OT - Olympus C-740 Digital Camera

Subject: OT - Olympus C-740 Digital Camera
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 19:09:22 +0800
A very big thank you to everyone who has replied to me about the Olympus C-740 digital camera. Mick Todd, Russell Woodford, Peter Anton, Jan & Ross Mulholland, Robert McDonald, Bob Forsyth & Steve Clark.

You have convinced me that it is suitable for my needs. Now to try and find it at a reasonable price ... The best price on the web that I have found is $766.48 (thanks Peter Anton), plus $65 for 64MB XD memory ($145 for 128MB XD), plus $20 delivery. The best price at a retail store in Perth I have found is $850 ($899 displayed, but salesman willing to deal down to $850 maybe lower), plus $149 for 128MB XD chip. But most stores don't have XD chips in stock!

Several people recommended the C-750 over the C-740 because of its hot shoe for a flash, and the higher resolution. At this stage the extra $170 to $300 puts it out of my price range (plus the cost of the flash!). I don't have a sufficient need for many photos where a proper flash would be necessary, and the higher resolution is probably not of significant use for me. I intend to greatly reduce the pictures to <100KB (preferably <50KB) JPG files for my web site.

Robert McDonald sent three photos including an absolutely sensational photo of two Silver Gulls in flight about to land / feed on the water surface. And that was taken with a C-700, which is now 'obsolete' compared to the C-740. Far better than anything I have achieved with seabirds on my Canon SLR, so I won't be taking a backward step in this regard.

Jan & Ross Mulholland sent a macro photo of a flower, and the quality and depth of field is superb, and certainly more than what I am hoping for.

Everyone very strongly recommends using rechargable NiMH batteries. You can buy a charger that connects to the cigarette lighter in the car. I have seen this in Perth for $90 including 4 batteries.

The main manual comes on a CD-ROM, which makes it hard to access in the field! But I guess you can print out the bits that you find that you need to repeatedly refer to.

Olympus currently has a promotion until September 30 that includes the Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 software with the C-740 (I think with all Olympus digital cameras). I currently use Adobe PhotoDeluxe that came with my HP ScanJet 4200C scanner. PhotoDeluxe is pretty basic, but it does read most image formats and can crop, resize, brighten, increase contrast, etc. I guess that Photoshop Elements is even better in these regards.

The built-in flash on the C-740 is limited (to maybe 6 or 8 feet), so it is fine for most of my needs when photographing frogs or reptiles on the road at night, or flowers in poor light in daytime. But not good enough for photographing mammals at night. This is where the C-750 and a better flash would be an advantage.

Some people suggested other makes to look at, but these are out of my price range. Mick Todd pointed out that Canon is shortly releasing an EOS 300D digital camera that fits the Canon EOS SLR lens, but it is likely to be close to $2,000 (for the body - no lenses included). But maybe in a few years this price will come down into my price range.

Thanks again for the information.
Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email : 

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