|*||3.2-megapixel resolution for 3,200 x 2,400 images. (Interpolated, native size is 2,048 x 1,536)|
|*||10x zoom lens (!)|
|*||Surprisingly compact body for a long-zoom camera.|
|*||Inexpensive for a long-zoom camera.|
|*||Electronic viewfinder (EVF) is surprisingly effective at low light levels.|
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Olympus has long been a dominant player in the digicam marketplace. They currently boast one of the broadest digital camera lineups in the industry, with numerous models ranging from pure entry-level, point-and-shoot digicams to the E-20 high end SLR. Some of the hottest action in their lineup is in the three megapixel category. Previously introducing the C-720 Ultra Zoom, Olympus offered three-megapixel image quality with an incredible 8x optical zoom lens. With the latest model, the C-730 Ultra Zoom, Olympus picks up where the C-720 left off, with an amazing 10x zoom lens, increased manual exposure control, and an external flash sync terminal.
In most respects, the C-730 UltraZoom is a direct follow-on to the C-720. It’s the same size and weight, the main differences being the increased zoom ratio, a handful of extra manual controls (such as adjustable AF area, longer exposure times, and more scene modes), and the flash terminal. Like the C-720, the C-730 is one of the smallest long-zoom cameras I’ve reviewed to date, hardly any larger or heavier than its 3x zoom counterparts. It offers an expanded range of exposure controls, with multiple scene modes, sound recording, and a handful of additional focus and exposure options. It also carries forward the “My Camera” menu, which lets the user custom-configure a broad range of settings to meet specific needs. With a street price of under $600, the C-730 Ultra Zoom definitely deserves strong consideration if you’re looking for great versatility in a long-zoom digicam.
- 3.2-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 3,200 x 2,400 pixels (interpolated).
- 1.5-inch, color LCD display and 0.44-inch electronic viewfinder (EVF).
- Olympus 10x Zoom, 5.9-59mm aspherical glass lens (equivalent to a 38-380mm lens on a 35mm camera).
- 3x Digital Zoom.
- Adjustable AF Area, plus manual and automatic focus modes.
- Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 16 seconds for still images; 1/8,000 to 1/30 seconds for movies.
- Auto, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus six Scene modes.
- Spot or Digital ESP metering systems, plus a Multi-Metering option.
- Auto Bracketing, Sequence, and Hi Sequence capture modes.
- Adjustable White Balance with eight settings.
- Variable ISO setting.
- Contrast and Sharpness image adjustments.
- Built-in pop-up flash with six operating modes.
- External flash sync terminal. (Olympus proprietary 4-pin form factor, adapter to PC connector available as an accessory.)
- QuickTime Movie mode (with sound).
- Panorama and “2 in 1” capture modes.
- “My” mode for saving customized settings.
- JPEG and uncompressed TIFF file formats.
- Images saved on xD-Picture Card or SmartMedia memory card (16MB xD-Picture Card included).
- USB cable for fast connection to a computer. (USB auto-connect for driverless connection to Windows Me, XP and 2000, and Mac OS 8.6 or greater.)
- A/V cable for connection to a television set.
- Software CD with Olympus’ Camedia Master 4.0 utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
- DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility and print settings.
- Power from two CR-V3 battery packs or four AA batteries (AC adapter optional).