Olympus C-7000 / C-70 Zoom Review
Timing & Performance
The C-7000 really was a mixed bag. On the face of things it's one of the fastest camera's in our 7mp group test with a lightening 1.4 second startup (that lens pops out really quickly), that's almost twice as fast as the nearest (the Casio P700 at 2.6 seconds). This however is offset by an 'average' 2.9 second off to shot taken. Once the camera is powered up (lens out, live view and AF brackets appear) there's a short delay before you can take the shot, which is a pity because otherwise the C-7000 would have been well ahead.
The C-7000's biggest weakness is its Auto Focus system which works well in good light or at wide angle but has a tendency to get into a slow 'hunt' in low light or at telephoto which can lead to fairly long delays before you know if it's going to lock or not (which can get frustrating). If you're frustrated by long pauses in Play mode you'd probably do well to avoid the C-7000, browsing image to image takes about two seconds with an SHQ JPEG 'which is so 1995'. Also disappointing was battery life, just about two and half hours, not what we'd expect from a 2004 model digital camera.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 SHQ JPEG image (approx. 4,000 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 512 MB xD-Picture Card.
|Power: Off to Record||Live view||1.4|
|Power: Record to Off||1.4|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||4.7|
|Power: Play to Off||<0.1|
|Mode: Record to Play||Image displayed||2.4|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens extended||0.9|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens retracted||2.5|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||1.1|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle (iESP AF)||0.4 - 1.4|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle (Spot AF Area)||0.4 - 1.6|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto (iESP AF)||0.4 - 3.8|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto (Spot AF Area)||0.6 - 3.8|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Viewfinder||0.1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD Monitor||0.1|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||Wide angle (iESP AF)||0.5|
|Off to Shot Taken||Wide angle (iESP AF)||2.9|
|Shot to Shot||Record review On||1.7|
|Shot to Shot||Record review Off||1.7|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. The media used for these tests was a 512 MB xD-Picture Card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/250 sec during these tests.
Continuous Normal mode
Frames in one burst
|3072 x 2304 SHQ JPEG||1.4 fps||4||7.8 sec|
|3072 x 2304 HQ JPEG||1.4 fps||15||5.1 sec|
|2048 x 1536 SQ1 (High) JPEG||1.4 fps||8||5.7 sec|
Continuous High-Speed mode
Frames in one burst
|3072 x 2304 RAW||2.7 fps||2||20.3 sec|
|3072 x 2304 SHQ JPEG||2.7 fps||2||6.3 sec|
|3072 x 2304 HQ JPEG||2.7 fps||2||5.6 sec|
|2048 x 1536 SQ1 (High) JPEG||2.7 fps||2||5.1 sec|
|*1||You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background").|
The C-7000 managed to out-perform its specified continuous shooting rate, however is relatively fast shooting rate is let down by a meager buffer. You need to drop down to HQ JPEG mode to get any useful continuous shooting in Normal mode, don't even think about using High-Speed mode, two images in a burst isn't much use to anyone.
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator beside the viewfinder had gone out. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 512 MB xD-Picture Card.
|Image Type||Time to write,
Time to display,
|3072 x 2304 RAW||10.8||7.7|
|3072 x 2304 SHQ JPEG||4.2||2.0|
|3072 x 2304 HQ JPEG||3.6||1.4|
|2048 x 1536 SQ1 (High) JPEG||3.6||1.4|
|*1||As with all digital cameras there is a certain amount of processing time included in this measurement, in the case of the C-7000 this was approximately 1.3 seconds. Subtract this from measured timings to reveal the actual media write time.|
|*2||The C-7000 displays no preview image before loading the full resolution image, hence all you see is a black background and basic file information (filename, folder, date etc.) before the image is loaded.|
|Image Type||File size
|Images on a
512 MB Card
|3072 x 2304 RAW||10,469 KB||48|
|3072 x 2304 SHQ JPEG||3,200 KB||99|
|3072 x 2304 HQ JPEG||1,700 KB||293|
|2048 x 1536 SQ1 (High) JPEG||1,900 KB||221|
Actual write times worked out at around 1 MB/sec, which is pretty average for a compact digital camera, where the C-7000 is at the higher end of the price scale we'd expect more. These write times don't however stop you from taking the next shot (except for RAW or TIFF), the live view returns approximately two seconds after taking the shot and you can get on with composing the next. What was really disappointing when using the C-7000 was image display, two seconds per SHQ image when browsing through images in play mode is just not acceptable in a modern digital camera (especially when you see what others can do).
Low Light Auto Focus
This test is designed to measure the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.
Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).
at focal len.
