Steve's Digicams

Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom

First Look posted 8/16/00
Full review posted 8/28/00

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom
Click to take a QTVR tour of the C-2100

(I have been hinting [OK, screaming] at the manufacturers to design a camera around a miniature color LCD viewfinder for several years now. The benefits are TTL viewing with full camera and exposure data displayed inside of a magnified and light-shielded eyelevel finder. We first saw this concept on the Sony DKC-ID1 way back when and then it went to the world of video camcorders and has been there ever since. The power saved by using a tiny LCD instead of a big one means more pictures per charge. And everybody wants more focal length in their zoom lenses so I'm sure this 10x optical lens with image stabilization will be welcomed with open arms.)

The Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom features the same 2.1 megapixel CCD as C-2020 Zoom and produces 1600x1200 uncompressed TIFF or JPEG images. The big difference and I do mean BIG, is the new 10x optical (38-380mm equivalent) image-stabilized zoom lens with 2.7x digital zoom.

The C-2100UZ has a 16MB SDRAM buffer that gives you a 1.2-second "shot to shot" rate and a 3 frames per second burst mode. Centerweighted, digital ESP metering, spot metering with 8 area selection. Program AE, Shutter- or Aperture-priority, Special Program mode (portrait, sports, landscape, night scene) plus full manual exposure control. The same auto-exposure bracketing and white balance iESP as found on the C-3030 Zoom.

In addition to still images the C-2100UZ can record QuickTime movies at 15fps with sound. TTL connector for the Olympus FL-40 external flash. Manual focus with 240 steps and magnified viewfinder assist. SLR camera design, but uses an electronic viewfinder with full readout of all camera exposure and mode data. ISO sensitivity can be fixed at 100, 200, 400 or automatic.

Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom

On the back is a 1.8-inch WideView TFT color LCD. It can serve as the viewfinder, picture review, menu and data display.  The backlight is adjustable via the setup menu. The control layout is very similar to the C-3030Z.

Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom

On top are buttons for macro mode, metering mode and drive mode. A fully-featured data LCD, the mode dial with power control and the combination shutter release and zoom lens control.

Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom

On the bottom is the tripod socket and battery access door.

Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom Olympus C-2100 UltraZoom

Here's the left and right side views, a little farther down and we'll open up the doors and show you what's in there.

To see a completely detailed layout of all the views of the camera and all of the control knobs and buttons on one page - CLICK HERE

Continue on to
Page Two

Olympus C-2100 Specifications

Storage media: Removable 3 V (3.3 V) SmartMedia (SSFDC) cards (2, 4, 8, 16, 32 & 64 MB).
One 8 MB card including panorama function is supplied with camera.
Number of storable frames with 8 MB SmartMedia card:

1-8: TIFF
approx. 5: SHQ
approx. 16: HQ
approx. 8-82: SQ
1: TIFF 1600x1200, 5.8 MB
2: TIFF 1280x960, 3.7 MB
3: TIFF 1024x768, 2.4 MB
8: TIFF 640x480 920 KB
5 or more: SHQ high 1600x1200, max. 1.4 MB
16 or more: HQ normal 1600x1200, max. 480 KB
8 or more: SQ high 1280x960, max. 910 KB
24 or more: SQ normal 1280x960 max. 310 KB
13 or more: SQ high 1024x768, max. 580 KB
38 or more: SQ normal 1024x768, max. 200 KB
32 or more: SQ high 640x480, max. 230 KB
82 or more: SQ normal 640x480, max. 80 KB

