- 01 September, 2000 10:48
The Olympus Camedia 3030 Zoom is a 3.3 megapixel digital still camera with 15 capture modes in five image settings. It also offers QuickTime Movie capture with sound at 15 frames per second. Image quality is impressive, with sharp, colour-balanced shots. The C-3030Z measures 110 x 77 x 77mm and weighs 305g without batteries.
Two-handed operation with the Olympus C-3030 is uncomfortable, as the lens barrel prevents your left hand from getting a good grip. In contrast, the Kodak DC4800 encourages two-handed holding, as the lens barrel is positioned in the centre of the camera.
The power button on the earlier C-2000 model has been replaced with a more effective dial mode/power selector. The previous solution led to time and opportunities wasted when the camera was accidentally turned off while trying to take a shot.
The Kodak DC4800 has a combination dial/button setup for selecting modes and turning the camera on and off, and accidental button pressing is avoided due to the button being recessed into the dial. The strap eyelets on the C-3030 have also been placed more effectively to promote a more comfortable position when the camera is hung around the neck.
The viewfinder and LCD screen are well placed on both cameras, ensuring comfortable viewing with the right eye and no nose smudges on the LCD screen.
The lens cap no longer flies off when the Olympus is powered up, however, the sound of the lens motor fighting to push the attached lens cap off the camera can be disconcerting. The lens cap on the Kodak DC4800 is attached to the internal barrel of the lens, which allows the cap to remain on even when the lens is extended.
The C-3030 offers menu-controlled Aperture-priority (f2.8-f11), while Shutter-Priority Mode allows you to choose speeds from 1 second to 1/800 sec.
White balance on both cameras can be automatic or user-selectable, to match the prevailing light source. Metering modes on the Olympus C-3030Z include Digital iESP Metering (a system similar to Kodak's Multi Pattern metering), and both cameras offer spot metering for accurate exposure based on a particular part of the image.
Speed settings on both cameras can be set manually at 100, 200 or 400 ISO, while flash photographers will appreciate the option of using an external flash with a standard sync cord. You will need a bracket, however, as neither camera has a flash hot shoe.
Since the introduction of USB, whether the camera uses Compact Flash (CF) media (like the DC4800) or Smart Media (C-3030) has become less important. Both cameras performed admirably, transferring the contents of the 16MB card to the PC with a minimum of fuss.
The C-3030 comes with Camedia Master 2.0, while the Kodak DC 4800 comes with Picture Card software to enable your PC to see the camera as a removable drive. This allows you to read, transfer and delete images on your camera as if it was a floppy or Zip drive.
The batteries which come with the C-3030Z work well, but are not rechargeable and can be expensive. Better to fork out for the (optional) charger and battery kit, which greatly extends the usefulness of the camera. The DC4800 comes with a Lithium-Ion battery that is charged "in camera" using the adapter/charger that comes with the package.
The Olympus C-3030 includes a remote control, which lets you get in the picture or give a slideshow when the camera is attached to a TV monitor. It also has a movie mode, direct printer connection and sound recording capabilities, while the Kodak DC4800 has none of these features.
However, at $2000, the DC4800 is a complete digital picture-taking solution, offering you a stylish, sensibly designed body, razor-sharp 3.1 megapixel images, an easy-to-use menu system and no need to buy accessories. What more could you ask for?
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