Olympus Camedia 3040 Zoom

Olympus's 3000 Zoom range features well-built cameras that offer a good range of functions and excellent image quality. What lets the series down is that they are often overpriced and lack extras that we've come to expect as standard. The 3040 Zoom suffers from the same pros and cons as its predecessors.

At 307g the Camedia is a heavy camera, and in terms of design it mimics film-based models. If you like something sturdy, rather than the smaller, gadget-styled models on the market, then the 3040 is perfect. It has plenty of features and the 3.34-megapixel sensor assures great quality shots.

At its maximum resolution of 2048x1536, the camera's 16MB SmartMedia card can store six compressed shots in Super High Quality mode, or one uncompressed TIFF shot. The high-resolution photos we took were vibrant, and the 3x optical zoom didn't affect their quality. At the lowest resolution mode of 640x480, the 2.5x digital zoom can double to 5x, but the image degradation is too great to make it a workable option. It's far better to use the 3x optical zoom and, where possible, get closer to your subject to ensure a good shot.

The 3040 Zoom has both automatic and manual configurations, so every level of photographer skill is accommodated. Fortunately, the controls are simple and navigating the various options takes no time at all. Two lithium-ion batteries offer a long life, but there's no charger or mains adapter included in the bundle and the software is limited.

Optional accessories include an external flash, lens adaptors, and battery charger. The Camedia 3040 Zoom's price tag of $1999 is high, and, when you've paid that much, you should expect a charger to be bundled. The 3040 Zoom delivers on quality, but there may be better deals if you shop around.

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Spencer Dalziel

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