C-3000 Zoom


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title C-3000 Zoom
Manufacturer Olympus
Page By John
Page Type Apr 5, 2003 / Apr 5, 2003
Object ID 710
Hits 5067
An older camera based on the same successful Olympus body style from the C-2000 camera upto the new C-5050. The new C-5050 Zoom 5MP camera has the same list price as the C-3000 when it originally came out (back when 3MP were the highest you could get).

Feature Highlights:

  • 3.34 megapixel (3.14 effective), 1/2 inch CCD delivering up to 2048 x 1536 pixel images.
  • 1.8 inch, TFT color LCD display.
  • 3x, 6.5 to 19.5mm lens (equivalent to a 32 to 96mm lens on a 35mm camera) with auto and manual focus.
  • 2.5x digital telephoto.
  • Apertures from F/2.8 to F/11.
  • Shutter speed from 1 to 1/800 seconds in Auto exposure mode (16 to 1/800 in Manual).
  • Variable ISO settings of Auto, 100, 200 or 400.
  • Exposure compensation from -2 to +2 in 1/3 EV increments.
  • Adjustable white balance with Auto, Clear, Cloudy, Tungsten and Fluorescent settings.
  • Digital ESP (matrix) and Spot metering options.
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual exposure modes.
  • Movie recording mode with sound and shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/10,000 seconds.
  • Continuous Shooting, Auto-Bracketing, Black & White, Sepia and other special exposure modes.
  • Built-in flash with Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off and Slow-Sync modes.
  • External flash PC sync.
  • 12 second self-timer with remote control.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, Wave and QuickTime Motion JPEG file formats.
  • Image capture on SmartMedia.
  • USB and serial computer connections.
  • Direct print capabilities with optional Olympus printer.
Internet Reviews:


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John - Apr 5, 2003 9:23 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Although I am definately in the amateur/recreational photographer category, using this camera is so convenient that I have literally taken 10,000s of photos with this camera since getting it in 2000, often taking 200+ photos over the course of a standard 2 day weekend. The main section of this page has links to many external reviews of this camera so I'll focus on what are the highlights for me and information people have specifically asked for.
  • Image Quality: The most important thing about a camera should be the image quality. The image quality is definately good enough for my personal tastes but if you want some samples, go to the reviews above or just look at the photos I've submitted by going to my profile page.
  • Saturation: One thing to be aware of is Saturation. This camera has a neutral saturation and I don't believe it has saturation control (like the C-5050). How much saturation one wants is a matter of preference and the Sony digital cameras (e.g. F717) typically have more saturation. Having more saturation would be similar to using a film like Fuji Velvia which produces great photos, but sometimes not the most realistic(?).
  • Ease of Use with One Hand: Probably one of the easiest cameras to maneuver with one hand (provided your one hand is the right hand) and shoot looking through just the LCD. This is because of two things: (a) handgrip size/shape and (b) weight distribution. If you just go to any electronics store and hold many digital cameras in your hand, you'll find that the Oly C-x0y0 Zoom series cameras fit easily and well in the average hand (many reviews have stated this) and the "shutter release" button as well as the wide/tele lever are easily accessible from the one hand. Another reason for the ease of holding this with one hand is that the batteries are in the handgrip which makes that side heavier and easier to hold/balance the rest of the camera.
  • Durability: After using this camera on numerous trips over the past 3 years, I'd have to say that the camera is at least as durable as most - if you treat it reasonably well. I keep mine in a LowePro AF Plus case virtually all the time which I convenient attach to my pack's hipbelt for easy access. This case seems to be discontinued but may be similar is size to the D-Res 200 AW case. I've never had to send this back for repair but then again I've never dropped it either. It's not huge but it's big enough that I'll stick it in my pack on technical climbs.
  • Batteries: Although this may seem funny at first, the fact that the Olympus C-x0y0 Zoom series cameras (C-2000 through C-5050) use 4 standard AA batteries is a huge benefit from my perspective and it might be one benefit that I'm not willing to give up when looking for a "workhorse" replacement. When going on a multi-day trip where recharging isn't possible, the ability to use standard batteries is great for peace of mind that you will not run out of juice. I've taken this on 6 day trips (to Kili) and some people I know are getting ready for a Nepal trek to Island and Mera Peaks (20 days?). The ability to supplement rechargeables with Energizer Lithium AA allows me to keep shooting with abandon (this is the primary reason I've shot 10,000+ photos). The fact that AA's are also used in headlamps, flashlights, radios, GPS, avy tranceivers, etc. is very convenient. Because of this, I actually never think about how many shots go on one set of batteries. I think I can take 150 shots before my rechargeables die and I switch to Lithium. As soon as I get home, I charge the NiMH and stick them back in.
  • Memory: An abundance of digital memory is certainly needed! This camera can only take SmartMedia (which goes up to 128 MB) but the new C-5050 Zoom can take SmartMedia, Compact Flash, and xD. Compact Flash goes up to 1 GB and xD up to 256 MB. I currently have 2x 128MB, 1x64MB, and 1x8MB Smart Media. The 128MB cards can take 160+ photos at 3.14MP in JPEG mode. Basically I shoot everything at the largest resolution I can and then use Photoshop to resize to 640x480 for SP. Back in Jan 2002, a 128MB SmartMedia card was only $42. With 328 MB, the only time I've run out is on Kili and in Mexico when I had to start deleting bad shots - otherwise I simply don't think about running out!
  • Lens Cap: This bears some mentioning. The lens cap that comes with the camera does not have a retaining strap and just about everyone eventually loses it or buys a strap. I lost mine after a long time and bought the Olympus official replacement cap which does come with a strap to attach it to the camera - so much more convenient! Highly recommended.
  • Low Light Conditions Performance: Most of my shots are taken during the day where this camera's auto-focus is superb, however, this doesn't focus as well as often for night shots. Sometimes I can get good night shots on full-auto but often times it's blurry. For night shots, I think some experimentation with the manual settings are in order - but so far I'm just too lazy :-P
  • Cold Conditions Performance: I've never had a juice/battery problem in cold conditions but two issues have come up. The first is if you keep this camera in a very warm location (inside your jacket while moving) and then quickly take it out, condensation can develop inside the lens. This typically means no good photos for the next 25 min. The other is that sometimes the buttons may not work (only on Rainier in March so far), the knob to turn the camera on and the lever to do tele/wide works but all the buttons are non-functional. Putting the camera inside my jacket for a few moments solved this issue. It never experienced this issue before (Kili, Orizaba, etc.) so more cold weather testing is probably needed.
If I were going to replace my primary camera (the C-3000) with a camera on the market today I'd probably look at the Sony F717, Canon G3, and the Olympus C-5050. If I could only have 1 camera, I think I might have to go with the Olympus C-5050 because it uses AA batteries. The fact that I would heavily lean towards the C-5050 even with all the great reviews the F717 and G3 have received is an indication of how much I like the C-3000. If I could get 2 more cameras I'd probably get the Sony F717 because it has the biggest "glass" for a non-SLR (though it's almost impossible to use with just 1 hand) and a smaller point and shoot such as the Canon PowerShot S50 or Olympus C50 for carrying while climbing...though I'd imagine these would be a bit harder to hold with one hand.

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