C-7070 Wide Zoom ($699) is the 7.1 Megapixel
update to the C-5060 Wide Zoom, which was introduced
back in 2003. The C-7070 shares many of the features
of its predecessor, including a wide-angle 4X zoom
lens, two memory card slots, dual focusing system,
full manual controls, and a unique LCD display.
I considered the C-5060WZ one of my
favorite cameras back in its day. How does this latest
model perform? Find out now in our review!
What's in the Box?
The C-7070Z has an average bundle.
Inside the box, you'll find:
- The 7.1 effective Megapixel C-7070WZ
- 32MB xD Picture Card
- BLM-1 lithium-ion rechargeable
- Battery charger
- Lens cap w/retaining strap
- Wrist strap
- USB cable
- A/V cable
- CD-ROM featuring Olympus Master
software and drivers
- Basic manual (printed) + full manual
Olympus includes a 32MB xD Picture
Card with the C-7070WZ. That holds just six photos
at the highest JPEG quality, so you'll want a larger
card right away. I'd recommend a 512MB memory card
as a good place to start. The C-7070WZ, unlike its
predecessor, has dual memory card slots, support both
xD and CompactFlash media. I'd stick with CF cards
if I were you, as they're cheaper and higher capacity
The C-7070WZ uses the same BLM-1 battery
as the C-5060WZ before it. This battery packs a whopping
10.8 Wh of energy, which is about as good as you'll
find on a digital camera. That translates to excellent
battery life: you can take 430 shots per charge (measured
using the CIPA standard). Compare that with 140 shots
on the Canon PowerShot S70 and 240 shots from the Nikon
Coolpix 8400. (Olympus did not publish battery life
stats for the C-8080WZ.)
The downside of proprietary batteries
like the BLM-1 is twofold. For one, they're expensive:
an extra will set you back $50. In addition, you can't
use regular alkaline batteries to "bail yourself
out" when the proprietary battery dies.
When it's time to recharge the battery
just snap it into the included external charger. It
takes a whopping 5 hours to fully charge the BLM-1.
This isn't one of those handy (in my opinion) "plug
it right into the wall" chargers -- you must use
a power cable.
Want even more battery power? Try
then check out the optional B-HLD20 power battery grip
($100). This holds one or two BLM-1 batteries which
-- get this -- doubles the effective battery life of
the C-7070WZ. The grip also provides extra controls
for vertical shooting, plus a port for an optional
wired remote control.
Olympus includes a lens cap with a
retaining strap with the C-7070WZ. The lens cap leaves
a little to be desired -- it seems kind of clunky.
There are quite a few accessories
available for the C-7070 Wide Zoom, and I've compiled
them into this handy chart:
||Why you want it
||Brings the wide end of the lens down by
0.7X to 18.9 mm (wow!); requires the CLA-7
conversion lens adapter
|Boosts focal distance by 1.7X (up to 187
mm) and 3X (to 330 mm), respectively; both
lenses require the conversion lens adapter
|Conversion lens adapter
||Required for conversion lenses
|UV and polarizing filter screw right onto
the 40.5 mm threads on the camera
||Get much better flash photos and less redeye
|Hot shoe flash cable
||For use with an off-camera external flash
|Macro ring light
||Light up your macro subjects; requires
FR-100 macro flash adapter (price not available)
|Macro twin light
||For macro enthusiasts I guess; I assume
you need an adapter for this as well
||Take your C-7070 up to 40 meters underwater;
attachments for the wide-angle converter
and the FL-20 flash are also available ($200
and $300 respectively)
|Wired remote control
||Take pictures without touching the camera;
requires the power battery grip (below)
|Wireless remote control
||Another, less expensive way to take pictures
|Power battery grip
||Double the battery life, extra controls
for vertical shooting, and a remote control
||Power the camera without wasting your batteries
Now THAT is an impressive set of accessories!
Included with the camera is Olympus
Master, a pretty impressive software package that debuted
last year. The first thing you'll probably do with
the software is transfer photos from your camera. Once
you've done that, you've got a nice thumbnail view
that you can organize by date or keywords. A calendar
view is also available.
