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PC Watch Olympus C2000Z vs. Nikon Coolpix 950 article
My (again, sorry for any mistakes) rough translation of the Japanese review:
The reviewer first notes that the first thing you notice about these two cameras is their obvious difference in design, Olympus going for the moer traditional "mini-SLR" or "compact" look to the C2000Z and Nikon sticking with their radical split swivel design as first seen in the CP900.
The reviewer also notes that the operation and fell of the C2000Z is very comfortable and easy to get used to, and that the swivel ability of the CP950 is very useful for viewing the LCD from different angles, or pointing the lens in different directions other than straight forward.
The notes that in his personal experience the 950 was the camera he used for outdoor shooting and the C2000Z was better suited than the 950 for indoor shooting (probably because of the 950 difficulty in focusing in low light).
Size wise the C2000Z is about 2/3rds the width of the 950 but that the 950 is thinner and slightly easier to store and carry. It is also noted that the biggest difference between these two cameras is the chocie of storage medium, the 950 using CompactFlash and the C2000Z using SmartMedia.
Startup time being about equal in both cameras (around 3 seconds), he does however note that with the C2000Z you do have to switch the LCD on by pressing the monitor button after the machine has powered up.
The reviewer also notes that the C2000Z having two very similar switches on the top (one operation and one shutter release) causes beginners to accidently use the wrong button. On startup he notes that the 950 starts with the zoom set to full-tele and the C2000Z starts with the zoom set to full-wide.
He notes that the 950 has the ability to remember settings such as mode, white balance etc. but that with the C2000Z you must set these settings each time you power-up.
The 2" LCD on the C2000Z is also noted as being brighter and clearer than the 1.8" LCD on the 950, however the reviewer preferred the menu system on the 950.
Optics and photographic ability
The reviewer notes that Olympus use a wider diameter lens which is faster (F2.0-F2.8) than the Nikon (F2.6 - F4.0) (the Olympus lens being almost twice as fast than the Nikon). Thus at full zoom twice as fast shutter speeds are possible and the ability to catch fast action or reduce blur is greatly increased with the Olympus.
The Nikon wins from a macro point of view being able to focus at a very close 2cm and the Olympus only at 20cm, so if it's macro ability you're looking for it's the Nikon.
Sensitivty gain is automatic for the Olympus in "P" mode giving ISO ratings from 100 - 400. He also notes that with the faster lens and good automatic gain ability the Olympus can take very good shots even in dark rooms at nighttime.
Unfortunately this is where the review falls a little weak as there are only a few samples of the same scene taken at the same time with both cameras, however there are many samples available from these two cameras.
His conclusion is that the C2000Z should be chosen for "easiness to take" and the 950 for "basic performance".. Also he notes that the two cameras are very similar both in features and image quality and it's a difficult choice.