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Olympus C-730 Ultra Zoom, 3mp, 10x

By dpreview staff on Sep 18, 2002 at 08:51 GMT

Pre-Photokina 2002: Olympus has today announced the C-730 Ultra Zoom. Based on the C-720 Ultra Zoom (announced just four months ago) the 730 features a three megapixel CCD sensor, a 10x optical zoom lens (back to its roots), flash terminal and a unique storage 'dual slot' which can take either the new xD-Picture Card or SmartMedia. The camera also features a new higher resolution 180,000 pixel EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and histogram mode.

Press Release (Olympus UK):

The Olympus CAMEDIA C-730 Ultra Zoom

A new high-end 3.2 megapixel sensation with 10x optical zoom in the digital Ultra Zoom market segment

Hamburg, 12 September 2002 - Once again, Olympus confirms its leading role in the digital camera market with the CAMEDIA C-730 Ultra Zoom - the world's first digital camera to combine a 3.2 million pixel resolution with a 10x optical zoom. Its magnification power is enhanced by a 3x digital zoom. Together this provides for 30x zooming power - equivalent to 1140 mm with a 35 mm camera - in a very compact, ergonomic form. An improved, high resolution electronic viewfinder provides the user with a clear image. Refined automatic functions and pre-set shooting modes, such as for landscapes and sports, assure optimum results with the minimum of effort. For the more advanced photographer, the C-730 Ultra Zoom permits manual operation of many settings, like aperture and shutter speed, via easy-to-use controls. Preferred shooting set-ups can be saved in four "My Mode" folders. Furthermore, the camera incorporates a histogram and noise reduction function. This is also the first Olympus model to accept the new, innovative digital photo storage standard, xD-Picture Card. Saving information, such as the shooting, white balance and flash modes used, in the new Exif 2.2 standard means that compatible printers can intelligently apply this data to produce optimal printed results.

Capturing life in all its detail

The camera's 3.2 megapixel resolution is complemented by a very bright (f2.8 - 3.5), high-quality optical system. Comprising ten elements, including two aspherical lenses, arranged in seven groups, its lens assures shots are captured in great clarity. With its 10x optical zooming power (corresponding to 38 - 380 mm on a 35 mm camera) and 3x digital zoom, providing a maximum of 30x magnification, the C-730 Ultra Zoom brings the user extremely close to the action and is therefore ideal for such subjects as wildlife and sports. At the other end of the scale, super macro mode lets shots be taken from as close as only 4 cm away.

A pixel mapping function automatically calibrates the CCD chip and processor to help produce even sharper contrast, brighter colours and fewer image errors. The Olympus-developed TruePic technology also optimises sharpness, contrast, colour purity and gradation.

With 180,000 pixels, the resolution of the electronic viewfinder is over 60% higher than those of the other Olympus Ultra Zoom models (110,000 pixels) so the photographer is ensured an especially clear image when framing the shot.

Creative control, precision operation

Shooting in the full AUTO or Program modes, the first-time user can achieve great results at the press of the release. Those wishing to experiment with depth of field, shutter speed and exposure in general will enjoy the Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and full Manual modes. Scene programs optimised for landscapes, sports, portraits, self-portraits, landscape portraits and night scenes can be effortlessly accessed via the virtual dial. Four "My Mode" settings are on hand that can save the photographer's preferred shooting parameters. Up to 11 exposures can be taken in normal sequence mode at a rate of 1.2 frames per second (in HQ mode). Using the movie mode, the camera records 160 x 120 pixel video sequences lasting more than
200 seconds (on a 16 MB card or larger, without sound).

The C-730 Ultra Zoom is equipped with a range of precision metering systems and special functions to ensure best results. Three exposure metering modes are available. Digital ESP takes readings from various points in the frame and intelligently processes the data to determine the optimal settings. Spot metering adjusts the exposure to suit the central area in the frame, while multi spot sets the exposure based on the average value from up to eight points selected by the user. A histogram displays brightness distribution of both captured and live images in a graphic form to allow the exposure to be checked.

Besides the highly-accurate contrast detection autofocus, manual focusing is also possible. In addition to auto and one touch white balance, this camera offers one pre-set mode each for daylight, overcast scenes and tungsten light and three for fluorescent light. Seven flash modes are included for shooting in darkness or low light. The noise reduction function helps give shots with long exposure times, such as night-time cityscapes, the brightness and clarity they really need to come alive.

