Olympus C5050z digital camera resource
data and user manuals
- The basic manual is available for download here.
- The complete reference manual can be downloaded here.
- The CCD used in the 5050 should be this
one manufactured by Sony:
- Chip size is 8.23mm x 6.68 mm; diagonal
is 9.04 mm (1/1.8")
- Pixel size is 2.78 x 2.78 micrometer
- Complete specifications are available here
- May 11th: Brief review
of the Olympus C5050 by digitalkamera.de (in German)
- Mar 20th: Digit.no, a Norwegian site,
published their own in-depth
review of the 5050. The review is excellent, but is written
- Mar 1st: see this interesting comparison
of the Olympus 5050 and Nikon 5700 digital cameras on the
- Jan 9th: Imaging Resource have released
of the Olympus C5050Z
- Jan. 1st: Megapixel.net have posted
of the 5050 - the most complete review so far.
- Dec. 20th: Jeff Keller has posted his
of the C-5050Z on his DCResource site.
- Dec. 16th: final review of the 5050
- Dec. 4th: Howard Creech posted his review
of the 5050 here.
Interesting to read, it doesn't however contain test results.
- Nov. 30th: see the Olympus 5050 site
of J. Andrzej
Wrotniak. It contains a detailed technical review, image
a noise test, a page about accessories, a memory cards speed test and
of field tables.
- See what other Olympus 5050 users have
written about the camera. Go to the users'
- Somebody wrote his own review
of the C5050 (one HTML page) and put it into the Internet together
with some test images. Page in German (English not available).
- See this brief reviewof
the 5050 done by PCWorld.
- Battery life comparison between C5050
and the G3 (by Davor
Petric, a journalist)
- Battery comparison: LCD monitor is constantly
on, flash is fired for each picture (not red-eye), program mode, solid
(but not perfect) sharpening targets, single AF, distance of targets
meters in a room lit with 60w bulb, zoom to other end position for each
shot, if possible AF assist light is off.
Results (note that the battery power
in Watts is the same for G3 and c-5050z with 4x1700 NiMh):
- Canon g3: 550-600 pictures with one
charge of well formed battery.
- Olympus c-5050z: 525 pics with quickly
charged (2h20min) Olympus 1700 NiMh batteries
- Olympus c-5050z: 700 pics with perfectly
charged Olympus 1700 NiMh batteries
- Olympus 5050 vs. Canon G2/G3 (comment
- I am by no means a photo expert, but
I have been following all of the discussions of noise, CA, aliasing
etc. In reading the Canon forum and looking at some of the G3 galleries
that have been posted, I must say that I cannot see any glaring
(5050 looks to be a little more 'noisy', but apparently the camera lets
you change sharpening setting).
I have also seen plenty of CA and
aliasing examples in the G3 shots too. I don't think the 'noise' is
of a concern for printing pictures even at large sizes, and I did
that some of the Canon shots had a more artificial look in certain
of the picture, sort of 'processed' looking even though straight from
So I am probably going to lean toward
the camera that seems to have even more 'cool' features, such as a
Macro mode and unlimited movie length (obviously limited by the media
- Battery life (the
brief report of a journalist who is reviewing the 5050):
- It happens that I have c-5050Zoom on
review. Therefore, I did the battery test and it was very boring - that
means that I finished the test before the camera get me the low battery
signal. So I stopped with 95 shots with flash and 120 without flash and
there was still energy in abundance. The camera was set on continuous
and I delete manually all 215 shots. All flashed shots were done with
assisted light. I believe that this is more then enough. And again, the
batteries were still there with lot of juice.
I used Olympus NiMH 1700mAh batteries.
Moreover, about the details: It
is really a PRO. I specially liked the live histogram. In addition,
PRO thing, it has F1.8 glass!!!!!!!
- Also see Bob Kaune's very
informative page on the Olympus C5050.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus
5050 user group
is simply a collection of links to Olympus 5050 samples posted by
5050 users. Some of the links below may no longer be active (most were
added at the end of 2002 or early 2003).
- Goddy published an interesting comparison
of images from the Olympus C5050, 2100 and E-10 (all images are
with EXIF data).
- See this interesting gallery
of 5050 samples by Mr. Charles Albrecht-Loyns. You'll find samples
in which saturation, contrast and sharpness are variated from -5 to +5
in 1-increments (useful to see the effects of these controls). In
there is a serie of samples in which the flash intensity control is
(-1.7 to +1.7 in 0.3-increments). There are also test images done with
the Olympus flash-film scanner and some samples with the Starblitz 1000
- Jan 13th: Liz Zoob created a gallery
of 5050 samples.
find indoor and outdoor images.
- A comparison of images from the Olympus
C-5050, Canon G3, Minolta D7Hi, F71, Fuji S602 and Nikon 5700 is
here (Japanese site):
- Dec. 10th: DCresource posted a gallery
of samples of the Olympus 5050
- Dec. 2nd: Henry Chiu uploaded
a gallery of 5050
to pbase. There are various images: some infrared, some of a baby, one
nightshot with remarkably low noise, some with FL-40 flash. His
"The camera has very impressive
near no light AF accuracy with the help of both AF assist lights
and in-flash). Live histogram is nice too. You can see even with my
moving little model, the focus performance is not bad (both iESP and
- Dec. 1st: Alexander Gruener posted
a gallery with macro
and supermacro samples of a watch. ISO values from 64 to 400 at
values -5, 0 and +5. Very interesting to see how ISO and sharpening
affect sharpness and noise. Full size samples available.
