I was just now looking on the internet, and this model sounds like an excellent one. Has macro focus of down to about 7 1/2 inches. 4.1 megapixel and many other good-sounding features (to this dummy, anyway). Factory refurbished price I found was about $550. Anyone personally familiar with this model??
I had the 2040z, which is identical except for the megapixels. There are three things about the C-4040z camera you may or may not find frustrating:
1. The 3x zoom is pretty minimal (but it's also pretty standard for the majority of digicams in this price range)
2. You have to remember to take the lens cap off the camera before powering it up, otherwise the extending lens makes an awful grinding noise as it pushes the cap off for you, LOL
3. You can't use standard lenses or filters with it, but must instead rely on expensive extension tubes and step-up lenses if you decide you want more flexibility.
That said...If you can afford $550, I'd strongly suggest you get the Olympus C-2100uz. I got ours on eBay for $417 *including shipping* and it came with an extra 64mb SmartMedia card, 4 batteries, and a battery charger...And the RM-1 infared remote.
I realize it only has 2.11mp compared to the C-4040z, but when I thought about the kind of photography I do, I realized I never print things larger than 8x10", which the pictures taken with the C-2100uz does great. I figure, the way prices on cameras are plummeting, I'll just pick up a higher MP camera a year or two from now, and keep the C-2100uz for all its flexibility.
I'd be glad to give you the username of the man who sold it to us if you e-mail us. We trust him - his feedback is excellent and our camera arrived quickly with no problems whatsoever. :)
Owen - The one I got is factory refurbished. That's really the way to go with these digital cameras. You save hundreds, and the ones refurbished by Olympus have a 90-day warranty. With digital cameras, there's really not many moving parts to go bad, and many are not even defective in the first place, but just returned. Also, brand new cameras have not been rigorously tested like the refurbed ones have. Forgot to mention that! :)
All right, Owen! ;) You can get GREAT deals on SmartMedia cards at Memory Suppliers. Check these out: http://www.memorysuppliers.com/smartmedia1.html I've been using the Dane 128mb SmartMedia card for months now, and it works great. You can return items to them for 30 days and they will cover up to $4.95 to get the item(s) back to them.
There. Convinced again? ;)
Well, I like having the 128mb card because of movies and just because it's less switching around. I have a 128mb and a 64mb that came with the new camera. It can be nice to have two cards, though, because you can have one in the card reader and put a fresh one in the camera. But it's a toss-up, really.
You can hook your camera up to the computer via the USB cable, but unless you hook up an a/c adapter, that drains your batteries. The SmartMedia card readers are cool because you can use them as external storage devices (like a Zip drive). I'd spend the $15 for the card reader, myself.
About the pictures per card...It depends somewhat on your subject matter. A picture largely made up of a few colors does not take up as much space as one with complex colors and patterns. Likewise, B&W, Sepia Tone, Blackboard or Whiteboard photos take up much less space than color photos.
I get 90 on a 128mb card, and that's set at 1600x1200 with low compression (JPEG format). The camera will tell you the average number of pictures to expect the card to hold based on how you have it set and what size card you have in there.
I am really sold on this camera, so I guess it's easy to sell. :) You'll LOVE it.
Tim, the documentation says 64mb because that's all the higher Smartmedia cards went at the time it was printed. I called Olympus when I read about 128mb cards and the tech told me the cameras will accept any size Smartmedia and explained the timeliness of the documentation. :)