C-5060 Wide Zoom ($699) is the new top-of-the-line fixed
lens camera in Olympus' line up. It takes the popular C-5050Z
(see our review)
and swaps in a new wide-angle 4X zoom lens, passive AF system,
and VGA movie mode. The flip-out LCD has also been redesigned,
making it more useful than before.
the C-5060WZ one of the best 5 Megapixel cameras out there? Find
out now in our review!
in the Box?
Olympus C-5060WZ has a very good bundle. Inside the box, you'll
5.1 effective Mpixel C-5060 Wide Zoom camera
xD Picture Card
lithium-ion battery (rechargeable)
featuring Olympus Camedia Master software and drivers
manual (printed) + full manual on CD-ROM
includes a 32MB xD card with the camera, which is decent, but
it won't hold very many 5.1MP pictures. So, you'll quickly want
to buy a larger card -- I suggest 256MB as a good size. Like
the 5050, the 5060 supports both xD and CompactFlash cards. If
you're after a large capacity card, then CF is the way to go.
The camera is FAT32 compatible, so that means you can use the big CF
cards (2GB and above) with the 5060.
C-5060 has switched batteries since the C-5050 -- it now uses
the same BLM-1 battery as the E-1 digital SLR (the 5050 used
AAs). This battery has a whopping 10.8 Wh of energy, way more
than the competition (even the Sony DSC-F717, the current battery
king). Unfortunately, Olympus doesn't publish any battery life
statistics, but it's seemed to be very good during my time with
the camera. Do note that extra battery costs a whopping $70 --
so there's one big disadvantage of the BLM-1. The other is that
if the camera is running low on juice, you can't just drop in
4 AAs to get you through the day.
it's time to recharge the BLM-1, snap it into the included BCM-2
charger. It takes a sluggish 6 hours to fully charge the battery.
Note that this isn't one of those nice "plug it right into
the wall" chargers -- there's a power cable.
the BLM-1 just isn't enough for you, then you want the B-HLD20
power battery holder ($100). It can hold one or two BLM-1 batteries,
giving you (drumroll please) double the battery life. It also
provides vertical controls, and a port for the remote shutter
release cable ($53).
includes the RM-2 remote control with the camera. It's very basic,
with just one button. You can take a picture with it, or view
a slide show in playback mode. No zoom control or anything. The
C-5050Z used the full-featured RM-1 remote.
includes a lens cap and retaining strap to protect that nice
C-5060Z has a nice selection of accessories available. You can
add 0.7X wide-angle and 1.7X telephoto conversion lenses (both
have a list price of $199), but first you'll need the CLA-7 conversion
lens adapter ($35). The CLA-7 will also let you use filters,
but I'm not sure what the thread size is.
the C-5060 has a hot shoe, you can add an external flash, or
use a PC sync cable and flash bracket. Olympus sells three flashes
-- the FL-20, FL-40, and new FL-50 -- ranging in price from $130-$450.
Other accessories include an AC adapter ($55) , carrying case,
and various memory card-related items.
really cool accessory that I can't seem to find for sale in the
U.S. yet is the PT-020 underwater case. It lets you take your
C-5060 up to 50 meters underwater. But wait, there's more. Want
a more powerful flash while you're diving? Add the PFL-01 flash
accessory, and the FL-20 flash can go swimming too. Need a wider
lens? The PPO-02 will let you attach the wide-angle conversion
lens to the underwater case. Very cool.
all of Olympus' recent cameras, the C-5060 is fully compatible
with Mac OS X and Windows XP. Most likely, you won't even need
to install drivers.
C-5060WZ includes Olympus' Camedia Master 4.1 software. The screen
shot above will give you a good idea of what this software can
do. It's way better than the old versions of years past.
editing tools included with Camedia Master are impressive. You
can change all kinds of things like brightness, contrast, and
color balance. There are also red-eye reduction and "instant
software is much more responsive than the previous versions.
