on October 8, 2000
Before I saw this family of cameras in action, I didn't have an interest in digital photography. The company I worked for bought a C-3030 and I was called over to set it up. As I worked with it, I became more and more impressed. The USB connection is blazingly fast (assuming you're using Win95/98/2000), the LCD is sharp and bright, and the processing of the pictures themselves is very fast. Then I actually looked at a picture taken at 2048x1536 and my jaw dropped. Using just the defaults for white balance, ISO, shutter, etc., the picture it took of a hedge of flowers was amazing. Both the C-3030 and C-3000 have outstanding picture quality due to the well-designed Olympus optics and let you manually set just about everything for that perfect picture.
I searched around and bought a C-3000 because the greater onboard memory buffer of the C-3030 wasn't all that important to me, I didn't need Photoshop LE, and I was going to buy a 64 MB card for it anyway. The $200 you save, in my opinion, makes this a much better buy than the C-3030.
One photography magazine labeled the C-3030 "the camera for nerds" due to all the options you can set. If you're into it, this camera will let you explore photography as an art form. I'm still learning what I can do with it, but it's already produced some beautiful photos.
One recommendation I have is to buy a CD burner. Photo albums on CD save a mess of hard drive space and are a great way to permanently store pictures and then show them off to friends.
Finally, there is one feature that I don't see mentioned much elsewhere. In the panorama mode, if you take pictures in a complete 360, the Camedia software lets you create Quicktime VR movies out of them. This lets you truly express the feeling of being at a place. I did one at Lambeau Field and you do feel like you're in the crowd when viewing it.
on July 1, 2000
I bought this camera before going on a family trip to Alaska and was able to take some really amazing crystal clear pictures of glaciers, cravasses and mountains. This camera is absolutely incredible.
* Be sure you have a USB port in your computer before getting this, as this is the only way to connect this camera to your computer---which is much much faster than a serial port connection.
* The software comes with Quicktime so that any "movies" you take with your camera can be .mov files---they come out great, awesome sound.
* There's a 3x zoom which works great...plus 2.5x digital zoom which zooms much further but might sacrifice a little bit of quality--great to know that one has this option
* pretty compact and looks like a normal camera instead of other bigger, hunkier digital camera models.
* shutter speeds from 16 sec. to 1/800 sec.
* 1.8" wide LCD monitor in the back for auto viewing
* remote control
Overall, this is a really great camera if you're willing to spend the money. Considering how much of a photo freak I am, it's worth it.
on August 15, 2001
I was in the process of researching digital cameras, when I very unexpectedly got this one for Christmas. I haven't been disappointed--it is a terrific camera!
The controls are wonderfully logical, and are not plagued by cryptic ideographs. The range of creative control will impress anyone with even a modest background in photography. The C-3000 lets you go from no-brainer point-and-shoot mode to complete exposure, metering, focus and flash control and back to dummy mode in seconds. Even better, you can customize the default settings, letting you have the exact baseline settings you want immediately following power on.
But the real gems are the Olympus optics and CCD. I have made dozens of absolutely gorgeous 8x10 and even a few 11x14 prints that are nearly indistinguishable from high quality 35mm prints.
Why only four stars? Because my only serious gripe is the batteries, specifically if you're forced to use anything other than lithums. I've tried both nickel metal hydride rechargeable and standard alkalines, and it drains them both very quickly. However, you will conserve a lot of power if you make your default flash setting "off", so that you're not charging the flash every time you power on. Additionally, the Olympus lithium battery packs are very hard to find, but I've found that Energizer AA photo lithiums work just as well, and are often cheaper.
As someone with a serious amateur interest in photography for nearly 20 years, I realized recently that the C-3000 has become my primary camera for everything from quick party snaps to that once-in-a-lifetime shot of sunrise on Mt. Fuji. Meanwhile, both my 35mm P&S and my Nikon SLR rig are collecting dust. This camera is an excellent value: beautiful pictures, easy to use, excellent creative control, and very rugged aluminum construction, a big plus over other manufacturers like Sony.
