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Olympus' Camedia C-5000 UltraZoom digital camera. Copyright © 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Olympus announces C-5000 Zoom (UPDATED)
(Friday, August 29, 2003 - 09:00 EDT)

Olympus has today announced its new C-5000 Zoom digital camera, an interesting-looking update to the C-4000 that adds a number of features in a smaller package.

Our apologies to readers who've seen this elsewhere already, and have been wondering why it hasn't been here. Olympus USA gave a specific time of 9AM Eastern for the announcement, but Olympus UK chose to go ahead at least five hours early - whilst we were asleep, naturally. Why does this kind of thing seem to happen on every announcement these days?

The most obvious change is a totally redesigned camera body that is 20% smaller than the C-4000 was, and is much more "organic" looking, with smoother flowing contours. Olympus tells us that the new design includes contouring for your thumb on the rear of the body that will allow the camera to be gripped and controlled with one hand. We unfortunately don't have any images of the rear body yet to show this, but if we can get anything will update this news item. An interface improvement has also been made alongside the body redesign - there's now a "quickview" button which takes you to playback mode, which was previously performed by double-pressing the monitor button (a feature some owners apparently weren't aware of).

There are numerous other updates, as well. A higher-resolution 5 megapixel CCD imager yields 2560 x 1920 pixel images, although the higher resolution comes at the cost of both burst depth (5 frames instead of 8, at 1.7 frames per second), and also of the ISO 400 rating of the previous camera - ISO 320 is now the maximum. There's an update to the 3x optical zoom lens, which still has a fairly bright F2.8 - 4.8 maximum aperture, but shifts the zoom range somewhat more telephoto. The LCD display still has a diagonal of 1.8 inches, but resolution has been boosted from 110,000 pixels to 134,000. A hot shoe has been added for external flash units such as Olympus' FL-20 that is roughly double the power of the built-in flash. The previous model's SmartMedia storage has, as you'd expect, been replaced by the newer xD-Picture Card format. Also, the AA batteries are gone, replaced by Li-10B Li-Ion rechargeable batteries as found in the Stylus cameras, with battery and charger being included in the camera bundle.

A few things appear to have been removed, as compared to the C-4000 Zoom, although we will be better able to confirm the specifics once we get a camera in to review. The specs no longer list a histogram, blackboard or whiteboard modes, or in-camera image cropping. Also, the sharpness, contrast and saturation adjustments that previously allowed +/- 5 steps now have +/- 2 steps.

When it goes on sale in October, the Olympus C-5000 Zoom will cost US$499 (street) - the same price the C-4000 launched at back in July 2002. MSRP pricing for the USA has been set at $599.95. Canadian readers will pay CAD$749.95, with an MSRP of CAD$1,049.00.