My only complaint is that the interface is non-standard on both
Macs and PCs.
you don't mind parting with $20, Olympus will upgrade you to
the "Pro" version of the software. This adds contact
sheet printing, image e-mailing, HTML albums, panorama stitching,
and slide shows.
keeping with Olympus tradition, there's only a printed "basic" manual
in the box. If you want to view the full manual, you need to
look at the PDF file on the CD. The quality of the manual itself
is about average.
C-5060WZ's design is an evolution of the original C-2000 from
many years ago. Thankfully the C-5060 doesn't share the unimpressive
(I'm being nice with that word) look of the C-5000Z. While the
important controls are well-placed, I didn't like how small buttons
were scattered all over the body (a purely subjective observation).
C-5060Z is made of a mix of metal and high grade plastic. It
feels very solid, and it competes with the best cameras in its
class in terms of build quality. The camera is easy to hold,
thanks to a sizable right hand grip.
a look at the dimensions and weight of the C-5060WZ, and how
it compares to the competition:
(W x H x D, inches)
x 2.9 x 2.8
x 2.9 x 2.7
x 3.4 x 2.6
x 2.6 x 2.3
you can see, the C-5060 is the biggest camera in the group. Its
bulk means that you won't be putting it in your pocket.
begin our full tour of the camera now!
of the C-5060's new features can be found on the front of the
first is the all new F2.8-4.8, 4X optical zoom lens. The focal
range of the lens is 5.7 - 22.9 mm, which is equivalent to 27
- 110 mm, making this the widest built-in lens on a digital camera.
The C-5050Z had a 3X lens, but it had a very fast F1.8 maximum
aperture, so there's a tradeoff here. The lens is threaded for
conversion lenses and filters, but you'll need the CLA-7 adapter
the top of the photo is the built-in flash. The flash has a working
range of 0.8 - 3.7 m at wide-angle, and 0.8 - 2.2 m at telephoto.
The flash recharge time is about 6 seconds. As I mentioned, you
can add an external flash or PC sync cable adapter to the camera's
hot shoe, for more flash power and less redeye.
all my complaining about Olympus not having any AF-assist system
on their cameras (the C-5050 as a rare exception), the 5060 has
got it -- and more. First, there's an AF-assist lamp, located
just to the right of the flash. In low light, it fires an orange
light on your subject, helping the camera focus. But wait, there's
more. Below the assist lamp is a passive AF sensor, which not
only aids in low light focusing, but it speeds up focusing in
good lighting too. Way to go, Olympus!
C-5050Z had a flip-up LCD, similar to Olympus' E-10 and E-20
cameras. It was nice, but not nearly as useful as the rotating
LCD on some Canon and Nikon models. So, for the C-5060Z, Olympus
has redesigned the LCD, making it much for useful. It can be
put in any of the positions you see above and below, and many
places in between. If you flip over the LCD, the image on it
is oriented correctly.
addition to its acrobatic abilities, the C-5060's LCD is also
good-sized (1.8") and high resolution (130,000). Images
on the LCD are sharp, and motion is smooth. LCD brightness is
adjustable in the menu.
above the LCD is the optical viewfinder, which is quite large.
It has a diopter correction knob, a nice feature for those of
us without perfect vision.
the right of the optical viewfinder is the AE-Lock button (used
for deleting photos in playback mode), plus the QuickView button,
which is a fast way into playback mode.
button to the lower-right of the QuickView button is the "display" button,
which turns the LCD on and off, and it also toggles what is shown
that is the four-way controller, which is used for menu navigation
and adjusting manual settings.
and hold the OK button and you will activate the manual focus
feature. You can then adjust the focus yourself, using the four-way
switch. The camera enlarges the center of the image on the LCD
so you can make sure the subject is in focus. There is also an
indicator showing you the current focus distance.
that is the CF/xD button, which switches between the two memory
the top-right of the control dial, which is used for adjusting
camera settings (such as flash, exposure compensation).
suppose that now's a good time to mention how you do that on
the C-5060. Unlike many cameras where you just press the button
once (such as the flash button) to change the current setting,
the 5060 requires you to hold it down and use the control dial.
