|*||4.0-megapixel sensor, delivering 2,288 x 1,712-pixel images|
|*||3x optical zoom lens|
|*||Improved user interface|
|*||Excellent image quality and low-light capability|
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Olympus has long been a dominant player in the digicam marketplace. They boast one of the broadest lineups of digicams in the industry, with numerous models ranging from pure entry-level point-and-shoot digicams to the exceptional “near-professional” E-20 SLR.
For quite a while now, Olympus has followed a practice of first bringing out a higher-end, fully-featured model, and then following it with a slightly de-featured version at a significantly lower price. By leveraging the development costs across two similar models, they’ve often managed to bring remarkably cost-effective cameras to market. One of their most notable successes with this approach was their C-3000 Zoom model, a variation on the theme established by their 3030 Zoom a bit prior to it. When it was introduced a bit over two years ago, the C-3000 stood out as an amazing bargain for digital shooters looking for maximum capability at a minimum price.
In 2002, Olympus has returned to this successful strategy, with the introduction of the C-4000 Zoom, a four megapixel that’s another “variation on a theme,” this time a melding of their higher-end four megapixel C-4040 Zoom and their already affordable three megapixel C-3020 Zoom. The result is a camera that I predict great success for in the marketplace: It’s a four megapixel design with just about every “enthusiast” feature you could ask for, excellent image quality, and an amazing $499 estimated “street” price as of its introduction. As of this writing (mid-August, 2002), there’s really nothing on the market that touches it for a combination of features and value. If you’re shopping for a true “enthusiast” camera at an unusually affordable price, the C-4000 Zoom deserves your close scrutiny! Read on for all the details!
- 4.0-megapixel CCD delivering up to 2,288 x 1,712-pixel resolution images (3,200 x 2,400 pixels with “Optimum Image Enlargement” interpolation).
- 1.8-inch, wide view, color LCD display.
- 6.5-19.5mm, f2.8 3x zoom (equivalent to a 32-96mm lens on a 35mm camera).
- 3.5x Digital Zoom.
- Automatic focus control with adjustable AF area, and iESP and Spot AF modes.
- Optional manual focus mode, with numeric distance scale displayed.
- Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 16 seconds for still images; 1/8,000 to 1/30 second for movies.
- Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus six preset Scene modes.
- My Mode saves up to four customized user settings.
- Spot or Digital ESP multi-pattern metering systems.
- Auto Bracketing, Sequence Shooting, Panoramic, and “2 in 1” capture modes.
- Adjustable White Balance with eight settings, plus a WB color “tweak” function. (Handy!)
- Optional “fine-tuning” adjustments for color saturation, contrast, and in-camera sharpening.
- Built-in flash with four operating modes, three Slow Sync modes.
- Noise Reduction for improved image quality with long exposures.
- QuickTime Movie mode.
- Five-pin external flash sync socket.
- JPEG and uncompressed TIFF file formats.
- Images saved to SmartMedia memory card (16MB card included).
- USB Auto-Connect for fast image download, without special driver software on current operating systems.
- NTSC video cable. (US units, European units ship with PAL cabling.)
- Software CD with Olympus’ Camedia Master 4.0 utility software (includes QuickTime, USB drivers, and reference manual).
- DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility and print settings.
- Power from two CR-V3 battery packs (included), or four AA batteries (AC adapter optional). (High-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger *highly* recommended.)