Olympus C-7000 Zoom

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Olympus C-7000 Zoom
  • Olympus C-7000 Zoom
  • Olympus C-7000 Zoom
  • Olympus C-7000 Zoom

Pros

  • Top-notch image quality, easy to use, simple menu navigation

Cons

  • No flash shoe, no converter lenses, below average battery life

Bottom Line

The Olympus C-7000 Zoom packs plenty of features into its small frame--and its image quality ranks among the best.

Would you buy this?

Next to the massive cameras typical of its class, this sleek metal model looks positively petite. It's less than half the weight of most other advanced cameras.

The C-7000 produced top-notch images in our tests, delivering accurate and pleasing photos with excellent exposure accuracy, fine colours and exemplary sharpness. Despite its effective 7.1-megapixel resolution, we felt the C-7000 produced better results than the 8 megapixel Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom and the Nikon Coolpix 8800 and 8400.

The C-7000's attraction lies in its fusion of advanced functions, small size, and point-and-shoot ease. You can take point-and-click shots simply by pressing the two shiniest buttons. Adjusting the 5x optical zoom is easy, too: use your right index finger to turn a wheel that surrounds the shutter button. Other functions - such as automatic bracketing and the five scene modes (portrait, sports, outdoor, landscape portrait and night) - require menu navigation. Fortunately, the menus are cleaner and easier to read than those of previous Olympus models. A short printed manual brings you up to speed on the basics; to decipher more-sophisticated features, consult the 194-page advanced manual included on CD.

The C-7000 can be a good teacher for aspiring photographers. Once comfortable with the point-and-shoot and scene modes, they can take advantage of the clear, well-organised documentation that extends to the PictBridge camera-to-printer process and the accompanying Camedia Master photo viewing software.

Experienced users will get such expected features as the ability to fine-tune shutter speed and aperture. The C-7000 also reprises a standout feature of the Olympus C-8080: the option to save user-generated My Mode settings. The in-camera red-eye correction feature lets you fix eye colour on raw data right in the camera.

On the other hand, the C-7000 lacks two features that are nearly ubiquitous in advanced models: a flash shoe and the ability to accept optional converter lenses.

The 2" LCD looks great, but Olympus suggests turning it off to get more out of the rechargeable lithium ion battery. The C-7000's tested battery life of two hours and seven minutes is the shortest of any advanced camera we've recently tested; other cameras with 2" LCDs lasted longer.

We liked the look and texture of the aluminum body, but the flimsy feel of the sliding battery-and-memory-card cover surprised us. One tester accidentally opened it while placing the camera in a bag; to the C-7000's credit, the battery and card stayed snugly in place, secured by devices other than the door.

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