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This camera offers outstanding picture quality, with a sexy style camera. What more can you ask for? It is kinda bulky, but not to the extent that it would proove to be a nuisance. My mother recieved this gift as a christmas present and has cherished the small amount of time she has used it for so far.
It easily downloads onto any PC via camedia, and can there be digitally enhanced to improve the quality just thet little bit more. There is very little loss of quality when you print the image, although it is definately worth using quality photo paper.
It also offers a very wide range o feature, for you to have a play with.
There are a couple of downsides to using this camera, which I shall say now from experience. Firstly the battery will drain very quickly. The camera requires 4 AA batteries, and can get through them in a day if you replay photos too much. If you purchase this camera it is defintely advisable to use rechargable batteries, to avoid high running costs. The instruction manual that comes with the camera is like a full novel, with tons of information that you will probably never read. This has to be included, but at times is very long winded.
To buy this camera you are looking at spending up to about £335, obviously dependant upon where you buy from, but this seems to be pretty average. However at ceratin sites it can be as low as £250. As I said before it is well worth getting rechargeable batteries, and these will cost you (with charger) about £50
Some of the cameras features
New camera has a 2.8x optical zoom lens.
3 megapixel CCD sensor.
'virtual mode dial'
night scene noise reduction,
panorama mode (using Olympus card)
3:2 image format.
I have owned this camera for a year but I'm ashamed to say that I was too scared to use it for most of that time. I was given it for my birthday and after having taken a couple of pictures I decided to explore the camera to see what else it did and basically gave up. I'm a bit of a technophobe, I don't know anything about cameras and didn't understand the terminology or the technology of digital cameras at all. I asked my husband to help but he couldn't understand the instruction books either and so between us we were pretty useless. Instruction books The instruction books were a contributing factor in my fear of this camera. Inside the box were no less than 7 instruction manuals and leaflets and a further 6 in with the software. I found this horribly daunting especially after browsing the thick booklet entitled safety precautions. The manual entitled safety precautions are classified under Danger, Warning and Caution and the first two say scaringly that if the product is used without observing the information given under this symbol serious injury or death may result. Death from a camera!!! This sort of heavy warning does not really give loads of confidence nor help the technophobe - in fact it put this one off completely. The problem was that in my first few attempts of use I obviously had done something wrong and when I switched the camera on it made strange popping noises. The potentially lethal camera went back in the box immediately and stayed there several months in the hope that it might die a peaceful death and not blow the house up or whatever its dastardly plans were. However, recently someone sent me a wonderful, amazing bouquet of flowers and although I described them as gorgeous and the best bouquet I had ever received this wasn't enough. The sender knew that I owned a digital camera and asked me to show him what he had paid for. So I had to come to grips with my
fear of all things new and technological and take pictures, download them and send them to him. So I plucked up enough courage to have another look at the instructions. Actually there are only 4 instructions booklets and the others were foreign language versions. The manuals were Safety Precautions, Quick start guide, basic manual and smart media card instructions. Later still I discovered a more comprehensive and useful manual on the CD. Once I had done this I was in a better position to review this camera. The Camedia C-300 Zoom is a 3.0 Megapixel camera with a high resolution 2.8 x zoom lens. I didn't know what this meant so I had to look it up. Digital images are made up of pixels and resolution means how many pixels in an image. This is usually measured in horizontal by vertical e.g. 1280 x 960 or total e.g. 1.2 megapixel. The higher the resolution the sharper the picture and larger the print size possible. As a rough guide 1 million and under is fine for snaps and e-mail, 1 - 2 million gives prints up to 6 x 4, 2- 3 million up to 7 x 5, and 3 million+ will print 10 x8 A4 . Im not sure that I want to print A4 pictures but so far I'm very impressed with the superb clarity of the pictures I've taken. The camera looks like and is the same size and weight as a normal camera. I know that digital cameras can be much smaller but I quite like the weight of this one because it feels right and is easier to hold steady than a tiny thing. The LCD monitor on the back is a good size at 1.8. The camera comes with a strap which I haven't used because it seems to attach to the hinge of the compartment where the card goes and I wondered whether it might pull it open. It also comes with USB cable and a video cable. I wasn't sure what the video cable was for until I discovered the cd manual. Apparently it is used to look at photos on your TV or save them on video. You can also hook the camera up to a TV while you ar
