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Top of camera controls

The top of the C-5050 Zoom features an array of buttons and controls, two to the left of the flash Hot-shoe and the rest on the right hand side. Although at first this layout may look a little busy it is actually easy to get used to and the extra buttons mean that you won't be diving into the menu system to make trivial settings changes. Most changes are made by holding a button and rolling the jog dial on the rear of the camera, just pressing the button displays the current setting.

Controls (Record mode)

W/T Zoom

The zoom lever surrounds the shutter release button. Push to the left to zoom towards wide angle (35 mm), to the right to zoom towards telephoto (105 mm). There are a total of 18 zoom steps between 35 to 105 mm (equiv.)
Focus mode

 • Auto Focus (normal)
 • Macro Focus
 • Manual Focus
 • Super Macro Focus (zoom locked)
 • Super Macro & Manual Focus (zoom locked)
Metering mode

 • ESP metering
 • Spot metering (AF target area)
 • Multi-metering (up to 8 different points)
Self-timer / Remote mode

 • Off
 • Self-timer (12 seconds)
 • Remote control

Custom button

The custom button can be programmed (via the SETUP menu) to control any one of the following settings:

 • Drive (default)
 • ISO sensitivity (Auto, ISO 64, 100, 200, 400)
 • My Mode (1 - 8)
 • Noise Reduction (On / Off)
 • Digital Zoom (On / Off)
 • Full-time AF (On / Off)
 • Audio record (On / Off)
 • Function (Off, B&W, Sepia, White board, Black board)
 • Image quality (HQ, SQ1, SQ2, RAW, TIFF, SHQ)
 • WB, Auto, Preset 1*, Preset 2*, Custom*
 • Scene mode (Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Night)
 • Sharpness (+/-5 levels)
 • Contrast (+/-5 levels)
 • Saturation (+/-5 levels)
* A sub-menu allows you to select further options

Controls (Play mode)

Thumbnail index

Pushing the zoom lever to the left in play mode switches to a thumbnail index view. By default this view shows 9 images (3 x 3) although you can change this to 4 (2 x 2) or 16 (4 x 4).
Magnify image

Pushing the zoom lever to the right in play mode magnifies the image (or steps out of thumbnail index view). The C-5050 Zoom has six magnification levels of 1.5x, 2.0x, 2.5x, 3.0x, 3.5x and 4.0x. Once magnified you can scroll around the image using the 4-way controller.
Protect

Pressing the protect button toggles the protection of the current image (on or off). Protecting an image sets the read-only flag on the storage media so that the image can not be accidentally deleted. This does not protect the image from a full media format.
Rotate

Pressing the rotate button rotates the displayed image through either 90 or 270 degrees. This rotation is then recorded in the file header and subsequent playback of the image will be in this orientation. Note that this option does not actually rotate the JPEG image data.

DPOF print mark

Enters print mark mode where you can mark images for printing on DPOF compatible equipment (such as kiosk print stations).

Camera Modes

Program Auto Exposure

This is the camera's "main shooting mode", the C-5050 Zoom doesn't have an Auto mode (not that it needs one) as 'P' provides all that and more. Unlike most other prosumer digital cameras the C-5050 Zoom doesn't provide a "program shift" or "flexible program" option where you can roll the jog dial and select equivalent exposures with different shutter speed / aperture combinations. I can't see this being a big issue to most photographers who would generally just switch to aperture priority to achieve a similar result.

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Aperture is displayed on the LCD monitor and top panel, roll the jog dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the aperture will appear in red along with an arrow indicating over or under exposure.

Available apertures:

Wide: F1.8, F2.0, F2.3, F2.6, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.0, F8.0
Tele: F2.6, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.0, F8.0

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD monitor and top panel, roll the jog dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the aperture will appear in red along with an arrow indicating over or under exposure.

Available shutter speeds:

4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000 sec

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above and shutter speeds up to 16 seconds in length. Roll jog dial to change shutter speed, hold the exposure compensation button and roll the jog dial to select aperture. The C-5050 Zoom provides an instant readout of the difference between the selected exposure and the camera's own metered exposure in the range +/- 3 EV.

Additional shutter speeds:

16, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5 sec

My Mode

My Mode is Olympus's implementation of user memories, from any of the PASM modes you can store the current settings to one of eight 'My Mode' memory banks. Switching to My Mode you can then recall these settings from one of the banks. Virtually every setting on the camera is stored in one of these memory banks including zoom position and selected exposure. Settings stored in each bank can also be edited via a menu. This provides the photographer with a wide range of options for quick access to regularly used "configurations", for example you could preset My Mode 2 for studio shooting, My Mode 3 for night exposures, etc. Very useful, very well implemented and Olympus should be commended for it. See below for list of My Mode stored settings.
Movie clip

The C-5050 Zoom provides two movie recording sizes of 320 x 240 (up to 96 seconds) and 160 x 120 (up to 424 seconds) both at 15 frames per second. Movies clips can be with (optical zoom locked) or without audio (optical zoom available).
Scene: Night Scene

Allows slower shutter speeds than would normally be available in 'P' exposure mode, also automatically enables noise reduction and selects larger apertures. Tripod recommended.
Scene: Landscape

Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background appear in focus). This mode also appears to adjust color balance to optimize blues and greens.
Scene: Landscape portrait

Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background. Designed to take photographs of a person standing in front of a landscape scene.
Scene: Sports

Selects fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring.
Scene: Portrait

Selects large apertures (low F numbers) to provide narrow depth of field, this creates the out of focus 'blurred' background effect which enhances portrait photographs.
Play mode

Displays the last image taken (or last image on storage media), play mode is described more fully later in this review.

My Mode stored settings

Exposure mode P, A, S, M, Portrait, Sports, Landscape portrait, Portrait, Landscape, Night
Aperture F1.8 - F8.0 *
Shutter Speed 16 or 4 - 1/1000 sec *
Exposure compen. +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Media xD/SM, CF
LCD Off, On
Zoom 35, 55, 80, 105 mm
Flash mode Auto, Red-eye reduction, On, Slow sync, Off
Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Metering mode ESP, Spot, Multi-metering
Self timer / Remote Off, Self-Timer, Remote
Focus mode AF, Macro, MF, Super Macro, MF Super Macro
Drive Single, High Speed Continuous, Continuous, AF Continuous, Bracket
ISO sensitivity Auto, ISO 64, 100, 200, 400
Flash In + Ext, In, Slave (1-10)
Slow sync Slow 1, Red-eye reduction Slow, Slow 2
Noise reduction Off, On
Digital zoom Off, On
Full-time AF Off, On
AF mode iESP, Spot
Audio record Off, On
Panorama Setup
2 in 1 Off, On
Function Off, B&W, Sepia, White Board, Black Board
Histogram Off, Exp Compen On, On
Image Quality HQ, SQ1, SQ2, RAW, TIFF, SHQ
White balance Auto, Preset 1**, Preset 2**, Custom**
WB fine tune Auto**, Preset 1**, Preset 2**, Custom**
Scene modes Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Night
Sharpness +/- 5 levels
Contrast +/- 5 levels
Saturation +/- 5 levels

* Availability depends on selected exposure mode
** Has sub-menu for additional options

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