- Nov. 29th: Hiro put up a page
of samples on pbase; there are outdoor and indoor images at
sharpening levels (full size samples available)
- Nov 23rd: Kevin Atkins posted
a gallery of
Olympus 5050 images taken at different settings. Basically he varied
contrast and saturation. Very helpful to see how different settings
the image quality. Full size samples available.
- Nov 22nd: Hollie reorganised
C5050 samples gallery. The gallery now contains
- Nov 21st: Bob Kaune added more
samples and some interesting comments to his Olympus
- Nov 20th: Kane posted some night
shots (as well as two day shots). Full size originals available.
Comment: exposure times seem a bit
- Nov 19th: Manny Gomez posted
a comparison of Olympus 5050 and 3030 photos on his
site. No full size samples; images taken in a photo store.
- Nov 19th: Bob Kaune created a page
with very nice samples of the 5050. All images however are resized -
are no full size samples. Images taken at ISO64, contrast -2,
-5, saturation -2.
- Nov 17th: two C5050 images of a dog
- taken with ISO 400 and flash. By Joann Miller.
- Comment: the dog
photo is very sharp, even at 100%. Noise seems less of an issue,
if the image was taken with ISO 400.
- Nov 16th: more samples here
- photos by Dave
- Comment: noise seems less of an issue;
I'm impressed by the sharpness of the images (they are quite sharp even
at 100%) - seems like the aggressive in-camera sharpening is not so bad
- Nov 15th: samples with flash and/or
teleconverter available here.
Other samples with a Hoya HMC polariser filter available here.
All samples taken by Kane.
- Nov 15th: here is a comparison of images
taken with different in-camera sharpening settings. These samples were
taken by Tan and are hosted on his studioq.com
- It appears that the 5050 has a very
aggressive default in-camera sharpening, which increases noise. Just
the images with default sharpening with those with sharpening set to -5.
- Setting the camera to ISO64 and sharpening
-5 should produce clean, noise free images.
- There is some chromatic aberration,
but there are easy ways to get around this problem. Either shoot at F4
instead of F1.8 or see here for a
to remove CA after the fact.
- Some sample images are available here.
It's a site from Hong Kong and full size images are available (just
on the resized images)
- Shoot with in-camera sharpening turned
off (sharpening set to -5). This reduces substantially the noise in the
- I've settled down on auto white balance
as the default white balance for the 5050. It is not perfect and will
produce a slight pinkish colour cast, but is very usable is almost all
is a comparison of 4040 and 5050 automatic white balance
- The 5050 offers a number of automatic
exposure modes (portrait, landscape, sports, night etc.). For each mode
the Olympus C5050 has a different way of choosing aperture and exposure
- Alan Fleming performed a test to see
how the 5050 chooses aperture and exposure depending on the mode. The detailed
results are available.
- His conclusions:
- All of the modes indicated the same
"exposure value characteristics" in low light conditions - i.e. up to
1/50th at f1.8
- "Program - P" Mode, "Landscape +
Portrait" Mode, & "Landscape" Mode all display the same (or very
exposure evaluation characteristics - i.e. Maximum f1.8 aperture below
1/60th; at 1/60th go from f1.8 to f4 as quickly as possible; then hold
at f4 for shutter speeds above 1/60th up to 1/800th.
As expected these settings are
biased to smaller aperture for greater depth of field. The camera no
does other subtle things internally - which will probably vary from one
mode to another.
- "Portrait" Mode & "Sports" Mode
both display the same (or very similar) exposure evaluation
- i.e. Maximum aperture of f1.8 until 1/800th; then hold at 1/800th and
stop down the aperture. As expected these settings are biased to a
aperture + faster shutter speed for less depth of field (Portrait) and
to stop action / movement (Sports). Again the camera no doubt does
subtle things internally - which will probably vary from one mode to
and JPEG file size
- What follows are the results of a test
- Noise is measured with the standard
deviation in an image area with homogeneous colour (see the image to
- In the test noise and file size are
measured at different ISO and sharpening settings.
- I did the test with two scenes (results
on this page are shown only for one scene).
- The complete results are available here.
Noise vs. sharpening level and ISO
- Noise at ISO 64 is substantially lower
than at ISO 100, 200 and 400.
- Noise increases as the sharpening level
- In this test, at ISO 400 noise is surprisingly
lower than at ISO 200 for almost all sharpening levels. It is even
than noise at ISO 100 for sharpening levels greater than 0. Perhaps
is some kind of noise reduction mechanism which gets activated at ISO
but not at ISO 100 or 200. However this ISO400 noise reduction
is only applied in image areas which contain no detail and the noise in
the other parts of the image is not reduced. In other words it
makes sense to use ISO 100 and 200 - the ISO400 filter simply helps
the noise where it is most visible.
- Compared to an Olympus 2000, a 2MP camera
with larger pixels (4x4 micrometer vs. 2.8x2.8 for the 5050):
- at ISO 100 the 5050 has more noise at
all sharpening levels
- however at ISO 64 the 5050 has the same
noise level as the C2000 at ISO 100, if sharpening level is low (below
- at ISO 400 the 5050 has less noise than
- at ISO 200 the 5050 has more noise than
the C2000 at all sharpening levels except the lowest ones
- Concerning the file size:
- File size increases with increasing
ISO and sharpening level; for instance at ISO 64 and sharpening -3 the
file size for this particular image is 2120 KByte, while it is 3025
at ISO 400 and sharpening 0.
