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FAQs about the cameras

by Jens Birch

Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Olympus Camedia 4040 Zoom, 5050 Zoom, 5060 Wide Zoom, and 8080 Wide Zoom digital cameras.
(See also Olympus' own FAQs: and see if they can help)

Suggestions for changes or additonal entries can be made by sending a message to Jens Birch .

Q: How do I use the AEL button?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: The AEL (Automatic Exposure Lock) button is used to lock the exposure of the camera at the exposure value it sees when you press the button. It is a toggle lock/unlock button.

An example of how to use it: If your subject of interest is in the shade but the majority of the image is illuminated with sunlight, you can point the camera at the subject, press the AEL, recompose the frame, and then take the picture. The subject in the shade will be correctly exposed and the part in the sun will most likely be over exposed.

Half-pressing the shutter button also locks the exposure but that also locks the focus at the same position. With the AEL, you are free to focus wherever you want after the exposure is locked.
/Jens Birch

Q: Can I update the Firmware? Will it improve the timelag between pressing the button and exposure?
C: 5050

A: Olympus never released any official firmware for the C5050 and they claim that you can't do it yourself. However, there is a 'Pirate' copy of firmware v.82 and do-it-yourself instructions available at: Note: the only confirmed improvement for the user with the higher versions firmware is that it will allow remote control of the camera through the USB-cable.
/Jens Birch

Q: Can I use a linear polarizer with my camera?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: Yes. You can use either linear or circular polarizers. Circular ones are needed for most autofocus SLR cameras (not the Olympus E-10 and E-20 though).
/Jens Birch

Q: How can I avoid the annoying beeping sound when turning ON by mistake?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: Turn mode dial to GREEN works every time! You can also use a sufficiently long lens tube (does not work for the 8080 without vignetting).
/Mistervick, Jens Birch

Q: How can I obtain exposure times longer than 4 seconds (1/2 second for the C8080) or shorter than 1/1000 second?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: For the 4040, 5050, and 5060, you must have the camera in manual (M) mode. To obtain 1/2000 sec., you must use f/8 on the C5050. In P, A, and S modes, you can only access the shutter times in the range: [1/1000 sec. - 4 sec.]. On the C5060, you can use exposure times up to 120 sec. by using the "Bulb" mode. With the 8080, exposure times longer than 1/2s are available A, S and M modes. 1/4000 second is available in all modes. Bulb is only available in M mode.
/Jens Birch, Alfred Molon

Q: How can I reduce the noise that I see in many of my images?
C: 5050

A: The C5050 is known to have a too high sharpening of the pictures by the default settings. You can reduce the "Sharpness" to between -3 and -5 in the "PICTURE" tab in the "Mode Menu". Try using ISO 64 which is the least noisy setting.
/Jens Birch

Q: "Why am I getting blurred pictures when shooting my playing kids?"
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 7070, 8080, E-300


There are three (four) common reasons:

A. Camera shake
B. Kids out of focus
C. Kids not still
(D. Shutter lag)

Here is a collection of tips on how to recognize and avoid these effects ("kid"=any moving object):

A. Camera shake - recognized by nothing being sharp and small lights often appears as tiny streaks - often more or less vertical:
1) Always "squeeze" the shutter button - no matter the situation. One of the most common mistakes is that people press the button with a 'snapping' movement of their finger which will cause the camera to move.
2) Use a flash which effectively shortens the exposure time.
3) If light is low and you don't want to use a flash: Use aperture priority mode (A) and select as large aperture (small f-number) as possible in order to get the shortest possible exposure time.
4) If light is even lower: Set the ISO to 400 (or more if available) which will give even shorter exposure times at the expense of increased noise.
5) Use a support like a door post, a chair, etc. A shoulderpod is a nice alternative if you are really serious about it - I use one for taking pictures of flying birds. (Tripods and monopods are too limiting with moving subjects.)
6) Make sure that the camera is still, not only when you "squeeze" the button, but also when the camera actually takes the picture - after the "Shutter lag". See separate question "Shutter Lag..." below.

