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Olympus C-2500L SLR
Digital Camera

by Alan Linker

Olympus C2500 SLR

I have used other Olympus’ SLR Digital Cameras since they first started shipping, and have really enjoyed the 2.5 Megapixel, C-2500L. It’s 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:

-        The exposures can be set in P (fully automatic) A (full or reduced aperture) and 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.

-         Manual 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. 

-         There 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:

SQ (1280 x 1024) JPEG:  400 kb
HQ (1712 x 1368) JPEG:  550 kb
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.

Olympus C-2500L
The 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. 

The (optional) FL-40 features manual and auto Olympus FL-40control, 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).

Since 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.

With 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.

The other advantage to this camera is that it comes with a threaded lens for filters and Olympus C-2500L 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 sky’s 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.

Finally 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.


For More info on the Olympus 2500L Visit Olympus's page

C-2500L SLR Digital Camera Specifications


Image pickup:

2,500,000 pixel 2/3 in. progressive scan RGB CCD solid-state image pickup element with "TruePic Technology"

Recorded image

1712 X 1368 pixels (SHQ-Tiff no compression)
1712 X 1368 pixels (SHQ-JPEG 2.3:1 compression)
1712 X 1368 pixels (HQ-JPEG 8:1standard compression)
1280 X 1024 pixel (SQ-JPEG 8:1 compression)
640 X 512 pixel (SQ-JPEG 8:1 compression)

Number of Images
Stored on 8MB card

1- SHQ Tiff
24-SQ-JPEG (1280 X 1024)
83-SQ-JPEG (640 X 512)

Image types

DCF/Exif 2.1 JPEG or Tiff


One-frame erase/All-frame erase

White balance

Full auto TTL white balance 6-step preset manual: 3000, 3700, 4000, 4500, 5500 and 6500K white balance "One-touch" reference manual white balance.


Dual slot design for 3.3V SmartMedia 8MB (2/4/8/16/32 MB optional) and/or CF slot for optional memory


3X Olympus aspherical zoom

Focal length

9.2 -28mm (equivalent to 36-110 on a 35mm camera)


Wide f=2.8 - f=5.6 Tele f=3.9 - f=7.8


7 elements in 7 groups (1 aspherical elements)

Focus range

0.8 in.- 24 in. Super Macro (Wide autofocus)
12 in. - 24 in. Macro (autofocus)
24 in. - infinity (autofocus)
12 in. -infinity (manual focus)

Quick focus modes

User selectable setting from 15 preset ranges: 12 in. to infinity


TTL system autofocus with low-light illuminator


1/2-1/10,000 sec. automatic exposure
8 sec. To 1/10,000 manual exposure


Exposure control

Programmed auto exposure with +/- 2 step exposure compensation in 1/3 step increments. Aperture Priority exposure with +/- 2 step exposure compensation in 1/3 step increments. Manual exposure

Photometric system

Center-weighted metering or 5% spot metering


Equivalent ISO 100, 200, 400

Electronic flash

Working range

12 in. to 12 ft. at ISO 100 built-in pop-up flash

Charge time

Approximately 8 sec. (at normal temperature with new batteries).

Flash modes

Auto-flash (low light and back light), "red-eye" reducing flash, fill-in flash, 1st curtain slow-syncro flash, 2nd curtain slow-syncro flash and flash off. (built-in flash)

External flash

Standard hot-shoe design, accepts optional FL-40 dedicated flash.



SLR TTL viewfinder with 95% centered view of image area.

Dioptric correction

For viewfinder sharpness.

LCD Monitor

High-resolution 122,000 pixel 1.8 inch / 4.5cm color TFT(HAST) LCD display.

On-screen display

One-frame, slide-show mode, index display mode (4 or 9 frames) and 4X-image inspection close-up mode.

Control panel LCD

Indicates recording mode, number of remaining pictures, card error, exposure modes, flash modes, self-timer, remote control, battery check, macro mode, super macro mode, infinity mode, spot metering mode, feet or meter, quick focus, manual focus setting, exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, aperture, shutter speed, manual white balance, burst mode, folder and file number, and images stored in RAM buffer.


Electronic self-timer with 12-second delay or 2 second delay with RM-1 remote control.

Other connectors

Serial computer/printer connector, AC adapter connector and NTSC video out connector.

Date and time

Recorded with picture

Automatic calendar

Up to year 2030

Direct print
(P-330) or DPOF printer

Single print, index print, multi-prints, mirror prints, date stamp prints, 16-up prints, selected image print

Operating environment


22-104F/0-40 C (operation) -4-140F/-20-60 C (storage)


20-90% (operation) 10-90% (storage)

Power supply

Camera comes with 4-AA Ni-MH batteries and charger, and can use 4-AA Ni-Cad or alkaline batteries. C-7AU AC adapter optional. Ni-MH recommended for use.

Low Power mode

User selectable from 1 to 10 min. or off.


4.3-in. (W) X 3.2-in. (H) X 5.1-in. (D) 109mm (W) X 79.5mm(H) X 128.2mm(D)


16.5oz. without batteries or SmartMedia card.


Enroute QuickStitch (Mac/Win) Olympus Camedia Master (Mac/Win)

System requirements

CD-ROM drive, 32MB RAM or greater, 75MB free hard drive space. Monitor with thousands of colors (millions of colors recommended) 640 X 480 screen resolution or greater.

Windows compatible

Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0

Macintosh compatible

Power PC with Mac OS 7.6 or later.


Standard RS-232 interface (Sub-D 9 pin connector -Windows, or mode/printer port Mac)
Optional floppy disk compatibility with FlashPath adapter
Optional PCMCIA adapter compatibility

Last Update:06/26/2007


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