Olympus C-5050 Zoom Review
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)
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.)
Auto Focus (normal)
Super Macro Focus (zoom locked)
Super Macro & Manual Focus (zoom locked)
Spot metering (AF target area)
Multi-metering (up to 8 different points)
|Self-timer / Remote
Self-timer (12 seconds)
Controls (Play mode)
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).
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.
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.
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
Program Auto Exposure
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure
Full Manual Exposure
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.
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.
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.
Selects fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring.
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.
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|
|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|
|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
|Louvre Museum pyramid by Didier Quan|
|Oka Frozen Leaf 2002 DP by MarioSS|
from The Dead Leaves of Winter