B: Kids out of focus - recognized by parts behind or in front of the kids being sharp but the kids are unsharp:
1) Use "Spot focus" in AF mode and aim at a contrasty area of the kids when focussing by halfpressing the shutter button focus. (In iESP focus, the camera selects the focusing point which unfortunately often isn't the subject of interest.)
2) If the kids are moving towards or away from you, they may move out of the focus during the "shutter lag" (the period of time in-between you "squeeze" the button and the instant that the camera actually takes the picture). Then try planning ahead and prefocus by half-pressing with the AF-mark at something stationary at the same distance as you plan to take the photo. See also separate question about "Shutter lag..." below.

C: Kids not still - recognized by the part of the room where the kids are is sharp - but the kids themselves are unsharp.

1) Use as short exposure time as possible --> see A2)-A4) above
2) If the kids are moving sideways, "pan" the camera - move the camera along with the kids as they are moving so that they are seen at a stationary position respect to the viewfinder frame. This is most successfully performed with the camera prefocussed at the position where you want to capture the scene.
3) If the kids are still when you "squeeze" the button but they started to move a few instants later when the camera takes the picture, then you must minimize the "Shutter lag..." - see below.

Q:Shutter lag: How can I speed up the time it takes for the camera to take the picture after I press the shutter button?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, and to some extent 8080

A: There are many things you can do:
1) You can be prepared beforehand by 1/2-pressing the shutter button (and keeping it 1/2-pressed) while aiming at the subject before the actual moment when you want to take the picture. The autofocus (AF) and the aperture will be set and the camera will then take the picture with no time lag when you press the last 1/2-way.
2) By having the LCD switched on, the time to activate the cameras AF and metering will be reduced by about 2 seconds (does not apply to C8080).
3) Set the camera to manual focus (MF) at the subject distance you intend to take the picture at. This is most easily done by aiming at an object at the distance you want to use and 1/2-pressing the shutter button. While keeping it 1/2-pressed, press the AF/Macro/MF button. That fixes the focus at the desired distance and the camera is set to MF. This will significantly reduce the shutter lag.
4) Set the camera to manual exposure (M) which further reduces the shutter lag.
5) When it is tricky to catch the moment, use Hi-drive sequential shooting and start taking pictures just before you think the action starts. Use the optical or the electronic viewfinder in order to follow the action when the camera's CCD is occupied while taking the pictures.
6) Turn off the "REC-view in the "SETUP" tab in the "Mode Menu". That will minimize the time that the just taken picture is displayed and you will be ready for the next shot as soon as possible.
7) Use fully charged batteries if you are using the on-board flash. Otherwise it takes a long time to re-charge.
/Jens Birch

Q: How can I stop the camera from entering sleep mode after 3 minutes?
C: (4040?), 5050, 5060, (8080?)

A: Plug in an external DC power unit or a battery pack. You can also excercise the zoom a little now and then with the remote control. Note that later versions of the C5060 firmware makes the camera fall asleep already after 30 seconds.
/Jens Birch

Q: How do I copy between cards in the camera?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: Change the Camera to Playback Mode, press OK, press right, go to the Edit menu, press right, go to the Copy button, press right, select "All" if you want to copy all otherwise go to "Select" to copy single pictures. Press OK when you want to copy.
/Jens Birch

Q: How do I switch between the xD/SM and the CF cards when transferring the images from the camera?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: The camera uses the card that was selected when it was connected to the USB port. To switch card, you must 1) prepare your computer to safely disconnect the USB drive (camera). 2) pull the USB cable from the camera, 3) press once at the CF/xD-SM button to select the other card, 4) reconnect the camera.
Jens Birch

Q: How do I tell what firmware version I have?
C: (4040?), 5050, 5060, 8080

A: One way of doing it is to open a picture in a text editor such as Notepad, and search for the string "v558" if you have a C5050, "v756" if you have a C5060, or "v757" for the C8080. The number of the firmware version follows right after that; for example, v558-77 means you have version 77. A second method is, when viewing an unedited image in Windows XP, right click on on the image, then click on properties, then metadata, and it should be listed. A third method (for C5060 and C8080) is to run the firmware update utility but do not update and it will tell your your firmware version in the camera.
/Liz Zoob, Jens Birch

