Digital pictures of sheer quality;Olympus C-1400l;Education

15th May 1998 at 01:00
WHEN YOU pick it up, the C-1400L doesn't feel like a digital camera. With features like a 3x optical zoom, excellent flash and sophisticated exposure controls, it doesn't sound like one either.

This is probably the best digital camera on the market. With its high quality 1280 x 1024 pixel images, it sets new standards for price and performance, rivalling cameras costing pound;5,000.

This is the first truly TTL (through the lens) single lens reflex digital camera with WYSIWYS (what you see is what you shoot) capability. Yet, despite its plethora of features, it is really easy to use. The powerful flash has a range of up to 12 feet and has four sophisticated modes. The menu system, viewed via the camera's LCD panel, is the quickest and easiest I have ever seen.

Three modes of image capture are available, providing a choice of image size and compression. Images are saved on to a 2, 4 or 8Mb removable SmartMedia Card. These are easily downloadable to Apple and PC systems via a serial cable, a PCMCIA adapter, or a 3.5- inch floppy disk adapter (available soon from Olympus). Images can also be downloaded to Acorn systems via Spacetech's Photolink software.

A drawback is that the C-1400L devours NiCad batteries. You need nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries to get the best out of it. Typically, I captured and downloaded 10 images with NiCad batteries, as opposed to more than 70 with NiMH batteries. Olympus does not provide NiMH batteries or an AC adapter with the camera - for that you'll have to spend extra.

For many, the C-1400L will remain a dream. But this incredible digital camera will eventually fall in cost to a point where the dream can become reality.

Olympus C-1400L digital camera. Price: ranges from pound;850 to around pound;1,000. The Digital Camera Company 01483 452100. Disc Direct 01223 507705. Spacetech Ltd, 21 West Wools, Portland, Dorset DT5 2EA; 01305 822753.

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