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Olympus C-750 Ultra Zoom

4.0 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 10/17/03

The C-750 Ultra Zoom features the same general body shape and size as the rest of the C-series, nearly identical to the preceding C-730 Ultra Zoom. Even the control layout is nearly the same, with a large Mode dial on top of the camera and a sprinkling of multi-functional controls on the back panel. The silver and black body is boxy yet compact, and fits well into the hand. The C-750 Ultra Zoom features a 4.0-megapixel CCD, which delivers a maximum image size of 3,200 x 2,400 pixels with interpolation, or 2,288 x 1,712 pixels uninterpolated. This is enough resolution for sharp 8x10 inch prints, even with moderate cropping. Its 10x zoom lens offers incredible zoom power, and the range of manual and automatic exposure options is as complete as I've seen on a consumer-level digicam.

The C-750 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 mixture of plastic and thin metal body panels keeps the C-750 Zoom relatively light weight at 10.8 ounces (305 grams) without batteries, though the larger lens assembly gives it a solid heft when you pick it up. While stashing the camera into a shirt pocket is out of the question, the C-750 does have a chance at larger coat pockets and purses. The accompanying neckstrap is useful and secure, but I strongly recommend picking up a soft camera case to protect the C-750 when traveling.

The front of the C-750 features the lens, self-timer LED / IR remote sensor, microphone, 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 slim plastic bar on the inside of the handgrip provides a grip 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, A/V Out, and USB connector ports. A hinged plastic door protects the jacks when not in use, and snaps firmly shut. Next to the compartment is the camera's playback speaker. The second eyelet for attaching the neck strap is also on this side of the camera.

The C-750'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. The external flash hot shoe rests in the center of the flash compartment, and features a removable plastic cover to protect the contacts when not in use.

With a control layout similar to previous C-series models, the C-750's back panel layout is clean and logical. All of the control buttons fit conveniently 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 adjacent to the right of the display. Arrayed across the top of the back panel are the Self-Timer/Remote / 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. 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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