Olympus C-500 Zoom
Review Date: May 5th 2005
The Olympus C-500 Zoom has a 5.0 megapixel 1/2.5-inch type CCD. There are four image sizes/file quality settings available (SHQ (2560x1920), HQ (2560x1920), SQ1 (1600x1200), SQ2 (640x480)) and images are recorded as JPEGs. The Olympus C-500 Zoom features a 3x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to 38-114 mm on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom available. Focusing range is 50cm to infinity and in Super Macro mode the Olympus C-500 Zoom can focus as close as 2cm from the subject. The camera supports the xD-Picture Card format and has 14Mb built-in internal memory.
The Olympus C-500 Zoom offers 15 different Scene modes (Portrait, Self Portrait, Night Scene, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Sport, Beach, Snow, Cuisine, Indoor, Firework, Sunset, Candle, Behind Glass, Available light Portrait). It also has Programme AE and Auto Exposure modes plus a Manual exposure setting that allows you to change both the shutter speed and aperture.
Exposure compensation of ± 2.0 in 1/3 EV stops is available on the Olympus C-500 Zoom. There are kinds of exposure metering control available (Digital ESP metering and Spot metering) and one type of focusing available (iESP autofocus). The aperture range is f2.8– f4.9 and the shutter speed range is 15 sec. – 1/2000 second. The ISO speed range is 50-400 when the camera is in Programme AE or Manual mode and you can set it yourself. In the automatic shooting modes, the speed is automatically selected from ISO 50-250. There are 4 different White Balance settings to choose from (Sunlight, overcast, tungsten light, fluorescent light) plus Auto and Manual settings.
The Olympus C-500 Zoom has a continuous shooting modes that allows you to take 1.2 frames per second for up to 5 images. There is also a self-timer which has a 10 second delay and there are a number of different colour options (Sepia mode, Black & White mode, Vivid). The C-500 Zoom also offers a 2 in 1 mode and a Panorama mode (only with an optional Olympus branded xD-picture Card). There is also a noise reduction function (at 0.5 sec shutter speed or longer).
To compose your images you can use the LCD monitor or the traditional optical viewfinder. The Olympus C-500 Zoom Zoom has a 1.8 inch LCD monitor with 85,000 pixels and is powered by 2 AA-sized batteries. The built-in flash offers a range of different modes (Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Fill-in and Off). The effective range is approx. 0.2-3.7m at the wide-angle lens setting and approx. 0.6-2.1m at the telephoto lens setting and it has a guide number of 7.3.
The Olympus C-500 Zoom can record movies of 320x240 pixels at 30fps or 15fps with sound. They are recorded in the Motion JPEG format, a type of AVI format that can be played back by QuickTime 3 or later.
The video-output socket allows you to connect the camera to your television (PAL or NTSC) and the high-speed USB 2.0 port connects the camera to your computer via a USB cable. The Olympus C-500 Zoom is PictBridge compatible, which is the industry standard for printing images from a digital camera without using a PC. The Olympus C-500 Zoom dimensions are 104.5 (W) x 60.5 (H) x 36.5mm (D), and it weighs 150g without batteries and storage card fitted.
Finally, the box kit that I reviewed contains a Strap, USB cable, Audio Video cable, 2 AA batteries and the OLYMPUS Master 1.1 software. You will need to invest in some xD-Picture Cards to store your images on, as the camera's internal memory can only store approximately 3 images at the default 5M file quality setting, plus some rechargeable batteries and a charger.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Olympus C-500 Zoom have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.