Olympus C-5000 Zoom
Olympus C-5000 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
CCD Imager 5.0MP effective
Lens Olympus aspherical glass 3x zoom lens 7.8 – 23.4mm (38mm – 114mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
Seamless Digital Zoom 12X (3x optical and 4x digital combined)
Aperture Range f2.8 / f4.8 – f8.0
Shutter Speeds 1/1000 sec. – 16 sec.
ISO Auto, 50 / 80 / 160 / 320
Recording Mode(s) Still image: EXIF 2.2 TIFF (non compressed), EXIF 2.2 JPEG, DCF (design rule for Camera File system), PIM2 (Print Image Matching), Movie mode: QuickTime Motion JPEG
Adjustable Resolutions
2560x1920, 2272x1704, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480
2272x1704, 2048x1536, 1600x1200
1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480
320 x 240 @15fps QuickTime Motion JPEG
160 x 120 @15fps QuickTime Motion JPEG
DPOF (Digital Print Order Form) Print Reserve, All print reservation, Date / Time
Image Effect Shooting Modes Sepia, Black and White
Image Edit Effects Resize (portable file size for E-mail or web), Rotation
Panorama Up to 10 frames stitchable with CAMEDIA Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture Card
Sequence 1.7 frames per second burst up to 5 frames in HQ mode
Viewfinder Optical real-image viewfinder with autofocus / backlight mark
LCD 1.8" low-temperature poly-silicon LCD (approximately 134,000 pixels) used for viewing, reviewing or editing images.
Focusing System Spot AF (contrast detection), Manual focusing by gauge
Focusing Ranges
Standard AF 19.7” – Infinity (0.5m – Infinity)
Macro Mode 7.9” – 19.7”(0.2m-0.5m), Super Macro Mode .1” (4cm)
Exposure Control Program Auto f2.8 – f8.0, 16 - 1/1,000 sec shutter speed, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual
Metering System Digital ESP Multi-Pattern Meter, Spot meter
White Balance System Full Auto TTL, One-Touch, Pre set Manual (Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent & Daylight)
Fine WB Adjustment -7 (red) +7(blue)
Sharpness Adjustment +/- 2 steps
Contrast Adjustment +/- 2 steps
Saturation Adjustment +/- 2 steps
Flash Built-in Flash, Plus hot shoe for optional FL-20 or FL-50, or sync to studio strobes
Flash Modes
Auto Flash for low and backlight
“Red-eye” Reduction Flash
Fill-in Flash
Slow Shutter Synchronized Flash (first curtain)
Slow Shutter Synchronized Flash (second curtain)
Slow Shutter Synchronized Flash (first curtain) w/red-eye reduction
Flash Off (built-in or external flash)
Flash Working Range Wide: 30" - 12.8' (0.7 m - 3.9 m), Tele: 8" – 7.5' (0.2 m – 2.3 m)
Flash Charging Time Approximately 7 seconds (at normal temperature with fully charged battery)
Removable Media Card
3V (3.3V) xD-Picture Card™ (16 - 512MB)
32MB card included.
Self-timer / Remote 12 second delay / 2 second delay (RM-2 wireless remote included)
Settings Memorization Reset or Hold certain camera settings after power on / power off
Outer Connectors miniB USB connector (Auto-Connect), Video Out, DC input, hot shoe external flash
Auto-Connect USB Compatible with Windows 98 rev2 / ME / 2000 Pro / XP; MacOS 8.6 - 9.01 / OS X
Image Playback Index display, up to 4X enlargement, Slide-show, Scene rotation
Operating Environment
Operation: 32 F –104F (0C – 40C) 30-90% Humidity
Storage: -4 F – 140F (-20C – 60C) 10-90% Humidity
Power Supply
Main Power Source:
Li-10B Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger included
AC Power: D-7AU 4.8 Volt AC adapter (optional)
Date / Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Calendar Automatic up to the year 2099
Size 4.1” W x 2.9” H x 1.8” D (105mm W x 74mm H x 46mm D)
Weight 8.5 oz (240 g.) without batteries and xD-Picture Card
More Photos
Olympus C-5000 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus C-5000 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus C-5000 Zoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.
©2003 Olympus America Inc.

UPDATED 2003-08-29 11:19ET: Image of the rear of the camera has been added to this news item.

Original Source Press Release:


5.0 Megapixel Camera Brings Increased Functionality and New Look to the Compact Digital Camera Category

Melville, NY, August 29, 2003 – Olympus America introduces the C-5000 Zoom digital camera with an innovative, bold design offering advanced functionality, 5.0 Megapixels, and a world-class Olympus 3x Optical Zoom lens (38mm – 114mm equivalent, f2.8/f4.8 – f8.0), for outstanding picture quality. This camera is the ideal photographic tool for digital enthusiasts looking for a compact, stylish camera with enough functionality to match their growing skills. With a unique ergonomic design, and a hot shoe for more flash options, the C-5000 Zoom provides great value in a compact form.

“The C-5000 Zoom is the successor to the best-selling camera in it’s class during the 2002 holiday season, the C-4000 Zoom,” said T. J. Dickson, Product Manager of Digital, Olympus America Inc. “The C-5000 Zoom has significant enhancements such as a 5.0 Megapixel CCD sensor for producing images of great size and clarity, a body that’s more than 20% smaller, and a hot shoe for adding more flash capability – something new for a camera of this caliber.”

The essence of the C-5000 Zoom is its versatility. With a hot shoe for adding an optional Olympus FL-50 or FL-20 Flash, an included Lithium-Ion battery and charger, and a wide range of other optional accessories such as an assortment of lenses, it is the perfect choice for the photographer who wants a complete camera system at a price that won’t break the bank. Developing photographers will appreciate the ease of use provided by Automatic and Scene Program modes, while the C-5000 Zoom’s full manual control offers advanced photographers a highly precise photographic tool.

