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Olympus C-40Zoom and PT- 012 case (2002-2004)

Why I chose this camera
After enjoying my first underwater camera (1.3Megapixels) it became apparent that with very few pixels you need care and luck to get a good picture as there is very little margin for error. I was very keen to keep my camera small and the C-40 was tiny whilst keeping most of the manual features of its bigger brother the C-4040. I guessed that the then new 5 Megapixel cameras weren't worth the premium at the time.

How much?
I bought the C-40 just as it was being replaced by the C-50, the street price was still 400 but luckily I found the Jessops Used Camera database. Using this website you can search the whole of Jessops' used stock. Cameras are often very lightly used and Jessops offer a grading system and include a 12 month guarantee. The Camera was as new with all accessories for 300 including 3 years of warranty.
I bought the case and an Epoque DS-150 strobe from Cameras Underwater (www.camerasunderwater.co.uk) for 200 and 150 respectively. They were very knowledgeable and helpful though I had been on the point of buying the case from the states when the phone call came through to say they had imported more stock direct from Japan.

Likes and dislikes
The C-40 was fast and reliable after its aged predecessor. The flash diffuser and the macro focussing were excellent for close work. Macro exposure was very well controlled and the easy to use full manual modes made use with a slave flash quite straightforward. The camera optics were surprisingly good for what looked like a tiny pinhole lens. The small, tough case never leaked although being so compact it did tend to steam up. The lever shutter was much easier to operate precisely than a plain push button. Although the display was smaller than average (only 1.5") it was bright and held up well under most conditions.
The chief con was short battery life with the batteries (2x AA) normally only lasting one dive and about 100-140 shots. This was a happy coincidence as the Smartmedia cards could hold only about 140 pictures and so often needed to be downloaded or swapped between dives. Another downside was that the program mode erred on the slow side as far as shutter speed was concerned, many pictures were spoilt by blue trails on shots that should have been fully flash lit, look for a camera with a sports mode as an easy fix for this if you don't want to battle with manual control all the time.

Specifications
Resolution: 4Megapixels (2272x1704)
Depth rating: 40m
Weight: about 600g in case - a small weight is included to stop the case floating
Lens: 38-105mm (Equivalent on 35mm film camera)

Accessories/Auxiliary Lenses
The case has a standard 1/4 Whitworth tripod mount for mounting flashes and lights. The lens port has a 46mm thread and there are lots of lenses available for this fit. Bear in mind it's a fine thread so fitting lens can be tricky with cold hands in thick gloves.

Breautiful detail in this near transparent Thai squid


Silhouettes are tricky, a helpful buddy is as important as a good camera


This cuttlefish was fascinated by the camera


The clear individual fingers of these plyps are spectacular


The C40 was so small it was easy to stow and manage during a dive


The small camera didn't alarm nosey fish either