Olympus C-5050 Zoom Review
The C-5050 Zoom is powered by either four AA or two CR-V3 Lithium (non-rechargeable) batteries. It comes supplied with a set of excellent 1700 mAh NiMH batteries and a slow charger, these should provide plenty of life although I'd always recommend anyone to get an extra set. The battery compartment is located in the hand grip and is accessed via a door at the bottom, the door has a small flip switch locking mechanism so that you can't accidentally knock it open.
The C-5050 Zoom has two storage slots behind the storage compartment door (side of the hand grip). The first slot accepts either Type I or Type II Compact Flash cards including the IBM Microdrive (512 MB / 1 GB). The second slot accepts either SmartMedia or the new xD-Picture Card. xD-Picture Card is a new storage media introduced by Olympus and Fujifilm and is currently available in capacities up to 256 MB (with larger capacities promised). The C-5050 Zoom comes supplied with a 32 MB xD-Picture Card. It's good to see Olympus providing both forward and backward compatibility as well as support for Compact Flash.
Behind two plastic doors (with rubber hinges) on the right side of the camera are the three connection terminals. From top to bottom: A/V output, USB (1.1) and DC-IN. The camera is supplied with A/V and USB cables, the AC adapter for DC-IN power is an optional extra.
Because the C-5050 Zoom utilizes the new smaller 1/1.8" five megapixel sensor it can make use of the existing 35 - 105 mm F1.8 - F2.6 lens originally used on the C-2040 / C-3040 / C-4040 digital cameras. A bright and sharp lens with a good maximum aperture range it should be capable of delivering the full resolution back to the sensor.
What I didn't like was the motor system used to extend and zoom the lens it sounds very fragile and is quite noisy.
Base / Tripod Mount
Supplied with the camera is this Infrared remote control, it provides control over zoom and shutter release in record mode as well as browsing and magnification in playback mode.
Kudos to Olympus for continuing the inclusion of this useful accessory.
Internal Flash / Auto Focus illuminator
To the left of this image is the C-5050 Zoom's built in flash unit, it has a rated range of 5.6 m (18 ft) at wide angle and 3.8 m (12 ft) at telephoto (assumed to be at Auto ISO). Near to the right edge of this image you can see a small round LED, this is the AF illuminator which (if enabled) will automatically (below a certain light level) cast an orange light on the subject at the time of auto focus to assist the contrast detect auto focus system to get a good lock.
The C-5050 Zoom is the first Cx0x0 digital camera to feature a full flash Hot-shoe. This is designed to be used with Olympus's special FL-40 flash unit but can also be used to trigger third party flashes as well as studio lights via a PC Sync terminal adapter. It's a shame the camera didn't have a PC Sync terminal built into the connections area.
Supplied In the Box
The contents of the retail box are:
|CLA-1 Lens adapter
43 mm filter thread
55 mm filter thread
0.8x wide angle
|MCON-40 Macro lens *
Improves macro abilities
|TCON-14 Telephoto lens
|FL-40 External Flash
Comes supplied with hand-grip bracket
|PT-015 Underwater housing
Can be used at up to 40 m
|CSCH-07 Hard case||FDL-01 LCD monitor hood|
|C-7AC AC adapter|
* Requires Lens Adapter CLA-1