Olympus C-4040 Zoom review
Ha !! This has Got to be a laugh to some, the last post for this camera was over 2 years ago, but I REALLY think this is a Great camera. I have had it for years now. I bought it, in part, because I am interested in astronomy. I bought it because it had an f/1.8 lens. I love it!! It has held up Great and I have used it ALOT. I even used it professionally. I went to shoot a wedding and 2 of the 3 film cameras failed !! (What are the Chances !!) A Mamiya RB 67 ProS took the formals, but I am glad I had taken the 4040 with me. Up to that point, I had considered digital cameras rather as toys. I used the 4040 for practically the whole wedding, used up All the cards I had. The people were Thrilled with the pix. The camera is Very easy to use with my telescopes. I simply hand hold the camera to the eyepiece and have gotten very satisfying results,especially on Mars in 2003 (with 8" Newtonian) and October 2005 (4 1/2" refractor). Pix that were processed only with Photoshop Elements have shown detail that I figure must be under 200 miles wide on Mars. There were many nights I would take over 100 pix (trying to get best focus on the scope, some bad pix from atmospheric turbulence, rotation of the planet over several hours time, etc.) With only 16 seconds I can get pix of comets (Bradfield in spring 2004) that represent what it looked like Very well. The f/1.8 is Great for getting northern lights. In general, the camera is Great in low light. The focusing was Painful in low light with an otherwise excellent 8080 and I went back to the 4040 to get sports, family gathering and theater pix.
Switching from film to digital was Very difficult for me. The 4040 really sold me. On Jupiter with film, several seconds are needed to record the moons. I was Surprised, to say the least, to find that a 1/30 second can record them digitally (Photoshop Elements really makes them easily visible)
I Love the manual controls !! Don't have to go through menus to change shutter and f/stops. I can manually control focus, Great.
Another Really big thing I like about this camera, it uses AA batteries. I remember my dad telling me a story about the depression. My grandfather was a farmer. He owned a Cadillac. When the depression hit and the Caddy got a flat, it was cheaper to get a used Ford than get a tire for the Caddy. I bet this camera, using AA batteries, will go for a LONG time.
They should bring this out again, updated, big 5meg, low noise chip, same focusing system, AA batts, f/1.8, excellent 5x lens, rangefinder type camera with a flip LCD, compact flash. The best of the 8080 put in a New 4040
I have recently purchased an E1. I like it because I can use some old telephoto lenses and it is Really quick on sports photos, but it Is bigger. I often find I am using the 4040, carrying it around in my pocket, getting shots I would otherwise miss. I am Really glad to have the E1, it is also a REALLY great camera, but boy, did they do a job on the 4040 !!! The guys that thought this up and made such a great camera gotta be justifiably proud of their work. I would buy another, used 4040 but I can't find more smart media cards. I think that is its achilles heal. What a shame !!
When I used the camera with the telescope at first, I held it Right against the eyepiece (duh !! later got a lens 'barrel' with a UV filter) The lens scratched eventually enough to show on regular pix. Sent it in. When it came back the LCD screen would sometimes take a while to turn on. I shoulda sent it right back. Also, I have now lost noise reduction somehow, but I find I don't miss it much if I turn the LCD screen off during, say, pix of northern lights, seems to be less noise, anyway, with it off. (?)
Of Course, SHUTTERLAG for sports and wedding type situations, but easily overlooked for the most part. This, and the smart media cards are the reason for 4.5 rating on features.