- Therefore you can save a lot of memory
space if you shoot at low ISO and sharpening levels.
test results are available.
- The C5050
vs. the C4040: I ran a test to compare the noise levels of the C4040
C5050 digital cameras.
Test details available here
RAW file format
- Give a try to Silkypix's
Developer Studio RAW converter.
Not free, but it is getting very good feedback from those who are using
it. It seems to be THE raw converter with virtually any control you can
imagine. Some feedback from Jerry Beggs:
- "I have tried the Silkypics
raw converter - it is the best I've found and importantly, it runs on
old pc's; I use Windows ME on a PIII 800 processor with 256mb
RAM. It works perfectly and is fast enough. Many of the new
RAW convertors like Pixmantecs Rawshooter Essentials and Phase One's
Capture will not run on less than 500mb RAM and Windows XP. "
- Give a try to the RAW converter
from Pixmantec (RawShooter Essentials - free so far), which has
received very positive reviews.
- Another Free program that can view RAW is Picasa2 available from www.picasa.com
- See this comparison
of RAW vs SHQ JPEG. It will give you an idea of what can be achieved
- The XNVIEW
program allows you to view and convert Olympus 5050 RAW images
- thanks to Gordon Bakker for informing me about this).
- I assume that you know that Adobe created
a powerful RAW plugin compatible with 5050 .orf files for Photoshop 7.
Note: you'll have to upgrade to Photoshop 7.0.1 before being able to
- Karl Johnson created this page
RAW, TIFF, SHQ and HQ images. For RAW conversion he used the Adobe
RAW plugin. Comments:
- Interestingly HQ is more smooth than
- (The output of Adobe PS) RAW is smoothest
and contains the least noise, but also less detail compared to SHQ.
- A RAW converting program for Linux is
- With the Camedia Master 4.03 that comes
with the 5050 you can browse, open, and save the 5050 .ORF RAW file as
an Exif TIFF (8 bit). You can set saturation, contrast and sharpening
software is able to open the TIFF and read the Exif header.
- Photoshop plugin: this
plugin works with Photoshop 7.0:
- "I tried the new photoshop plug-in
and it worked OK for me with a RAW .ORF from my 5050. One thing to note
is that you must unzip the ORFImport.8ba file to the photoshop plugins
folder (normally C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\Plug-Ins). Then
must use Import, not Open, to convert the file. It opens the file in 16
bit mode." (Doug Haluza)
- "You can import 16 bit Olympus 5050
RAW files either unprocessed, with a white balance adjustment or with
auto-correction. For the white balance adjustment you can specify a
in the image. There isn't more information, no help." (from a
poster in a German newsgroup)
- More links to information on RAW format:
- Card speed tests
- Jens Birch organised a memory card speed
test for CF and other memory cards. Here are some results (time needed
to write a RAW image (7.3 MB) to the memory card:
||Write time (sec)
- Comment: since a 30x card is not faster
than a 12x card, the bottleneck is the 5050 which apparently is not
to write faster than 1.7MB/s to the card, no matter how fast the card
- The complete results of the memory
card speed test are available here.
- J. Andrzej Wrotniak tested the write
speed of different CF, Smartmedia and xD memory cards in the 5050. He
the time required to write a RAW file to the memory card. The complete
results are available
- Also see the CF
speed test of Rob Galbraith.
- See also the threads on this topic ("Great
Difference in Compact Flash Cards with 5050") in the Olympus
5050 user group
- Compatibility issues
- Beware of CF cards, especially if the
firmware of your camera is v77 or older. There have been lot of cases,
in which people reported total loss of images and frozen 5050.
- See here for a table
showing the compatibility of different CF cards and the 5050.
- I bought a Transcend 30x 512MB CF card
and my 5050 has firmware version v77. The card froze the camera a
of times and in a couple of times the card became unreadable. To be
to use it again I had to reformat it.
Note: a user reported no problems
with a Transcend 512Mb and a 5050 with firmware v76.
- To avoid
compatibility issues use either
Smartmedia or xD cards.
- Enabling the Panorama function on
non-Olympus Smartmedia cards
- The firmware of the Olympus 5050 (and
this holds for all Olympus cameras since at least the C2000 which was
in 1999) can be upgraded by the user.
- The procedure is very simple:
- First of all you need the firmware file.
The firmware files are not available for download in the Internet -
only Olympus has them.
The latest firmware is v83. (This firmware is only available from
Olympus - you'll have to send the camera to Olympus for servicing to
get the new firmware. It probably won't be worth the effort however.)
- Take an xD or Smartmedia memory card
and format it in the camera.
- Create a "firmware" directory in the
root directory of the card (the one containing the DCIM directory).
- Rename the firmware file to "firmware.bin"
and copy it to the firmware directory in the memory card.
- Set the camera into playback mode and
insert the memory card.
- Switch on the camera.
- A menu will appear, showing the current
firmware version and giving you two menu options ("yes" and "no").
- If you choose "yes" (use the arrow buttons)
the camera will update the firmware.
- IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT THE BATTERIES
ARE FULLY CHARGED OR USE AN A/C ADAPTER. If the camera loses the power
during the flash operation, you'll have to send the camera to Olympus
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus
5050 user group
- Jens Birch tested chromatic aberrations
and depth of field with close-up lenses (diopters) and super-macro.
- Jens Birch built a TTL ring flash with plastic, screws and optic
fiber cable. See here for more
- Alexander Gruener performed a test with
the C5050 and posted macro and supermacro samples here.
