Olympus C-7000 / C-70 Zoom Review
In natural and fluorescent light the C-7000's automatic white balance works well with hardly any noticeable color cast or hue shift. The results under incandescent light are more mixed, while it's better than we've seen from many other digital cameras it's still note quite there with a pink cast.
|Outdoor - Auto WB
Red -0.3%, Blue -0.5%
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red -0.5%, Blue -2.2%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 3.5%, Blue -4.7%
The C-7000's pop-up flash unit (manual release) has a specified range of 3.8 m at wide angle and 2.2 m at telephoto (both at Auto ISO) which is about average for this kind of camera. The results from our flash test were good white balance with no obvious color cast although the flash exposure metering system perhaps erred on the side of caution which left images slightly under exposed (this could be manually compensated for).
|Color chart - slightly under-exposed,
no color cast
|Skin tone - slightly under-exposed,
no color cast
The C-7000 provides an optional dark frame subtraction noise reduction feature for longer exposures. When enabled the camera takes a second equal length exposure and uses the noise pattern from this to clean the main shot. In our tests the C-7000 didn't exhibit a large number of hot pixels even with the NR switched off, however with it on images were completely clean and also free of black pitting.
|ISO 80, 8 sec, F4.0, NR On (manual exposure) - Click here for same shot with NR Off|
The C-7000 has two macro modes, normal macro and super-macro. In normal macro mode you can use the zoom and focus as close as 8 cm, in super-macro mode you can get even closer, 2 cm, however zoom is locked at wide angle. Results were mixed, in normal macro mode the best frame coverage was achieved at mid-zoom (although still with some distortion). Super-macro proved to be more of a 'curiosity feature' than anything particularly useful, distortion and corner softness was very high and because of the proximity of the lens to the subject it's difficult to light.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
The C-7000's five times optical zoom lens exhibited 1.3% barrel distortion at wide angle, this is higher than average and may well be visible in everyday shots. At the telephoto end of zoom however there's better news, 0.4% pincushion distortion is considered low (for this zoom) and will probably never be noticed.
|Wide angle - 1.3% Barrel distortion
Equiv. focal length: 38 mm
|Telephoto - 0.4% Pincushion Distortion
Equiv. focal length: 190 mm
Vignetting / Lens Shading
Our vignetting measurement is made by taking the average luminance value of the darkest corner of the image and comparing it to the average luminance at the center of the image, any difference greater than 15% may be visible in everyday shots. The C-7000 did exhibit some lens shading at maximum aperture at both wide angle and telephoto, however it's borderline as to whether this would be noticeable on everyday shots (perhaps maximum aperture, wide angle).
Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)
And now for something purple, yes indeed the C-7000 did produce a fairly strong purple fringe response to our standard test shot. This was echoed on a few of our everyday shots, although to be fair to the C-7000 only those circumstances where we'd expect a response from any compact digital camera. The fringing itself was between two and three pixels in width and a fairly strong magenta color. Higher than we'd hope and not as good as some of the competition.
|38 mm equiv, F2.8 (max aperture)|
|38 mm equiv., F2.8 (max aperture)|
|38 mm equiv., F4.0|
Overall Image Quality / Specific Issues
We were pleased with the results from the C-7000, most have good detail, sharpness, and color. The C-7000 also managed to keep noise levels low without having to resort to strong noise reduction. It was a shame the lens had some purple fringing as otherwise it performed fairly well. It has been a while since we've seen this but our review camera did indeed have a dead pixel on the CCD, this appeared as a bright red dot on several of our test images, running the cameras "Pixel Mapping" option removed this problem.
My only other niggle was with xD-Picture Card's, we had at least two occasions (with two different 512 MB cards) where we had corruption on the card (never see this with any other media type these days). Other than this we found no other specific issues with the C-7000.