Vintage Digital Camera: Olympus Camedia C-3000 Zoom

I'm here to state that "Megapixels Are Overrated!" At least when we're discussing vintage digital cameras. In this case I'm talking about the Olympus Camedia C-3000, first released in May of 2000: Olympus Camedia C-3000 Zoom

I purchased my C-3000 in April of 2001 after doing a lot of research. The Steve's Digicams Review of the C-3000 was what made me pull the trigger. At the time Steve said "Bottom Line is that this is an excellent camera. As I said at the beginning it will be one of the cameras that I'll recommend without hesitation to those seeking the "best" of the Y2k consumer digicams". That's pretty high praise :-) The Camedia c-3000 replaced my 1st digital camera, the Olympus C-460. I paid  $477.52 on Ubid for the c-3000, which features a whopping 3.3 megapixels, nearly 3x the C-960. It also has a 3x optical zoom (32mm-96mm equivalent) and a host of "high end" features. In addition to the camera, I paid $65 for a card reader and 32mb smartmedia card plus an extra $47 each for 2 64mb smartmedia cards (for the extra capacity) and $52 for a couple sets of rechargeable AA batteries and charger. All in I had invested almost $700 for the camera, 3 memory cards and batteries. That comes out to about $200/megapixel! For comparison, if I had paid that much/megapixel for my current Canon T3i I would've paid over $3200. So, for it's day, the Olympus C-3000 was a pretty pricey piece of photographic equipment. I used the camera for nearly 3 years and made a lot of photographs with it. It's been in a box since late 2004 but I've decided to unpack it, dust it off and give the camera another lease on life by using it to make photographs here in 2014 and beyond.

Making The Most Of The C-3000

To be able to use the camera in 2014 I had to purchase a Smartmedia card reader since I couldn't find one in my "computer junk box". When I was using the camera back in 2001-2002 I captured images in large JPEG format. This time I think I'll set the camera to TIF format and see how it does. Each 64mb smartmedia card will only hold 6 tif files each so I'm glad I have 3 of them. If the tiffs don't work I'll go back to high-quality JPEG's.

I'm a much better photographer than I was in 2001 so I'm expecting to be able to produce some decent images with the C-3000. I may take it out on a street photography shoot this coming weekend. I think the camera will be well suited to this type of photography. The camera is small and inconspicuous, and relatively silent. The 3x zoom will be enough in most cases, especially if I'm doing my job of framing the images correctly. As for image quality, there's no doubt that 3.3 megapixels isn't a lot but I think it's enough for decent web display and maybe up to 8x10 or so prints. Here's a couple of images from our trip to Seattle in September 2001.

The Sunset as seen from the Seattle waterfront;

Seattle-Sunset

 

A group of Starfish at the Olympic National Seashore: Starfish Party

Stay tuned for some fresh images from this vintage camera!