The (full size) images were taken at ISO settings ranging from 64 to
and sharpening -5, 0 and +5.
- The pictures have been all taken
in program mode. The differences of the pictures are just the ISO
(64, 100, 200, 400) and the sharpening levels (-5, 0 , +5). So the
picture series are 12 pictures. Click on an image and you will get the
full original size (HQ) incl. EXIF header (about 1 MB each).
The second test was free hand.
So the pictures are not focused to exactly the same point. You can see
three pictures with super macro and different sharpening levels from -5
to +5. I did the photos at home. I photographed my watch (Omega
Professional) from the back. There is glass on the back so there might
be some problems with the focus. So far I am quit satisfied.
are sharpely focused in all sharpening settings. With increasing ISO
noise level gets bigger as expected. However the noise is relatively
even at ISO 400. The shapening setting -5 does indeed reduce the noise
level, but also reduces image sharpness. It's is up to you what
setting you want to choose. Personally I found sharpening 0 to be the
- In Supermacro
mode the depth of field is extremely shallow. In subjects which are not
flat only a small part is properly focused, the rest is more or less
of focus. The focused part shows more detail which you would normally
- Supermacro vs. diopter (macro lens):
in supermacro mode the 5050 will produce pictures with some barrel
To avoid this, use a diopter lens (macro lens). See the test
of Charles Dilks.
aberrations / Purple fringing
- See "How to deal with chromatic
aberrations" by Philipp Sanke. Philipp describes a number of ways
to avoid or remove chromatic aberrations.
- To remove chromatic aberrations with
an image editor:
- It is very simple to remove chromatic
aberrations from an image. Simply use a photo editor and set the
level of magenta (also green where this makes sense) to the minimum. In
some images you might have to set the saturation level of red to the
It might also make sense to limit the processing to the affected area
select the affected image area and only process that).
filter and other filters
- A polariser filter helps to obtain deep
blue skies and to remove unwanted reflections. Consider the following
(both images taken with the polariser filter):
Perhentian island image
Same image with polariser rotated
by 90 degrees
- See the difference ? In the picture
to the right, the polariser filter substantially reduced the amount of
light reflected by the water surface making the sea ground more visible
and made the sky more dark.
- Polariser filters are also useful when
the lower part of the image is dark and the top (the sky) too bright.
- To connect a filter to the 5050 you'll
need an adapter. I'm using a CLA-1 adapter tube 41 - 43mm from Olympus
(other adpters are the Tiffen one for instance):
- It is possible to directly mount a 43mm
filter onto the CLA-1 adapter, but not any filter. Some users have
that the lens crashed into their filter. Personally I'm using a 43mm
filter from Hama without any problems (no lens crash, no vignetting).
- You can use step-up ring and connect
a filter with a larger diameter, but keep in mind that the larger the
is, the more you obstruct the viewfinder.
- Have a look at Darwin
Wigget's page on filters for further information on polariser,
blue-yellow polariser, graduated neutral density and other filters
- See also Jeremy
McCreary's page on filters
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus
5050 user group
photography with the Olympus 5050
- Generally speaking the Olympus 5050
is less sensitive to infrared radiation than the Olympus 2000. As you
see in the following images the infrared LED of the camera remote
is much brighter in the Olympus 2000 image. Probably there is an
filter in the 5050, as silicon CCDs in general are quite sensitive to
Oly 5050 photo of the remote control
(no infrared filter used)
Oly 2000 photo
(no infrared filter used)
- Here is an image taken by Henry Chiu:
- Henry Chiu's comments:
- "... put on the Hoya R72, knowing
the IR sensitivity shouldn't be as impressive as the old 2MP CCD, but
anyway. After PS7 auto level, auto contrast, and auto color, the result
came out to be presentable.
Camera setting: F1.8, 1/2s, ISO64,
Spot metering, aperture priority, 0 EV compensation."
- The site Infrared
photography with your digital camera contains interesting
about infrared photography with Olympus cameras and an overview of
filters with their spectral characteristics.
- See this gallery
with infrared images taken with a 5050 by Bob Hesse.
- These sites contain useful information about infrared photography
with digital cameras:
Digital infrared photography - site devoted to digital infrared
photography with image galleries, information about filters and
equipment and links.
Infrared Photography page
- excellent information resource devoted to infrared photography with
Olympus cameras. Information about infrared filters, exposure settings,
focus, post-processing, sample images and links.
- Also see the Infrared
photography page of the Apogee magazine: this is an interesting
general introduction to infrared photography with digital cameras.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus
5050 user group
- A comparison of the B-300 vs. the TCON-17
teleconverter is available here
(test images with an Oly 2100 however).
- Some comments of Olympus 5050 users:
DCF FE180Pro Fisheye lens
- Needs raynox adapter 41-52
- Incredibly large and bulky for
a lens. Heavier than the camera. I built a crude holder for camera +
so I don't have to worry about breaking the threads.
- Quite noticeable blurring towards
the edges, but sharp in center.
- I would therefore not recommended
it for large print purposes.
- I use it only in SQ1 resoultions
(<=1280)), when edge-blurring is not very noticeable. (For 360
- At full wide, vignetting is visible
in corners. There is a considerable offset from center (see example
at raynox). I assume the sensor chip is misaligned inside the C5050,
to the lens threads..? (Anyone else noticed such alignement problem?)
such misalignment on other cameras.
- See some test images here
Olympus 5050 users group
- Olympus TCON-14
Brief description: 1.4 x magnification
Picture quality: Superior to
using digital zoom for the same magnification (less noise).