It's easy to change the size of the
thumbnails, and everything was snappy on my PowerMac
If you want to edit a photo, that's
just a click away. You can rotate, crop, reduce redeye,
or do an "instant fix". If you want to adjust
the color balance, you can do that as well, as you
can see above.
The software can also be used to "stitch" together
several photos into one panoramic photo.
You'll need the Master software to
open and edit the RAW images which are created by the
C-7070. You can adjust the exposure compensation, white
balance, contrast, sharpness, and color. And this is
the beauty of RAW: you can change these things without
reducing the quality of the image. That's because RAW
images contain, well, raw image data from the CCD.
So if you botch the white balance, you can change it
later on your PC with no ill effects.
Sharing photos is easy: you can print
them or e-mail them right in the Master software. Naturally,
there's a slideshow feature available as well. And,
if you want to archive them to a CD or DVD, that's
Just like with their old Camedia Master
software, Olympus has a "Plus" version available
for $20 more. The Master Plus software adds movie editing
capabilities, more printing options, and the ability
to make Video CDs.
While the software has greatly improved,
one thing that hasn't changed is Olympus' unwillingness
to print the full camera manual. As usual, you'll get
a 26 page "basic manual" in the box, with
the full manual on the included CD-ROM. The quality
of the manual itself is good -- it's having to load
up a PDF file that bothers me.
Look and Feel
The C-7070 is a good-sized camera
that probably won't be finding its way into most of
your pockets. Like its predecessor, it's built like
a tank, with a sturdy metal frame and a minimum of
plastic. The only part that doesn't breed a lot of
confidence is the plastic door over the memory card
slots. The camera is easy to hold, though a larger
right hand grip wouldn't hurt. The most important controls
are within easy reach of your fingers, though I'm not
thrilled with the number of tiny buttons scattered
around the camera body.
The official dimensions of the C-7070WZ
are 4.6 x 3.4 x 2.6 inches (W x H x D, excluding protrusions)
and it weighs 433 grams empty. The closest competitors
are the Canon PowerShot S70 and Nikon Coolpix 8400,
and their numbers are 4.5 x 2.2 x 1.5 inches / 230
grams and 4.4 x 3.2 x 3.0 inches / 400 grams, respectively.
The C-7070WZ's big brother (in more ways than one),
the C-8080WZ, has numbers of 4.9 x 3.3 x 3.9 inches
/ 660 grams.
Well that's enough of that, let's
move onto our tour now!
The biggest selling point of the C-7070WZ
is its 4X wide-angle zoom lens. This F2.8-4.8 lens
has a focal range of 5.7 - 22.9 mm, which is equivalent
to 27 - 110 mm. The only camera that does better is
the Coolpix 8400, which is 24 - 85 mm. The C-7070WZ's
lens supports 40.5 mm filters and conversion lenses
can be attached by using the appropriate adapter.
To the upper-right of the lens is
the microphone. To the upper-left from that is the
optical viewfinder, remote control receiver, AF-assist
lamp, and external focus sensor. Like the C-5060, this
camera has a dual focusing system, using both traditional
contrast detection as well as phase-difference detection
which should make this camera focusing machine (we'll
see if that's true later in the review).
Just above the Olympus logo you'll
find the camera's built-in flash. The flash has an
unimpressive working range of 0.8 - 3.7 m at wide-angle
and 0.8 - 2.2 m at telephoto. The Coolpix 8400 really
blows away the C-7070WZ in this area. For more flash
power, consider attaching an external flash to the
hot shoe that you'll see in a moment.
The last thing to see on the front
of the camera is the self-timer lamp, located to the
left of the Olympus logo.
One of the other unique features of
this camera is its LCD display. Instead of flipping
out to the side like most rotating LCDs, this one flips
up. Once there you can rotate it 270 degrees, so it
can face you, your subject, or in between. It can also
be put in the traditional position (see below) or closed
altogether (above, lower right).
Here's some more about that LCD now.
It's normal sized: 1.8 inches, and the 130,000 pixel
resolution is average as well. One area in which the
LCD is better-than-average is in terms of its refresh
rate: motion is especially fluid. In low light, the
screen brightens a bit so you can see what you're looking
at. Not quite as much as I would've liked, but still
better than average.