When you do that, the LCD shows a kind of "mode dial" where
you move between settings (see example above). I'm not a big
fan of this interface (which Olympus calls direct buttons), but
that's purely subjective. One thing's for sure: it takes some
getting used to.
the left side of the photo above, you've find two silver buttons.
They are for adjusting:
(Auto, macro, manual, super macro, super macro + manual)
(ESP, spot, multi, center-weighted) [record mode] + Protect
image [playback mode]
C-5060WZ's hot shoe supports Olympus' own flashes, plus third
party flashes as well. Do note that if you use a non-Olympus
flash, you'll need to use both the camera and the flash in manual
mode. In addition to attaching a flash, you can also use a PC
sync cable adapter.
to the right, we find the LCD info display, an item rarely seen
these days. It shows current settings, shots remaining, battery
status, and more. Unfortunately, it's not backlit.
eastward, we find the zoom controller, which has the shutter
release button inside it. It takes about three seconds to move
the lens from the wide-angle to telephoto position. With quick
presses of the lever, you can make precise adjustments to the
the zoom controller are two more silver buttons, which adjust:
control [record] + Rotate image [playback]
button [record] + DPOF print mark [playback]
custom button can be defined to control virtually any camera
setting. If it's in the menu, odds are that the custom button
can use it.
those buttons is the mode dial, which has the power switch underneath
it. The items that you'll find here include:
mode - automatic operation
priority mode - you choose aperture, camera chooses appropriate
shutter speed; choose from range of F2.8 - F8.0
priority mode - you choose shutter speed, camera picks aperture;
shutter speed range of 4 - 1/2000 sec
mode - you choose both aperture and shutter speed; aperture
range same as above, expanded shutter speed range of 15 - 1/4000
sec + bulb mode; 1/4000 sec speed only available at F8.
Mode - see below
and folks who don't want to deal with shutter speeds and apertures
will probably spend their time in Program mode. If you want a
little more control over those, try the Program Shift feature,
which lets you choose from a few sets of apertures and shutter
speeds. An example of when you'd use this is when you want more
depth of field than the camera is giving you.
thing Olympus continues to do is lock up the full shutter speed
range in shutter priority mode. If you want to do longer exposures,
you must use manual (M) mode. There, you can also do "bulb" exposures
for as long as 2 minutes! A tripod and remote shutter release
cable is advised for this.
it's not as unique as it once was, the My Mode feature is very
useful. This feature allows you to store up to *8* sets of your
favorite settings -- right on the mode dial.
this side of the camera, you'll find the speaker, I/O ports,
and even more buttons.
I/O ports are all kept under rubber covers. They include:
(for optional AC adapter)
the far right are two more buttons. The top one adjusts exposure
compensation (-2EV to +2EV, 1/3EV increments), while the bottom
one adjusts the flash setting (auto, auto w/redeye reduction,
fill flash, slow sync, flash off). Hold down both and you can
adjust the flash exposure compensation (same range as regular
the other side of the camera, you'll find the dual memory card
slots, which are behind a flimsy plastic door. The C-5060WZ supports
both xD and CompactFlash (Microdrive included) cards. The old
included 32MB xD card is shown.
end our tour with a look at the bottom of the camera. Down here
is where you'll find the battery compartment, which has a sturdy
door as well as a lock.
the right of that is the metal tripod mount, whose placement
prevents you from switching batteries while the camera is on
included BLM-1 battery is shown at right.
the Olympus C-5060 Zoom
C-5060WZ took under five seconds to extend the lens and "boot
up" before it could start taking pictures.
the camera's ready, you'll find two interesting ways to display
a histogram. The first (above left) is the traditional-style
histogram that we all know and love. The second style (above
right) -- which is hard to see here -- is what Olympus calls
a "direct" histogram. Darker areas of the frame will
have blue boxes superimposed, while bright areas have red boxes.
Both of these can help you get better exposures, as long as you
know what to do with the information they provide.
