Top of camera controls

Top of camera controls (click for larger image)Top of the camera is (front) the zoom lever (wide push left, tele pull right) which surrounds the shutter release button.

The zoom operated quickly (faster than other digicams) which can be an advantage in some circumstances and an annoyance in others (you tend to find yourself hunting back and forth trying to frame the image perfectly because it's zooming too quickly). A progressively quicker zoom action or something proportional to the amount you're moving the lever would have been better. In playback mode the zoom lever acts as thumbnail mode (W) and zoom in to image (T).

Below this is the main mode dial and power button, the mode dial switches the camera between SETUP/ext connection mode, Display (playback), Program, Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority.

Note the first ergonomic niggle here is that when you first start using the camera (or if you let someone else use it for the first time) you'll tend to accidentally press the power button instead of the shutter release, the two really should be more distinctive. That said all the top controls have a quality feel and a stiff notchyness to them (feels like a real camera!).

Note the lens only extends if the camera is powered-up in P, A or S and only retracts when powered off.

Rear of camera controls

Rear of camera controls (click for larger image)

On the rear of the camera are the remaining control buttons, just four, the LCD on/off button, menu button, jog wheel and OK button. At this point I must say I had a real problem with the jog wheel, it's too sloppy and too easy to accidentally push left or right when moving up or down a menu thus changing a camera option, often without realizing it. Anything would have been better than this.

Their functions are described below.

LCD on/off (display) / ERASE button:
This button simply toggles the display on or off in any of the record modes (P, A or S) and is used to erase images in playback mode.

Menu button :
In record mode (P, A or S) used to enter the record menu to setup various camera settings (such as flash modes, white balance, ISO etc.). In playback mode it enters the playback menu.
Quality selection:
OK button is used to confirm menu selections and deletions. It's also used to make menu selections (in record mode) permanent rather than only effecting the next shot.
Jog dial:
The little control which spoilt several images simply because it was too easy to accidentally rock this little control left and right whilst navigating the menus. Used to navigate and select menu options and to move around when zoomed in.

I personally am in favor of putting controls such as flash mode, macro mode, manual focus, ISO etc. on the "outside" of the camera, having to go into the menu each time to change options became a bit of a bind. Especially flash and macro modes. Too few buttons, sorry Olympus.

Record mode (P, A and S)

Screens below are captured from the LCD output.

Program mode (P)

Pressing the menu button displays the on screen camera settings menu, this menu uses icons to represent camera settings, you use the jog dial to move up and down and push the jog dial left and right to change options.

All of these menu options are described on the next page.

Program mode (P)

When leaving the record menu a brief display of current settings is flashed up on the LCD, in this case flash-off, sunlight white balance and HQ quality mode

Program mode (P)

In Program record mode (P) the only setting you can alter directly (by using the jog dial left and right) is exposure compensation (shown in this shot as 0.0).

Program mode (P)

After half-pressing the shutter release the camera locks auto focus and calculates the exposure which is displayed in the space where the dashes were. In this case F2.8 @ 1/100s.

Aperture Priority mode (A)

In this shot we have selected the aperture F4.5 (by using the jog dial up and down). The C2000Z does offer a good range of apertures all the way from F2.0/F2.8 to F11 giving the us good creative control over aperture (and therefore depth of field). Half-press the shutter release and the camera AF locks and calculates the correct exposure (shutter speed), if it's out of the cameras range the whole top line flashes in red.

Shutter Priority mode (S)

In this shot we have selected the shutter speed 1/15s, the camera stops you going below 1/2s unless you hold the OK button at the same time. Half-press the shutter release and the camera AF locks and calculates the correct exposure (aperture), if it's out of the cameras range the whole top line flashes in red.

Play mode

Switching to Play mode instantly reviews the last shot taken, you then have various options as described below (all other functions are within the menu described on the next page).

Turning to play mode after record mode (assuming "INFO" is switched on) the last shot taken is displayed overlaid with exposure information, this overlay disappears after about three seconds.

Battery status, DPOF info, Quality
Aperture, Shutter speed, Exposure comp.
White balance mode
ISO sensitivity
Date / Time
Folder / Filename

Pulling the zoom lever towards T (tele) zooms into the currently displayed image, you have four possible zoom levels available: 1.5x, 2.0x, 2.5x and 3.0x. Use the jog dial to scroll around the image whilst zoomed in.

Pushing the zoom lever towards W (wide) resets the view to 1.0x

Pushing the zoom lever towards W (wide) enters thumbnail view mode (either four, nine or sixteen thumbnails per page configurable through the setup menu).

Here we've protected two images by simply moving the selector (green border) over the image and pressing the shutter release button. This is a toggle, that means that it is used to set or clear the protection.

Protected image files cannot be deleted until they are unprotected and have the read-only bit set on the file system on the SmartMedia card.

Pressing the OK button (print mark) with an image selected allows you to select the number of copies of a particular image you want printing (used with compatible printers or software).

Note this operates exactly the same way in normal view mode.

Pressing the display / delete button displays this confirmation question, pressing OK deletes the current image.
Here's an example of 16 thumbnails view instead of the default 9, you can change this setting in the SETUP menu (described on the next page).
Pressing the menu button enters the playback menu, default action is to start a slideshow, all options are described on the next page.