Olympus make official something we've know for quite a while. The C-3000Z, it's a cheaper version of the C-3030Z yet still features a 3x optical zoom, 3.34 megapixels of resolution, longlife Lithium batteries, USB and QuickTime Video. Availability is said to be "End of May"

The main differences according to an Olympus document are "The lower price in comparison with its "big sister", the C-3030ZOOM, has been achieved by slightly reducing the buffer memory and movie recording times as well as trimming some of the accessories that would otherwise be supplied with the camera. "

The thing that amuses me is that if Olympus can afford to sell the C-3000Z which is effectively a crippled C-3030Z at $799 and still make a good profit ($200 worth of SDRAM?).. Why should we put up with paying so much for digital cameras?

  Olympus C-3000Z
 
Olympus C-3030Z
CCD 1/1.8" 3.34 megapixels 1/1.8" 3.34 megapixels
Image sizes 2,048�1,536 pixel (TIFF, SHQ, and HQ mode) 1,600�1,200 pixel or 1,280�960 pixels 1,024�768 (TIFF and SQ1 mode) or 640�480 pixels (TIFF and SQ2 mode) 2,048�1,536 pixel (TIFF, SHQ, and HQ mode) 1,600�1,200 pixel or 1,280�960 pixels 1,024�768 (TIFF and SQ1 mode) or 640�480 pixels (TIFF and SQ2 mode)
Image modes TIFF, SHQ, HQ, SQ1, SQ2 TIFF, SHQ, HQ, SQ1, SQ2
ISO (sensitivity) 100, 200, 400 100, 200, 400
Lens 3x Zoom (32-96mm 35mm equiv.) / F2.8 3x Zoom (32-96mm 35mm equiv.) / F2.8
Digital Zoom 2.5x 2.5x
Autofocus TTL method iESP auto focus (Contrast detection method and range of focus adjustment: 0.2m- infinity) TTL method iESP auto focus (Contrast detection method and range of focus adjustment: 0.2m- infinity)
Shooting distance Normal: 80cm - infinity
Macro: 20cm - 80cm
Normal: 80cm - infinity
Macro: 20cm - 80cm
Optical viewfinder Real-image zoom Real-image zoom
LCD monitor 1.8", 114,000 pixel low temperature TFT 1.8", 114,000 pixel low temperature TFT
Storage SmartMedia (2MB/4MB/8MB/16MB/32MB/64MB)
8MB SmartMedia card included
SmartMedia (2MB/4MB/8MB/16MB/32MB/64MB)
16MB SmartMedia card included
Shooting modes Programmed, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Full Manual Programmed, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Full Manual
Buffer Unknown but smaller than C-3030Z 32MB
Burst 1.4 fps (up to 5 frames) & QuickTime 320 x 240 or 160 x 120 3.5 fps (up to 5 frames) & QuickTime 320 x 240 or 160 x 120
Shutter Mechanical and CCD electronic shutter Mechanical and CCD electronic shutter
Shutter speed range 16 seconds - 1/10,000 second 16 seconds - 1/10,000 second
Aperture range F2.8 - F11 (adjustable in 1/3 steps in AP mode) F2.8 - F11 (adjustable in 1/3 steps in AP mode)
Exposure compensation +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps
Bracketing Bracketing (3 or 5 steps within +/-2/3EV) Bracketing (3 or 5 steps within +/-2/3EV)
White balance Full Auto, Preset, 4 settings Full Auto, Preset, 4 settings
Self-timer 12 secs or 2 secs (or remote control) 12 secs or 2 secs (or remote control)
Flash coverage Wide:0.8-3.8m Tele:0.2-3.8m (ISO100) Wide:0.8-3.8m Tele:0.2-3.8m (ISO100)
Flash modes Auto Flash, Flash Cancel, Forced Flash, Slow Sync, Anti-Red-Eye Auto Flash, Flash Cancel, Forced Flash, Slow Sync, Anti-Red-Eye
Interface USB, Serial RS232C/RS432 (Windows 115kbps; Mac: 230kbps) USB, Serial RS232C/RS432 (Windows 115kbps; Mac: 230kbps)
Video output Varies by region Varies by region
Misc Voice recording function Voice recording function
Power requirements 2 x Olympus Lithium battery pack CR-V3, 4 x NiMH AA or 4 x Alkaline AA 2 x Olympus Lithium battery pack CR-V3, 4 x NiMH AA or 4 x Alkaline AA
Dimensions 109 x 76 x 66 mm 109 x 76 x 66 mm
Weight (no batteries) 300g 300g
MSRP Price $799 $999
Release date May 2000 Available now

