Olympus has stuck with the same boxy, mini-SLR design of its 3-megapixel C-3040 Zoom. The C-4040 Zoom isn't as sleek or compact as the upcoming 4-megapixel D-40 model, but this 14.9-ounce camera feels solid and comfortable in your hand.
We had no complaints about the C-4040 Zoom's ergonomics, but we were a little disappointed with the camera's LCD, which offers acceptable performance but has a few glitches. Not only did it update jerkily during motion capture and when we were changing subjects, but it also displayed interference when we were shooting very bright scenes.
The camera's streamlined menu system is definitely an improvement over those found on earlier Olympus high-end models, but it's still a little too much work to change image-quality settings; switch among Manual, Aperture-Priority, and Shutter-Priority modes; and use the self-timer. You can set up a shortcut to a menu item that you frequently access so that you can, for example, press a button and go directly to the resolution menu. However, that's just one shortcut.
While it sometimes takes a little digging to get to the camera's more advanced features, the C-4040 Zoom offers the wide range of features, including custom white balance and red/blue white-balance compensation, flash exposure compensation, spot and matrix metering, and automatic exposure bracketing. There's also a two-frame-per-second Burst mode, as well as a Movie mode that allows you to capture (at the highest-quality setting) up to 30 seconds' worth of low-resolution (320x240 pixels) QuickTime video on the included 16MB SmartMedia memory card.
Once you shoot your pictures, you'll have no trouble transferring them to your PC or Mac. That's because the C-4040 Zoom connects to your computer via a USB cable and appears on your system as a removable storage device. Camedia Master software (for image management and QuickTime playback) and Adobe Photoshop LE are included.