Directly above the LCD is a good-sized
optical viewfinder. The dial to the right adjusts the
diopter correction (focus) for it.
To the left of the LCD and a little
hard to see are two buttons that can work together
for a third function. The top button adjusts exposure
compensation from -2EV to +2EV in either 1/2EV or 1/3EV
steps. The button below it adjusts the flash setting,
with choices of auto, auto with redeye reduction, fill
flash, flash off, and slow sync (1st or 2nd curtain).
Holding both of these buttons down allows you to adjust
flash exposure compensation, which has the same range
and steps as regular exposure compensation.
The buttons to the upper-right of
the LCD are for AE lock / delete photo and Quick View,
which is used for entering playback mode without using
the mode dial.
Continuing downward we find two more
buttons and the four-way controller. The Display button
toggles the LCD and what information is shown on it
on and off. The CF/xD button switches between the two
memory card slots. The four-way controller is used
for menu navigation.
The final item of note on the back
of the camera is the control dial, located at the upper-right
of the photo. This is used for adjusting manual settings
as well as any of the controls activated by the buttons
on the camera (e.g. flash setting).
There's plenty more to see on the
top of the C-7070WZ. Let's start on the left side,
where you'll find buttons for the focus mode (Auto,
macro, oracle, manual, super macro, super macro +manual)
and metering mode (ESP, spot, multi-metering, center-weighted)
/ image protection.
Manual focus (center
frame enlargement not shown)
I want to talk more about those focus
modes before we go on. Oracle AF is a strange name
for what most companies call Tracking AF. This will
keep your subject in focus as they move toward or away
from the camera. The manual focus feature lets you
use the up and down buttons on the four-way controller
to set the focus distance. A guide showing the current
distance is shown on the LCD, and the center of the
frame is enlarged so you can make sure that your subject
The item to the right of those buttons
is the C-7070's hot shoe, which has a plastic cover
to protect it when not in use. The camera will integrate
with the three Olympus-brand flashes that I mentioned
in the first section and everything will be automatic.
You can use third party flashes as well, though you'll
have to manually set up the flash. The camera can sync
as fast as 1/200 sec with an external flash.
To the right of the hot shoe is an
LCD info display, something that is all too rare these
days. This shows things such as shots remaining, image
quality setting, shutter speed, aperture, and battery
life. Unfortunately, it is not backlit.
Continuing to the right we find the
zoom controller with the shutter release button inside
it. The zoom controller moves the lens from wide-angle
to telephoto in 1.6 seconds. I counted 13 steps through
the 4X zoom range.
Below that are two more buttons, for
self-timer/remote control + image rotation and custom
function + DPOF print marking. Yes, that custom button
can do just about anything that you wish -- just set
it up in the main menu. Holding down both of the buttons
resets the camera to default settings.
The final item on the top of the camera
is the mode dial, which has the power switch beneath
it. The items you'll find on the mode dial include:
||Camera chooses shutter speed and aperture.
A Program Shift feature lets you flip through
sets of shutter speeds and apertures.
|Aperture Priority mode
||You pick the aperture, the camera picks
the appropriate shutter speed. The choices
range from F2.8 - F11 and will vary depending
on the focal range used.
|Shutter Priority mode
||You choose the shutter speed and the camera
picks the correct aperture. You can choose
from a number of speeds ranging from 4 -
|Full Manual (M) mode
||You pick both the aperture and shutter
speed. Shutter speed range expands to 15
- 1/4000 sec. A bulb mode allows you to keep
the shutter open for as long as 2 minutes.
||Store up to four sets of your favorite
||More on this later
||You pick the situation and the camera chooses
the appropriate settings. Choose from portrait,
sports, landscape+portrait, landscape, night
scene, underwater wide, underwater macro.
||More on this later
One thing that Olympus does that I
don't like is reserving the full shutter speed range
for manual mode. I'd like to get to those slow shutter
speeds without resorting to manual mode... but that's
On this side of the C-7070 you'll
find the speaker as well as the I/O ports. These ports
include A/V out, USB, and DC-in (for optional AC adapter).