The newest addition to the Olympus C-Series, the C-5000 Zoom has a striking look unlike any previous Olympus digital camera. Both elegant and ergonomically designed, its smooth, contoured body with an attractive silver finish is comfortable, lightweight and easy to work with, even during extensive shooting sessions.

Olympus photos are known worldwide for their exceptionally vibrant, sharp and super-realistic photo image quality. This quality comes from the latest optical technologies such as the C-5000 Zoom’s precision Olympus all-glass 38mm – 114mm equivalent lens, which is matched to a 5.0 Megapixel CCD. The C-5000Z’s Noise Reduction mode facilitates noise-free photos during long exposures. All together, these features allow users to produce consistently crisp, high-quality prints up to 11" x 14".

The C-5000 Zoom is extremely easy to use. Standard Program Auto mode allows photographers to take flawless pictures in typical situations using basic point-and-shoot techniques. Users can easily access six different Scene Program Modes with the mode dial, including settings for Landscape, Portrait, Night Scene and Sports photography. The “My Mode” feature allows users to create a separate user-customizable setting for even more creative options when shooting under specific conditions. The menu also features three shortcut buttons that save menu navigation time by letting the user assign the most frequently used menu categories to these three buttons.

The programmable “Custom Button” allows users to assign one button on the back of the camera for Auto Exposure Lock, variable Drive settings, different ISO ratings, and remote control operation. The Custom Button allows users to have immediate access to these specialized functions.

A dedicated “Quick View” button on the back of the camera allows users to instantly review their photographs, and then quickly return to shooting by pressing the shutter button. It is also possible to configure the camera to “sleep” after a set period of non-operation time. This helps to prolong the camera’s battery life.

For easy, software-free photo downloads, the C-5000 Zoom features Olympus’ USB Auto-Connect capabilities so images can be downloaded quickly and easily in all current Mac and Windows operating systems. The supplied CAMEDIA Master Editing software gives photographers all the basics they need to edit, print and share their photos.

Exciting Features for the Most Realistic Digital Images
Experienced photographers will appreciate the C-5000 Zoom manual settings with individual controls for aperture priority, shutter priority, and full manual operation with manual shutter speeds ranging from 16 to 1/1,000 of a second. Other advanced controls include: Selectable AF Point, moveable with the menu navigation arrow pad and Super Macro mode for photographing subjects as close as one inch. An External TTL Flash Terminal is provided for the FL-50 or FL-20 Flash or for syncing to studio strobes. Adjustable White Balance and One Touch White Balance provide maximum shooting versatility.

New C-5000 Zoom Key Features:

  • 5.0 Megapixel CCD
  • 3x Optical Zoom + 4x Digital for total 12x Seamless Zoom
  • Built in Hot Shoe flash design
  • Ability to add on lenses or filters - Threaded ring built into body around lens (adapter required)
  • New Compact Body
  • USB Auto-Connect for easy connectivity
  • Auto and Manual Controls + 6 Creative Scene Modes
  • TruePic™ Technology
  • Long Life Lithium-Ion Battery & Charger included

The C-5000 Zoom will be available October 2003 for an estimated street price of $499. It comes supplied with a 32MB xD-Picture Card™, Li-10B Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger, USB Computer Connection Cable, Video Cable, Carrying Strap / Lens Cap, RM-2 Wireless Remote Control, QuickStart Guide and Printed Basic Manual, and Limited Warranty Card. The included CD ROM contains CAMEDIA Master Editing software and User “Reference” manual.

Olympus Optical Co., Ltd with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing optical-digital product solutions for health care and consumer segments. The company leverages R&D investment in technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines that include:

  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders;
  • Minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical endoscopes;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes; and
  • Chemistry-immuno analyzers and lab automation systems.

In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus America Inc. serves health care, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial and other service offerings and is the leading brand in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company’s market-leading consumer camera products and services business spans North and South America. Olympus America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and parent company to develop state-of-the-art products and services that are innovative, intelligent, and easy to use. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

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