Image sharpness: 2 samples in
JP folder of photos
section of group (pictures 5 and 6).
Level of chromatic aberration (if
the lens increases it): did not notice any significant increase
Vignetting: normal zoom must
be at maximum else vignetting visible.
How satisfied: Pretty satisfied
but would like more magnification - intend to buy one of the new Eagle
Eye zooms when available
By John Patston,
Olympus 5050 users group
quality...I discern no difference in image quality with lens on.
between approx. 85mm and 105mm
quite long enough, but it comes in handy when I need that little extra
reach (but then I'm not a real long lens addict...the longest lens I
for my 35mm is a 200mm).
mount is a little tenuous...it is with 2 snaps on the side of the
always worrying about it falling off.
- Olympus TCON-17
Brief description: 1.7 x magnification
Kevin Venator has a test with the TCON-17 on his
- Olympus C-210 1.9x teleconverter
(with a Raynox adapter) I'm not
real trilled tho, I knew there would be vignetting, I've looked at test
pics, and it seemed little enough. I think I'm seeing more tho,
biggest effect is in the bottom left corner, a little less on the top
least on the top right, and some on the bottom right. The weird
is that it seems to vary, some pics were really apparent, some not so
Daylight was on it's way out, but I did try a few using different
- multi, spot and esp. I thought at first that might be it, but
did seem random.
Chris E, Olympus
5050 users group
- EagleEye 5x teleconverter
OK but not real happy, some tests
I'm hoping the new CrystalVue
LX Lens from www.ckcpower.com will be better. They should have test
in a few weeks.
Olympus 5050 users group
- Raynox DCR-1850 Pro teleconverter
I have now compiled my tests
of the Raynox DCR-1850 Pro teleconverter on a C5050. I compared it with
another cheap teleconverter, digital zoom, and going closer to the
using the original lens at full zoom.
Olympus 5050 users group
- Olympus WCON 08-E Wide Conversion
I have a Olympus .8 X wide angle
which works great, but only at 28mm. I've been looking for a good lens
in the 18-20mm range. So far I have not found one that doesn't have
I have a Tiffen .56X (need step down ring to 37mm to attach). It
at wide open position. You need to zoom to approximately 28mm to
only fair to OK...lots of image distortion (fuzziness, fringing,
etc) except in the center of the image. I still use it when I really
to, especially on images where image detail isn't that important or I
going to use distortion. Sometimes I'll convert these images to
add grain and noise to get a high-speed B&W look.
not of any import, since I want the wide end of the scale. No
at the 35mm end of the scale. I have never even tried to zoom with this
to find a WA auxillary lens that had much better quality than this
that or maybe Oly will make a 50x0 with a 24-70 or 28-85 version (sort
of like the Nikon 5000 compared to the 5700)
- Nikon WC-E68 wide angle lens
- See the samples
taken with the Nikon WC-E68 and a 43-46 step up ring by Paul
Barker. Page with 40 images, 300x400 pixel size, no high resolution
- Here is a report by Ali Boyacioglu:
I have finally bought a WC-E68
for my C-5050. The 0.68 multiplier makes the C-5050 lens at wide open
a 23.8mm equivalent in 35mm format.
First, a few words about the
WC-E68 wide angle converter: I'm absolutely in love with this piece of
equipment. It's very well
built. The Nikon supplied case
is of good quality. The rear lens cover is screwed to the rear thread.
The front cover cannot be screwed or held via clips, hence can get
lost. I will have to think of something not to loose it.
The size and weight of the lens
is superb. I haven't seen any wide angle converter as small as
WC-E68 yet. This makes it easy to carry in a bag, and attached to the
Compared to an WCON-08 which
I also had owned, the WC-E68 has 6.6cm lens diameter whereas the
has 10cm. It's really a lot smaller then the WCON-08 and probably also
the new WCON-07. WCON-08 is a lot of glass and weights accordingly.
I had thought of two ways attaching
the WC-E68 to the Oly C-5050. Once with the standard Oly CLA-1 lens
and a 43mm to 46mm step-up ring, and once with the Raynox 41mm to 52mm
lens adapter and a coplanar 52mm to 46mm step-down ring. I could not
the latter one, because I couldn't find the Raynox adapter yet.
Attached with the CLA-1 and the
43-46mm step-up ring there is practically no vignetting. On a couple of
pics I could detect a very slight amount of vignetting in the corners.
But, as I said only slightly, hence it's not a deal breaker at all.
The Oly lens at wide open requires
for the correction of the barrel distortion, the PS Spherize filter set
to -6%. I haven't tested yet with an appropriate target, but Spherize
to -13% seem to work with the zoom at wide open and the WC-E68 attached
at same time. The WC-E68 seem to add a considerable amount of barrel
but a lot better than I had expected.
The quality of the pics are so
far OK. I have only shot a few JPEGs. I will have to make dedicated
shots when we have the sun shining again. So far I can only comment
the shots with the lens seem a little more flat in colors, and seem to
cause a little more noise, because maybe the processor is tricked by
WC-E68's flatter response. I will do a lot more tests, shot in RAW
and converted with Adobe Camera RAW. I could post them here if there
be any interest.
All in all, the WC-E68 is a very
good built lens in terms of quality and size. It's a keeper, kudos to
Olympus 5050 users group
- August 03: I bougth a Metz
32 MZ 3 external flash (guide number 37 in tele, 32 in wide angle).
This external flash unit offers everyting the more expensive FL-40 has
(TTL mode, manual mode, tiltable flash lamp for bouncing, AF
motorised zoom etc.) at a substantially lower price (145 Euro including
the SCA 3202 Olympus digital adapter).
