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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 3:Design

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


With the same general body shape and size as the rest of the C-series, the Olympus C-740 Ultra Zoom is the newest in the popular C-series. Like the C-730 Ultra Zoom before it, the C-740's silver and black body is boxy but compact, with a size that fits the hand well. External control layout is similar to previous models, with a large Mode dial on top of the camera and an array of control buttons on the back panel. The C-740 Ultra Zoom features a 3.2-megapixel CCD, which delivers a maximum image size of 3,200 x 2,400 pixels with interpolation, or 2,048 x 1,536 uninterpolated. This is enough resolution for sharp prints as large as 8x10 inches. Of course, one of the most exciting features on the C-740 is its 10x zoom lens, which boasts a surprisingly large maximum aperture range of f/2.8-3.7.

The C-740 Ultra Zoom measures 4.2 x 2.6 x 2.8 inches (107.5 x 66.0 x 70 millimeters), practically identical in dimensions to the C-730 model. The all-plastic body keeps the C-740 Zoom relatively light weight at 10.4 ounces (295 grams) without batteries, though it does have a reassuring heft when you pick it up (due in part to the larger lens assembly). The camera won't fit into a shirt pocket, but does have a chance at larger coat pockets and purses. It comes with a neckstrap, but I strongly recommend picking up a soft camera case to protect the C-740 when traveling.

The front of the C-740 is fairly plain, featuring only the lens, self-timer LED, and the front lip of the pop-up flash compartment. When fully retracted, the lens barrel projects only about one inch beyond the depth of the hand grip, and it extends about another three-quarters of an inch when powered up in any capture mode. When not in use, the lens is protected by a removable plastic lens cap that attaches to the camera with the supplied tether strap. A plastic grip bar on the inside of the handgrip provides firm purchase for your fingers as they wrap around the camera's body.

On the right side of the camera, the xD-Picture Card compartment is covered by a hinged, plastic door that opens from the back panel. Just above the compartment is one of the eyelets for attaching the neckstrap.

On the opposite side of the camera is the connector compartment, which houses the DC-In, Video Out, and USB connector ports. A hinged plastic door protects the jacks when not in use, and snaps firmly shut. The second eyelet for attaching the neck strap is also on this side of the camera.

The C-740's top panel has just a few controls on it, including the Shutter button (surrounded by the Zoom lever), a Mode dial, and the pop-up flash compartment.

Similar to previous C-series models, the C-740's back panel layout is clean and logical, with all of the control buttons positioned above or to the right of the 1.5-inch LCD monitor. The four-way Arrow Pad serves multiple functions depending on the camera's operating mode, and is located to the right of the LCD display. Arrayed across the top of the back panel are the Self-Timer / Erase, Spot / Macro (with the added DPOF print feature), Flash / Protect, and Flash Release buttons. Below these are the Power and AE Lock / Rotate buttons. A Display button sits just below the four-way Arrow Pad and controls whether or not the rear-panel LCD is illuminated, and how much information is displayed there. The electronic viewfinder in the upper left corner of the camera shows a miniaturized version of the larger LCD display, and features a diopter adjustment dial for eyeglass wearers.

The bottom of the camera holds the battery compartment cover and a plastic screw-mount tripod socket. The tripod socket is just a little too close to the battery compartment to make battery changes easy when mounted on a tripod. (This is a pet peeve of mine, but I recognize that most people don't spend as much time with their digicams locked down to a tripod as I do.)



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