Product Type: Olympus digital cameras
Newest Review: ... with alarming ease, and once I’d got it tucked away I could hardly feel it at all. Ideal if like me you hate carrying things around... more
Is your wife a goer? Eh?
Olympus Camedia C-700 Ultra Zoom
Member Name: SlyClone2k
Olympus Camedia C-700 Ultra Zoom
Date: 14/01/03, updated on 14/01/03 (432 review reads)
Advantages: Small Light Compact and very good
Disadvantages: Manual missed a bit out.
Much as I’d like to give you this classic Monty Python scene in its entirety I’m not going to. For that you’ll need to visit http://www.intriguing.com/mp/_scripts/livebowl.txt and scroll about halfway down. What I can give you though is this truly appropriate excerpt:
Man: Whoa! Is your...is your Glendale wife interested in...photography? Eh? Eh? Eh?
Man with hat: Photography?
Man: "Photographs, eh?" he asked him knowingly!
Man with hat: Photography?
Man: Snap, snap, grin, grin, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more!
Man with hat: Sort of...holiday snaps, eh?
Man: They could be, they could be taken on holiday, you know! Swimming costumes, candid...you know, "candid"
Man with hat: No, we don't have a camera!
So, photography he asked him knowingly indeed. Why the digital camera must have been a revelation for boudoir photography enthusiasts world wide. It sure made my day when upon unwrapping my main (yes I get several) present at Chrimbo I was presented with a digital camera par du excellence. “Way hey,” I said to my wife, “wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” went I, “say no more, nods as good as a wink to a blind man you know!”. She looked at me and said, “we’ll have none of that.” I wasn’t dispirited; I didn’t just desirest a digital camera for the bedroom. I was away. Batteries in, power on, Click click snap snap. Within 30 seconds of taking of the wrapper I’d already taken 24 pictures of the family at Christmas. A family who at first had smiled for their portraits but dismayingly soon the smiles had turned to frowns. They wanted to continue un-wrapping their gifts. How selfish.
But never the less what a wonderful advert for how easy this camera is to use!!
The Olympus Camedia C-720 Ultra Zoom is a high resolution, lightweight, fantasta-zoom came
ra. But what does all that mean?
Well the Camedia cameras are Olympus’ range of compact digitals designed to function with many of the same capabilities of a digital SLR (SLRs are the big cameras that the proper people use!) but to substantially bring down the cost entailed with that (a difference of around 6 or 700 quid), to allow accessibility to photography to those who want to produce professional looking, high resolution and quality images.
So what does the Olmpus provide that’s so great?
3 Mega pixel Camera. What is a mega pixel I hear you cry? Well, in short it’s a 1 million pixel image. A pixel is a tiny piece of information holding the colour, a tiny part of the whole picture. Imagine a piece of a jigsaw if you will. Take your computer screen; most people will have it set to 800x600 (that’s about ½ a million pixels). Those numbers are the amount of pixels on your screen. So if you have a 3 Mega pixel camera, all the images you take will have 3 million pixels on the photograph.
8 x Optical Zoom. Optical zoom is the part of the camera that takes you closer to the thing you want to photograph without you actually having to move. Clever stuff! I’m sure you all know how magnification works so I won’t dwell upon it, but using optical zoom the lenses are photographing exactly what they see. The higher your optical zoom the better. High in comparison to the Fuji F602 (6x) and this costs almost an extra £200 or the Nikon Coolpix 4500 (x4) at an extra £150
3 x Digital Zoom. Digital zoom is the clever bit. It’s where the camera sort of guesses what it is looking at and uses its pixels to increase the image further. In combination with the optical zoom the camera can return an image up to 24 times that which you can see.
For those n who have bought lenses for SLRs this gives the ranges of 40-320mm in the optical zoom or up to 960mm in the digital zoom, though at th
nge optimal picture quality is unlikely.
Digital ESP metering system with imager. Spot metering. AE lock possible. Basically the light meter takes a small point in the frame and ensures the picture is correctly exposed. In others words it makes sure it isn’t too light or too dark. Combined with the built in flash this camera takes some incredible indoor shots. Further combined with the ability to choose the film speed using ISO Settings 100, 200 or 400 (you’ll maybe have seen these numbers on film that you’ve bought?) and the shutter speeds you can obtain pictures in different situations.
