Review based on a Production Model Olympus C-3030Z
Olympus's upgraded C-2020Z is the C-3030Z, with pretty much similar features to its older brother but with a nice new black metallic case, wider shooting angles and the 3.3 megapixel CCD. The C-3030Z will probably be up near the top of most buyers lists and just like the C-2020Z there'll always be a fierce debate over the Olympus C-3030Z and Nikon Coolpix 990.
In many places in this review I will refer to how "it compares with the 990", simply because (a) the 990 starts this review as the leading camera in my experience and (b) that's the most common comparison buyers will make (990 vs. C-3030Z).
On 19th October 1999 the C-2020Z came as an upgrade and set of fixes from the popular C-2000Z. Olympus had corrected some of the initial niggles expressed by reviewers and owners alike. The power switch was moved onto the mode dial rather than being placed inside it (leading to no end of accidental shutdowns instead of shots taken) and most of the useful controls (macro, flash, manual focus) were moved to buttons on the case rather than being buried in the menu system.
They also enhanced the operation of the camera, including a very nice magnifying loupe when using manual focus and support for QuickTime movies.
Announced on the 27th January 2000, the C-3030Z immediately generated a lot of interest as it was yet another new camera into the 3.34 megapixel class. Finished in the new black metallic look and offering higher resolution and slightly expanded features it quickly went onto peoples buying lists.
The biggest questions on everyone's lips was what about image quality? The C-2020Z often rumbled with the 950, it looked as though the C-3030Z was immediately being compared to Nikon's new 990.
One thing we didn't all notice were the little cutouts in the lens (see image right), these are down to the newer wide angle (32mm - 96mm vs. 36mm - 115mm on the C-2020Z). Without these four little cutouts we'd see vignetting at wide angles (edge of the lens becoming visible on the final image).
What's new since the C-2020Z?
- 3.34 megapixel CCD, 2048 x 1536 (3.14 effective) vs. 1600 x 1200 (1.92 effective)
- Larger internal memory buffer (faster operation but necessary for the extra pixels)
- Lens now 32mm to 96mm vs. 38mm to 115mm
- Lens slower (F2.8 vs. F2.0)
- Full-Time AF option (continual focusing)
- Smooth digital zoom up to 2.5x
- Flash output adjustment (+/-2EV in 0.3EV steps)
- Flash sync connector now Olympus proprietary 5-pin connector
- Custom startup settings
- Neck strap mounts changed
- Thicker hand grip
- Re-orientated battery compartment and improved battery door
- Different top "control panel" LCD layout
- Support for the new proprietary Olympus CR-V3 Lithium batteries (big deal!)
- Audio recording / AV Movies
- 16MB SmartMedia bundled vs. 8MB
- Rechargeable batteries & Charger no longer included (boo!)
- USB connectivity
- All metal case (C-2020Z was half metallic half plastic)
What's still missing?
- A focus indicator bracket [ ] in the LCD display
- Manual preset white balance / white balance fine-tuning (this IS useful)
|Prague by Manuel Jos Carvajal|
from Your City - Rooftops
|Docklands, Victoria, Australia... by Timotis77|
from Where I live
|DONALD SPRAYING STEAM by TX Photo Doc|
from Car Shows 2018
|Just happy! by fan700|
Loupedeck has updated its popular Lightroom editing console with a new '+' version featuring improved build quality, more customization and support for some non-Adobe software.
Apple released a new batch of mobile photography tutorial videos this week, each briefly demonstrating how to perform various camera actions using the flagship iPhone X.
Adobe has announced development of Project Rush, a cross-device video editing application that consolidates the entire video creation workflow, from shooting to social media sharing, in a single application.
Adobe's quarterly financial report was just published, and the news is good. Q2 2018 saw a new quarterly revenue record of $2.20 billion, and 22% growth to $1.55 billion in its Digital Media segment.
Just months after launching its QuartzLine filters for DSLR and mirrorless lenses, PolarPro has launched a buyback program that will give you credit towards a PolarPro filter for trading in an old one - even if it isn't theirs.
Sigma has announced that five of its Sony E-Mount Art-series primes, announced earlier this year, are now shipping.
Adobe has announced a raft of updates across its suite of Creative Cloud apps, including Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC.
The FUJINON GF 45mm F2.8 R WR is a 36mm equivalent fast prime for Fujifilm's GFX 50S. We've been shooting with one for a few days, and we're impressed. Check out our sample gallery to judge for yourself.
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.
The new Mijia gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and can charge the battery of the attached device.
YouTuber George Tomlin explains the concept of sub-framing and details how you can use it to take not only make the composition more interesting, but also provide context for the scene you're shooting.
British photographer Drew Gardner tells us how his gigapixel image of the queen's birthday parade came together.
YouTube channel Company Man has shared a 12-minute video explaining the history of Kodak and the factors that led to it going from industry leader to bankrupt business.
Neewer, a photo gear brand out of China, has launched a new budget APS-C lens for Fuji X and Sony E mounts. The Fuji X mount lens offering has appeared on Amazon as a new release with a $119.99 price tag, but is currently listed as unavailable.
Two years after launching its first photo filter, Aurora Aperture is back at it again with the Kickstarter launch of its PowerXND Mark II filters.
Nikon has announced the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR lens. Thanks to its use of 'phase fresnel' optics, Nikon claims that the lens will be small and light enough to be used handheld.
MIOPS has opened up a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Capture360. This pocket-sized device is a versatile motion control box designed to be as simple or robust as your needs desire.