The camera supports USB 2.0 Full Speed, which is marketing
speak for "just as slow as USB 1.1". The
ports are protected by a rubber cover.
On the other side you'll find one
of the other nice features on the C-7070WZ: dual memory
card slots. The camera supports Type I and Type II
CompactFlash cards (Microdrive included) as well as
xD Picture Cards. The slots are kept behind a plastic
door that seems like it could bust off at any moment.
The included 32MB xD card is shown
Our tour ends with a look at the bottom
of the camera. Here you'll find a metal tripod mount
as well as the battery compartment. Unlike with the
memory card slots, the plastic door over the battery
compartment is sturdy and lockable.
The BLM-1 battery is shown at right.
Using the Olympus C-7070
It takes about 2.5 seconds for the
C-7070WZ to extend its lens and "warm up" before
you can start taking pictures. That's about average.
C-7070Z has not one, but two histograms! The
one on the left is your traditional histogram
that we all love. The one on the right (called
a direct histogram) shows underexposed areas
in blue, and overexposed areas in red. Very cool!
In normal lighting, focus speeds were
quite good, typically around 0.3 - 0.5 seconds. If
the camera has to hunt to lock focus then it can take
closer to a second. Despite that fancy dual focusing
system, I wasn't overly impressed with the C-7070's
low light focusing abilities. That's strange, because
the old C-5060WZ did pretty good in my tests. Who knows?
Shutter lag was not an issue, even
at slower shutter speeds where it sometimes occurs.
Shot-to-shot speed varies depending
on what memory card you're using. With a fast CompactFlash
card, I was able to take another shot in about two
seconds. Using the included xD card, it was more like
three seconds. Shooting in RAW or TIFF mode will increase
the shot-to-shot times to around 7 seconds (using that
same CompactFlash card).
There's no easy way to delete a photo
immediately after it is taken. You must enter playback
mode (via the QuickView button) and delete it there.
The C-7070WZ has a million image quality
choices... and here they are:
||# images on 32MB card
(more compression than SHQ)
What an exhaustive list! I already
described why RAW is great in the first section of
the review. TIFF files are large, uncompressed images
that use an industry standard format that all image
viewing software can open. RAW images must be processed
with the Olympus Master software or third party software
like Adobe Photoshop CS.
Olympus uses one of the more sensible
file numbering systems that I've seen. Files are named
Pmdd####.jpg, where m is the month (1-9, A-C), d is
the day, and #### is 0001-9999. This way your file
numbers are always unique (well, at least a year).
File numbering is maintained as you erase and switch
The C-7070WZ uses the standard Olympus
menu system. When you first hit the menu button, you'll
be presented with the following options:
- Drive (Single-shot, high speed
sequential, sequential, AF sequential, auto bracketing)
- described below
- Mode Menu - see below
- White balance (Auto, shade, cloudy,
sunny, evening sunlight, daylight fluorescent, neutral
white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent, white
fluorescent, tungsten, custom) - wow that's a ton
of options; you can also use the custom option and
a white or gray card to get accurate color in any
lighting; if that's still not enough you can fine
tune the WB in the red or blue direction (-7 to +7,
- Image quality (see above chart)
With the exception of the Mode Menu
option, that whole first menu can be customized. You
can put any menu option there for quicker access to
your favorite setting.
Selecting Mode Menu from that initial
screen will bring you to the full recording menu. There
are four tabs containing the various menu items. The
menu items are:
- Camera Settings
- Drive (Single-shot, high speed
sequential, sequential, AF sequential, auto bracketing)
- see below
- ISO (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400)
- Flash settings
- Flash mode (Auto, auto w/redeye reduction,
flash on, slow sync, flash off)
- Flash exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV,
- External flash (Internal + external, external,
- Slow sync (1st curtain, 1st curtain w/redeye
reduction, 2nd curtain)
- Focus settings
- Focus mode (AF, macro, oracle AF, manual
focus, super macro, super macro + manual
focus) - described earlier
- AF mode (iESP, spot) - using spot AF allows
you to manually select a focus point (143
points to choose from)
- Fulltime AF (on/off) - camera is always
focusing; reduces AF delay at the expense
of battery life
- Metering (ESP, spot, multi, center-weighted)
- Self-timer/remote control (Off,
- Digital zoom (on/off) - it's
best to keep this off
- Noise reduction (on/off) - for
- Function (Off, panorama, black & white,
sepia) - the panorama mode requires an Olympus-branded
xD card (when are they going to give up on this?)
