Olympus C-750 UZ Ultra Zoom Review

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Guy very kindly lent me his Olympus C750 UZ camera on the weekend for me to have a play with, as this was the camera I was interested in buying as my next digital camera. I've had an Olympus C-900 Zoom (D-400 Zoom in USA) for five years and it's been the most amazing camera. But by todays standards the pictures aren't as sharp as they could be, and the resolution could be bigger also. After reading review sites, I thought I might look at the Olympus C750 Ultra Zoom.

The biggest selling point on this camera is its fantastic 10X optical zoom lens. It also takes AA batteries, which George highly recommended to me after going through some very expensive batteries in her camera. And, being Olympus, it has a beautiful file naming convention that I really would not like to give up - it keeps the month and date in the actual photo name, so you can always tell when you took the photo from the name of the file. When you take as many photos as I do, this is a big plus, because you never have to rename files, and only need to separate them on year.

Initial results proved very disappointing. Not helped by the fact I probably had it on the wrong picture mode setting. That fixed up I was able to get some more successful photos. However, being at night, with only a single 100W incandescent light bulb for illumination, the camera still had problems getting a focus lock, resulting in blurry photos. There was also a lot of noise in the photos, especially at the higher resolutions. I had read a lot of reviews on this camera at www.dpreview.com and this weakness was commented on by many users. However, I would have thought that this camera, being five years newer than my current one, would still be better at focussing, and that perhaps these other users had a higher basis for comparison. Apparently not, and it seems that my five year old camera can still do a better job of getting the focussing right.

The macro setting also had issues. Again it had trouble getting a focus lock, often focussing at all sorts of odd depths, if at all. But the biggest gripe for me is that when using a flash, the end of the lens casts a shadow, resulting in photos with a semi-circle of shadow at the bottom. This would piss me off no end.

A smaller gripe is the electronic viewfinder. It's very difficult to see whether photos are in focus or not through it. Mind you, I had no idea at all with my old camera because there was no link between the lens and the viewfinder.

Having said all of that though, when it gets it right, it does so spectacularly. Outdoors with good light, this camera is superb. The 10x optical zoom is like a telescope, bringing up detail not even visible to the naked eye. The picture sharpness is great, as are the colours.

The other big success I had with it was with photos of my fish. My old camera has always had trouble focussing through the glass and water, but the C750 seemed to be able to get it right more often. I now have some of the best photos of my fish I've ever taken.

So. I've just looked at all the photos again, and I have to say I'm very disappointed with this camera. More so because I was expecting so much from it. If primarily taking outdoor shots with good light, then go for it. But if you take a lot of indoor shots, or macros with flash, then forget it. The focussing and noise problems really put me off this camera. Now I'm back to square one, trying to decide what camera to get.

3 Comments

kazza said:

Just reading more reviews, and it seems the noise problems could have been caused by having it on the 400 ISO setting. I don't know what this was actually set to, and I've given it back now, but presumably it was set on 400, resulting in a lot of noise.

February 2, 2004 10:48 PM

   

paul said:

wow.. that was a good review ... I think i'll wait a little longer until I decide lol.

Don't suppose you want to review a Dyson Vaccum cleaner do you? I can't decide which one we should go for .... lol... just thought I'd ask on the off chance!

February 3, 2004 10:10 AM

   

kazza said:

sure, send it over and I'll give it a test run :)

February 3, 2004 11:22 PM

   

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Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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