Shoot without waiting--just like a traditional film camera. Real-time rapid shooting mode lets you focus, compose, and shoot without waiting between shots at all resolutions. This camera offers burst mode shooting at all resolutions with speeds up to two pictures per second. Four photo-recording modes let you choose the quality and size of your images--from SHQ 1,280 x 960 uncompressed photos to 640 x 480 VGA images. Image playback modes include automatic advance playback, an index mode with 4, 9, or 16 images, and a 3x inspection mode. With an optical 3x glass aspherical zoom lens, 2x digital telephoto, pop-up five-mode variable flash, and a resolution of 1.3 million megapixels, this Olympus digital camera offers top performance in a compact, easy-to-use package.
The Olympus D-450 Zoom's many premium features come together in just the right mix to make this 1.3-megapixel digicam a fine point-and-shoot device at a very affordable price. It's a well balanced, good-looking, easy-to-use camera that takes great pictures.
Just slip in four batteries, slide the lens cover to one side, and the 35mm-to-105mm optical zoom lens emerges smoothly. You can change its field of view easily with a light touch on a toggle switch near the shutter release button. There's also a top-deck LCD control panel that displays critical settings - flash, battery condition, resolution, picture capacity, sensitivity to light (ISO), and more. You can choose ISO settings of 160, 320, or 640, or you can let the camera decide based on actual lighting conditions. Neat! Be prepared, though, to accept grainier (technically speaking, noisier) pictures at higher ISO settings; still, you'll be able to take pictures under marginal light conditions or shoot stop action with faster shutter speeds. If action's your game, you can use the camera's unique sequence mode, which clicks off images at rates from two frames per second (low resolution) to one frame every two seconds (high resolution).
Clearly marked control buttons perform dual functions, depending on whether you have the camera set to Record or Playback mode. You can choose resolution, flash modes, self-timer, multiple picture display, delete, and two manual distances for shooting fast-moving subjects autofocus can't handle. Quickly access the camera's Playback mode with a couple of taps on a button, bringing exposed images up for review at 4- or 5-second intervals; simply double-press it again and you're back in Record. Unlike some digicams, it doesn't let you erase photos immediately after taking them; you must delete them in Playback. This fail-safe method ensures that you don't mistakenly send one of those priceless images into deep space.
You can adjust the D-450 Zoom's optical viewfinder and easily view the exceptionally bright Thin Film Transistor monitor from off-center. Want to see if you've captured adequate detail? Just use the zoom control on Playback to get a 3X view of any part of the image. Other goodies include video out, a slide-show function, the ability to print directly to an Olympus printer, and a 2X digital zoom that doubles the tele-photo length of the lens to 210mm. Remember, though - with digital zoom, you lose some resolution, so use this option sparingly. The feature works best for small prints or photos headed for the Web.
The only major annoyance is that some of the menu screens display icons only - no words. However, after inadvertently trashing our first batch of pictures, we quickly learned what each symbol meant. You will, too. Be careful not to slam the lens cover shut too fast, or it may hit the lens as it retracts.
If you're looking for a quality digicam that gives you beautiful color prints up to 8 by 10 inches, and you don't need (or want) a lot of manual controls, the Olympus D-450 Zoom is a super choice. -- Arthur Bleich
good news : Very solidly built. Fast learning curve. Short intervals between shots. Excellent low-light performance. Good controls layout. Uncompressed TIFF mode. Printed documentation.
bad news : No USB. No lens barrel threads to accept accessory lenses. Some menus use icons only. Cover may hit lens if closed too quickly. Incorrect exposure compensation instructionsin manual.
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