- Accessory (Off, lens, underwater
- Sound recording (on/off) - add
a 4 sec voice clip to each photo
- Frame assist (Off, 1, 2) - shows
horizontal + vertical or diagonal lines on the
LCD to help with framing
- Histogram (Off, on w/exposure
compensation button, always on, direct) - I showed
the two types of histograms earlier
- Real display (on/off) - whether
LCD shows photos as it will be exposed, or for
- My Mode (1-4) - load up your
favorite camera settings
- Scene (Portrait, sports, landscape+portrait,
landscape, night scene, underwater wide, underwater
- Picture Settings
- Quality (see chart above)
- White balance (Auto, shade, cloudy, sunny,
evening sunlight, daylight fluorescent, neutral
white fluorescent, cool white fluorescent,
white fluorescent, tungsten, custom)
- Scene modes (Normal, portrait, landscape,
night scene) - yet more scene modes
- Sharpness (-5 to +5, 1-step increments)
- Contrast (-5 to +5, 1-step increments)
- Hue (-5 to +5, 1-step increments)
- Saturation (-5 to +5, 1-step increments)
- Card Setup (Format)
- All reset (on/off) - retain settings
after camera is powered off
- EV step (1/3EV, 1/2EV)
- Language (English, French, Spanish,
- My Mode Setup (Current, reset,
custom) - for setting up the My Mode feature
- Beep (Off, 1-2)
- Shutter sound (Off, 1-2)
- Beep volume (Off, low, high)
- Playback volume (0-5)
- Power on/off setup - choose the
startup/shutdown screen and sounds
- Monitor brightness (-7 to +7,
- Video out (NTSC, PAL)
- Rec view (Off, auto, 3, 5, 10
secs) - post-shot review
- File name (Reset, auto)
- Pixel mapping - removes dead
pixels that can appear in images
- Units (meters, feet)
- AF illuminator (on/off)
- Dual control panel (on/off) -
- Thumbnail view (4, 9, 16) - for
- USB (PC, print)
- Short cut (A, B, C) - customize
the initial recording menu
- Custom button - choose what the
custom button on the top of the camera does
- Dial (Normal, custom 1/2) - how
the "direct buttons" (e.g. flash, focus,
metering) interact with the control dial
- My Mode/scene (on/off) - whether
the My Mode / Scene selection menus are shown when
you turn the mode dial to one of those options
Time for some further explanation
of those items!
There are three sequential (continuous)
shooting modes on the C-7070Z, plus a bracketing feature.
Normal sequential mode takes up to 5 shots (at the
SHQ setting) at around 1.3 frames/second. AF Sequential
mode will refocus between each shot, slowing things
down even more. The high speed mode took a grand total
of two photos at roughly 2.4 frames/second. In all
three modes the LCD turns off during shooting, which
makes following a moving subject difficult (at least
there's an optical viewfinder). All in all a pretty
disappointing continuous shooting feature.
The auto bracketing feature will take
3 or 5 shots in a row, each with a different exposure.
You can choose the exposure interval in the menu: ±0.3EV, ±0.7EV,
The dual control panel feature seen
above is shown when you turn the LCD off (and are using
the optical viewfinder to shoot). The LCD will show
exactly what you see above, which is pretty handy,
despite the fact that there's a real LCD info display
on the top of the camera.
Boy I'm tired of menus and buttons!
Let's move onto the photo tests now.
The C-7070WZ did a great job with
our standard macro test subject. Colors look good and
everything is nice and sharp. Heck, you can practically
count the specs of dust!
There are two macro modes on the camera.