Bottom line: this is a great camera, and the C-3000 is the best value in the C-30X0 product line. The only camera I'd recommend instead is the C-4040, which gets you the 4 megapixel CCD, but if you rarely make prints bigger than 8x10.
on October 5, 2001
After literally days of research (reading reviews and specs) while looking for a digital camera in Toronto, the C-3000 has truly won my heart, and I'm sure I speak for many who bought this camera.
As I've been an active amateur photographer for 20+ years, I really appreciate the versatility the C-3000 comes with and yet it allows me to fully engage my shooting with manual settings like using my SLR. It is a great piece of gem as an upgrade replacement to my older point-and-shoot digital camera that I bought years ago and now I always carry it around with my SLR. Many good things about this camera have been said here and so I try to be concise.
For less than $..., you get:
1. Great optics and resolution: 8 elements in 6 groups, aspherical lens equivalent to 32-96mm zoom lens on 35mm camera, f2.8-11; 3.3 megapixel CCD producing image resolution up to 2048 x 1536 (Olympus always has excellent optics and image reproduction)
2. 1.8" LCD display and optical viewfinder
3. Macro mode for close-up shooting, minimum range: 0.8"
4. Supports Panoramic feature (w/ Olympus SmartMedia only)
5. Supports full program, aperature priority and shutter priority auto exposure as well as manual exposure; auto exposure bracketing; spot metering; exposure compensation
6. Allows manual focusing
7. Able to capture QuickTime movie (15fps) with sound
8. IR remote control
9. aluminum casting!
A few features that I wish it had:
1. a faster lens ... like f2.0 in the C-2040 or the f1.8 in C-3040
2. a larger memory buffer to allow a faster shooting sequence and a longer movie capture time
3. a bigger memory card! the 8MB card that it comes with is nowhere near sufficient!
4. a more standard lens diameter ... the 43mm threaded lens mount (w/ the CLA-1 adapter) is such an odd size! and you can't put a filter right on the CLA-1 adapter because the lens tube will hit the filter when the camera is powered up!
5. a better design: the extended lens with a step-up ring and filter will obstruct the object from the viewfinder!
on December 14, 2000
After having a great time with a cheaper digital camera - a Sony DSC-S30 1.3 Megapixel - I decided to trade up to one of the 3+ megapixel cameras. I did extensive research comparing the top cameras, read countless reviews on photo websites, consumer reviews, etc. The other cameras that I was seriously considering was the coolpix 990 and the Sony DSC-S70. I finally decided on the C3000 because it was such a bargain. If you want to have the flexibility of being creative with your photography, the C3000 has almost as much as the 990. It has manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual focus, and exposure bracketing to name a few. But it takes damn nice auto-exposure pictures as well. You get a rapid fire mode, which, though not blazingly fast, is still respectable and even increases quite a bit with focus set to manual. Another great feature lets you annotate pictures with a 4-second audio clip, kind of an audio labeling. There other cameras out there, notably the Cannon Powershot G1, which has more features including one I really would have loved - a flexible LCD which is invaluable for taking candid shots. But the G1 has image problems(Chromatic Aberations and noise), as does the 990(redeye). All these cameras have plusses and minuses, but with one of the top-rated images and top-rated feature-set with a price that's a couple hundred lower than most of the top cameras, the C3000 really stands out!
