Olympus C-720 UltraZoom Review

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Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Review posted 6/16/02

Click to take a QTVR tour of the C-720UZ

Based on the popular Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom, the C-720 Ultra Zoom is targeted at the photographer ready to step up to a more powerful camera that is still easy-to-use and affordable. The C-720 Ultra Zoom offers a 3-megapixel imager and an 8x zoom, which is 40 to 320mm in 35mm photography. With a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 sec., it's perfect for distant fast action shots such as sporting events, wildlife, school graduations, and performances.

The C-720 Ultra Zoom is extremely easy to use. In Programmed Auto mode, the camera offers basic point-and-shoot simplicity for flawless picture taking in typical situations. The easy-to-use Scene Program on the mode dial provides fully automatic exposure adjustments for the photographer who wants optimum results in a wide variety of settings: Portrait, Landscape-Portrait, and Sports shooting. The special "My Mode" feature saves time by letting the user assign a frequently-used function to the mode dial for quick access.

Olympus high-quality photos are known worldwide for their vibrant, sharp and photo- realistic image quality. This is achieved with a host of key technologies including Olympus' high-quality all-glass lens (with aspherical lens elements), which provides the equivalent of 40 to 320 mm f2.8-f3.4 in 35mm photography. The 3 Megapixel CCD with Olympus' True Pic technology allows users to retain the realistic high-quality look of their photographs, even with large print sizes over 8" x 10".

Experienced Photographers will appreciate the C-720 Ultra Zoom's manual settings with controls for aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual operation. Advanced photographers will also value the full information Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), which displays aperture, shutter speed, and image quality settings. Other controls include digital and spot metering; adjustable white balance; multiple flash settings including slow sync flash; and auto bracketing and exposure compensation.

Transferring images to the computer has never been easier with the supplied Auto-Connect USB cable for "no software required," hassle-free image downloads. Images may also be viewed on a television with the supplied video out cable.

C-720 UltraZoom Features:

  • 8x optical zoom lens equivalent to 40-320mm in 35mm
  • 3-Megapixel CCD for up to 1984x1488 pixel images
  • 0.5-inch color EVF viewfinder
  • 1.5-inch color Wide-View TFT LCD monitor
  • Uncompressed TIFF, JPEG and QuickTime movie formats
  • Program AE, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority and full Manual exposure modes
  • 1.2fps burst to 5 frames in HQ mode
  • f2.8 - f7.1 aperture settings in 1/3-step EV
  • 1/1000 to 8 second shutter speeds
  • iESP auto TTL white balance with presets
  • Digital ESP metering with Spot option
  • Built-in mutlimode popup flash
  • Macro focusing mode from 3.9" to 6.5'
  • Exposure compensation, AE Bracketing and AE Lock
  • ISO auto or fixed at 100, 200 or 400
  • B&W and Sepia image effects
  • Adjustable image sharpness and contrast
  • Automatic pixel mapping (map out bad pixels)
  • USB 1.1 connectivity
  • Uses four AA or two CR-V3 batteries

The C-720 Ultra Zoom will be available June 2002 with a street price of about $599. It includes an Auto-Connect USB cable, Video Out cable, carrying strap, lens cap with retainer cord, 2 LB-01 CR-V3 Lithium batteries, a 16MB SmartMedia card, Olympus CAMEDIA Master Software 4.0, instruction manual and Quick Start guide.

Physical Views

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom

Even though it has a big 8x zoom lens it's still very compact.