Q: How do I use a polarizing filter to best effect?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: The LCD normally compensates for the brightness of the scene which makes the effect hard to see. To see the effect on the LCD you must circumvent that compensation by locking the automatic exposure temporarily. You can do that in two ways, either by pressing the AEL button once or by keeping the shutter button 1/2-pressed. Now, while the exposure is locked, rotate the filter and observe the effect on the LCD screen, when you are satisfied with the effect you must press AEL again or release the 1/2 half pressed shutter button in order to re-activate the exposure meter (to get a correctly exposed picture). If your polarizing filter feature a little knob or a white dot, you can get maximal effect without looking at the LCD by rotating the filter until the knob/dot points towards the direction where the sun is on the sky (as good as you can). This is useful in sunny days when viewing the LCD is difficult.
/Jens Birch

Q: How does the three cameras: C5050, C5060, and C8080 compare as point-and-shoot cameras from a practical standpoint?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: See the comparison table made by Chris. It is summarized in a table presented in the document: "C5050_C5060_C8080_Comparison_as P-S.htm" located in the "Files" section of the Yahoo Olympus 405080 discussion group.
/Jens Birch

Q: How high flash trigger voltage are the C5050, C5060, and C8080 cameras capable of handling?

C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: Several independent Olympus' tech staff stated that they will survive 300 V trigger voltage. (See e.g., posts #9105, #19780, and #30782 in the Yahoo Olympus 405080 discussion group.) However, one Olympus techie recommended to stay below 10 Volts (post #31361) and another said that "the voltage could not be concealed to the public". We have not had any high trigger voltage damages reported so far (July 2004). Note: a minimum of 6 Volts trigger voltage is also recommended by one Olympus representative.
/Jens Birch

Q: How to RESET my camera?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: A "soft" reset to factory default shooting settings, but without changing date and file-numbering, is done either by simultaneously pressing the "self-timer" and "custom" buttons or by setting the "All Reset" to ON in SETUP in MODE MENU and then restarting the camera. There is also a "hard" reset which basically restarts the "firmware" (the program that runs the camera) and wipes out the on-board memory. NOTE: This reset is intended for technicians to use. This is done by: putting the camera in M mode, opening the memory door, turning the camera on and then hold the "OK" and "Quickview" buttons simultaneaously for 3 seconds. Select "Reset" in the menu that appears and press "OK" . For the C8080 it is done by opening the storage door and pressing "OK" and "Monitor" buttons simultaneously. A similar reset is obtained by leaving the batteries out of the camera for a long time (12-24 hours).
/Jens Birch

Q: My camera gives out-of-focus images. What is wrong and how can I avoid it?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: The camera is by default set iESP focussing which automatically selects what is most important to focus on. Often, the camera decides that a contrast-rich background is more important than the subject. Set the camera to "Spot-autofocus" by pressing the "OK"-button while holding down the "AF/macro/MF"- button and select "spot" with the selection wheel. That will make the camera to focus in the center of the scene. Another possibility is that you set the camera manually according to the distance gauge which isn't accurate at all.
/Jens Birch

