The new Olympus Camedia C-765 Ultra Zoom is, in fact, an update of the Olympus C-740 and C-750 Zoom from last year. Compared to its predecessors, it has a larger LCD screen, a Li-ion battery, and an improved image processor called TruePic Turbo for even better image quality and faster processing speeds. It utilizes PictBridge technology to allow printing without the use of a computer and it has a wide variety of recording modes, ranging from point-and-shoot to full manual control.
Compared to the older model it has retained its 10x optical zoom lens with an equivalent of 38 to 380mm, but for 2004 the camera has received a sleeker body with arguably better looks, making it the world’s smallest digicam with 10x zoom lens. So is it worthwhile to trade in last year’s model and go for the Olympus C765 or not? Let’s find out…
Taking into consideration that in 2003 more than 400 different digital camera models were released by various manufacturers and that this number is expected to rise to about 600 models for 2004, it should come as no surprise that every manufacturer wants to claim their slice of this cake. That is the main reason why every self-respecting manufacturer produces a new model every year and adds to this annual product refresh cycle.
But do specifications really get so much better that we have to trade in last year’s model every time? And do we – the consumers – really need the latest camera model as soon as it is released? Of course not! Although the fact is that, more often than not, the price of the newer model is lower than what you paid for its older brother or sister last year, and specifications really do get better and more advanced every time. However, the thing to consider is if you have been satisfied with the quality of your pictures up ’til now. If your answer to this question is yes, you don’t need a new camera at all and you will live happily ever after with your present model. It is only when you personally feel that the quality of your images is lacking, as compared to results from the latest “state of the art” models and your present photographic needs, that you should trade up to a newer model.
Now where does that leave Olympus with their C-765?
Olympus has long been an innovator in the long-zoom category and has maintained a leading position there for some years now, bringing out new models at regular intervals. With the Olympus C-765 as its latest model, it continues to offer very good value as a 4-megapixel digicam with a 10x zoom lens. It is certainly not the fastest camera around but it offers flexible exposure control with ample creative image adjustment tools and useful preset functions. Its best feature is undoubtedly its long zoom lens while image resolution is high enough for sharp A4 prints. Our main complaint would be the focusing issue in low light. This is due to the nature of the EVF system and the lack of a focus assist light and therefore the Olympus C-765 is certainly not a “party camera.” Although if your photography centres around typical holiday or family photography with the bias on sweeping vistas, group shots, or capturing far away subjects, then the Olympus C-765 is certainly a camera to consider. Add to this its compact and durable build, and the fact that it is equally practical for novices and enthusiasts alike, the C-765 could well be everything you have been looking for in a digital camera.
For the down-and-dirty, inside-out story on this camera, see the full review in its original glory at DC Views. It’s quite extensive with many stunning examples, so make sure you pack your lunch!