture modes.
  • "My" mode for saving customized settings.
  • JPEG and uncompressed TIFF file formats.
  • Images saved on xD-Picture Card (16MB xD-Picture Card included).
  • USB cable for fast connection to a computer. (USB auto-connect for driverless connection to Windows Me, XP and 2000, and Mac OS 8.6 or greater.)
  • Video cable for connection to a television set.
  • Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master 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).



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