Olympus C-3040Z Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Excellent image quality, good 'neutral' colours
- New lens is definetly sharper, slightly less chromatic aberrations, brighter (F1.8)
- Cleaner images with noticeably less noise at ISO 100
- Good quality build, good ergonimics, feels good in your hand
- Huge array of manual features, excellent camera control and setup
- Good manual focus implementation (zoomed frame + ruler)
- New manual preset white balance and white balance fine tuning are welcome
- Huge buffer ensures you're never waiting for the camera
- Fast; low AF lag and shutter release lag times
- Implementation of several "fixes" brought up in our C-3030Z review: manual preset white balance, separation of sharpness and contrast control, new lens
- Supplied Infrared remote control
- USB connectivity
Conclusion - Cons
- Still some chromatic aberrations
- Barrel distortion at full wide angle
- Slow power-up times thanks to the lens
- Still some red channel noise
- Flash weak / underexposed at default power output
- JPEG quality and image size should be seprately selectable
- Some users will find the menu system confusing
- LCD is too reflective (poor in bright sunlight)
- Still not really a "new camera", a re-working of an old design
- List price is $999, though you should be able to find it for around $800
Here's my rating of the Olympus C-3040Z: (3 megapixel compact)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||8|
|Ease of use||8|
|Value for money||8|
New lens, improved electronics (or at least image processing algorithms), several 'fixes' from the C-3030Z but hardly a new camera. For me the C-3040Z is simply Olympus trying to get more life out of an aging design. Not that there's a huge amount wrong with that, it's a proven camera system which works well, there's plenty to like about the C-3040Z and its feature set puts many other digital cameras to shame. What, though, I think everyone was hoping for was something more than the C-3040Z brings... It fixes many of the C-3030Z's faults but doesn't seriously challenge the market with anything new. You should be able find the C-3040Z for around $800, at which price it does offer fairly good value for money (in this ever more competitive market segment).
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
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