Compatible with the innovative xD-Picture Card

This is the first Olympus digital camera to support the new digital photo storage standard xD-Picture Card - the world's smallest* digital memory card for digital cameras. Media offering capacities between 16 and 128 MB will initially be available and a card with 256 MB is expected by Christmas. Capacities of up to 8 GB are planned for the future. Very durable and robust, they impress with speedy data transfer rates and a competitive price. Ever since entering digital photography, Olympus has aimed to provide the consumer with a complete system. Through a range of accessories like a PC Card adapter and USB card reader xD-Picture Cards will offer outstanding compatibility and connectivity with other portable data storage solutions and peripheral devices. An adapter that will allow xD-Picture Cards to be inserted in cameras with Compact Flash slots is planned for release in October 2002. Besides xD-Picture Cards, the C-730 Ultra Zoom also accepts the well-known SmartMedia cards.

* August 2002

Software and accessories for more possibilities

Trouble-free connection and fast data transfer to a PC is assured by the USB cable supplied with the camera and USB AutoConnect support. With the help of the Olympus CAMEDIA Master 4.0 software (also included with the camera), the user is able to process, edit, organise and print the photos. The upgrade, CAMEDIA Master Pro, can be purchased online from the Olympus website and offers additional features, such as a back-up function, email and a facility to create HTML albums.

The optional TTL external flash system CAMEDIA FL-40 may be attached via the camera's 5-pin connector to provide greater illumination power and versatility. It takes measurements "Through The Lens" and permits both automatic and manual flash control.

Optional lens converters increase the camera's wide angle capabilities (0.8x converter WCON-08) and enable stunning macro shots
(MCON-40).

Availability

The C-730 Ultra Zoom will be available from around the middle of October 2002.

Olympus C-730 Ultra Zoom Specifications


Sensor 1/2.7" 3.3 megapixel (primary CFA)
Effective pixels 3.2 megapixels (JCIA standard)
Image sizes

 • 2048 x 1536 / 2048 x 1360 (3:2)
 • 1600 x 1200
 • 1280 x 960
 • 1024 x 768
 • 640 x 480
Also: 3200 x 2400 (Interpolated)

Image format  • TIFF
 • JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Lens  • Olympus 10x, 38 - 380 mm (equiv.)
 • F2.8 - F3.5
 • 10 elements in 7 groups (2 aspherical)
Auto focus TTL contrast detect
Focus range  • Wide: 0.6 m - Infinity (2.0 ft - Infinity)
 • Tele: 2.0 m - Infinity (6.6 ft - Infinity)
 • Macro: 0.1/1.2 - 0.6/2.0 m (3.9/47.2 in - 2.0/6.6 ft)
 • Super-macro: 0.04 m - ?? (1.6 in - ??)
Digital zoom Yes, up to 3.0x
Metering  • Digital ESP
 • Spot metering
 • Multi-spot metering
Exposure modes  • Program AE
 • Shutter Priority
 • Aperture Priority
 • Manual Exposure
 • Scene Exposure
Scene exposure modes  • Landscape
 • Portrait
 • Night Scene
 • Sport
 • Self-Portrait
 • Landscape Portrait
Noise reduction Yes (can be enabled)
Shutter speeds

 • Program AE: 16 - 1/1000 sec
 • AP / SP: 1 - 1/1000 sec
 • Manual: 16 - 1/1000 sec

Apertures  • Wide: F2.8 - F8.0
 • Tele: F3.5 - F8.0
Exposure compensation +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Sensitivity  • Auto
 • ISO 100
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
AE Bracketing  • 1/3, 2/3 or 1.0 EV steps
 • 3 or 5 images
White Balance  • Auto
 • Daylight
 • Overcast
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent (1, 2 or 3)
 • 'One touch' manual
Flash Built-in
Flash modes  • Auto
 • Red-eye reduction
 • Off
 • Fill-In (On)
 • Slow Sync (front or rear curtain sync)
 • Slow Sync with red-eye reduction
Flash range (ISO 100)  • Wide: 0.1 - 5.5 m (0.3 - 18.0 ft)
 • Tele: 1.2 - 4.4 m (3.9 - 14.4 ft)
Continuous  • High speed: 2.4 fps, max 3 images (HQ)
 • Low speed: 1.2 fps, max 11 images (HQ)
Movies  • HQ: 320 x 240, 15 fps, no audio, up to 48 sec
 • SQ: 160 x 120, 15 fps, no audio, up to 211 sec
Picture effects  • Sepia
 • Black & White
 • Blackboard
 • Whiteboard
 • Panorama
Viewfinder  • Electronic Viewfinder (0.44")
 • 180,000 pixels
LCD monitor  • 1.5" TFT LCD
 • 114,000 pixels
Self timer 12 secs
Memories Up to 4 user memory banks
Connectivity  • DC-IN
 • USB (storage class)
 • A/V out
 • Flash terminal (5-pin Olympus for FL-40 flash)
Power  • 4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
or • 2 x CR-V3
Dimensions 108 x 76 x 78 mm (4.3 x 3.0 x 3.1 in)
Weight (no batt) 310 g (10.9 oz)
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