C-5060's passive AF system allows it to focus very quickly in
good light -- 1/2 second in most cases. In dim light, the AF
sensor and AF-assist lamp combo allow the camera to lock focus
with ease. It takes a little longer, but the camera will lock
lag wasn't an issue at faster shutter speeds, but once you start
getting below 1/30 sec, it becomes more noticeable. In those
situations you should probably using a tripod (or the flash),
speed is excellent, with a delay of just over one second, assuming
you've turned off the post-shot review feature.
no easy way to delete a photo immediately after it is taken.
You can, however, use the QuickView feature to do so.
are tons of image resolution and quality choices on the C-5060WZ:
photos on 32MB card (included)
a lot to talk about regarding that list! First of all, I don't
think you'll find another camera with than many options. While
it may be overkill (who needs a 640 x 480 TIFF file?), it's better
to have too many choices than too few. Second, there's a RAW
file option available. In RAW mode, the camera saves the RAW
CCD data, so you can manipulate things like white balance, sharpness,
and color later -- as if you were taking the picture again --
right on the camera (more on this later). Do note that you must
process the image with Camedia Master or other RAW conversion
utility before you can open it in a regular photo viewer. Also,
the camera will be locked up for about 9 seconds while the RAW
file is saved to the memory card.
files is also a lossless format like RAW, except it takes up
a lot more space (and you can't change the white balance et al
on the camera). The camera will be locked up for about 17 seconds
while the image is saved.
I didn't list it in the chart, the camera can interpolate to
3264 x 2448 at the SHQ and HQ setting -- though expect extra
noise in your images if you do it.
uses one of the more sensible file numbering systems that I've
seen. Files are named Pmdd####.jpg, where m is the month (1-9,
A-C), d is the day, and #### is 0001-9999. This way your file
numbers are always unique (well, at least a year). File numbering
is maintained as you erase and switch memory cards.
C-5060Z uses Olympus' customizable menu system. When you first
open the menu, you're presented with four choices:
like those choices? With the exception of Mode Menu, you can
put whatever you want in that menu. They're all just shortcuts
into the mode menu.
Mode Menu is where most of the options on the C-5060 are located.
To call the menu intimidating is an understatement -- it's one
of the more confusing system out there (see the white balance
menu above for example). Here's what you'll find in the mode
(Single-frame, high speed sequential, sequential, AF sequential,
auto bracketing) - see below
(Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400)
Mode (1-8) - save up to eight sets of your favorite settings
to the My Mode spot on the mode dial
flash (Internal + external, external only, slave) - the slave
option lets you choose how much light is emitted by the flash
(for a slave flash setup)
slow sync (1st curtain, 1st curtain w/redeye reduction, 2nd
reduction (on/off) - reduces noise in photos with shutter
speeds 1/2 sec or slower
zoom (on/off) - using this will reduce the quality of your
AF (on/off) - when on, the camera will always be trying to
focus; puts extra strain on batteries in exchange for less
mode (iESP, spot) - iESP is multi-point AF (automatic)
(Off, conversion lens, underwater housing)
recording (on/off) - add 4 second audio clips to each image
- helps you make panoramic shots. Requires Olympus-branded
in 1 - combine two shots into one
(Off, black & white, sepia, black board, white board)
(Off, on w/exp. compensation, on, direct) - discussed earlier
guidelines (Off, on, frame assist) - see below
real display (on/off) - shows the predicted exposure on the
LCD in "M" mode
(see chart above)
Balance (why they split it up like this is beyond me)
1 (Shade, cloudy, sunlight, evening sunlight)
2 (Daylight fluorescent, neutral fluorescent, cool
white fluorescent, white fluorescent, tungsten)
(1-4) - select one of four sets of custom white balance
WB - shoot a white or gray card to get perfect color
in any light
balance compensation (-7EV to +7EV in 1EV increments) - fine
tune white balance in the blue or red direction for any of
the WB options
WB (1-4) - store four sets of custom white balance settings!
