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Olympus C-2100 Zoom

Wow! A superb 10X, optically stabilized zoom lens on a high-quality 2 megapixel camera!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 10/18/2000

* 1.92 megapixel resolution (2.1 megapixel CCD) for 1,600 x 1,200 pixel images
* Exceptional 10X optical zoom lens, with low optical distortion
* Optical stabilization for steady shots even at full zoom and lower light
* Excellent low-light capability
* Multiple exposure modes, including full manual

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Manufacturer Overview

As this article was written, Olympus already had one of the broadest digicam lines in the industry. In rapid succession though, they announced the C-2100 Ultra Zoom (the subject of this review), the E-100RS ultra high-speed digicam, and the E-10 four megapixel SLR. What we see in each of these cameras is a product developed to appeal to specific market segments, rather than being just another "general purpose" digicam.

As it's name suggests, the C-2100 Ultra Zoom is constructed around a very long-ratio 10X zoom lens. The long zoom ratio is impressive as it is, but we found the resulting pictures to be unusually free from distortion, something we didn't expect to find in a lens with this long a zoom ratio. (0.5% barrel distortion at the wide angle end, less than 0.1% pincushion at the telephoto end.) Olympus also incorporated a highly effective optical stabilization system into the Ultra Zoom's lens, which makes the 10X telephoto much more useful than it would be otherwise, permitting handheld exposures in surprisingly dim lighting conditions. Other photographic qualities are excellent as well. Bottom line, this could be the ideal camera (at least as of this writing, in October, 2000) for digital photographers with a strong interest in telephoto shooting.

High Points

  • 2.1 megapixel CCD delivering up to 1,600 x 1,200 pixel resolution images.
  • 1.8 inch, TFT (thin-film transistor), color LCD display.
  • 10X, 7-70mm lens (equivalent to a 38-380mm lens on a 35mm camera), with motion stabilizer.
  • 2.7X continuous digital telephoto.
  • 240-step manual focus option.
  • Aperture range from f/2.8 to f/8.0.
  • Shutter speed range from 1/800 to 16 seconds. (To 1/1150 in Program and Scene Program modes)
  • Exposure modes: Automatic, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, and Scene Program mode for specific shooting conditions.
  • Movie mode captures moving images up to 15 frames per second with sound.
  • Continuous shooting at up to two frames per second.
  • Built-in, popup flash with five operating modes: Auto Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In Flash, Slow Flash, and Flash Off.
  • External flash sync terminal.
  • Manually adjustable white balance with five settings: Auto, Overcast, Daylight, Tungsten Light, and Fluorescent.
  • Adjustable light sensitivity with 100, 200, and 400 ISO film speed equivalencies.
  • Auto bracketing and variable metering modes.
  • Images saved as JPEG or uncompressed TIFF files on SmartMedia card (8MB card included).
  • USB cable for linking the camera to a computer.
  • NTSC video cable for viewing images on a television set (PAL for European models).
  • Remote control for limited camera operation from a distance.
  • Powered by four NiMH rechargeable batteries, with battery charger included.
  • Full software package, including Olympus Camedia Master, and Adobe PhotoDeluxe, for Macintosh and Windows platforms.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

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