Olympus Camedia C-4000Zoom: test and review

A high-performance camera is good, but it has to be easily usable. With 4 million pixels, the Camedia C-4000Zoom is not for amateurs. The multitude of functions can frighten the uninitiated photographer. Black spot, the leaflet. With a device like this, it is expected that the user guide is really explicit. Which is not the case. We must go in a very special sense to follow the explanations. Very annoying.

Obviously, if the device was easy to use, this problem would not be one. Only, the C-4000 can do many things. Too probably for most of its users. To access the settings and with different functions, ten buttons are available. One of them allows, for example, to switch between normal mode and macro mode. But it is the same button to switch to spot metering to measure the average. So we no longer knows how to do what. To use the super macro mode, up to two centimeters from the subject, it must go through the menu. Enough to lose his Latin.

Most options such as image quality adjustment mode or shooting, classic or burst, is available after pressing a button or sometimes only after menu navigation. This is also not what we did best in ergonomics. The different levels, camera, config … are not always clear and texts are often written in small print.

By default, the screen constantly displays a lot of information. The focal length, the number of images storable still in memory, the current mode, etc. Again, excess kills simplicity. We do not really know what all those numbers, which are not always explained by a pictogram. The accustomed find it doubtless others not.

A small optical viewfinder and impractical

Last negative point of this device: autonomy. The battery indicator lights at the end of ten high resolution pictures and flash. In fact, the batteries are not empty, but the device uses them so that their voltage drop quickly. After a rest period of about twenty minutes, it is still possible to photograph. However, do not expect to exceed thirty shots indoors. Average use of flash drastically limit autonomy.

In use, things are getting better, but some details are annoying. Once lit, the camera takes seven seconds to be operational. The average interval between flash-free shooting himself is a little less than three seconds. Nothing glorious either.

Photos are thankfully good. Indoors or outdoors, with or without flash, details stand out very well. The colors are not overly hot with the default setting, but this can be corrected manually. The details are crisp and sharp. The flash is very powerful is probably why it consumes so much. Even in a room of thirty square meters, it has done its use. Although it is a little slow, an integrated 3x zoom provides very acceptable pictures. Coupled with 3x digital zoom, it allows high accuracy.

Photos can be saved in a number of resolutions. Unfortunately, it must go through the manual to find out what exactly match the settings SQ, HQ … The 16MB SmartMedia card formats provided to store 165 images in low resolution but only one high resolution and uncompressed, Tiff. The use of a SmartMedia card is regrettable, this format is losing momentum. Secure Digital Card (SD) or the all new XD would have been a better choice.

The unit comes with a cord to connect it to the USB port of the PC, and to connect it to a TV.