- Other flash units would be for instance
the Metz 54 MZ3, the Olympus FL20 (no bouncing) and the more powerful
- See Michael Meissner's excellent page
Flash Support. It contains an overview of external flash units
can be used with the 5050 (as well as with other Olympus digital
- Maximum allowable flash trigger voltage
across the 5050 hotshoe (by Dave Grant)
- "I intend to use the 5050 with studio
strobe units and was concerned about damaging the camera with
high trigger voltages. This is the answer I got back from Olympus:
- "The C-5050 incorporates a voltage filter
to guard against voltage spikes when using external flashes or
You should be able to use the strobes with no worries about the trigger
the Olympus 5050 with a computer
- Try these software
packages (they work with the Olympus 4040 and possibly also with
- Thanks to Peter Huebner for reporting
that Pine Tree Camera
Controller works with the 5050:
- "I installed the Pinetree Camera Controller
on my PC. Open Media door on the camera, turn on, press OK/Menu button
and QuickView button simultaneously for a few seconds, a menu pops up
the LCD screen - put camera in to control mode. Close Media door, plug
in USB cable and fire up the software (the software won't work if the
is not in control mode!). First time round the software asks you to
the camera, they then engage in a lengthy dialogue (I felt quite left
and then it simply works! I found the software had set my camera to
like 640x400 resolution - and the next time I went to use it in the
it was still in that resolution, and I didn't notice until later!
- Cam2Com: see this information.
- Akond.ru are developing a
software for camera control. It's not free, but you might give it a try.
- August 03: I just bought a Vosonic
X's Drive 2. Without HD (I had one already) the price was below 100
Euro. This thing comes with a fast USB2 interface and will read
CF I and II, Memory sticks and SD/MMC cards. As far as I know this
storage device is currently the lowest cost device available. Quality
performance are good.
- Update 09.06.03: new portable storage
devices (do a Google search to find the manufacturers' sites):
- the Archos Multimedia Jukebox w/photo
attachment 20 gb - also plays mp3s. Costs more.
- SuperDigibin - includes ac charger /
car charger - 30 gb
- Disc Steno - burn cds from flash card
Vizor - burns cds from flash cards, spans discs for large cards,
- Tripper - similar to digibin
- Flashtrax from smartdisk (not out yet)
- 2.5 inch lcd, plays mp3s, image playback on device, costs more.
DigiMagic: burns CDs directly from the memory card (but how do you
know that the burning process was successful? ...)
- When travelling I use a Toshiba subnotebook
(P1 133MHz with 64 MB RAM) to store, catalog and process the
There are also portable storage devices, but the advantage of the
is that all image processing (i.e. deleting bad ones, sorting them
can be done while travelling. That's especially relevant on long trips.
The disadvantage is that a subnotebook is bulkier and heavier than a
- Portable storage devices:
Wallet - a portable HD with a card reader with 3 - 20 GB capacity
- a portable HD with a card reader with up to 40 GB capacity
- same as Digital Wallet, ImageTank etc. but has a small colour LCD
to view the pictures - up to 20 GB capacity
Image Tank review has a comparison of these different
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus
5050 user group
bag I'm using
|I'm reusing the bag I used for the
4040 (as most other accessories I used with the 4040). It's a
compact bag from Cullmann (next to it a CD to get an idea of the size).
The bag can also be carried with a belt.
||The inside of the bag with the 5050
with CLA1, polariser filter and lense cover; next to it a transparent
container (originally this was the container of the polariser filter)
which I put the Smartmedia cards. The smaller side bag (with a zip)
two sets of spare batteries, the remote control, a lens cleaning stick
and a tiny tripod.
page contains information about how to set up an Olympus 5050 for
underwater use. Very interesting, very detailed.
- These pages contain photo galleries:
see the photo
gallery 1 (photos taken with an internal strobe) and the photo
gallery 2 (taken with an external flash)
- Olympus has developed a new underwater
housing for the 5050. It's the PT-015
and it is rated up to 40 meters depth. The PT-010 can't be used.
- A review of the PT-015 is now available here.
- The site Digideep.com
is an online directory for digital underwater photography.
- Joshua Boger reported that Ikelite is
creating an underwater
housing for the Olympus C5050 (available in Jan 2003).
- Interesting forum for underwater photography: DigitalDiver.net
- Also see the Wetpixel.com
forum for underwater digital photography
recovery / Smartmedia problems
- Convar's PC
Inspector Smart Recovery tool now supports JPEG, TIFF and RAW.
- highly recommended.
- Check this site: Digital
Christian Grau has some software
tools to fix damaged Smartmedia cards. The software used to be free,
also has a software tool (Photorescue) for repairing damaged Smartmedia
cards, although it's not free.
- Also have a look at PC Inspector's File
Recovery. It's free.
by Kurt Stege, is a free tool to recover deleted images from a memory
is another tool. Price is $39.95.
- The picture files of the Olympus 5050
contain the complete exposure information (aperture, exposure time,
length, white balance and so on).
- This data is usually lost when you edit
the pictures; but some modern image editing software packages keep the
data intact when saving the processed intact.
