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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus C-7000 Zoom


Olympus C-7000 Zoom Review

Review Date: Jan 24, 2005

Category: Serious Amateur


Vaughan Mills
7.9mm (38mm), Auto, Multi-Pattern, 1/30 sec., F2.8 and ISO 122

The Olympus Camedia C-7000 Zoom looks more like a traditional 35mm camera, a retro type of look that seems to be gaining in favour. It is quite compact at 102W x 59H x 42.5D mm (4W x 2.3H x 1.7D in.), very light at 220 g (7.07 oz.), and packed full of professional features.

The very first thing you notice as you turn the camera on and take a couple of test shots is that this camera is f-a-s-t, in both startup and operation. There is no practical shutter lag. The Olympus C-7000, like a number of newer digital cameras, are making shutter lag a non-issue, which is a most welcomed development.

The Olympus C-7000 is also compact enough to slide into a large trousers pocket or coat pocket. It feels very light and has a nice rubber handgrip, making for comfortable handling. The controls button are precise and easy to use, though you do have to crack open the online Advanced Manual (in pdf format) to find out all their functionalities. It is not too obvious where certain functions are "hidden."

For example, Manual Focus is available but you wouldn't know it by going through the Menu; to go into Manual Focus, you need to press and hold the OK button down for more than 1 second. Similarly, to select a metering mode or AF mode, I searched in vain in the Menu. Finally, I had to boot up my PC and search the Advanced Manual to find that these functions are set from the AE/AF button.

Olympus should think hard about either providing this Advanced Manual in hardcopy format or else provide a handy hardcopy quick reference manual.

The onboard flash is positioned at the top left edge of the camera (viewed from the back), exactly where your left index finger normally rests, and it becomes difficult to hold the camera steady. Olympus is aware of this "feature" since its Advanced Manual diagrammatically shows you how to hold the camera when the flash is popped up (Advanced Manual, page 22). The flash is manually popped up (which is something I prefer), and this is a good thing for you do not run the risk that your finger is inadvertently blocking it if it were the automatic pop up type.

The Arrow Keys are defaulted in P Mode to exposure compensation. This is good and I know I should be happy that I don't need to go into the Menu to set exposure compensation, but somehow I find I inadvertently applied an exposure compensation to many of my pictures. This is probably because the Arrow Keys are quite soft to the touch.

The semi-transmissive TFT LCD monitor on the Olympus C-7000 is a sweet 2 in. with a high resolution of approx. 206K pixels and a refresh rate so fast that it's a pleasure to use it. All digital cameras should incorporate such a LCD monitor. The only regrets is that it does not gain up in low-light; fortunately, there is an optical viewfinder to allow you to compose in low-light situations.

The battery and xD-Picture Card are housed in the same compartment accessed from the bottom of the camera. The compartment door on most digital cameras are spring-loaded (especially when they use AA batteries), which sometimes makes it difficult to close the compartment door; on the Olympus C-7000, the compartment door has no springs, and opens and closes effortlessly. I kind of like that.

The Olympus Camedia C-7000 Zoom packs a lot of features in a compact and light design, making it a good carry anywhere digital camera for the advanced amateur photographer.

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