AF Assist Lamp
Lowest light focus
|Wide (38 mm equiv.)||F2.8||On||Complete Darkness|
|Wide (38 mm equiv.)||F2.8||Off||-0.3 EV|
|Tele (190 mm equiv.)||F4.8||On||Complete Darkness|
|Tele (190 mm equiv.)||F4.8||Off||1.4 EV|
|Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)|
As expected the C-7000 manages to focus in complete darkness thanks to its AF assist lamp, however it's worth noting that did take some time to get the lock and the the lamp was one for some time. Indeed the C-7000 will spend a lot of time hunting around at telephoto in low light situations, auto focus wasn't what we would call reliable. Without the AF assist lamp the C-7000 did surprisingly well, especially at wide angle where it managed to lock even in very dim conditions.
We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:
- Take 4 shots without flash
- Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
- Take 1 shot with flash
- Wait 1 minute
Batteries are fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:
Prosumer / SLR-Like
|Battery||Power||Battery life||Number of shots|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 14 mins||125|
|Minolta DiMAGE 5||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||1 hr 56 mins||195|
|Nikon Coolpix 5700||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 08 mins||215|
|Canon PowerShot S40||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 13 mins||225|
|Minolta DiMAGE S304||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 18 mins||235|
|Canon PowerShot S45||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 28 mins||240|
|Nikon Coolpix 4500||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 27 mins||250|
|Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z||NP-80||4.1 Wh||2 hr 29 mins||250|
|Nikon Coolpix 990||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 995||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 30 mins||255|
|Nikon Coolpix 5000||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||2 hr 32 mins||260|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 33 mins||260|
|Canon PowerShot Pro1||BP-511A||10.2 Wh||2 hr 36 mins||265|
|Canon PowerShot S50||NB-2L||3.9 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Minolta DiMAGE S404||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Sony DSC-V1||NP-FC11||2.8 Wh||2 hr 39 mins||270|
|Olympus C-7000 Zoom||LI-12B||4.5 Wh||2 hr 44 mins||280|
|Nikon Coolpix 8700||EN-EL1||5.0 Wh||2 hr 45 mins||280|
|Minolta DiMAGE 7i||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 46 mins||270|
|Olympus E-20||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||2 hr 48 mins||285|
|Canon PowerShot G1||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 00 mins||300|
|Nikon Coolpix 5400||EN-EL1||4.8 Wh||3 hr 06 mins||315|
|HP Photosmart 850||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 12 mins||325|
|Sony DSC-S75||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 15 mins||330|
|Nikon Coolpix 8800||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||3 hr 27 mins||350|
|Fujifilm FinePix S602Z||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 29 mins||350|
|Canon PowerShot G2||BP-511||8.1 Wh||3 hr 32 mins||355|
|Casio QV-4000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 38 mins||365|
|Olympus C-5050 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||380|
|Casio EXILIM EX-P700||NP-40||4.5 Wh||3 hr 48 mins||385|
|Sony DSC-S85||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||3 hr 50 mins||400|
|Sony DSC-F717||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 02 mins||405|
|Pentax Optio 750Z||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 03 mins||415|
|Sony DSC-V3||NP-FR1||4.4 Wh||4 hr 05 mins||415|
|Nikon Coolpix 8400||EN-EL7||8.1 Wh||4 hr 09 mins||420|
|Sony DSC-F707||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||4 hr 20 mins||440|
|Fujifilm S7000 Zoom||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||4 hr 23 mins||445|
|Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2||NP-400||11.1 Wh||4 hr 26 mins||450|
|Canon PowerShot G3||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 32 mins||455|
|Canon PowerShot G5||BP-511||8.1 Wh||4 hr 33 mins||460|
|Pentax Optio 550||D-LI7||6.6 Wh||4 hr 36 mins||465|
|Minolta DiMAGE A1||NP-400||11.1 Wh||5 hr 02 mins||515|
|Leica Digilux 2||BP-DC1-E||10.1 Wh||5 hr 05 mins||515|
|Sony DSC-F828||NP-FM50||8.6 Wh||5 hr 28 mins||540|
|Fujifilm FinePix S5000||4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP)||7.7 Wh||5 hr 31 mins||555|
|Canon PowerShot G6||BP-511A||10.3 Wh||5 hr 38 mins||570|
|Olympus C-8080 WZ||BLM-1||10.8 Wh||5 hr 52 mins||595|
|Other test notes:|
| LCD monitor is left on during
the battery test
The camera is powered off half of the time and left on half of the time (switch every 10 iterations)
There are now higher capacity AA NiMH batteries available, however in the interests of fair
comparison we will continue to use our 1600 mAh test set
Quite disappointing really, the C-7000 does have a small 4.5 Wh Lithium-Ion battery but we expected at least three hours, perhaps three and a half. When you consider that the Casio P700 has an identical capacity battery and lasts an hour longer you can see that the C-7000 draws more power (that high refresh LCD?). Buyers would have to seriously consider getting a second battery.
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
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