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Olympus C-5050 Zoom

Their best camera yet? - Olympus introduces a top-of-the-line five-megapixel model with noise reduction technology, optimum image enlargement, an improved interface, and support for three memory formats.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 01/09/2003

Five-megapixel sensor, delivering 2,560 x 1,920-pixel images
Accepts xD-Picture Card, SmartMedia, and CompactFlash memory card formats (!)
Fast (f/1.8-f/2.6) 3x optical zoom lens 
 Improved user interface with more external controls 
Standard hot shoe for easy connection to generic flash units, as well as dedicated Olympus models.

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Manufacturer Overview

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Over the past several years, Olympus has been one of the truly dominant players in the digicam marketplace. The company boasts one of the broadest digital camera lineups in the industry, with numerous models ranging from pure entry-level, point-and-shoot digicams to the incredible "near-professional" E-10 SLR. With the Camedia C-5050 Zoom, Olympus has improved upon the recent Camedia C-4040 model (an outstanding digicam in its own right), by increasing CCD resolution to five million pixels, increasing exposure options, adding a tilting LCD and external flash hot shoe, and significantly refining the user interface. Not the least among its accomplishments, the C-5050 Zoom supports no less than three recording media formats, including SmartMedia, CompactFlash, and the new xD-Picture Card. The C-5050 Zoom also features a RAW data mode, and the ability to extract JPEG images with adjusted image parameters from RAW files in the camera.

The Olympus C-5050 Zoom is one of the leaders in the new generation of five-megapixel "prosumer" digital cameras intended for the advanced amateur and professional market. Aggressively priced at just under $800 (at its introduction in late 2002), the Camedia 5050 delivers images measuring 2,560 x 1,920 pixels, which when combined with Olympus' new noise reduction technology and "optimum image enlargement" function, can produce quality prints as large as 16 x 20 inches.

High Points

  • 5.0-megapixel CCD delivering up to 2,560 x 1,920-pixel resolution images (3,200 x 2,400 pixels with Optimum Image Enlargement).
  • 1.8-inch, color LCD display that tilts 90 degrees upward.
  • Super Bright 3x, 7.1 - 21.3mm, f1.8 - f/8.0 zoom lens (equivalent to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • 3.4x Digital Zoom.
  • Manual, Auto (iESP), and Spot Auto Focus control, with AF assist light for low-light shooting.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2,000 to 16 seconds for still images; 1/10,000 to 1/30 second for movies.
  • Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus five preset Scene modes.
  • My Mode for saving custom user settings.
  • Spot, Multi-Spot, or ESP multi-patterned metering systems.
  • Auto Bracketing, Sequence Shooting, Panoramic, and "2-in-1" capture modes.
  • Adjustable White Balance with nine settings, plus a WB color adjustment function.
  • Built-in flash with four operating modes, two Slow Sync modes, and extended working range to 18 feet.
  • External flash hot-shoe accepts generic strobes as well as dedicated Olympus units.
  • Optional "single-pop" flash mode for use with external slave flash units.
  • Noise Reduction for improved image quality on long exposures.
  • Optional autofocus-assist illuminator.
  • Live histogram display option.
  • Image sharpness, saturation, and contrast adjustments.
  • Black-and-White, Sepia, White Board, and Black Board capture modes.
  • QuickTime Movie mode with sound, and Voice Caption mode.
  • Infrared remote control included.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, and RAW file formats.
  • Images saved to either SmartMedia, CompactFlash, or xD-Picture Card memory cards (32MB xD-Picture Card included).
  • USB Auto-Connect for fast image download.
  • Video cable for connecting to a television set.
  • Software CD with Olympus' Camedia Master 4.0 utility software (includes QuickTime and USB drivers).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility and print settings.
  • Power from four AA batteries, two CR-V3 battery packs, or optional AC adapter (set of NiMH rechargeable batteries and charger included).

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