Olympus C-2500L SLR
by Alan Linker
I have used other Olympus SLR Digital
Cameras since they first started shipping, and have really enjoyed the
2.5 Megapixel, C-2500L. Its the camera I have been waiting for!
The 2500L is lightweight, easy to hold steady, and use and with the TTL
(through the lens) SLR format. The 2500L really gives the full
experience of taking photos.
With the 2500L you have a
verity of setting:
exposures can be set in P (fully automatic) A (full or reduced aperture)
M (manual), either maximum or minimum depth of field, I just wished that
it had a few more settings for the aperture, but if you think in terms
of shutter speed your can some how make up for this flaw.
focusing, where you set the distance via buttons, while the top LCD
reads out the distance the only downfall is that there is no
focusing ring. However,
this might be an advantage in that once set, the focus can't be bumped
by accidentally turning the lens. Though the LCD reads in feet or
meters, the user's guide suggests test shots to determine whether you've
gotten the focus just right. The macro and super macro modes are impressive.
is also a sharpness, Soft and Normal setting. In the Normal mode,
the images appear sharper, but the graininess that plagues the higher
ISO settings is also more apparent. The soft setting sometimes
makes pictures look better but that is up to the eye of picture taker.
Image files, in HQ mode
(1712 x 1368 with 1:8 JPEG compression) appear very crisp. I can't
perceive any real difference between HQ and the higher quality SHQ JPEG
setting, and only a little difference between the JPEG and
non-compressed SHQ TIFF modes. File sizes come out as follows:
o SQ (1280 x 1024) JPEG: 400 kb
o HQ (1712 x 1368)
JPEG: 550 kb
o SHQ (1712 x
1368) JPEG: 1.7 MB
SHQ (1712 x
1368) TIFF: 6.9 MB
There are a lot of other settings available in the menu including:
color temperature (I keep it set to the warmest possible) or
taking the white balance off a white surface in the vicinity;
choosing .jpg or tiff formats for the largest files
effective ISO sensitivity
flash at the beginning or end of the shutter opening;
multiple shots for sports events.
There are a lot of settings available in the menu, including color
temperature (I keep it set to the warmest possible) or taking the white
balance off a white surface in the vicinity; choosing .jpg or tiff
formats for the largest files (again, here, professionals would probably
notice a difference, but I couldn't); internal pre-sharpening or none;
effective ISO sensitivity; flash at the beginning or end of the shutter
opening; multiple shots for sports events.
Button and other external settings include both optical and electronic
(viewing) zoom, macro and super-macro modes, flash options, aperture
setting, and the choice of large-area or point exposure weightings.
2500L came with a 32 MB SmartMedia flash card, a Compact Flash
up to 128mb+ and Smart Memory up to 64mb.
One other useful feature of
the 2500L is a real hot shoe for an external flash. You can use a
standard flash unit, but if you are serious about photography and need
to use a
recommend the Olympus FL-40 Dedicated Strobe Unit.
(optional) FL-40 features manual and auto control,
wide and telephoto flash modes, and control over ISO and F-stop. It also
features a button to illuminate the display panel in low light
situations. The flash head itself swivels 270 degrees horizontally, and
tilts vertically to 90, 75, 60, 45, or 0 degrees. The FL-40 is quite
powerful, with an ISO 100 guide number, and as high as 40 (in telephoto
mode), as compared to the camera's own guide number of 8-12 (tele/wide).
When the flash is in auto mode, the camera controls the flash's settings
(including the wide/telephoto focusing of the flash head itself).
the C-2500L's flash metering is entirely TTL (through the lens), you can
use the FL-40 at the same time as the on-board flash for complex
lighting effects. The FL-40 also contains an additional autofocus-assist
illuminator, significantly increasing the total-darkness AF range of the
C-2500L when the two are used together.
both flashes firing forward, in telephoto mode, and the camera's ISO
boosted to a setting of 400, the maximum working range was pretty
incredible: Shooting outdoors at night, we got usable exposures of
objects 50-60 feet away :-). In indoor shooting environments, you can
either let the camera figure the exposure automatically, or optionally
run the FL-40 in manual mode, while controlling the C-2500L's onboard
flash via the flash exposure setting in the camera's LCD menu system.
Fortunately, one of the great benefits of a digital camera is the
immediate feedback it gives you on matters such as exposure: I found it
fairly easy to home in on the correct manual setting for the FL-40 with
just a few quick shots viewed on the camera's LCD.
other advantage to this camera is that it comes with a threaded lens for
lens adaptors. By the 2500L
being a SLR you are able to see exactly what you are going to take this
way. Also the best thing I like is that I am able to use a Polarizing
filter when shooting outside (to highlight skys and other contrasting
sights), which unless you can see directly through the lens, you are
pretty much unable to adjust. Olympus
makes 2 add-on lenses adaptors for 1.45x telephoto and .8x wide angle.
someone is offering an infrared remote control for their digital
cameras! I have
been a strong proponent of this for a long time and was extremely happy
to see it included first with the C-2000Z and again with the C-2500L. In
record mode you can operate the zoom lens and trip the shutter. In
playback mode you can step through your pictures, bring up the thumbnail
index and zoom into the displayed pictures.