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Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Playback Screens & Menus

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

When you switch to Play mode the last picture captured is displayed full screen with minimal information overlayed, the image quality SHQ, the time and date and picture number.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Pressing the MENU/OK button brings up this menu. The Left button will toggle the extended camera and exposure information (see next frame), the Up button will start the slideshow playback mode and the Right button will take you to the full menu.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

This is the play image with the INFO option enabled. It displays image quality SHQ, size 1600 x 1200, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, time, date and file folder and picture number.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom When an image is played back in full screen mode you can go into zoomed playback mode by pressing the zoom control to the telephoto position. There are several magnification values from 1.1x to 3.0x and once the image is enlarged you can scroll around inside of it using the 4-way selector.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Flipping the zoom control to the wideangle position enables the thumbnail index mode. You can set it up to display 4, 9 or 16 small images to quickly locate any desired image on your memory card.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

The three buttons across the top of the back of the camera perform the following functions when in Play mode. The DRIVE button becomes the image delete button. The Macro/Spot button lets you attach DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) information to a selected image or all images. The FLASH mode button is used to Protect / Unprotect images from being erased.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

Pressing MENU/OK when the file is a movie brings up this menu of options. The INFO works the same as with still images, it will overlay the camera and exposure data on top of the movie as it is played back. The Mode Menu accesses the main camera menu and the MOVIE PLAY option takes you to the next menu once the movie clip is loaded into memory.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

You can play the movie clip back at realtime or frame by frame.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

While the movie is playing the running time and total time is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

You can use the INDEX option to create a 1024 x 768 size image containing any sequence of nine frames from the movie.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

You can move forward or backward through the frames to pick where you want to start and then the next nine frames are used to create the still image index.

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom

You can also EDIT movie clips in the camera. Pick a new starting frame, shorten a clip and then overwrite the old movie file or create a new one with just the selected frames.

Steve's Conclusion

If you like the big zoom on the Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom but the price is a little too high for you then the new C-700 Ultra Zoom may be just what you're looking for. These two cameras are identical in image resolution and have the same incredible zoom power. The difference is that the C-2100UZ has a stabilized lens, the C-700 does not. The C-700 is lighter and physically smaller thanks to the lens that retracts back into the body when it's powered down. Even when the lens is extended it is still shorter than the C-2100UZ. The C-700 is more like the C-2020/2040 Zoom with a much longer focal length lens. I'll start right out by saying that the C-700 Ultra Zoom for $599 is quite possibly one of the best deals in a super-zoom digicam right now.

I liked the C-2100UZ from the first time that I used it. I am a real fan of big zoom lenses and there's nothing finer than a 10x lens, it's the secret to the success of the Sony FD95, FD97 and CD1000 cameras. But I thought that the C-2100UZ was priced a tad high considering it was a 2-megapixel camera. Olympus has sent a real clear message to the competition by pricing the new C-700UZ at $599 -- and I'm sure it will also send a clear message to the consumers too. This is an excellent performing camera with very good image quality and it is loaded with features. It can be easily used by those just starting out in photography and when you want to begin learning more advanced techniques it's all there at the flip of the mode dial.

Totally new on the C-700UZ is the menu system. All of the full-featured Olympus digicams have a rather extensive menu because they have a lot of features that can be set. The new menu offers three user-programmable "shortcuts" that eliminate a lot of the steps in the older menu system but it is still quite overwhelming to those new to digicams. Being somewhat well versed with the old menu system it took me a while to get the hang of the new one but it is easier and a lot more flexible.

Overall the image quality will impress most users. It does have a problem with chromatic abberations (purple fringing) when there is adversely strong backlighting. This is a problem with most of today's 2-megapixel cameras so it isn't a C-700 specific problem. The vast majority of the shots that I took were properly exposed, well saturated and the white balance was right on the money. The Olympus iESP exposure system works very well on this camera as it does on all of the Olympus cameras we have reviewed to date. You will have no problem printing excellent photo-quality prints using any of the modern "photo" type inkjet printers. Of course you can use the Olympus P-330 dye sub printer and read the images directly off of the SmartMedia cards. Another strong point is the quality of indoor flash pictures, Olympus excells at this task. Pictures of people look very natural and I noticed no occurence of red-eye even though I never used the red-eye reduction mode of the flash.

Things I don't like: Olympus used to include the handy RM-1 infrared remote control and I commented that this greatly added to the value of the package. It's not included with the C-700 and is not listed as an option so I don't know if you can even use one with it. Olympus now includes a set of CR-V3 lithium batteries with their cameras instead of a set of NiMH cells and a charger. The CR-V3 are good but they're still one-use and like alkalines, will end up in the landfill sooner than later. Why can't we use the zoom in movie mode? And please, put a standard PC flash sync connector back on your cameras. The average user cannot justify the cost of the FL-40 flash and bracket which would be about 3/4 the cost of the C-700 itself.

The bottom line: Excellent camera, excellent price, super-excellent zoom lens and the usual Olympus image quality that we have come to expect from their cameras. This one is a keeper !

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