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Olympus C-5050 Zoom Review

January 2003 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production C-5050 Zoom

On August 19th (approximately a month before Photokina 2002) Olympus announced their new five megapixel, three times optical zoom prosumer level digital camera the C-5050 Zoom. This camera is one of the first to utilize a 1/1.8" (7.18 x 5.32 mm) 5 megapixel CCD sensor. Previous 5 megapixel sensors had been 2/3" (8.8 x 6.6 mm) in size. The advantage of the 1/1.8" size is that it is identical to previous three and four megapixel sensors and so certain components such as the lens system can be re-used without requiring any redesign. In the case of the C-5050 Zoom it uses the same three times F1.8 - F2.6 lens seen in the two megapixel C-2040 Zoom*, three megapixel C-3040 Zoom* and four megapixel C-4040 Zoom. For more information about sensor sizes click here.

* Now discontinued models

Olympus C-5050 Zoom vs. Olympus C-4040 Zoom (differences only)

Olympus C-5050 Zoom

Olympus C-4040 Zoom
Sensor 1/1.8" 5.2 million pixels total 1/1.8" 4.1 million pixels total
Effective pixels 5.0 million 4.0 million
Image formats RAW, TIFF, JPEG (EXIF 2.2) TIFF, JPEG (EXIF 1.1)
Image sizes 2560 x 1920, 2288 x 1712, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480 2272 x 1704, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Interpolated sizes 3200 x 2400 3200 x 2400
Digital zoom Up to 3.4x Up to 2.5x
Focus modes Normal, Macro, Super-macro Normal, Macro
Sensitivity Auto, ISO 64, 100, 200, 400 Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400
Scene modes Portrait, Sports, Landscape portrait, Landscape, Night None
My mode Eight memories None
Shutter speed 16 - 1/2000 sec 16 - 1/800 sec
Aperture range F1.8 - F8 / F2.6 - F8 F1.8 - F10 / F2.6 - F10
Histogram in record Yes No
White balance Auto, Fine, Cloudy, Shade, Evening Sun, Incandescent, Fluorescent (4 types), Custom (4 memories) Auto, Fine, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Custom
HQ Drive mode 1.7/3.3 fps up to 11/4 frames 2 fps up to 8 frames
External flash Hot-shoe Five pin sync terminal
Movie clips 320 x 240 - 15 fps, max 96 secs  
Audio Record / Playback Record only
LCD monitor 1.8" 114,000 pixels tilting 1.8" 114,000 pixels fixed
Storage SmartMedia, CompactFlash, xD SmartMedia
Jog dial Yes No
Custom button Yes No
Video output NTSC / PAL switchable Fixed by region
Dimensions 115 x 70 x 80 mm
(4.5 x 2.7 x 3.2 in)
110 x 76 x 70 mm
(4.33 x 2.99 x 2.75 in)
Weight (no batt) 380 g (13.4 oz) 320 g (11.3 oz)

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this review (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This review is Copyright 2003 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey.

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