Olympus C740UZ - 10x Ultra Zoom, Nice Optics and Nice Images

Started Oct 17, 2011 | User reviews thread
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jtan163 Senior Member • Posts: 2,265
Olympus C740UZ - 10x Ultra Zoom, Nice Optics and Nice Images

Nice optics.
10x Optical Zoom
f/2.8/3.7 - f/8.0
1/1000-16secs shutter speed
Useful Macro Mode
Run on AA batteries
Built in Flash
Panorama mode (requires Olympus branded xD cards)
Video (but no sound)
No hotshoe
Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Program modes, as well as the usual dummy modes
3.2 Mega Pixels
Takes in my opinion very nice photos.

I bought this camera in around 2003 as I had just got a job where I would be working overseas in London, for several months, so I though I ought get a camera.

My prior experiences with digital cameras were with borrowed digitals and the lessons I learnt were, proprietary batteries were a pain (if you only had one and it ran out) and that 3x-4x optical zoom was not very useful for anything but birthday party type photography. Hence my requirements were simple (and not well thought out or researched):
1) decent optical zoom
2) must use non proprietary batteries.

Very few cameras met the decent optical zoom criteria, the C740 was I think one of the top 3, if not the top optical zoom available (one of the others being the slightly upmarket C760UZ - sound with the video, a hotshow and more pixels).

I really fell on my feet with my purchase choice, when I selected the C740UZ.
It turns out that the C740UZ is a pretty nice camera. I was very lucky my "requirements" lead me to it.
The C740UZ takes really nice photos.
It has the "pro" or "creative" modes (Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Program).
The creative controls for a given mode are accessible without delving into menus. i.e. once you choose say Manual mode via a menu, the aperture and shutter speed can be adjusted from buttons and you don't need to go into the menu to set them.

I did quite a bit of fairly successful night photography with this camera - those manual controls make it possible.


Shutter lag - like most point and shoots, especially point and shoots from 8 years ago, the C740 had shutter lag, which makes using it for anything dynamic an artform - and an art form that is stricty limited by low frame rate.

One thing that did suck was that you had to use Olympus Branded xD cards to use the panorama feature.

No sound for video (available in the C760)
No hotshoe (available in the C760)
3.4MP limits the ability to blow up shots, but that is not really a problem with the camera.
Uses xD cards.

I didn't really have any problems with the C740 for what it is, it does it's job very well.

My scoring is based on how well it performed considering the class of camera it belonged to, not against all cameras available.

 jtan163's gear list:jtan163's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon D4 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR +7 more
Olympus C-740 UZ
3 megapixels • 1.5 screen • 38 – 380 mm (10×)
Announced: Mar 2, 2003
jtan163's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
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