Pros: Good resolution, and features
Cons: Poor interface
The Olympus 3030 is a nice example of a camera that is feature friendly, but not user friendly. What do I mean? Well, if you were to flip this camera around and give it the "once-over" you would notice a one touch dial and several different combinations of buttons for settings control. That combined with the 200+ page instruction manual and you'll quickly realize that this is not the easiest camera in the world to operate. My advice though is try not to feel too overwhelmed. The Olympus 3030 is a very good camera that does become easier to operate with a little practice. In fact, after awhile you will forget your initial operating difficulties when you see the high quality images this camera is capable of producing. Let's take a look for a moment at the specifications of the Olympus 3030:
3.34 Megapixel resolution. Images can be produced up to 2048 x 1536 and are convertable into 15 different modes including JPEG and TIFF settings.
The lens is made from aspherical glass. It has the capability to zoom up to 3x manually and 2.5 times digitally. The zoom adjusts from f2.8 to f11 or 32-96 mm on a 35millimeter camera.
As I stated previously, the camera is very feature friendly. Their are six independent flash settings. ISO can be adjusted to 100,200, or 400 respectively. The camera can be adjusted to take black & white or serpia photos. Also, a 32mb SDRAM buffer exists to ease rapid sequence shooting.
Software for the 3030 is fairly good. The Camedia software is easy to use and the Adobe photoshop light allows you to cut, paste, adjust, and shape the photos with ease. Shrink it to an attachment or play with coloring the choice is yours.
The camera is reasonable with accessories. It comes with two good lithium batteries (though not rechargeable). A smart 16mb media card powers the camera. The 3030 does not come with a case, but it does have a USB cable and everything you need to get started.
So what are my thoughts?
I like this camera, but I really believe it's not well-suited for the beginner. When you consider the cost around $900 and the knowledge required to understand some of the camera more subtle features it's probably not a good starter camera. It is definitely however, a camera you would want to consider if you were a semi-serious photographer looking to make the transition over to digital.
To see if this camera fits your needs ask yourself how your going use the camera. If it's primarily for developing online albums, websites, and attachments then this camera is probably a bit of overkill. There's no reason you couldn't get buy fine with a 2.1 megapixel or even possibly a 1.3 megapixel camera and get nice results. If you are interested though in producing high-quality 8x10 photos then this is a product worth consideration.
Finally, if you do purchase this camera and take a lot of photos you might want to consider purchasing an extra memory card. A 16mb card will fill up fast, particularly if you choose to take some of the higher quality photos. Also, if you plan on experimenting with the quicktime movie features extra memory is almost a must. The camera is capable of supporting up to three-minute clips with audio. This however, must be done in the HQ setting or the quality is grainy. My point: HQ movies consumes alot of memory space.
Well, I hope this answers most of the questions about this camera. Send an e-mail if you have more. Happy shooting.