- To read this data you can use these
by Ryuuji Yoshimoto. Haven't tried the software myself, but it looks
Image Viewer, by Michal Kowalski. This is the one I'm using.
from his homepage:
"EXIF viewer is a simple image
viewer application for photos taken with digital cameras. It's capable
of reading EXIF information embedded in photos as well as little
Because small thumbnail is already present in most photos displaying it
is really fast.
EXIF viewer can also provide
detailed information about photos (shutter speed, aperture, etc.) and
list them for comparison purposes.
EXIF viewer also displays image
histogram. It also features copying/moving and deleting of selected
Single photograph can be displayed in separate window or in a full
by Friedemann Schmidt. I'm using this one too. It can rewrite EXIF data
to images which lost it due to processing with a software package which
doesn't support EXIF. Quoting from his site:
"Exifer is a nearly free software
(you only should send me a postcard if you're using Exifer frequently)
with which you can manage the metadata (EXIF/IPTC) of pictures taken by
digital cameras. Because many image processing software destroys this
when saving such files, the idea was to create a backup of the metadata
before editing it in any software, and then, after that to restore it
into the processed file. With Exifer you can do this very easily. "
Replacing the mode dial on an Olympus 5050
- The mode dial is on of the most fragile parts of an Olympus 5050.
If it breaks, expect an expensive repair bill by Olympus.
- Steve Newcomb did it himself. He ordered the mode dial part,
disassembled the camera and inserted it himself.
- The complete procedure is described here.
- More photos about how to repair the mode dial are available here.
with the Olympus 5050
- See Alexander
Gruener's test: he used a 5050 to take photos of the M45 starfield
with different ISO and sharpness settings (ISO 64 .. 400, sharpness -5
- Astrophotography users's group here
may be also a good source.
- And last but not least this
site has enough links and information to keep you plugged for
What follows is a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) compiled by
Jens Birch, based on questions asked in the Olympus 5050
Q: Can I update the Firmware? Will it improve the timelag between
pressing the button and exposure?
A: Olympus never released any official firmware for the C5050 and they
claim that you can't do it yourself. Also, there are no observed
improvements for the user with the higher versions firmware. However,
there is a 'Pirate' copy of firmware v.82 and do-it-yourself
instructions available at: http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/c5050/
Q: Can I use a linear polarizer with my camera?
A: Yes. You can use either linear or circular polarizers. Circular ones
are needed for most autofocus SLR cameras (not the Olympus E-10 and
Q: How can I avoid the annoying beeping sound when turning ON by
A: Turn mode dial to GREEN ARROW...it works every time! You can also
use a sufficiently long lens tube (does not work for the 8080 without
Q: How can I obtain exposure times longer than 4 seconds or shorter
than 1/1000 second?
A: You must have the camera in manual (M) mode. To obtain 1/2000 sec.,
you must use f/8 on the C5050. In P, A, and S modes, you can only
access the shutter times in the range: [1/1000 sec. - 4 sec.].
Q: How can I reduce the noise that I see in many of my images?
A: The C5050 is known to have a too high sharpening of the pictures by
the default settings. You can reduce the "Sharpness" to between -3 and
Q:How can I speed up the time it takes for the camera to take the
picture after I press the shutter button?
A: There are many things you can do:
- You can be prepared beforehand by 1/2-pressing the shutter button
(and keeping it 1/2-pressed) while aiming at the subject before the
actual moment when you want to take the picture. The autofocus (AF) and
the aperture will be set and the camera will then take the picture with
no time lag when you press the last 1/2-way.
- By having the LCD switched on, the time to activate the cameras
AF and metering will be reduced by about 2 seconds.
- Set the camera to manual focus (MF) at the subject distance you
intend to take the picture at. This is most easily done by aiming at an
object at the distance you want to use and 1/2-pressing the shutter
button. While keeping it 1/2-pressed, press the AF/Macro/MF button.
That fixes the focus at the desired distance and the camera is set to
MF. This will significantly reduce the shutter lag.
- Set the camera to manual exposure (M) which further reduces the
- When it is tricky to catch the moment, use Hi-drive sequential
shooting and start taking pictures just before you think the action
starts. Use the optical viewfinder in order to follow the action when
the camera's LCD is occupied while taking the pictures.
- Turn off the "REC-view in the "SETUP" tab in the "Mode Menu".
That will minimize the time that the just taken picture is displayed
and you will be ready for the next shot as soon as possible.
- Use fully charged batteries if you are using the on-board flash.
Otherwise it takes a long time to re-charge.
Q: How can I stop the camera from entering sleep mode after 3 minutes?
A: Plug in an external DC power unit or a battery pack. You can also
excercise the zoom a little now and then with the remote control. Note
that later versions of the C5060 firmware makes the camera fall asleep
already after 30 seconds.
Q: How do I copy between cards in the camera?
A: Change the Camera to Playback Mode, press OK, press right, go to the
Edit menu, press right, go to the Copy button, press right, select
"All" if you want to copy all otherwise go to "Select" to copy single
pictures. Press OK when you want to copy.
Q: How do I switch between the xD/SM and the CF cards when transferring
the images from the camera?
A: The camera uses the card that was selected when it was connected to
the USB port. To switch card, you must 1) prepare your computer to
safely disconnect the USB drive (camera). 2) pull the USB cable from
the camera, 3) press once at the CF/xD-SM button to select the other
card, 4) reconnect the camera.
Q: How do I tell what firmware version I have?
A: One way of doing it is to open a picture in a text editor such as
Notepad, and search for the string "v558". The number of the firmware
version follows right after that; for example, v558-77 means you have
version 77. A second method is, when viewing an unedited image in
Windows XP, right click on on the image, then click on properties, then
metadata, and it should be listed. A third method is to run the
firmware update utility but do not update and it will tell your your
firmware version in the camera.