e taking pictures and let others see them as they are taken. Also included are alkaline batteries, software and 16Mb Smartmedia card. The camera switches on for shooting pictures by opening the lens cover and the flash also pops up then too. If you simply want to view or edit pictures you have already taken you press the monitor button on the back to switch that on. I haven't used the software or the USB cable because I was also given a card reader which is much easier to use than connecting the camera to the computer. (Delkin eFilm Reader - 14 which was very simple to install and use. You simply take out the card and pop it into the reader and choose which pictures to download.) I already have image editing software installed ( paintshop pro V. 7)so I haven't bothered to install the camedia software. However, I eventually discovered that the cd also includes a much more detailed and useful instruction manual in pdf format and using that I was able to try out many of the other features of the camera. Shooting modes There are seven main shooting modes available, P is the automatic (default setting), portrait gives in focus subject with blurred background, landscape-portrait gives both foreground and background in focus, landscape focuses on distant object, night scene sets a slower shutter speed to take night pictures, self portrait( this doesn't seem to work very well or perhaps it does! Do I really look like that?), and movie (I'm a technophobe give me time). Selecting the mode is simple. There are also lots of advanced features to be creatively adventurous. You can take still pictures using either the optical real image viewfinder or the monitor. The viewfinder is best used for most shots as it doesn't use any power but for close ups i n macro mode using the monitor gives better results. The monitor is not very easy to view in bright conditions outside though. I have found that the monitor i
s very useful to help children compose a photo. I now tend to only use the monitor to check through photos to edit or delete. This can be done individually, as a slideshow or in a 4, 9 or 16 index format. Close ups can also be viewed. Image quality and size (record mode) There are 5 modes of quality to choose from. TIFF uncompressed the very highest quality, SHQ - super high quality for large prints, HQ high quality which is best if you intend to edit or print postcard size photos, SQ standard quality which is good for e-mail, web or viewing on computer and 3.2 which enables pictures to be printed at a photo lab without cropping photo. I used the default setting (HQ) to begin with but found SQ perfectly adequate for my use at the moment. Using the 16 mb smartmedia card provided you can store up to 16 TIFF images, 7 SHQ images, 21 HQ images, up to 165 SQ images, up to 24 3.2 images on the card. Other size cards are available. Zoom This camera has 2.8 optical zoom ( equivalent to 36mm - 100mm on a 35mm camera) which is operated by a rocker switch next to the shutter button and a 3.6 digital zoom operated via the camera mode menu. Combining the two gives a magnification of 10x. However although this sounds impressive the digital zoom is not really that useful. All it does is enlarge the image or bit of image. As this can be done with image editing software anyway it seems a bit superfluous. So I haven't bothered using this. Advanced Features Macro mode which has a picture of a flower as its icon allows you to take very good close up shots. This special mode is used between 0.2 - 0.8m/0.7 - 2.6ft and enlarges objects and focuses quicker than in normal mode. This gives very impressive results on wild flower pictures and bees on flowers etc. Sequential shooting This allows you to take a rapid succession of still pictures by pressing the shutter button (up to 13 pictures at 1
.9 frames per second in HQ mode) which is good for a moving subject. You can then view the pictures, select the best and erase ones you don't want. Panorama According to the manual (on the CD) you can only use this feature if you use a Olympus Camedia brand Smartmedia card because other brands don?t support it. It lets you combine up to 10 pictures with overlapping edges into as large a panorama scene as you require in either direction. I haven't tried this yet. Other advanced features include a self timer and Two in one pictures which are self explanatory. Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV This is the posh name for varying the brightness of a picture. The auto setting is OK but in snow, bright sandy scenes or backlit conditions adjustment is necessary to avoid too light or too dark pictures. Other adjustments include 'white balance' for different light conditions including sunlight, overcast, tungsten or flurescent, 'sharpness', and 'contrast', and spot metering which is also good for highly backlit subjects. Editing still pictures On the box it mentioned Black and white and Sepia pictures but I couldn't work out how to do these at first. I thought you could choose to take black and white photos but in fact this is something you do in edit mode. You select a picture and then edit - black and white or sepia and the picture is stored as a second picture if you have room in memory. You can also resize and trim pictures in a similar way Unfortunately you can't have black and white or sepia movies but you can also edit them a bit. Batteries I?m still using the original alkaline batteries that came with the camera and they seem to last quite well. I have taken over 100 photos (I have kept over 100 but de leted far more than that I think), played around with editing and generally learnt how things work or don't. Apparently all sorts of variations
of batteries are available as optional extras, different types of batteries, rechargeable batteries and adaptors are available. However, I have heard that downloading direct from the camera uses a lot of power and I'm not doing that at all so I'm quite happy with the results using alkaline batteries. Conclusion After the initial disappointment of not understanding my camera and being scared of it my current view is quite different. I?m very impressed with the quality of the pictures and the freedom it allows to experiment. I actually hate having my photo taken but I don't mind my grandchildren taking pictures of me because I know that I can delete them if I don't like them. Actually, some weren't too bad and it?s a bit of a bonus that after years of avoiding cameras I now have some half decent pictures of myself sitting next to a rather spectacular flower display.