Olympus AZ 330 Super Zoom

Front view Olympus AZ 330

Overview

The Olympus AZ-330 Super Zoom is a large 35mm film camera. Styled more like an old camcorder its once modern looks are neither iconic nor particularly practical. But it does have plenty of features and can create some great results. The 330 has a range of in-built features that are usually only found on higher-end SLR cameras of the time (such as double exposure mode).

Features

  • DX film coding ISO 25-3200
  • Automatic film load and rewind
  • Self-timer
  • ± 1.5EV exposure compensation (in 1/2 steps)
  • Center-weighted average or spot metering
  • Focusing range: 0.8 m — infinity (at 38 mm)
  • Aperture range F4.5 – F6
  • Flash: auto, red-eye and fill-in
  • Single shot, continuous drive (at 1.3 frames per second) or double exposure modes.
  • Passive or continuous subject-tracking auto-focus
  • User-controlled or continuous subject-tracking zoom
  • LCD display
  • IR Remote Control (on lens cap) with 1 or 3 second setting; the battery for this unit can be replaced, via the right-hand side. It uses 2x 123 camera batteries.

The Olympus AZ 330 Superzoom belongs to the Infinity AZ series and features a high-resolution 3x zoom lens with a range of up to 105 mm. The camera is probably the first lens shutter camera to be equipped with a viewfinder that also shows the correct view as the lens zoomed in, an innovation that earned it the European Camera of the Year award in 1988.

Olympus AZ 330 Gallery

Using the Olympus AZ 330

The Olympus AZ 330 uses CR123 batteries which are readily available online from amazon and eBay. The lens is a very good quality for a bridge camera and at the time would have been a good alternative to a more expensive SLR. Indeed, no doubt many more serious hobby photographers would have bought this camera to improve their skills and photography outcomes. The versatile zoom lens also provides cost and ease of use advantages over the equivalent focal length SLR.

It's a camera I want to like in terms of features, looks, handling and current costs. But I am not sure it will ever be a go-to camera for me because of its size. There are some great compacts out there that I can take anywhere and SLRs (especially of the same age) probably offer a better option – for example, the Olympus OM-4 (which in my view is underpriced in today's market compared to Olympus OM-1 and Olympus OM-10).

Where and how to buy an Olympus AZ 330 Camera

The Olympus AZ 330 and other models in the AZ range are readily available on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Etsy, charity shops, etc. It seems to be one of those cameras that people keep but equally don't value highly. Most of the examples I have seen have been described as working (this may be because a broken version is not worth anything).

As a camera that needs batteries, it is difficult to test and examples for sale will often be described as not tested. Look for cracks and make sure that the battery compartment and film mechanism are both clean. Naturally, take a look at the lens and if possible get one with a lens cap – not least for the fact that it can be used as a remote. As it is a bulky camera the purpose-built pouch/bag may also be a good add-on as finding another bag for it could be tricky.

Olympus AZ 330 cameras available through Etsy

Olympus AZ 330 Cameras available on Ebay

Instagram #olympusaz330

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