The C-750 is the latest in Olympus' creative digital range to hit the market. Following on from the success of the other 100 series models, the heavier metal frame gives the camera an impressive weight to the user as well as a well-proportioned body to hold in various shooting positions.
In order to combat the naturally sluggish speeds of everything but the top- end professional digital cameras, Olympus has given the C-750 a nice bright f2.8/f3.7 multi-element lens, helping to gather as much light as humanly possible onto the CCD solid-state image pick-up. The focal length, being the big sell to this model, offers an impressive 10x optical zoom, which is the 35mm equivalent of 38-380. Switch on the digital Zoom feature as well and an additional 4x zoom is added bringing the whole lens up to 1520mm. Naturally the digital noise at the full 40x magnification is significant as is the camera shake so unless you have a tripod hand forget about using this extreme level of magnification
The camera can shoot at a maximum effective resolution of four megapixels, when set to super high quality (SQH). Size of images can be toggled between one of 8 setting and these can be chosen in conjunction with image quality and file type, either TIFF or JPEG. Maximum image size on this model is 3200 x 2400 and in SHQ resolution that means that the average image will be around the 8Mb mark. So if you want great quality then buy a big card. Moving images can also be recorded in the movie mode and these are stored in QuickTime or JPEG formats and you will get about 15sec onto a 16Mb card.
The C-750 ships with a 16Mb xD media. XD, jointly created between Olympus, FujiFilm and Toshiba is now standard in all of Olympus's new cameras and cards can currently be bought up to 512Mb in size.
Power takes the form of 4 standard AA batteries and a nice feature with this model is that it ships with 4 rechargeable AA's as well as a battery charger for them. So if you get bored with the camera you can power up your Walkman instead.
The viewing screen on the reverse has been increased in size up to 1.8” and it's good to see that these larger models have been re-endowed with some of the very handy in-camera picture editing features such as a crop and rotate ad resize function. The creative tag is further enhanced by allowing various shooting settings to be chosen, including black & white and sepia.
Operational modes range from the automatic pre-set such as portrait, landscape and night scene over to aperture priority and shutter priority and fully manual settings. As with previous models there is a ‘my mode' area in which personal preferences can be set and stored. Other interesting features include a macro and super-macro feature allowing a minimum focusing distance of down to 3cm.
Exposure and white balance can be set to compensate for a number of lighting conditions including Tungsten, florescent and overcast. Naturally the exposure, auto focus and flash settings can also be set to best suit the situation. I must mention, at this point that when using the camera in a low-light conditions the auto focus did struggle to pull-sharp and resulted in a number of blurry pictures. On the plus side though it's nice to see an external hot-shoe so the photographer can attach an external Olympus FL-40 or FL-20 flash. It was a little strange though that as soon as you move the camera shutter rate from single frame to multiple frame the internal flash automatically turns itself off and refuses to be reactivated until single frame shooting is restored.
Overall, the C-750 Ultra Zoom's a very versatile camera. A few kinks need to be worked around but enough functions to offer solutions in almost all shooting conditions.