In normal macro mode, you can get as close as 20 cm
to your subject at wide-angle (I'm not sure about telephoto),
which isn't great at all. For real close-ups,
use super macro mode, which reduces the focus distance
to just 3 cm. You can then fill the frame with a subject
just 21 x 28 mm in size. Do note that the lens is fixed
(in the middle) while in super macro mode. For even
more control you can also use the manual focus while
in super macro mode.
Though it's a little soft, overall
our night test shot turned out fairly well. The camera
took in plenty of light, though remember that you have
to use "M" mode to get at the full selection
of long shutter speeds. There is no purple fringing
to be found here and noise levels are comparable to
other ultra high resolution cameras.
Using that same scene, let's take
a look at how adjusting the ISO sensitivity affects
the noise levels in images:
The camera performs well at ISO 100
and 200 (I kind of like the added sharpness in the
ISO 100 shot, actually), and details start to disappear
at ISO 400.
There is moderate barrel distortion
to be found at the wide end of the C-7070WZ's lens,
which isn't terribly surprising. There's a bit of corner
softness to be seen as well, but this wasn't a real
problem in everyday photos.
While the C-7070WZ offers an in-camera
redeye fix program (that I'll describe later), I didn't
even need to use it! Great job, Olympus!
Overall the photo quality on the C-7070WZ
is very good, though I would definitely tweak some
of the settings on the camera. The two areas in which
I wasn't totally pleased were regarding sharpness (images
seem a little soft to my eyes) and color (not saturated
enough). Thankfully, it takes one trip to the record
menu to adjust both of those. Noise levels are low
(considering the resolution of the camera), and I didn't
find purple fringing to be a major problem.
So, with that in mind, have a look
at our photo gallery. I
encourage you to print the photos as if they are your
own. Only you can decide if the C-7070's photo quality
meets your expectations!
The C-7070 Wide Zoom's movie mode
would've been excellent had there been no time limits.
The highest quality setting allows you to record video
at 640 x 480, 30 frames/second, with sound, for just
20 seconds, no matter how large of a memory card you
use. For unlimited recording, you'll need to try one
of the three other movie qualities: HQ (640 x 480,
15 fps), SQ1 (320 x 240, 30 fps), and SQ2 (320 x 240,
One very nice feature in movie mode
is camera movement compensation, a fancy word for digital
image stabilization. This will help counter the effects
of "camera shake" that can make your videos
In playback mode you can edit movies
by keeping only the parts you want. You can also create
an index photo made up of nine photos taken from the
You cannot use the zoom lens during
filming unless you turn off sound recording.
Movies are saved in QuickTime format,
using the M-JPEG codec.
Here's a sample movie for you, taken
at the highest quality setting. As you can see, I'm
getting a little hard up for material around here.
to play movie (10.9 MB, 640 x 480, 30 fps, QuickTime
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
The C-7070Z has a very nice playback
mode. Basic features include slide shows, voice annotations,
thumbnail mode, DPOF print marking, image protection,
and "zoom and scroll". The camera supports
direct printing using the PictBridge system, as well.
The zoom and scroll feature (my term)
allows you to zoom in as much as 7X into your photo
(in 1X increments), and then move around in it.
You can rotate, crop, or resize your
images with the push of a button.
The redeye fix feature allows you
to eliminate those annoying demon eyes from your photos,
after they are taken. Since I didn't have any redeye
in the first place I didn't need to use it.
The copy option will move a few or
all of your images from one memory card to another.
The RAW data edit feature is very
cool. This allows you to adjust the various properties
of your RAW image right on the camera, and then convert
it to a JPEG. If you don't mind doing this on your
camera, you can skip the step of processing the RAW
files on your computer altogether (though you'll lose
some of the flexibility of the format).
Normally, you don't get much information
about your photos in playback mode (above left). But
press the Display button and you can activate two different
info screens which displays the information on the
The camera moves through photos at
somewhat sluggish clip, with a two second delay between
each high res picture. If you're viewing RAW or TIFF
images, there's a noticeable delay while the image
How Does it Compare?
