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Old Dec 10, 2003, 6:25 AM   #1
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Default C-5060z review (long)

I was asked to post an informal review by one of our members.
In preface, I have been professionally involved in photography for over 30 years, including owning/operating a studio for 10 years.

The 5060z was my third Olympus digital. I'd owned the 2040z (stolen), and the 3040z (its replacement).

I have had a high regard for Olympus compact cameras since owning several used XA's in the 80's. I feel that besides offering high quality both optically and in general build, Olympus has a much higher regard for ergnomics than any other camera I've used.

The 5060z follows in this tradition. Build, optical quality and control placement are no letdown. I was initially confused and frustrated by slight changes from my 3040z; I'd expected (wrongly) for these two models to be more similar. This points out a fact that I believe is inherent in the digital marketplace. That the technology is progressing so rapidly that seven years of change are happening for every earth year currently. I call the experience "bleeding edge".
Two operational issues bothered me initially; the 4-way switch seems smaller than the others I owned, and is easier to hit by accident. The other issue is that a couple of operations that were one-step on my 20 and 30 series cameras are now two-steps. This latter issue is becoming more comfortable as I use the camera more, but it still slows me down in shooting.
Several issues concerned me a bit before buying the 5060z. The loss of the 1.8 lens has not hampered me in any way. The change to Li-Ion batteries still bothers me, but I can live with it. For the sake of the average consumer I wish Oly had stuck with AA's, but marketing research may have told them that users held battery duration in higher regard than battery cost.
The LCD screen is wonderful. I utilize the swiveling capability constantly in my shooting style. I've replaced the well designed lens cap with one called a Bushwaker, which I like even better. The Bushwaker hinges off to the side and is out of the way. The pop-off stock cap ends up hanging right where I don't want it. The only drawback to the former cap is that there's a risk of starting up the camera without opening it, however the two-step nature of the startup on the 5060 builds in a safety factor for me, and I haven't had the problem once.
Camedia 4.1, which comes with the new camera, limped like a SICK DOG on my 386, even with 256 mb of RAM. I'm reverting to Camedia 2.5 as soon as possible as it does everything I need much more efficiently.
I have discovered, after reading others' comments at DP Review's forums, that several features are not yet online for this camera. I trust that Olympus will provide frmware updates.
I have discovered also that the AC adapter for my older cameras appears to work with the 5060z, even though there's a new model specifically for the new camera. I've gotten conflicting info. from Olympus regarding this apparent compatibility, and at this point they're unwilling to commit to it being the case, however I've used my old AC adapter several times during downloads with no smoke or other ill effects.

Overall I would give Olympus an "A" on the 5060z. The 27mm 4x ED zoom is great. As long as they follow up on firmware updates and support for RAW files (with help from Adobe) I will continue to hold this company in highest regard.
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