Click here for Olympus Europe C-3000Z page

Click here for a picture of the C-3000Z courtesy of PC Watch

Official press release:

C-3000 ZOOM Offers New Price/Performance Standard for a 3.34 Megapixel Digital Camera at Only $799

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus America Inc., Digital & Imaging Systems Group, the world leader in film and filmless photography, today announced the C-3000 ZOOM 3.34 Megapixel (2048 x 1536 pixel resolution) filmless digital zoom camera to its line of award-winning digital cameras. The C-3000 ZOOM offers a new standard in price/performance for a 3.34 megapixel digital camera -- with a price of only $799.

The C-3000 ZOOM offers most of the advanced features of the C-3030 ZOOM, including a 3.34 Megapixel CCD; USB connectivity; QuickTime movies with sound; 3X Zoom aspherical glass lens with continuous 2.5X digital telephoto; 15 modes of resolution, including 5 uncompressed tiff modes; removable SmartMedia; 2 longlife CR-3V Lithium batteries; a 6 mode flash with a slow syncro red-eye reduction mode; and DCF and DPOF compatibility in the camera for cropping and editing.

Built-In USB Connection

The C-3000 ZOOM offers a USB connection for the easiest way to download images. Optional Olympus choices for downloading include the optional USB reader, FlashPath floppy disk adapter, PCMCIA adapter for laptops, serial cable, or by inserting the SmartMedia card into the P-330N printer.

QuickTime Video with Sound

The QuickTime movie mode allows users to film 15 seconds of video at 160 x 120 resolution (15 fps), or 60 seconds at 320 x 240 (15 fps). Shutter speeds are from 1/30 second to 1/10,000 second. Sound can be recorded during the video filming, or a 4 second sound byte can be recorded separately for play with a single image. No external microphones are needed as sound is recorded directly from the camera's built-in microphone. The video with sound can be viewed on any television with the included NTSC cable.

Camera Features

The C-3000 ZOOM offers black & white and sepia modes for shooting monochrome images. In the Blackboard/Whiteboard Mode, the appropriate exposure settings are automatically selected for capturing text and ensuring clear, visible writing on the images. ISO's of 100, 200, and 400 are user selectable; and longer, slower shutter speeds are available: up to 16 seconds manual or 1/800 second to 1/2 second in auto.

The C-3000 ZOOM was built with the consumer as well as the professional photographer in mind. For the consumer, ease-of-use is key, so the power control was built into a dial and menus and control buttons are more user-friendly with less steps to achieve a function. Battery power consumption has been improved for longer usability and less frequent battery changes. For the professional, the Olympus FL-40 external flash is available for bounce-flash lighting effects. The C-3000 is especially made to accept the FL-40 flash with the use of the optional TTL cable.

Unsurpassed Optics

Olympus digital cameras are well-known for their exceptionally high-quality images. Images captured with the C-3000 ZOOM produce photographs equivalent to that of many film-based cameras. This is achieved by a number of factors, including a truly world-class all glass 8-element 3X zoom (32-96mm equivalency) with a fast f2.8-f11 aperture range, low compression ratios including an uncompressed mode, and a host of other sophisticated Olympus technologies. The results from the C-3000 ZOOM are truly photographic.

The C-3000 ZOOM will be available the end of May, 2000 for $799. It includes a 8MB Olympus brand panorama SmartMedia card, remote control, 2 CR-3V Lithium batteries, lens cap, strap, USB and serial cable for PC and Mac, video connection cable for TV or VCR, new Olympus Camedia Master 2.0 Utility Software for downloading images from the camera, and instruction manuals. All software supports both Windows and Macintosh computer systems.