Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom


      In summary

      [ia] Designed to appeal to photographers who want a lightweight compact digicam with a solid feel and extensive suite of user controls, the Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom sits between the C-8080 and the C-5060 in the Olympus line-up. It has identical styling to the C-5060 Zoom, the same lens and flip-up-and twist LCD monitor and diopter-adjustable optical viewfinder. However, it sports a 7-megapixel sensor, although the CCD is the same size as the C-5060’s. . . [more]

      Full review


      Rating (out of 10) Build: 8.0Ease of use: 8.0Image quality: 8.5Value for money: 8.5

      [ia] Designed to appeal to photographers who want a lightweight compact digicam with a solid feel and extensive suite of user controls, the Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom sits between the C-8080 and the C-5060 in the Olympus line-up. It has identical styling to the C-5060 Zoom, the same lens and flip-up-and-twist LCD monitor and diopter-adjustable optical viewfinder. However, it sports a 7-megapixel sensor, with the same dimensions as the C-5060’s.

      Many of its controls are also similar and the menu system is almost identical. You can change access to some settings with the Custom and My Mode buttons.A few additional changes have been made in the new model. Three focusing options are now provided: two autofocus and a manual setting. The Predictive AF mode has an external sensor that detects the distance the subject has moved and calculates where it will be when the shutter is released. An AF Target Selection setting allows users to choose from 143 AF target zones to focus on a specific area in the field of view. Selecting manual focus calls up a linear display with markings for 0.8m, 2m, 3m, 5m and infinity, which flips to close-up settings of 20, 40, 60 and 80cm at the lower end of the range. Focus is set with the up/down arrows of the four-way controller.

      The top panel also carries a monochrome LCD data display plus button controls for selecting the focusing, metering and drive modes. The zoom control surrounds the shutter button. Flash and exposure compensation buttons sit on the left side panel near the USB, AV-out and DC-in ports. The card slot on the opposite side of the camera body is not latched, but clicks firmly into place and is unlikely to be accidentally opened. The C-7070 also has dual card slots, which accept xD-Picture Cards, Compact Flash I/II cards (not necessarily all types, although FAT32 compatibility supports use of cards with 2GB and higher capacity) and microdrives. A button selects between them and, sadly, you can’t transfer files from one card to the other.

      Higher resolution notwithstanding, the C-7070 offers the same still capture options as its predecessor: RAW, TIFF and JPEG formats, with three JPEG compression settings. However it provides 11 image size options, where the C-5060 had only seven; and the two highest resolution settings have 4:3 and 3:2 aspect options. Movie capture has been greatly enhanced with the addition of VGA recording at 30fps with sound, although clip lengths are restricted to 30 seconds. You can fill the memory with movies at all other resolution/quality settings, however.

      Twelve selectable shooting modes are provided. The mode dial provides access to the standard P, A, S and M settings, along with the My Mode setting, which lets users customise up to four collections of camera settings. There’s also a Movie shooting mode, a Scene mode with seven illustrated pre-sets (two of them for underwater photography) and a playback setting, which supports a wider range of controls than the Quick View button.

      On test, the C-7070 produced sharp pictures with slightly elevated contrast and quite punchy colours when the default settings were used. Chromatic aberration was detected at a low level with Imatest but colour accuracy was generally good, although the auto white balance setting failed to eliminate the reddish cast of incandescent lighting. Low light shots were clean and noise free up to ISO 200 and image noise at ISO 400 was relatively low. We suspect the automatic noise reduction applied for exposures longer than half a second played an important role here.

      The flash was an excellent performer, delivering well-balanced light at all ISO settings, with ISO 400 allowing an average-sized room to be adequately lit. Close-up performance was very good, with the Super macro setting producing dramatic close-ups at 3cm from the subject. The wide-angle lens is ideal for shooting in confined spaces or capturing dramatic scenic shots and the exposure metering system’s performance was solid and reliable.

      The camera took approximately three seconds to ‘wake’ and two seconds to close down. We measured an average capture lag of 0.45 seconds, which reduced to 0.2 seconds with pre-focusing. The standard burst mode captured shots at 0.85 seconds intervals, while the high-speed setting recorded two frames in 0.4 second. Shots were processed within a second or two, allowing subsequent pictures to be captured quickly. [23]



      Resolution is generally high and the potential for aliasing (‘jaggies’) is minimal. This camera should produce high-quality prints at sizes between A4 and A3.


      Chromatic aberration is negligible.


      Colour accuracy is well above average and saturation is close to normal, an excellent result for an enthusiast digicam.


      The above chart confirms the camera’s excellent colour accuracy and shows that image noise is less of an issue with the C-7070 than with many other cameras.




      Image sensor: 7.18 x 5.32 mm CCD with 7,410,000 photosites (7.1 megapixels effective)
      Lens: 5.7-22.9mm f2.8-4.8 zoom (27 – 110mm equivalent in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 4x optical, up to 5x digital
      Lens multiplier factor: 4.9x
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 116 x 87 x 65.5mm
      Weight: 433 grams (without battery and card)
      Image formats: Stills – RAW, TIFF, JPEG; Movies – QuickTime Motion JPEG/WAV; VGA at 30 fps with audio (up to 20 sec.), QVGA and QQVGA available
      Shutter speed range: 16-1/4000 sec.
      Focus system/range: TTL Dual (contrast /phase detection) AF with IESP and spot AF; range 80 cm to infinity; macro to 20 cm; Super Macro to 3 cm
      Exposure metering/control: Digital ESP, centre-weighted, multi-spot and spot metering; P, A, S and M shooting modes; 7 Scene Programs
      White balance: iESP2 Auto. Presets: shade, overcast, sunlight, evening sun, tungsten light, fluorescent light 1,2,3,4. plus one-touch & custom
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto (automatic activation in low and backlight), Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Slow synch, Off, slave mode; range 0.8-3.7m.
      ISO range: Auto (ISO 50-400), ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
      Sequence shooting: High speed setting: 2 frames at 2.3 frames per sec. in any mode Normal setting: 10 frames at 1.4 frames per sec. in HQ
      Storage Media: Dual slots for CompactFlash Type I/II and xD-Picture Card (32 MB card supplied holds 3 RAW images, 1 TIFF image, 6 high-res JPEGs or up to 331 VGA shots.)
      Viewfinder: Optical real image
      LCD monitor: 4.5 cm Sunshine colour TFT LCD multi-angle monitor with 130,000 pixels.
      Power supply: Li-ion battery BLM-1, 7.2V.






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