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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    46

    Camedia C-3020Z replacement

    In the December of 2001, I purchased a brand-new Olympus Camedia C-3020Z point-and-shoot digital camera for my mother and father. They took to using the camera, learned how to work a few of the controls (they aren't gadget wizzes), and have been taking pictures ever since.

    They use nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries in the C-3020Z, and the camera is still using the same aftermarket 128-megabyte SmartMedia card that I bought along with the camera in 2001. The camera receives light use. Here are some specs:

    resolution: 3.2 megapixels advertised (2,048 x 1,536)
    zoom: 3x optical
    batteries: 4 AAs
    shape: SLR-like, with the starboard side of the unit shaped like a handle
    viewfinder: small 1.8-inch LCD, plus an old-school optical viewfinder
    lens cap: a plastic clip-on external unit, with retainer strap
    neck strap: included with camera, still using original

    I am concerned that, one of these days, the Smart Media card will die of old age, or become worn out, or whatever. While my parents and I do have affection for this camera, and it has been through quite a few adventures with us, I cannot see keeping the camera after the memory card goes bad. SmartMedia is obviously going out of style, and it isn't cheap to replace. For the money, I would prefer to buy a new camera.

    The question on my mind is whether the controls on newer Olympus cameras would work like the old C-3020Z. My father is especially set on using the Olympus because he knows how to turn it on and "point-and-shoot" with it. My mother has a much newer Canon PowerShot A720IS, which has a similar form factor, but the controls are different. My father does not like the Canon for this reason. In fact, both of my parents want to keep operating the PowerShot the same way as the C-3020Z. They keep expecting to turn the camera on by turning the control dial to "P", which does nothing of the Canon.

    So my question is this: does the current generation of Olympus digital cameras offer controls like those on the C-3020Z, or has that train been derailed already? I was wondering if my father would be able to operate a new Olympus like the old one. I'm also wondering if there's an Olympus with a similar form-factor that takes pictures of a similar quality to the old one. If not, I suppose it's a wide-open market.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,345
    The menu structure on the Olympus cameras seems to have changed a fair amount about when the Cx0x0Z series went away, probably about 2 years ago. You probably should take them or their camera to a store and look at the menus side by side. Having owned a C2020, C3030, C5050 and now a 1080SW I find that the menus are a little different, but things seem to have kept similar names.

    Of course, until Oly gets off the xD memory completely you are about to leave the dead SM media for the dying xD.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    46
    Ooooooo.

    Good point.

    Do any of the new Olympuses (Olympi?) use SD cards yet, or is that still over the horizon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,345
    The most recent ones do, but you would need to check the current product specs. Also, a few of the latest that support xD come with an adapter that lets you use microSD cards in an xD adapter. This only works on models detailed on the Olympus web site. I know my little 1080SW came with one.

    One other option, might be to upgrade them to a used C-5050Z or more recent C series. I suggest this since the controls would be nearly identical, but starting with the C-5050Z the C series had dual memory card slots, SM and CF. You can probably find good ones on eBay for $250 or so.
    Last edited by kgosden; 02-19-2010 at 04:07 PM.

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