Oct 10 2021

Olympus View Zoom 120

Its easy to forget just how bad some viewfinders have been over the years so coming across the Olympus View Zoom 120 was a bit of a revelation. For a point and shoot camera it really does have a nice large viewfinder. That includes a +-2 diopter correction. Its also marketed as being smart. What smart is in this context is that it has bright projections in the viewfinder the most notable being a red cross hair at the center.

It also flashes a green shutter symbol at the moment of exposure in case you were not sure it had fired. These notifications are rounded out by the flash symbol when its use is suggested. Olympus had this to say about the viewfinder in 2000

The View Zoom 120 features a large, real-image viewfinder that uses three large prisms to deliver a viewfinder image that is approximately twice as large as the image seen in a conventional viewfinder. As a result, framing the subject is very easy. In addition, LED indicators for autofocus, shutter release, and flash readiness are superimposed on the field of view to make it easy to confirm shooting status.

It seems though that the entire R&D budget was spent on the viewfinder because the lens is a pedestrian 38-120mm f3.7-10.8 with 7 elements the front one appearing to forego any coatings. And even with all those elements (some of them aspherical) it still gives results that look like they came from a disposable camera. But who am I to say look how happy these people are with it.