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With new QuickTime™ movie features, convenient options and zoom capabilities, the D-490 Zoom is boldly going where no Olympus D-400 Series camera has gone before! The D-490 Zoom makes the leap to a 2.11 megapixel point-and-shoot digital camera and features a high-quality 3X optical zoom lens designed for digital photography along with the ever-popular 2X digital telephoto. The combination provides you with a pocket camera having a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 35 to 105mm and 210mm digital. With the QuickTime™ movie mode you can now film mini motion pictures with your D-490 Zoom camera at 15 frames per second for up to 60 seconds (in Standard Quality mode and 15 seconds in High Quality mode). These movies can then be played back on the camera's color LCD monitor, on a computer after being downloaded, or on a television by utilizing the NTSC video out capability. Compact size and a stylish design combine with the many enticing performance features of the camera for a fun and easy-to-use photographic tool. In the Rapid shooting or burst mode the D-490 Zoom can capture from 5 to 45 images at 1.3 frames per second, depending on quality mode. Shoot in an uncompressed TIFF mode, low compression JPEG SHQ mode for optimum image quality, HQ JPEG mode or one of two (2) SQ modes to e-mail or capture more photos. The color LCD display can be used to view and review your images. You can also enlarge the image on the LCD for closer inspection or look at an index of the images on your SmartMedia™ card for a quick review. At the heart of the D-490 Zoom is the desire to create great photos and have fun doing it. And when it's time to print those pictures you've taken, the D-490 Zoom's images can be printed directly from the SmartMedia™ card using the optional P-330, P-330N or forthcoming P-400 Printers for true photo-quality prints. These features and more allow the D-490 Zoom to be an integral part of your total dig
ital photographic solution.
We only got this camera thanks to Dooyoo! After discovering that writing fewer but more comprehensive opinions got you more Dooyoo miles (readings & ratings), premier crowns (9), Dooyoo Guru status and an entry into the Hall of Fame, we had enough vouchers to buy the Olympus D-490 Zoom (2.1 Mega pixels). We used my vouchers plus our savings to pay for this camera. What better motivation for being a member of Dooyoo than getting a digital camera for all your efforts? After reading most, if not all, the opinions on Dooyoo regarding digital cameras we opted for either a Fuji or Olympus make of camera. There were some very useful snip bits of information regarding the cameras, their features, their accessories (supplied and not supplied!!!) and memory cards etc. These made our decisions very straightforward and put some of the salespeople to shame, as we knew more about these cameras than they did! Thanks guys! After spending nearly 1½ hours looking over and testing both the Olympus D-490 and the Fuji MX-1700 camera (with a similar specifications) we ended up opting for the D-490. Buying a digital camera is a question of trading off between different makes and models, a bit like buying a car, and having Dooyoo, What Camera and Which Camera helped in our decision-making. We decided to go for D-490 because it had 2.1 mega-pixels at £399 rather than Olympus C-860L that had 1.3 mega-pixels for £299-£340 (depending on retail outlet). We thought the extra £100 would give a superior photo quality at a price worth paying. The D-490 features include a very handy 2.5x digital zoom, which is ok but to have a 10x digital zoom it would mean paying an extra £200-300. We opted for the Olympus over the Fuji because the Olympus resembled a conventional camera over the non-convention look of the Fuji, although the Fuji looked very sleek and shiny but didn’t feel right. Another reason for opting for the D-490 over the C-860 was that the D model could take movie pi
ctures. Although the movie could only last approximately 30 seconds on the supplied 8 Meg storage card. The camera is also equipped with ISO 100/200/400 settings. Not being a camera buff or bothering to read the instructions, I can only surmise that this has something to do with different light settings (comments gratefully received). Our ultimate test on light was to wait until it got to near dark (twilight) with no artificial lights on. We took photos using the camera flash and with an automatic light setting. We were astonished with the outcome of the photos, because it gave the impression that the room was as if it was in normal light. The camera has a near 2” by 1” LCD display. This allows you to do several options. You can use the display rather than the optical viewer when taking pictures. Or you