modes (Normal, portrait, landscape, night scene) - we already
have them on the mode dial, but here they are again
(-5 to +5, increments of 1)
(-5 to +5, increments of 1)
(-5 to +5, increments of 1)
reset (on/off) - retain settings after camera is powered
step (1/3EV, 1/2EV) - set the increment for exposure compensation
(English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, mystery language,
on/off (on/off) - turn startup and shutdown screens/sounds
on and off
View (on/off) - shows image after it's taken on LCD
volume (Off, low, high)
(Off 1, 2) - choose a beep sound or turn it off
sound (Off, 1, 2) - same as above, but for phony shutter
Mode setup - save your favorite settings (up to 4 sets) for
naming (Auto, reset)
mapping - helps eliminate "bad pixels"
output (NTSC, PAL)
cut - configure the first page of the menus, as I explained
button - choose a function for the custom button on top of
the camera; nearly any menu option can be used.
control panel (on/off) - see below
(PC, print) - use the latter when connected to a PictBridge-enabled
you can see, the C-5060WZ is the king of manual controls (or
darn close to it). Many of those options require further explanation,
so here goes:
the drive options. There are four continuous shooting modes.
Regular sequential mode will lock the focus and exposure settings
on the first shot, and will take 10 shots at 1.7 frames/sec,
while the high speed mode takes up to 4 shots at 3.3 frames/sec.
AF sequential mode will redo the focus and exposure for each
shot, slowing the burst rate down considerably. Auto bracketing
will take 3 or 5 shots in a row, each with a different exposure
compensation value. You can set the EV increment (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1EV)
in the setup menu.
frame assist feature has two parts. If you turn it "on",
you'll see an outline of a person on the LCD, which you can use
to help frame a portrait shot. There appears to be one outline
for USA portraits, and another one for Latin America -- I don't
get it. The other part of frame assist (chose that in the submenu)
is a 3 x 3 grid which you can use to make sure your photo is
level (boy do I need that!).
fine-tunable white balance lets you make the selected white balance "redder" or "bluer".
You can do it for any of the WB options, even "auto".
Dual control panel
control panel" feature was first seen on the C-5050Z. Let's
suppose it's dark, you're using the optical viewfinder, and you
can't see the LCD info display on the top of the camera. The
dual control panel puts that information (and more) on the LCD
instead, as you can see above.
that's enough of that, let's move on now.
C-5060 did a fine job with the macro test, with accurate, saturated
color, and sharp detail.
some of Olympus' other high end cameras, the C-5060WZ has two
macro modes. Regular macro mode gives you a so-so focal range
of 20 - 80 cm. If you want to get really close, you'll
want to use "super" macro mode. This locks the lens
in place (toward the wide end of things) and lets you get just
3 cm from your subject. You can then fill the frame with a 21
x 28 mm subject!
from the fact that I can't seem to take a level shot anymore,
the night shot above turned out nicely. The camera took in enough
light, noise levels are low, and purple fringing is at a minimum.
Since you can manually select the shutter speed (for as long
as 120 seconds in bulb mode), you can take nice long exposures.
My only gripe is that you must be in "M" mode to get
at the full range of shutter speeds.
the same shot taken at different ISO sensitivities, so you can
see the relationship between ISO and noise:
you can see, noise is low at ISO 80 and 100, but then it starts
to ramp up quickly at ISO 200. ISO 400 is pretty nasty.
new body style of the C-5000 and C-5060 place the flash pretty
close to the lens, so I wasn't terribly surprised to see this
much redeye. Kind of disappointed to see it on a camera this
expensive, though. Two solutions to this problem: 1) buy an external
flash or 2) remove in later in software (Camedia Master does
it). The flash shot I took for this test was noisier than I would've
liked at ISO 80 (see this
flash shot for an idea).
lenses traditionally have higher than average barrel distortion,
and the C-5060 is no exception. One thing I don't see here is
any vignetting (dark corners).
the whole, image quality on the 5060WZ was very good, though
definitely on the noisy/grainy side. This is because Olympus
really cranks up the in-camera sharpening (which is why the images
are so sharp!). Here's a comparison of how the sharpness setting
affects noise levels:
you can see, noise and sharpness are directly proportional.
I personally think the noise is too much at default sharpness
(the 5050Z was the same way), so I'd shoot at -2 or -3. But that's
just me. The nice thing about all the manual controls on the
C-5060WZ is that you can tweak the settings until you find the
noise, color, and sharpness levels that you find acceptable.
