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Keep a steady aim

Having a ton of features in a digital camera is nice, but sometimes all you want is just the ability to take good pictures. Olympus’ Camedia C-730 fits the bill.

Olympus’s Camedia C-730 Ultra Zoom has been trumpeted as the first digital camera to combine 3.2 millionÐpixel resolution with a 10x optical zoom. Together with a 3x digital zoom, this provides for 30x zooming power, which is comparable to 1140mm with a 35mm camera.

That might be an impressive statistic to you, but to a digital camera neophyte like myself, it amounts to a fancy way of saying the Ultra Zoom takes nice pictures and is easy to use.

The C-730 has a number of preprogrammed modes, earmarked for such environments as landscapes and sporting events. If you’re more sure of your photography skills, it allows for manual operation of many of its settings (such as aperture and shutter speed). And once you find settings you like, you can save them in the camera’s My Mode folders.

Despite its concessions to more experienced photographers, the C-730 seems made for beginners. Even if you’ve never picked up a digital camera before, you should be able to start taking pictures immediately without so much as breaking the seal on the manual. Whether or not your pictures will be any good is another matter; but impatient users will be able to at least practice right out of the box.

Speaking of quality,one hurdle you might face with the C-730 is its sensitivity–if you don’t shoot with an extremely steady hand (and keep in mind that the shutter doesn’t activate until a split-second after you pull the trigger), you’ll end up with lots of blurry throwaways.

Despite that, shutterbugs of all levels will appreciate its ease of use. Transferring photos to a PC is intuitive and simple; I only needed a quick scan of the instructions (which are written clearly and without technical mumbo-jumbo) before I had a little portfolio to play with.

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