Digital Zoom

Readers of my reviews will know I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom as it's often a badly implemented and seldom used (by owners) marketing "ploy" to sell cameras which don't have an optical zoom. The C-3040Z does indeed have optical zoom, and has a range of digital zooms which can be used on top of the standard 3x optical zoom. These zooms range smoothly from nothing to 2.5x. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image) and sampling-up, the only advantage in doing digital zoom inside the camera is (a) if you don't have any photo software to magnify (and interpolate) the image or (b) to digitally zoom without zooming the JPEG artifacts.

Full Optical Zoom, No Digital Zoom, 3x equiv.
Full Optical Zoom, 2.5x Digital Zoom, 7.5x equiv.
Full Optical Zoom, 2.5x Bicubic interpolation (Photoshop), 7.5x equiv.

Night Exposures

The C-3040Z allows exposures of up to 16 seconds in Manual Exposure mode, overall it proved to be more than capable of taking very nice long exposures, the optimum shutter speed seemed to be around 4 seconds, beyond that stuck pixels become a distraction. Cooling the camera a little (leaving it outdoors for half an hour) before taking the exposure will also help greatly.

F2.3, 4 secs
F4.5, 16 secs

Internal Flash

The C-3040Z's internal flash is rated (at ISO 100) as wide: 0.8 - 5.6 m (2.6 - 18 ft); tele: 0.2- 3.8 m (0.6 - 12.5 ft). In our tests it consistently underexposed shots, luckily there is a menu option to adjust the flash output by +/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps.

Surprisingly dark exposure, colour balance is OK. Odd, this is our wide angle test shot, 2m away from a white wall, obvious flash drop-off at corners but also quite a dark exposure. Again, dark exposure, relatively good colour balance.