Variable F-Stop. F-stop is the term we use to show how large the aperture is. This also affects the amount of light being taken in, so allows the camera to take pictures in a variety of situations.
Variable shutter speeds. From 1/1000 of a second up to 8 seconds. The shutter speed defines how quickly the photo is taken. If you are taking a motion picture, for example, you want this to be as quick as possible. However if you are taking a night picture you might want to leave this open longer, for example taking photos of stars or lights.
Macro mode. Using macro mode you can take some exceptionally detailed, close range photographs. A fine example is wanting to take a photograph of a flower so only petals fill the entire picture. You’d hope to see the colours within and a highly detailed image.
Standard control of the camera is navigated by using a mode setting dial. These modes handle the typical settings associated with the picture you choose. Thus how I managed to get taking pictures so soon! This option gives you four main presets, including portrait, sports, landscape portrait and night. Each of these can be adjusted and there is also a fifth option ‘my mode’ so you can set up your own controls for overall flexibility. Modes can be controlled using an easy to navigate and user friendly me
nu based s
ystem that is displayed on the digital screen.
The camera includes both a digital view finder and a 1.5” 140000 pixel screen that you can use to take or preview pictures.
The camera has a continuous shooting mode that will take up to five pictures at around 1.2 per second, good for action shots! What’s more the camera has a built in timer that allows you to get in on your own pictures, so no more holding the camera at arms length and hoping for the best or, and more importantly, waiting for a stranger to come along and hoping the don’t leg it with your toy!
This particular gem also provides you the ability to take titbits of video in QuickTime format. With two settings available you can take between 33 seconds up to almost 3 minutes of footage!
Whilst at this stage I haven’t been able to fully test its capabilities I have managed to take some exceptional portraits and close up shots alike (including a great one of a small furry snail that was in the middle of the road!). I’ve found the camera easy to use from the first and easy to manipulate as I have become more accustomed to it. I only have one small gripe and that is with the manual, there are certain terms and expressions used that I wasn’t au fait with and had to search alternative methods to determine optimum settings. A glossary would have been useful!
It is of course called a compact camera, and that is just what it is. Probably larger than your average digital compact, 107.5mm (W) x 76mm (H) x 77.5mm (D) but at only 315g you’d be hard pressed to worry about its weight. It fits inside my coat pocket with alarming ease, and once I’d got it tucked away I could hardly feel it at all. Ideal if like me you hate carrying things around!
The Olympus comes with a 16MB smartmedia card. This doesn’t sound a lot but depending on which format you take the picture in, the 720C has 7 of varying sizes
you can take anywhere from 1 to 99. Surely if you are looking at taking a portrait and have time to set up the camera and work out the details 1 is fine, but if you are snap happy and want to be able to discard unwanted snaps then 99 is fantastic. These cards go up to 128mb and start at around £7 for a 16mb card.
The camera is USB compatible, comes with its own drivers and a fantastic piece of software that provides those of us without copious amounts of pirated imaging software (Photoshop etc.) with a handy tool for manipulating images. This includes cropping, resizing and distorting - the list goes on. Most significantly it provides us with a method by which to categorise or “Albumise” our pictures and an easy way of viewing them, thumbnails and full screen.
Finally, but not least by any means is the quality of the output. On the screen pictures look fantastic, as I said earlier there are 7 format types that increase or decrease in size. Personally I used SQ2 1,280 x 960 (high) or: SQ2 1,024 x 768 (high) which is roughly the same as the resolution of my monitor. So pictures I took were viewed at full screen and are clear, clean and blemish free.
I haven’t quite worked out how this ratio compares to the size of a piece of paper, however I do know that using a HPDeskjet 900C I printed a picture at this resolution on to an A4 piece of photo paper and produced a picture that was near as damn it perfect.
In conclusion, this is a pricey entry in the digital compact market. But this is truly a high class piece of digital compact technology. The functionality and output can match and even exceed those that are more expensive in its class. Whilst looking at comparisons I felt this was a better option than similarly priced models of the photographic giants Nikon, Kyocera and Canon.
Olympus has a grand tradition of lenses and photography and my family and I have never been disappointed by any o
f their products. I d
oubt you will be to!
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