can review photos that you have just taken or change camera settings from its integrated and very easy to use options function/table. We found that using the camera with the LCD display on decreased the battery life (4 AA batteries) very rapidly (less than a day of use!). We now only use it to review photos. One good option with this camera is that you can use your TV instead of the LCD display. The camera comes with a very handy video connection that you can hook up between the camera and your video port. This saves the batteries considerably and makes reviewing a family fun affair rather than the camera operator, as everyone can see what photos were taken. The D-490 Zoom has 3 different resolutions of photos – SQ, HQ & SHQ. SHQ allows you to take 1 super high-resolution; HQ allows 16 high-resolutions; and SQ standard-resolution allows 92 photos on an 8 Meg storage card. You have the option of taking a mixture of SQ or HQ mode photos depending on the availability of memory. The D-490 also has the ability to take single or multiple sequence photos (excuse the terminology as I’m no photographer!). Multiple se
quence photos come in very handy for taking action or motion shots where you have subjects (toddlers or children) that won’t keep still for a photo. This way you are bound to get a good photo with your camera continually clicking away with your finger on the button! You have the option of deleting your photos on the reviewing mode of the camera. This mode can show either each photo individually or as a series of 9 thumbnail photos. Other useful features are the more than capable flash and the ability to reduce the ‘red eye‘ from photos taken at night. I can’t speak as an expert on refraction, diffraction or camera settings but this camera is more than suitable and better than my 35mm when used at taking photos at night, provided that the subject is within close range. It has an option to change the light settings to either sunny, overcast or night. We tend to stick to the automatic settings, as this has never failed us. The camera also comes with 10-second automatic timer so that you can appear in the photos as well. This camera comes with 4 supplied AA batteries, 8 Meg SmartMedia storage card, camera strap and Adobe 4 & Camedia (sounds like a disease) Master 2 packages. It doesn’t come with a camera case, a 3V power adaptor, tri-pod or a spare memory card. The absence of the power adaptor and the software are major disadvantages. The adaptor costs an extra £69.99! The camera doesn’t come with a camera case or pooch when you are advised not to use this in the damp or wet. I thought this would be essential living in the UK! The speeds of download via the serial port are rather slow. It took around 8 minutes to download 16 high-resolution photos (8 meg). The speed of download doesn’t help when you are running the camera from AA batteries. We solved this problem by buying a SmartMedia SanDisk USB card reader for £39.99 rather than paying for the power adaptor at £69.99. Now we take the card out of th
e camera and pop it into the SanDisk that acts like a floppy disk drive. We can download ALL the photos within seconds! The software is rather poor. It is very basic and only acts as a tool to view and download your photos from the camera to PC. Using the SanDisk all the time has made this software obsolete! We use Paint Shop Pro and PhotoDraw to manipulate the photos we download because there are no facilities to do it on Camedia. The only useful function Camedia has is its ability to make movies from your still images. In summary, if you want to buy a very good 2.1 Mega pixel camera then you can’t go wrong with the Olympus D-490. It is more than capable and very highly recommend for taking really good high-resolution photos in any light conditions, a part from very dark conditions of course. It looks and feels like a camera, unlike its Fuji rival. It has the ability to take super high, high and standard resolution of photos (1, 16 & 92 photos per 8 Meg car, respectively). The LCD display is very good but the battery life reduces rapidly with it on, although hooking it up to your TV does away with using the LCD! It isn’t supplied with a power adaptor (£69.99) or extra memory card (£19.99 - £39.99 for 8 Meg). The supplied software, the lack of power adaptor and serial lead PC connection are the only negative points. Buying a USB San Disk SmartCard reader for an extra £39.99 (floppy disk drive for your camera memory cards) solved the problem with download connections times and camera battery life. What makes this an even better buy is that we used Dooyoo opinions and vouchers that I have earned to part pay for this camera! What better rewards can you have? Camera rated 4.5/5 (deserves to be 5 rather than 4 on the star rating) Sofwate rated 1/5