Purple fringing (chromatic aberrations) levels are quite low,
thanks to the extra-low dispersion lens.
always, let your own eyes be the final judge of photo quality
-- so visit the photo gallery!
finally has improved their movie mode. And good news -- it's
one of the better ones out there. You can record VGA (640 x 480)
quality video at 15 frames/second, until the memory card fills
up. Sound is recorded as well. The included 32MB xD card holds
a whopping 34 seconds of video, so you'll want a larger card
so you can take longer movies!
other resolutions are also available: 320 x 240 and 160 x 120.
Both of those also have a 15 fps frame rate. The movies are saved
in QuickTime format.
you'd expect, you cannot use the zoom lens during filming.
an sample movie for you. Be warned, it's large.
Click to play movie (7.4MB, 640 x 480,
Can't play it? Download QuickTime.
5060 has a pretty nice playback mode. Basic features include
slide shows, voice annotations, thumbnail mode, DPOF print marking,
image protection, and "zoom and scroll".
zoom and scroll feature (my term) allows you to zoom in as much
as 4X into your photo, and then move around in it.
can rotate, resize (to 640 x 480 or 320 x 240), and crop photos
in playback mode.
RAW data edit feature lets you change several properties of the
image, including quality, white balance, sharpness, contrast,
saturation, and more. White balance doesn't look good? Change
it in this mode and you're set! After you adjust one of those
settings, the revised image is saved in TIFF format.
can copy images from an xD card to a CompactFlash card -- and
vice versa -- by using the copy function.
you don't get much information about your photos in playback
mode (top left). When you want more info, you can turn on "info" in
the menu (top right). If that's still not enough, turn on the
histogram to get the screen on the bottom.
camera moves between images at an average clip. It takes just
less than two seconds to display the next photo on the LCD.
Does it Compare?
C-5060 Wide Zoom is one of the best Olympus cameras in recent
memory, and it should be high on your shopping list if a full-featured
5 Megapixel camera is what you're after. My main complaints about
the camera are the above average noise levels at default settings
(turning down the sharpness helps) and its intimidating user
interface (buttons and menus). Everything
else is good.
includes the photo quality (aside from the noise), performance,
controls, and expandability. The new 4X "wide zoom" lens
is great for both indoor and outdoor shooting. The flip-up, rotating
LCD is very nice as well, and far more useful than on the C-5050Z.
And how about that super-powerful battery?
knocked Olympus in the past for leaving off AF-assist lamps,
and they've made up for that by including both a passive AF system
and an AF-assist lamp on the 5060! That helps the camera focus
quickly, even in low light. If you like manual controls, you'll
like this camera -- it can do just about everything. The RAW
data edit mode is especially nice, letting you correct images
saved in RAW format without any loss of quality. Do note that
shooting in RAW mode takes about 3X longer than a regular JPEG.
C-5060WZ is also very expandable. Conversion lens? Check. External
flash? Take your pick. Heck, there's even an underwater case
that supports a wide conversion lens and a flash!
5060 is a strong competitor to the other big names out there,
and it's well worth a look.
photo quality, though images a little noisy
of manual controls
nice, wide-angle 4X zoom lens
histograms to choose from
lamp AND passive AF system!
RAW data edit feature
flip-up, rotating LCD display
buttons and menus
My Mode feature lets you store favorite settings to spot on
macro mode lets you get 3 cm from your subject
shoe for external flash
add-on lenses, underwater case, battery grip
I didn't care for:
are too noisy at default settings
can be intimidating to new users
shutter speeds only available in full manual mode
manual only on CD
other cameras worth considering include the Canon
PowerShot G5, Fuji
FinePix S7000, Minolta
DiMAGE A1, Nikon Coolpix 5400 and 5700,
and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717 and DSC-F828.
always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try
out the C-5060WZ and its competitors before you buy!
out the photo gallery for this
a second opinion?
more reviews over at Imaging
Resource and Steves
Feedback & Discussion
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