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Page Two

C-720 Ultra Zoom Specifications

CCD Imager 3.0 Megapixel Effective
3.3 Megapixel Gross (Full optical CCD resolution)
Size 1 /2.5" (0.4") CCD
Lens Olympus aspherical glass 8x optical zoom lens 6.4-51.2mm (equivalent to 40-320mm in 35mm camera)
Seamless Digital Zoom 24x Total Seamless Zoom (8x optical r 3x digital)
Aperture Range f2.8-f7.1 (adjustable in 1/3 steps EV)
Shutter Speeds 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec. Automatic 1/1000 sec. - 8 sec. Manual (Night-scene mode: 2 sec.)
ISO Auto: 100- 400 / Manual: 100, 200, 400 (equivalent)
Recording Mode(s) Still image: TIFF, EXIF JPEG, DCF (design rule for Camera File system), QuickTime® Motion JPEG (Movie Mode)
Adjustable Resolutions 1984 x 1488 TIFF, JPEG (x2)
1600 x 1200 JPEG(x1)1280 x 960 JPEG(x1)
1024 x 768 JPEG(x1)
640 x 480 JPEG(x1)
NOTE: TIFF mode only available in 1984 x 1488
320 x 240 @15fps QuickTime® Motion JPEG (16 sec.)
160 x 120 @15fps QuickTime® Motion JPEG (70 sec.)
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date/time
Optical Image Enlargement N/A
Image Adjustment Modes Noise Reduction: no
Automated Pixel Mapping
Image Effects Black & White Mode
Sepia Mode
Resize - portable file size for email or web
Sharpness (Hard/normal/soft)
Contrast (Hard/Normal/soft)
Panorama Yes
Sequence 1.2 frames per second burst up to 5 frames in HQ mode
Viewfinder EVF (0.5 inch, 110,000 pixels) viewfinder
LCD 1.5" (3.8cm) Wide-View color TFT LCD (114,000 pixels)used for viewing, reviewing images.
Focusing System AF (autofocus) TTL system (contrast detection)
Focusing Ranges Macro Mode 3.93" - 6.56'(0.1m-2m)
Normal Mode 23.6" - Infinity (.6m to Infinity)
Exposure Control Program Auto (f 2.8(W)/3.4 (T) - 7.1 / 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec.)
Aperture Priority (f 2.8(W)/3.4(T) - 7.1 / 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec.)
Shutter Priority (f 2.8(W)/3.4(T) - 7.1 / 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec.)
Scene Program (landscape-portrait, sports, portrait) f2.8(W)/3.4(T) - 7.1 / 1/1000 sec. - 1/2 sec)
Manual (f 2.8 - 7.1 / 1/1000 sec. - 8 sec.) Up to 2 sec in Night scene-Slow Sync
Exposure Compensation +/- 2EV in +/- 1/3 EV steps
Auto Bracketing: selectable from 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV and 1 EV, 3 or 5 images
AE Lock (exposure lock)
Metering System Digital ESP, Spot
White Balance System iESP auto TTL
Pre-set manual (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten and Fluorescent)
Flash Built-in Flash (Pop-up)
Flash Modes Auto Flash for low and backlight
"Red-eye" Reduction Flash
Fill-in Flash (forced on flash)
Slow Shutter Synchronized Flash (1st and 1st with Red-eye reduction)
Flash Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 3.9" - 18' (0.1m - 5.5m) @ ISO 100
Tele: 3.3' - 14.8' (1m - 4.5m) @ISO 100
Flash Charging Time Approx. 7 seconds (at normal temperature with new CR-3V batteries)
Removable Media Card 3V (3.3V) SmartMediaTM card (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 MB)
16MB card included
Selftimer/Remote Selftimer: 12-second delay. No remote control.
Setting Memorization On/Off
Outer Connectors USB connector (Auto-Connect), Video Output DC input
Auto-connect USB Compatible with Windows 98/98SE/Me/2000 Pro/XP-Mac OS 8.6-9.2X/OSX 10.1
Image Playback Index display, up to 3X enlargement, Slide-show, Scene rotation
Movie Playback: Normal, Reverse, Frame-by-Frame
Operating Environment Operation: 32°F -104°F (0°C - 40°C) 30-90% Humidity
Storage: -4°F - 140°F (-20°C - 60°C) 10-90% Humidity
Power Supply Main Power Source: 2 x LB-01 (CR-V3) Lithium batteries (included)
4 x AA Alkaline batteries
4 x AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries
4 x AA Lithium batteries
4 x AA NiCd rechargeable batteries
(Manganese batteries cannot be used)
AC Power: C-7AU AC adapter (optional)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Calendar Automatic up to the year 2031
Size 4.23 W x 3" H x 3.05" D (107.5mm W x 76mm H x 77.5mm D)
Weight 315 g/11.1 oz. Without batteries and SmartMediaTM
Number of Storable Photos
(on 16MB SmartMedia)
1:TIFF 1984 X 1488
7:SHQ 1984 X 1488
21:HQ 1984 X 1488
24:SQ1 1600 X 1200 (NORMAL)
26:SQ2 1,280 X 960 (NORMAL)
39:SQ2 1,024 X 768 (NORMAL)
99:SQ2 640 X 480 (NORMAL)

(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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