Super compact ultra-zoom: Camedia C-770UZ

Olympus was among the first vendors to release a digital cam­era with a lens above the typical 3X optical zoom, and this trend continues with the new Camedia C-770UZ. Dubbed an ultra-zoom, this camera's most obvious attraction is the F2.8-3.7, 10X optical zoom (63-630mm) lens.

Olympus Camedia C-77OUZ

This is an understandably prominent addition to the C-770UZ's compact alu­minium chassis, with a 4.2Mp CCD providing a maximum non-interpolated resolution of 2288x1712 pixels. External alterations are slight, with the new flash hot shoe being the most obvious change from its predecessor. Internally the MPEG-4 QuickTime movie mode is a handy addition for better quality video clip captures, and USB 2.0 support makes file transfers much faster.

In use, the C-770UZ is largely simple to operate, with a mode wheel for the exposure presets, and a cursor control for menu navigation, though we were a little disappointed that the auto mode limits or disables various features like macro and flash modes. Manual control covers aperture and shutter adjustment, with settings for sharpness, saturation and brightness, but there's no manual focus option here.

Image quality is good, with crisp detail and an accurate, neutral colour balance. However, we spotted significant colour fringing in some shots, and slight barrel distortion at the lens's widest point.

The C-770UZ is a well-rounded camera, though there's still room for improvement. Most important is the price, which is well-positioned for the ultra-zoom category.

In brief: Olympus Camedia C-770UZ

An impressively compact and well-priced ultra-zoom, but has colour-fringing issues and lacks manual focus.

Price: $899

Vendor: Olympus

Phone: 1300 659 678

URL: www.olympus.com.au, www.olympus.co.jp/en/

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