Recording system: Still image; JPEG (DCF: “Design rule for Camera File system”), TIFF (non-compress), DPOF support.
Motion picture; Quick Time Motion JPEG*.
Sound; wave format.
Imager: 1/2 inch CCD. Total pixels: 2,110,000. Effective: 2,020,000.
White balance: iESP (intelligent Electro Selective Pattern) full-auto TTL, manual (daylight, overcast, tungsten light (lamp), fluorescent light).
Lens: Olympus 10x zoom lens. 7.0 - 70 mm, F2.8 - F3.5 with 13 elements in 10 groups.
(Equivalent to 38 - 380 mm lens on 35 mm camera).
Digital Zoom 1 - 2.7x (max. 27x with optical zoom).
Aperture: Wide: F2.8 - F8.0; tele: F3.5 - F8.0.
Light metering: Digital ESP metering system with imager. Centre weighted / spot metering possible.
Exposure control: Programmed auto exposure.
Manual exposure compensation: 2 EV in 1/3 EV steps.
Aperture priority: Wide; F2.8 -F8.0, tele; F3.5 - F8.0, 1/3 EV steps.
Shutter priority: Still image; 1/2 - 1/800 sec. (with mechanical shutter), 1/3 EV steps.
Auto bracketing: Selectable from 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV and 1 EV; 3 or 5 images.
Manual exposure: Shutter speed up to 16 sec.
QuickTime Motion JPEG image mode: 1/30 - 1/10,000 sec.
Focusing: TTL system autofocus (contrast detection system), manual focus possible.
Working range: Standard mode: Wide: 60 cm - infinity / tele: 2 m - infinity.
Macro mode: Wide: 10 cm - 60 cm / tele: 1 m - 2 m.
Sensitivity: Auto, selectable to approx. equivalent to ISO 100, 200 and 400.
Viewfinder: 0.55 inch wide-angle colour TFT LCD monitor with 114,000 pixels (low-temperature poly-silicon).
LCD monitor: 4.5 cm (1.8 inch) wide-angle colour TFT LCD monitor with 114,000 pixels
(low-temperature poly-silicon).
Flash: Built-in flash.
Flash modes: Auto (automatic flash activation in low light and backlight), red-eye reduction, fill-in (forced activation), off (no flash). External terminal: ON/OFF, auto, forced activation.
Slow synchronisation (first-curtain synchronisation effect, second-curtain synchronisation effect).
Flash working range: Wide: approx. 0.3 - 4.0 m (at ISO 100).
Tele: approx. 1.0 - 3.2 m (at ISO 100).
Flash recycle time: Less than 6 sec. (at normal temperature with new batteries).
Sequence mode: SHQ: approx. 1.5 frames/sec.; 5 shots or more.
HQ: approx. 1.8 frames/sec.; 16 shots or more.
SQ: approx. 2 frames/sec.; 86 shots or more.
(Excluding TIFF mode).
Motion picture mode: Format: QuickTime Motion JPEG.
HQ: 320 x 240 pixels, 12.5 frame/sec. up to approx. 35 sec. (8 MB: 23 sec).
SQ: 160 x 120 pixels, 12.5 frame/sec. up to approx. 134 sec. (8 MB: 92 sec).
Image effect: Sepia mode, black & white mode, black board mode, white board mode.
Self-timer: With approx. 12 sec. delay, 2 sec. after remote control operation.
Setting memorisation: Setting reset by turn-off/setting memorisation selectable:
Exposure mode, white balance, focusing, metering, exposure compensation, ISO equivalence, effect function, sequence mode, quality mode, flash settings.
Remote control by RM-1: Recording mode: release, zooming. Display mode: image selection, index, close-up.
Outer connectors: DC input terminal, data input/output terminal (RS232C), USB interface, video output terminal (NTSC or PAL format depending on region where purchased), external flash terminal for FL-40 (not shoe type), external microphone socket (monaural).
Operating environment: Temperature: 0 - 40°C (operation); -20 - 60°C (storage).
Humidity: 30 - 90% (operation); 10 - 90% (storage).
Power source: Main power source: 4 x AA alkaline batteries / 4 x AA NiMH batteries / 4 x AA lithium batteries / 4 x AA NiCd batteries / 2 x CR-V3 lithium batteries. (Zinc Carbon (Manganese) batteries cannot be used.) Built-in lithium back-up for the calendar system. Optional AC adapter.
Date/time/calendar: Recorded simultaneously with picture data.
Automatic calendar system: Up to 2030.
Dimensions: 112.5 (W) x 77.5 (H) x 141 (D) mm (excluding protrusions).
Weight: 540 g (excluding batteries and card).

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