Olympus has announced the C-180, a digital camera that makes a virtue out of having no interesting new features whatsoever.
If you stand on the bleeding edge of technology, turn yourself through 180 degrees and look into the far, far distance, you'll see a small silver rectangle on the horizon. That's the C-180, a 5-megapixel camera with no optical zoom, a 38mm (1.5-inch) LCD, 14MB of built-in memory and a slot for an xD picture card (not supplied). It appears to have a built-in flash, although Olympus doesn't consider it worth mentioning.
Olympus is pitching this as a 'one button, one function' camera. Since it doesn't have a lot of buttons, it doesn't have a lot of functions, although you do get seven scene modes and a movie function. You can also view the menus in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish), should you wish to take pictures in a foreign country. It runs off two AA batteries or one CRV-3 cell, so there's none of that tedious battery recharging.
The C-180 is barely more sophisticated than a disposable camera, but it does give you the convenience of digital, and it's expected to sell for around £130 when it reaches the shops in June. It'll be an ideal first camera for the half dozen people who've yet to experience digital photography. -ML