Bill Bresler, with his Oly C5050 at the Corner Brewery.
One of my buddies (Bill Bresler) has for years, praised the merits of the Olympus C5050Z, a 5.0 MP that came out in 2002. I admit that when I bought my Fuji Finepix S7000 in 2004, that the choice was between the C5050 and the S7000. I think I chose the Fuji because of its feature set and zoom range, and used it with great success for a year or so, until I upgraded to A Nikon D70s. I always liked the styling of the C5050, as it looks more like a film camera, and it has an optical viewfinder.
With all the advanced features of today's P&S digicams, one might ask why anyone would buy a long-discontinued camera such as the Olympus C5050Z. Well, there are a few reasons to like a camera such as the C5050:
used price -- variable, but $100 or less for what was once the top camera in its class.
optics -- excellent, with a max aperture of f/1.8 at the shortest focal length (which is about equal to 35mm)
image size - 5 MP is still plenty big enough for 8x12 prints, and I can choose a 3:2 aspect ratio instead of 4:3, providing me with a 35mm equivalent framing.
external flash shoe -- allows one to use studio strobes and other flashes, if desired.
I also have plenty of 512MB and 1 GB CF cards that can hold a lot of images in a camera like the C5050.
Since I bought the camera from KEH back at the end of March, it's become the one I carry in my backpack. It has a rugged magnesium body, and the controls are easy to navigate, once I familiarized myself with them. It seems to run a long, long time on 4 NiMH rechargeable batteries -- longer, in fact, than my Canon G11 with its LiOn battery. I also have the remote IR shutter release for it, which is really a handy thing to have when its needed.
Yes, compared to current models, the LCD screen on the back is tiny -- but then, it probably uses a lot less power. It does adjust and you can use the camera like a TLR if you want -- try it! With a decent optical VF, I can be pretty sure that what I see is about what I will get -- just like with a RF film camera.
Some sample shots:
I really like the "whiteboard" mode for making high-contrast B&W images in camera.
So, the C5050Z has taken all that I have asked it to do, and has produced good results. What more can one ask from a camera?