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Olympus C-50 Zoom

Olympus packs a 5.0-megapixel CCD into an ultra-compact body, with a host of advanced features too.

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Page 11:Video, Power, Software

Review First Posted: 11/26/2002

Video Out
The C-50 has a Video Out port for reviewing previously captured images and movies, or running slide shows from the camera. It also shows all of the LCD menu screens, as well as the preview display from the LCD viewfinder. (This last means that you could use a TV monitor as a "remote viewfinder" if you wanted to.) Combined with the included remote control, this feature turns the C-50 into a useful self-portrait tool. Through the Setup menu, you can set the Video Out signal to NTSC or PAL.

The C-50 is powered by a single LI-10B lithium battery pack, or by an optional AC adapter that can significantly extend battery life if you're doing a lot of downloads on the computer or working in a studio environment. As usual, I measured the C-50's power consumption in various operating modes, and translated the results into estimated minutes of runtime for each. (Based on the single 1090 mAh capacity lithium battery.)

Operating Mode
(@4.8 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(One 1090 mAh lithium cell)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
486 mA
Capture Mode, no LCD
127 mA
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
479 mA
Half-pressed w/o LCD
313 mA
Memory Write (transient)
503 mA
Flash Recharge (transient)
1,013 mA
Image Playback
275 mA

Battery life is a good bit better than average for a subcompact camera. In its worst-case power consumption mode, it offers more than an hour and a half of run time - Not long in terms of an all day shooting session, but better than average among compact cameras I've tested. The real bonus comes when you turn the LCD monitor off, which drastically reduces power drain, and increases run time to more than 6 hours. (!) In playback mode, a freshly-charged battery offers about 3 hours of operating time.

While these power consumption figures are better than average, I still highly recommend purchasing a second battery when you buy the camera, to charge up and hold in reserve as a spare. Murphy's Law applies in spades to digicam batteries, which always run out of juice at the worst possible moment.

Included Software
The C-50 comes with a nice complement of software on the supplied CD. Direct camera control and image downloading are provided by Olympus' Camedia Master software package (Version 4.0) for both Mac and Windows platforms (Macintosh OS 8.6-9.2/OS X, Windows 98/98SE/Me/2000 Pro/XP). USB drivers for both platforms and an Apple QuickTime reader are also included.

Camedia Master lets you download and organize images, as well as perform minor image correction and enhancement functions (such as adjusting contrast, sharpness, and color balance). For panoramic images, Camedia Master supplies a "stitching" utility to piece together shots vertically or horizontally. A complete printing utility works with the DPOF settings and allows you to print images directly to Olympus or other DPOF-compliant photo printers.

In the Box
The following items are included in the box:

  • C-50 Zoom digital camera.
  • 32MB xD-Picture Card.
  • One LI-10B lithium battery with charger.
  • USB cable.
  • Video cable.
  • Camedia Master 4.0 software CD-ROM.
  • Wrist strap.
  • Remote control.
  • User manuals and registration card.

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