on February 9, 2001
I had a very hard time deciding on just what digital camera I was going to buy. Should I get a 2.x megapixel cam or should I spend a few extra bucks to get the C-3000 zoom, which happens to be the lowest priced 3.3 with the features that this camera has. Well, obviously I chose the C-3000 and I could not have made a better decision. All of the features and extras are just the beginning of this cameras greatness. I was absolutely stunned by the incredible quality of the pictures that this camera produces. With a good printer and some photo paper, you won't even notice the difference between homemade pictures and professionally developed film pictures. Even large 8 X 10 pictures are crystal clear with this cam. When you first use this cam, you may be confused by the many options you have, but after a day or two of playing around and reading the instruction book, you will be able to make the most out of every photo. If you are one of those people who absolutely hate auto focus, don't worry. It has it. It also allows you to control aperture and shutter speed, allowing you to leave the shutter open for a full 16 seconds, allowing you to create amazing effects. By the second night I had the cam, I produced a neat looking picture of a car with the appearance of the lights tailing behind it thanks to the control you have of shutter speed and flashing. If you just want simplicity, the C-3000 can do that too. If you are not into being in control of your photos, just point and click. If you do not like your photo, you can immediately view and delete it to avoid wasted space. I can't even estimate how much film I have lost because of bad pictures that I wish I could take back. If scenery is your thing, then you will love the panoramic feature. With the aid of a tripod, you can make full 360 degree panoramics. You take each part of the panoramic individually with the aid of the veiwfinder, and the computer software will combine the pictures allowing you to create a true panoramic, not the fake kind found in Advanced Photo System cameras. If taking a panoramic seems to complicated for you, then just switch it over to movie mode. Depending on the memory you have, you can record anywhere from 30 second to 10 minute video clips, all with sound. If I were to continue listing all of the features, my hands would fall off from typing too much. Whether you are an avid photographer looking for complete control of every shot or a person looking for a simple digital cam that takes great pictures, this cam is perfect for you. There is one question about this camera that I do not feel that I could answer. What can't the C-3000 do???
on October 6, 2000
Incredibly versatile with superb pictures and excellent controls for real photo bugs who want to do manual overrides using aperture or speed prioritization. USB transfer is very fast.
Only two criticisms: The lens cap is very easily dislodged. I have spent an inordinate amount of time looking for it with several close calls! Also you can't put a filter directly on the lens to protect it. This is the most expensive camera I've ever bought and the only one I can't protect with a filter.
There is an answer: Olympus makes a kit that contains a lens cap retainer and filter + adapter. It also contains a number of other things I had already bought (very good rechargeable batteries, a case, AC adapter). It costs $200. You can't buy the lens cap retainer or filter/holder separately!
on July 25, 2000
I've had the C3000 for a month now and couldn't be happier (unless they supplied a useful size memory card). You need to get at least 32 meg of memory if you can't have a computer around all the time. Important note: the panarama feature is really great but only works with olympus memory. Go figure. It takes great ambient light photos and the flash is easy to control, allowing you to moderate the amount of flash. The only drawback I can think of is it cannot focus much closer than eight inches. The Nikon 990 has it beat there. The takes pictures faster than most cameras that I tried and boots up pretty quickly.
The lens cap knocks off easily so get one of those lens cap tethers. This camera is super easy and takes an outstanding picture in the default mode but do yourself a favor and read the manual. This is one powerful pup. Also rechargable LiMH batteries are a must. You can fill a 32 meg card easily on one charge. If the price of the 3030 had been as low as it is now I would have sprung for the difference. Hey, don't waste you time with low res cameras. I recommend this one. You can't go wrong.
on October 24, 2000
Initially, I bought 5 other digital cameras, starting off with a real cheapie; working my way up the expense ladder and returning all until I discovered this jewel! After filling a 64 megabyte chip with vacation pictures, was very apprehensive when downloading to my computer since I had not tried my camera before the trip (which could have been disasterous!). All that worrying in vain! Each picture looked better than the last. The resolution is so good I was able to zoom in to the smallest part of a picture and clearly see as well as if I had used a high power lens. Second most important to the high quality pictures is how easy the camera is to use. One read through the manual and I was on my way--with absolutely no problems! And, it is so small, I am able to pack it in a little case and slip into my purse. 5 Stars is not enough!
on October 9, 2000
This is a nice camera. It is just the right size - very small, but not too small to be hard to handle. The pictures we have taken with look great, both on printed photos (local printer and through online service) and on screen. Given that the camera was not cheap, I was a little dissapointed that I then had to dish out more money on the following: -memory card - it only comes with 8 MB, you probably want at least 32 MB -rechargable batteries and a charger -better editing software than comes with camera -cable for serial port (only an issue if you don't have USB, but you really need USB or the pictures take forever to download).