Q: What is a lens tube?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: A lens tube is the tube you attach to the camera body at the base of the lens; add-on lenses and filters can be attached onto the other end of the tube. For the C3040, C4040 and C5050, the thread on the camera body is 41 mm and he Olympus lens tube is the CLA-1 has a 43 mm filter thread. Olympus also sell the CLA-5 which is a CLA-1 plus a 43-55 mm step up ring. Note that only certain 43 m filters will work together with the CLA-1 on the C5050 (see another FAQ about that). For the C5060, which has a 48.5 mm tread on the body, Olympus provides the lens tube CLA-7 which features a bayonet coupling to the Olympus wide angle converter WCON-07C and the teleconverter TCON-17C. On the C5060, filters of size 40.5 mm are screwed directly onto the lens barrel. For the C8080, you have to use the Olympus CLA-8 which also has a bayonet coupling to fit the Olympus WCON-08D wide angle converter and the TCON-14D teleconverter. On the C8080, a 67 mm male tread on the body is available for a lens tube. The Olympus tube is the CLA-8 which features a bayonet coupling for Olympus original conversion lenses in the end. To access the treads on the body, a factory mounted ring that occupies the threads has to be removed. Note that filters of size 58 mm can be screwed directly onto the lens barrel. Alternatively, you can get third party lens tubes from Raynox, Soligor or Tiffen with standard filter threads that accepts filters as well as third party auxillary lenses. More info is compiled in the document: 'Lens armour_adapter tubes.doc' in the 'Files' section of the Yahoo Olympus 405080 discussion group and at
/Liz Zoob, Jens Birch

Q: What memory card is the fastest for my camera?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: Generally a fast (faster than 17x) and large (256 Mbyte or larger) card of a good brand (like Lexar, Sandisk Ultra, Transcend, and Ridata) is recommended. At about 17x, the camera electronics becomes the bottleneck for the C5050. The C5060 and the C8080 are about half as fast. Please see the write speed surveys for the: C5050, C5060, and C8080.
/Jens Birch

Q: When is it beneficial to use a polarizing filter on my camera?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

A: If a polarizing filter is rotated to the correct angle, it will reduce light reflections from wet surfaces, asphalt, glass etc. or darken the blue sky but leaving the white clouds essentially bright. You also use it to reduce haze and glare in misty or polluted air conditions. You can use it all the time but it will steal about 1-2 f-stops of light and it will not have any noticeable effect in other situations than the above mentioned.
/Jens Birch

Q: Where is the nodal point located?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060

A: Distances forward of the center of the tripod socket:
C4040: Wide = 1.25 inches = 32.0 mm, Wide + WCON-08 = 2.16 inches = 54.8 mm, Tele = 0.130 inches = 3.3 mm.
C-5050 Zoom; Wide = 1.41 inches = 35.9 mm, Wide + WCON-08 = 2.31 inches = 58.7 mm, Tele = 0.279 inches = 7.1 mm.
C5060:Wide = 41.245mm
(Values for other Olympus cameras are given in message #22529 of the Yahoo Olympus 405080 discussion group.)
/Jens Birch

Q: Which 43 mm filters work with the CLA-1 adapter on the C5050 without lens crash?
C: C5050

A: Kenlock UV filter, Hama UV filter, Hama HTMC circular polarizer, Hoya HMC (multicoated) clear, HMC Skylight, and HMC UV filters, Soligor circular polarizing filter.
/Jens Birch

Q: Which external TTL flashes for Olympus digital cameras are available?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 8080

The Olympus FL-20, FL-36 (Olympus are uncertain about its compatibility, Jan. 2005), FL-40, and FL-50 flashes.
The Metz Mecablitz 44-MZ2 or 54 MZ-4 with an SCA-3002 module, see (there are smaller Metz models that now are out of production that will work as well).
Soligor DG-20 DA and DG-34 DA
Promaster models 5550 and 5750 with the module 1050DX
Cullmann have two new TTL flashes for Olympus, AF 20-O Digital and AF 34-O Digital
A nice overview is given at Michael Meissner's Olympus page
/Jens Birch

Q:Which external flashes can be used?
C: 5050, 5060, 8080

A: The flash MUST have a trigger voltage below 300V and is recommended to be between 6 and 10 Volts (see other FAQ above). An extensive list of the trigger voltages of different flashes can be found here
/Jens Birch

Q:How can I contact Olympus?
C: 4040, 5050, 5060, 7070, 8080, E-300

Olympus America Digital Technical support:
TEL : 00-800-6710-8300 time 9am - 6pm

Olympus UK:

Olympus Customer Support Center in Tokyo Japan:

Olympus Europa Gmbh:

Digital technical helpdesk:

/Jens Birch

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