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Olympus D-490 2.1MP Digital Camera w/ 3x Optical Zoom

by Olympus
3.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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  • 2.1-megapixel CCD for prints at sizes up to 8 x 10 inches
  • Uses standard SmartMedia cards; 8 MB card included
  • 3x optical zoom
  • QuickTime movie mode
  • Continuous shooting rate of 1.3 frames per second
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Technical Details

Product Description


With its 2.1-megapixel CCD, the Olympus D-490 zoom produces 1,600 x 1,200 resolution images, enabling sharp prints at sizes up to 8 by 10 inches. Like its physically identical predecessors (The D-460 and D-450), the camera has a 3x optical zoom lens, SmartMedia storage, and the familiar look and feel of Olympus's traditional film cameras. Unlike its predecessors, the D-490 has an uncompressed TIFF mode for ultimate image clarity, as well as a QuickTime movie mode so you can take short silent film clips. The flip-up flash includes forced- flash, red-eye reduction, and slow synchronization modes. For flexibility in image composition, the camera has both an optical viewfinder and a 1.8-inch LCD display. The camera uses four AA batteries or a pair of Olympus long-life CR-V3 lithium batteries. Though the lithium batteries have an impressive life span, they're nonrechargeable, so we still recommend getting a set of rechargeable batteries and a charger.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5 x 2.1 x 2.6 inches
Item Weight 11.4 ounces
Shipping Weight 2.6 pounds
Item model number 225190
Batteries 4 AA batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #6,486 in Camera & Photo
#653 in Camera & Photo > Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com August 19, 2000

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wcc2 VINE VOICE on August 25, 2000
I upgraded from the Olympus D460Zoom to the D490Zoom. The D460 is a fine camera - I was generally very pleased with it. But having owned the D460Zoom for six months, I found two major faults. First, the "boot-up time" (how quickly after you turn the camera on that it is ready to shoot) and the lack of "burst" shooting (the ability to take one shot quickly after another). These two faults lead to frustration when trying to take any type of action photos with the D460. You see the action emerging, but the camera is still booting up; you take a shot, but the action gets better and you want to take another but the D460 says "not yet" because it is still writing the first photo to the media. Infuriating.
The D490 addresses each of these problems beautifully. Boot up time is about 20% faster. Timing both of my cameras side-by-side, the D490 is faster (1.1 seconds versus 1.3 seconds, in five trials using the same 32Mb media cards). More important than boot up time is burst shooting. The D490 has a RAM buffer that allows you to take about 1 shot per second in the "HQ" mode (2.1 megapixels with JPEG compression). The D460 requires about 2.5 seconds between shoots in the same "HQ" mode (but the resolution is 1.3 megapixels). Also nifty if you are using the TFT screen to take shots, there is a "gas gauge" showing you how full the memory buffer is as you are shooting.
I simply can't express how happy these faster response time made me, especially at this price. I was so unhappy with the D460's sluggishness that I was about to buy the $900 Olympus C3030. Similar to the C3030, the D490 also can take QuickTime movies (though much shorter ones).
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I almost took a point off because this camera doesn't have a USB port, but I found a SanDisk USB card reader locally for $40. Amazon didn't sell this reader at the time I write this. The card reader is a necessity, a full 16MB card will take about 20 seconds to transfer with the reader, using the serial port you can go have lunch or something while it downloads. NiMH batteries are also a necessity, for the price of a few lithium batteries you can get 8 NiMH batteries and a charger, that way you can always have a set charged up.
Image quality is excellent. I was looking at the C3030 and couldn't see spending that much for a few extra features and another million pixels. Unless you plan on printing out 8x10 prints the extra resolution isn't needed, use the extra money on accessories. Printing the D490 HQ images at 3x5 inches they look as good as 35mm prints. I have run several tests shooting the same image using all the modes of the camera and found the best mode to use is normal HQ, under certain conditions SHQ will give you better color reproduction and slightly sharper edges. The SHQ-TIFF mode images are huge and I have yet to see any difference between it and SHQ mode, even in macro mode with a complex object the images look the same. As for the soft setting and the digital zoom, you are better off taking a normal HQ image and using software on the computer to soften or resize.
The QuickTime movie feature is fun to play with, kinda like having an old 8mm movie camera. I like the fact that you have to raise the flash manually, if you don't want to use the flash you know it's off when it's down. That's better than having to find a button and look at a display to tell if you've turned it off.
The size, price, and image quality make this a great camera to have.
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By A Customer on August 22, 2000
After purchasing the D490, I found this camera extremely easy to operate and to be the best digital camera for this price, that not only takes still shots, but also MPEG movies. Depending on the quality of picture you require, you can store hundreds of picture on the 32mb smartcard, which I purchased in addition to the 8mb card included in the package. 60 second MPEG movies can be recorded and played back with ease. There is an abundance of flash, editing and viewing features on the camera. The D490 is lightweight (in fact, most of the weight is the batteries) and easy to use, although on the downside, I find that the manually operated shutter closing mechanism to be slightly awkward as the lens has to retract fully before the shutter can close completely. Also, the flash has to be opened manually, and I found it to be a bit fragile, and was always worried that I might just pull it off accidentally.
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I received the Olympus D-490 Zoom camera three days ago. Out of the box I was taking still and movie pictures within about ten minutes. Not only is the camera extremely easy to use, but the manual does a great job of explaining the features and functions with minimal confusion. The only exception here is that I didn't find information in the manual on how to switch to the SQ-HIGH and SHQ-TIFF modes. I later found out that to switch to the latter, the user must hold the "up" arrow for two seconds. I still haven't figured out how to access the SQ-HIGH.
Quality wise, the D-490 Zoom takes crystal clear and colorful images, capturing details that my Olympus film camera couldn't possibly match. The zoom features allow the user to take close-up shots of subjects quite a distance away, while the macro feature allows true close-ups from as little as four or five inches away.
My comments about specific features are:
1. The built-in multi-mode flash does an excellent job of balancing degrees of light on and around the photo subject. 2. The red-eye and slow-synch features, combined with the 12-second timer resulted in a warm close-up self-portrait that makes it hard to believe no one was holding the camera! 3. The LCD screen is clear and true to actual color, giving the viewer a good idea of what the actual image will look like. 4. The clarity of the images that I downloaded were extremely clean, even at the mid-setting (HQ and SHQ).
The only real downside I found to the Olympus D-490 Zoom is that downloading images to the computer using the serial cable is VERY slow. I had read and heard this, but until I downloaded the images myself, I hadn't realized just how slow. Still, once the download was complete, the resulting images made up for the wait.
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