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Olympus Camedia C-770 Zoom

4.0 megapixels, a sharp 10x zoom lens, a unique flash head, and loads more features!

(Next): Executive Overview>>

Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 07/06/2004

4.0-megapixel resolution for 2,288 x 1,712 images. (Interpolated, native size is 3,200 x 2,400)
10x zoom lens.
ISO sensitivity from 64-400
xD-Picture Card memory storage
* Unique dual-tube flash head for excellent flash range
 TruePic TURBO image processor


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Manufacturer Overview

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The Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom is the current high-end model in an ongoing line of long-zoom digicams from Olympus. While the long-zoom market is getting more crowded these days, Olympus really pioneered it with their excellent C-2100, and still retains a commanding position with their latest C-765 and C-770 models. The Olympus C-770 UltraZoom sports a four megapixel CCD and a full 10x zoom lens, a new TruePic Turbo processor and a larger LCD, along with a range of features tailored to "enthusiast" users looking for full exposure control and compatibility with external flash units.

As with last year's C-740 and C-750, this year's C-765 and C-770 models are near-twins, the principle differences between the two having to do with the C-770's enhanced flash capabilities, and its inclusion of an internal speaker for audio playback. While the C-765 has only a conventional internal flash head, the C-770 sports both a hot shoe for attaching external flash units, and a unique dual-tube internal flash head that provides much greater flash range than found in most prosumer digicams. Compared to earlier models in Olympus' UltraZoom line, this year's models have larger LCD displays, rely on Li-Ion batteries (rather than AAs) for their power, and now accept only xD-Picture Cards, dropping the dual-media compatibility with SmartMedia cards of some prior versions. All in all, the C-770 Ultra Zoom offers full-on "enthusiast" controls and features in a long-zoom camera, at an affordable price.


Comparison with the Olympus C-765

If you're read my review of the Olympus C-765, then you'll know most of the features and capabilities of the C-770 as well. The two cameras are virtually identical to each other, the main differences being in the C-770's flash system and its movie mode resolution options, although the C-770 also seems to have a more powerful/faster image processor. Apart from these differences, if you've already read my C-765 review, you can save yourself the time of reading this one for the C-770, and just skip to the test results and conclusions at the bottom. Here's a list of specific differences between the two units:

Feature C-770 C-765
Movie mode resolution options MPEG4 (640 x 480)
SHQ (640 x 480)
HQ (320 x 240)
SQ (160 x 120)
HQ (320 x 240)
SQ (160 x 120)
Internal speaker yes no
Infrared Remote yes no
Internal flash design dual-tube head conventional single-tube design
Internal flash range
(Olympus' spec)
Wide: 1.0-14.8 feet
(0.3 m to 4.5 m)
Tele : 3.9-17 feet
(1.2 m to 5.2 m)
Wide: 1.0-14.8 feet
(0.3 m to 4.5 m)
Tele : 3.9-11.5 feet
(1.2 m to 3.5 m)
External flash hot shoe yes no
Shutter lag
(~ no difference)
1.07 - 1.18 1.00 - 1.21
Single shot buffer depth (large/fine files) 19+ 3
Continuous Lo buffer depth (large/fine files) 11 3
Continuous Hi buffer depth (large/fine files) 5 5
TIFF mode cycle time 12.5 sec 20.8
Worst-case battery life (minutes) 79 120
Weight 11.9 oz
(337 g)
11.1 oz
(315 g)

High Points

  • 4.0-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 3,200 x 2,400 pixels (interpolated).
  • 1.8-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).
  • 4x Digital Zoom.
  • Adjustable AF Area, plus manual and automatic focus modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 15 seconds for still images.
  • Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus four Scene modes.
  • Spot or Digital ESP metering systems, plus a Multi-Metering option.
  • Auto Bracketing, Sequential, AF Sequential, and Hi Sequential capture modes.
  • Adjustable White Balance with eight settings, including a manual adjustment.
  • Variable ISO setting, with ISO equivalents from 64 to 400.
  • Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness image adjustments.
  • Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes, and a unique dual-tube design for dramatically improved flash range.
  • Hot Shoe for attaching external flash units, compatible with conventional "dumb" flashes, or with Olympus' own line of dedicated flash units for better-integrated exposure control.
  • QuickTime Movie mode with sound.
  • Built-in speaker for audio playback.
  • 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.)
  • A/V cable for connection to a television set.
  • Optional remote control.
  • Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)/PictBridge compatibility and print settings.


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