The pop-up flash on the C-2500L performs well, with good range and a well measured output you can be confident that a flash shot will turn out well, colour balance is excellent (some of the best I've seen) combine that with the ability to add another flash on the hot-shoe and flash and studio photography should be seen as on of the C-2500L's strengths. Additionally you can add the FL-40 which is a dedicated external flash designed to be used with the C-2500L, unfortunately this wasn't made available for review.
(sample shots mistakenly shot @ 640 x 512, which won't affect this test which is supposed to represent flash output and colour balance)
The C-2500L supports three sensitivity settings, ISO100, ISO200 and ISO400. With each comes more noise, that's because when you increase the sensitivity of a CCD you're simply amplifying a weaker signal and all the electronic noise associated with that. In general I found the noise on the C-2500L to be certainly more noticeable than on other modern digicams and at ISO400 the image is very noisy.
|ISO100: 1/8s, F3.2||ISO200: 1/15s, F3.2||ISO400: 1/30s, F3.2
|ISO100: 2.0s, F5.6||ISO200: 1.0s, F5.6||ISO400: 1/2s, F5.6
Top sample was taken in normal light, the bottom was taken in a deliberately dark room (flash meter showed 2EV) each image (and increase in ISO) shows the progressive amount of noise.
Image quality modes
The C-2500L offers an interesting range of options for storage, you can start at the bottom end 640 x 512 SQ image then 1280 x 1024 SQ on up to 1712 x 1368 HQ, 1712 x 1368 SHQ JPEG (about 1.8MB) and the ultimate 1712 x 1368 SHQ TIFF (weighing in at a tidy 6.8MB). Below are 200% crops of the same scene shot at each of these modes to let you compare the difference. My current choice would be 1712 x 1368 SHQ JPEG.
|1712 x 1368 HQ JPEG
|1712 x 1368 SHQ JPEG
|1712 x 1368 SHQ TIFF
|1280 x 1024 SQ JPEG
|640 x 512 SQ JPEG
Disappointing, that's what I'd call the range of available apertures on the C-2500L. Basically you have two, wide open and "something else". At Wide angle you can choose between F2.8 or F5.6 and at full Tele you can choose between F3.9 or F7.8. That's it. Hmmm.
Most photographers use Aperture to control depth of field, either to make it more shallow (for example a portrait with blurred background) or deeper (for example shooting products or macros).
As you can see the image on the right (with smaller aperture) has more depth of field, though being limited as we are at this subject distance we couldn't ever pull that rear object completely into focus (we don't have the depth of field).
Olympus CAMEDIA C-2500L - Digital camera - SLR - 2.5 Mpix - optical zoom: 3 x...