Ramblings about new Olympus 2100UZ digital camera

spectr17

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Well, I finally made up my confused mind and plunked down my IRS tax refund for a digital camera, the Olympus 2100UZ.



I needed a 10x optical zoom camera since I like to take animal pics and that left me with 3 choices, not counting the crippled Sony Mavicas with only the floppy disks for storage. The Sony CD-1000 was tempting with the 3" CD-Rs for storage but there seems to be some problems with the CD drive on a lot of the cams from peeps who post on the newsgroups. Also, the fact it didn't have a buffer to shoot "Burst" mode and the huge size/weight turned me off. Street price was about $1,000.00 for the Sony CD-1000.

The other camera I considered was the Canon Pro90 IS. Canon promised it to be out in February 2001 and I still haven't seen it at the shops yet. I just got tired of waiting and I can always upgrade when they do release it and see some of the field reviews. Street price was said to be around $1,100.00

The Olympus 2100UZ I got from Best Audio Photo off an auction on eBay for 675.00. I've seen them go for as low as $608.00. I had a bid of $645.00 with 1 minute and someone snaked it so I was getting deperate to get it for a trip.

Plan on budgeting at least several hundred dollars more for accessories. Lowe-Pro camera bag -$25.00. Quest Smart Charger ( 3 hour) and 4 NiMh batteries (1500 mAh capacity) - $49.00. Hoya neutral density filter - $9.00. Tiffen skylight 1A clear protective lens $9.00. Heliopan circular polarizing filter - $49.00. Lens diameter is 49 mm on the 2100UZ.

For a teleconverter lens, the Olympus B-300 ($140.00) at 1.7x magnification is the favorite to add to the 2100 camera. The B-300 lens has a larger thread (54mm I believe), so a step up ring is needed to attach the tele lens. Step up rings are cheap, just a few bucks each.

Olympus has a coupon for $100.00 off any accessory until May 15th 2001, so I bought the 64 meg SmartMedia to go with the 8 meg that comes with the camera. Using low compression jpg HQ mode, I can get about 128 pics on the 64 meg card at about 500k for size in each pic. .tiff is available but not many peeps are using the bigger file pics, the jpgs are really sharp for a 2.1 megapixel camera.

The camera has optical stabilization so you can shoot sharp pics without a tripod or rest. I find the stabilization pretty amazing after using tripods and monopods for previous cameras I've owned. The lens is F2.8 - F3.5. Zoom wide - 38 mm. Zoom tele - 380 mm (10 x). It uses 4 AA batteries and like all digital cameras, it sucks them hard. You can program several sleep mode times to shut the camera down while you do something else and return for the shot.

The fastest shutter speed is 1/800th of a second, which is okay. With the Olympus 64 meg SmartMedia card you can take panaramic pics and use the CamMedia software to stitch them together for a 360 degree view.

The camera is pretty easy figure out how to use, the menu is easy to move around in and the owner booklet has been very helpful. I download the 500k pics from a USB port on the camera and use the supplied Olympus CamMedia software. The software has some basic editing features like rotate, crop, levels etc, but I choose to use my Adobe Photoshop to edit the pics. Only 1 thing I don't like so far is the on/off/reset switch. It's set up so that if you push the switch too far forward it resets all the functions to default. You just have to be careful when you turn on the camera.

An excellent review can be found here on the camera. http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc2100uz/

Here's a couple of pics taken with the camera. The pics have been cropped in Photoshop and had the color saturation boosted a bit.

This Ross' goose was taken on an overcast day with 10x zoom (388 mm) at about 10 feet, F4.5, ISO setting 100, shutter speed 1/500 and a skylight 1a filter.

 



JForgy

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That is a greally great camera, I was able to see what one could do a few months ago at a trade show in Las Vegas.  They are the ones to beat in my opinion, great camera that feels like a 35mm, with thru the lens metering that Olympus pioneered.
 

Saskman

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Spectr17

Thanks for the info.  I have been looking at digital cameras lately and this is one of the cameras I was considering.  I really would have liked the Canon EOS D30 so I could use the lenses I already have for my 35mm SLR but the price just about made me faint.  It was over $4000 canadian.  After seeing that I was considering the Olympus C-2100 and the Canon Pro 90IS.  After reading your info and some other I think I am leaning towards the Olympus.  It is a bit cheaper($1180 vs $1500 for the Canon) and everything I have read seems to be positive.  Again thanks for the info.

(Edited by Saskman at 4:31 pm on Mar. 26, 2001)
 


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