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Old Mar 6, 2005, 7:24 PM   #1
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I'm shopping for my first digital camera. I own OM-1 and OM-2 film cameras. I'm selecting between these Olympus models: C-770/765 UZ (4 megapixels), C-5500 Sport Zoom (5 megapixels), C-7000 (7 megapixels). The choice is difficult because of the varying features. I've got a couple questions, the answers to which might help me choose one model with more confidence. BTW, I shoot lots outdoors, landscapes, cityscapes, nature, animals, sky, water, portraits—the works. When I can afford to, I'll eventually but an SLR; but for now I need something to learn on—specifically how to negotiate a menu and all the features and settings.

1.) Sensor size - as it may apply to aperture range.

The C-770 and C-765 Ultra Zooms have the larger 1/2.5"sensor and low-end f. range of 2.8-3.7 compared to the C-7000 and C-5500 which have the 1/1.8" sensor and low-end f. range of 2.8-4.8.

a. I'm wondering if this added aperture capacity in the C-770/765 is due to the sensor size?…or the lens?…or a combination of these?…or/and other obvious factors? I figure added aperture capacity is always a good thing.

b. Not sure about the sensor-size angle of my query; is bigger always better? Does lager sensor = more sensitivity?

2.) RAW. The C-7000 model is the only one of these which has RAW, the other three use TIFF (and, of course, all have JPEG). I know that I have read on one of these review sites that RAW is superior to TIFF.

Highest resolution on the cameras I'm looking at is:




I have never taken a single digital photo nor have I used photo software—so I don't know exactly what to expect from this medium; however, I anticipate cropping/enlarging, and perhaps printing crops.

a. Will the quality of pictures in general and crops in particular be better from RAW? I suppose because of RAW's higher resolution in this case the answer is yes.

b. If I choose the awesome 10X zoom (38-380mm) of the C-770/765 with 2288x1712 maximum resolution, am I likely to be saying in pp, "Man, I wish I had 3072x2304 resolution to work with instead of 2288x1712."

I am amazed that of these cameras only the C-7000 has a shutter speed of 1/2000, the C-770/765 and C-5500 reach only 1/1000! Is this not really poor for cameras of this level?

Thanks for any help.
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Old Mar 9, 2005, 10:16 PM   #2
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Hi, I'm far from an expert, but I saw that no one replied to your post so I thought I'd share my two cents worth. I recently purchased the Olympus C-755, the predecessor to the 765/770. It's essentially the same camera and specs minus some speed improvements and the proprietary battery. (Incidentally Olympus is selling the C-755 refurbished on ebay with a 90-day warranty for a veryniceprice.) Anyway, although the C-7000 and 5500 have some features that the ultrazooms do not, I have found the 10X zoom amazing, and the subjects I shoot are similar to yours. If you shoot fast moving subjects, then perhaps the 1/2000 shutter speed would come in handy, but I haven't missed it. In daylight, my hand-held 10X shots have been crystal clear. I can even capture moving automobiles clearly at full zoom most of the time.

I wondered about zoom vs. pixels for capturing detail. I take pictures of prototype trains and railroad structures and need close up detail for accurate modeling. For that, the zoom wins over more pixels. Also,I compared SHQ to TIFF and found virtually imperceptible difference. RAW does not have highter resolution, only lack of compression or processing. I can't imagine RAW being that much more of an improvement to outweigh the advantages of the ultrazoom camera.

In looking at manylowzoom cameras I am amazed at the advanced and wide range of settings they afford. Again the trade-off is the 10X zoom. The cost to include those settings would probably have made the camera unaffordable, or possibly the firmware could not have contained all the necessary information. As it is, the new firmware upgrade to the C-750/755 adds pictbridge capability at the expense of computer control, so there is limited space.

I don't know the answer to the sensor issue, but I hope what I have offered will be of some help.

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