Q: How do I use a polarizing filter to best effect?
A: The LCD normally compensates for the brightness of the scene which
makes the effect hard to see. To see the effect on the LCD you must
circumvent that compensation by locking the automatic exposure
temporarily. You can do that in two ways, either by pressing the AEL
button once or by keeping the shutter button 1/2-pressed. Now, while
the exposure is locked, rotate the filter and observe the effect on the
LCD screen, when you are satisfied with the effect you must press AEL
again or release the 1/2 half pressed shutter button in order to
re-activate the exposure meter (to get a correctly exposed picture). If
your polarizing filter feature a little knob or a white dot, you can
get maximal effect without looking at the LCD by rotating the filter
until the knob/dot points towards the direction where the sun is on the
sky (as good as you can). This is useful in sunny days when viewing the
LCD is difficult.
Q: How high flash trigger voltage is the C5050 capable of handling?
A: Several independent Olympus' tech staff stated that they will
survive 300 V trigger voltage. (See e.g., posts #9105, #19780, and
#30782 in the Olympus
5050 users group.) However, one Olympus techie recommended to stay
below 10 Volts (post #31361) and another said that "the voltage could
not be concealed to the public". We have not had any high trigger
voltage damages reported so far (July 2004). Note: a minimum of 6 Volts
trigger voltage is also recommended by one Olympus representative.
Q: How to RESET my camera?
A: A "soft" reset to factory default shooting settings, but without
changing date and file-numbering, is done either by simultaneously
pressing the "self-timer" and "custom" buttons or by setting the "All
Reset" to ON in SETUP in MODE MENU and then restarting the camera.
There is also a "hard" reset which basically restarts the "firmware"
(the program that runs the camera) and wipes out the on-board memory.
NOTE: This reset is intended for technicians to use. This is done by:
putting the camera in M mode, opening the memory door, turning the
camera on and then hold the "OK" and "Quickview" buttons
simultaneaously for 3 seconds. Select "Reset" in the menu that appears
and press "OK". A similar reset is obtained by leaving the
batteries out of the camera for a long time (12-24 hours).
Q: My camera gives out-of-focus images. What is wrong and how can I
A: The camera is by default set iESP focussing which automatically
selects what is most important to focus on. Often, the camera decides
that a contrast-rich background is more important than the subject. Set
the camera to "Spot-autofocus" by pressing the "OK"-button while
holding down the "AF/macro/MF"- button and select "spot" with the
selection wheel. That will make the camera to focus in the center of
the scene. Another possibility is that you set the camera manually
according to the distance gauge which isn't accurate at all.
Q: What is a lens tube?
A: A lens tube is the tube you attach to the camera body at the base of
the lens; add-on lenses and filters can be attached onto the other end
of the tube. For the C5050 the thread on the camera body is 41 mm and
he Olympus lens tube is the CLA-1 has a 43 mm filter thread. Olympus
also sell the CLA-5 which is a CLA-1 plus a 43-55 mm step up ring. Note
that only certain 43 m filters will work together with the CLA-1 on the
C5050 (see another FAQ about that).
Alternatively, you can get third party lens tubes from Raynox, Soligor
or Tiffen with standard filter threads that accepts filters as well as
third party auxillary lenses. More info is compiled in the document:
'Lens armour_adapter tubes.doc' in the 'Files' section of the Olympus 5050
users group and at http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/c5050/lens-adapt.html.
Q: What memory card is the fastest for my camera?
A: Generally a fast (faster than 17x) and large (256 Mbyte or larger)
card of a good brand (like Lexar, Sandisk Ultra, Transcend, and Ridata)
is recommended. At about 17x, the camera electronics becomes the
bottleneck for the C5050.
Q: When is it beneficial to use a polarizing filter on my camera?
A: If a polarizing filter is rotated to the correct angle, it will
reduce light reflections from wet surfaces, asphalt, glass etc. or
darken the blue sky but leaving the white clouds essentially bright.
You also use it to reduce haze and glare in misty or polluted air
conditions. You can use it all the time but it will steal about 1-2
f-stops of light and it will not have any noticeable effect in other
situations than the above mentioned.
Q: Where is the nodal point located?
A: Distance from the center of the tripod socket:
- Wide = 1.41 inches = 35.9 mm
- Wide + WCON-08 = 2.31 inches = 58.7 mm
- Tele = 0.279 inches = 7.1 mm.
Q: Which 43 mm filters work with the CLA-1 adapter on the C5050 without
A: Kenlock UV filter, Hama UV filter, Hama HTMC circular polarizer,
Hoya HMC (multicoated) clear, HMC Skylight, and HMC UV filters, Soligor
circular polarizing filter.
- Olympus 4040 online
resource: an in-depth information resource on the predecessor of
- Olympus 5060 online
resource: an in-depth information resource on
- Olympus 8080 online
resource: an in-depth information resource on the Olympus C-8080
McCreary's dpfwiw site: Excellent site on the Olympus Camedia
- Christian Couderc is developing a site
dedicated to the Olympus 5050 digital camera - in French
- Here you'll find a book
in German about the Olympus C5050.
has an article on Alex Majoli ("Alex Majoli points and shoots"), an
award winning photojournalist who uses Olympus point and shoot cameras,
the c-5050, -5060, and -8080. Interesting reading.
5050 Photo Galleries
my Photo Galleries