There's a whole lot to like about
the Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom, and only a few things
that you won't care for. The C-7070WZ isn't just another
7 Megapixel camera; this one features an ultra wide-angle
lens starting at 27 mm. Unlike the Coolpix 8400 (which
starts a little wider, at 24 mm), the C-7070 has some
decent telephoto power, with a top end of 110 mm. If
that's not enough for you, Olympus offers your choice
of conversion lenses, which can reduce the focal length
to 18.9, or increase it to a whopping 330 mm. The expandability
doesn't stop there, though. The camera also supports
40.5 mm filters (without the need for a conversion
lens adapter), an external flash, a power battery grip,
and an underwater case.
With one exception, the C-7070's build
quality is excellent. It has a sturdy metal frame and
it's ready to take almost anything you can throw at
it. The one part of the camera that didn't seem so
solid was the plastic door over the memory card slots.
The camera is fairly good sized, so you won't be storing
it in your pants pocket. It's easy to hold, though
a larger grip would've been nice, and I wasn't a huge
fan of the scattered button layout either. Like the
C-5060WZ before it, the C-7070 has a handy rotating
LCD display that flips up, instead of out. Low light
visibility is better than average. The Wide Zoom also
features dual memory card slots, supporting both CompactFlash
Camera performance is average in some
areas and better than average in others. The C-7070WZ
does well in terms of focusing times (in good lighting)
and shutter lag. Shot-to-shot times are average, as
is low light focusing performance (despite the dual
focusing system). Playback speeds were slow, especially
when viewing RAW or TIFF images, and the continuous
shooting mode is nothing to write home about. One area
in which the C-7070WZ blows past the competition is
in terms of battery life: it can over 400 shots on
a single charge.
In terms of features, the C-7070WZ
is fully loaded. The camera offers full manual controls,
white balance fine tuning, subject tracking autofocus,
two types of histograms, and an electronic image stabilizer
for movie mode. The movie mode has a lot of potential,
but you can only record 20 seconds worth of video at
the highest quality setting. The macro mode isn't terribly
impressive unless you're using the super macro mode,
then you can get very close to your subject.
Photo quality is very good and comparable
to other 7 Megapixel cameras. I would personally increase
the sharpness and color saturation a notch, though.
I've named a few of my gripes about
the C-7070WZ already, but here are a few more. The
LCD info display on the top of the camera would've
been nicer if it was backlit. The camera doesn't support
USB 2.0 High Speed. The flash is fairly weak, especially
when compared to the Coolpix 8400. And no Olympus review
would be complete without my usual mention of the full
manual only being on CD. Bad Olympus!
I really enjoyed using the C-7070WZ
and it gets my recommendation. If you take a lot of
photos that need that wide-angle lens, it's definitely
worth your consideration.
What I liked:
- Wide-angle 4X zoom lens
- Very good photo quality, though
I'd adjust some settings (see below)
- Built like a tank (with one exception)
- Full manual controls
- Flip-up, rotating LCD display;
good low light visibility
- Not one, but two live histograms!
- Dual focusing systems, dual memory
- Excellent battery life
- Expandable: supports conversion
lenses, filters, external flash, underwater case
- Customizable menus/buttons; can
save four sets of cameras settings to spot on mode
- Support for RAW and TIFF formats;
can edit RAW images right on the camera
- VGA, 30 fps movie mode (though
- Image stabilization in movie mode
- No redeye, but in-camera redeye
reduction too if you need it
- Much improved bundled software
What I didn't care for:
- Color saturation and sharpness
a little too low at default settings
- Movie clips limited to 20 secs
at highest quality setting
- Cheap plastic door over memory
- Low light focusing should be better
- Unimpressive continuous shooting
- Flash a little weak
- Sluggish image playback, especially
of RAW and TIFF images
- USB 2.0 High Speed would've been
- Full manual only on CD
Some other wide-angle cameras worth
looking at include the Canon PowerShot Pro1 and S70, Konica
Minolta DiMAGE A200, Nikon
Coolpix 8400, Olympus
C-8080 Wide Zoom, and the Sony
As always, I recommend a trip down
to your local reseller to try out the C-7070WZ and
its competitors before you buy!
See how the photo quality turned out
in our gallery!
Want a second opinion?
Read more reviews at Steve's
Digicams and Imaging
Feedback & Discussion
If you have a question about this
review, please send them to Jeff.
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