I decided it was time to move forward into the realm of digital photos after completely running out of space to store all my films and prints. I had started to scan old photos, negatives and slides and save them to CD and thought it best to save all new photos digitally.
After an extensive search of various good review sites, comparisons, downloaded examples etc I narrowed the choice down to just a few. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of very good cameras out there. I wanted to be able to be creative - much like I had with my old SLR's (OM2 and OM10 Olympus to name 2). The Olympus C-740 is very flexible. It will take great pictures in Auto mode or you can be creative and use various other modes from semi auto to full manual.
I was lucky that a friend bought the same model just before me so I was able to have a play without the pressure of a salesman watching and waiting to clinch the deal.
The C-740 and 750 are now superseded by C-760 and C-765 also there is a 770. They all share the same spectacular zoom lens which does a great job.
My photos are everything I hoped for. There are various quality (resolution) settings ~ probably too much choice in fact. For closer portraits it isn't always necessary to go to the top settings - but if you take a picture with lots of detail in it 2048 x 1560 is better. There are 3 quality settings at each resolution level Tiff (uncompressed) and 2 levels of compression in JPG format.
The pictures will impress with the sharpness and crispness. However, don't be fooled. The contrast is actually a bit high as is the sharpness. This can lead to fine detail in bright areas getting a bit washed out. Foliage in trees is ether light green or black. Turning down both sharpness and contrast (you'll have to experiment) remedies this - but I would have preferred the default setting to be lower. My contrast is usually set at minus 4 out of a range from minus 5 to plus 5. I also turn down the sharpness - this reduces the fine detail contrast allowing shading along fine edges to show through more (instead of strong pencil like edges).
The view finder is worth mentioning as it is not a normal optical one - but a copy of the screen. this means that although it is a digital image you look at you are in fact viewing through the lens. There is also a dioptre control for those with less than perfect eyesight.
3.2MP is enough really for most photos. It roughly equates to scanning a negative at 1600dpi OK for anything up to about an A4 print. If you use the digital zoom (which I don't) then the resolution will lower.
I recommend all of these cameras with this lens - the later ones have a larger screen on the back which I would have preferred. Battery life is good - use 2100mA hour, or greater, NiMH type rechargeables.
If you need to see photos on various different cameras - all taken on identical settings try Imaging resource website - either the house shot or the musicians.
Great camera then - I've taken loads of lovely pictures with mine, I have friends with the 750, and the 765 and they get very similar results too.