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Oh how pleased I was to wind The Olympus C-505z on Dooyoo. Now i'm able to tell you lovely people about the camera that got my into photography. I was given one of these by a friend. Known as a bridge camera rather than a compact it offers many of the advantages of a DSLR without the hideous pricetag. Having recently sold one of these I can tell you the value of £117 that ebay placed on this camera gets you alot of camera.
Although only shooting a relatively tiny 5 megapixels the excellent glass and f1.8 minimum aperture allow a huge amount of freedom compared to many pricey compacts. All of the usual auto modes are supported meaning if you like, you can just point and shoot. Full manual control allows you to learn the basics of shooting with a DSLR before moving.
The c5050 gives you the option of framing your shot through the in camera viewfinder (although this is not 'through the len' as with an SLR) or you can use the large moveable display on the rear. The display can be tilted slightly down or pulled away from the body and tilted up, meaning you can look down from above and frame a shot from ground level. I found this a great way to play with creative framing without always having to lie down behind the camera.
Although there is a hot shoe connector for hooking up a flash unit but i never used it. The on camera flash is bright and provides good coverage in most cases.
Simple menus mean operating the camera is easy and manual modes can be tackled with confidence. If you see one of these on offer, don't discount it straight away. It may be old and have a meagre 5MP but the quality of images speaks for itself.
Professional features abound in the five-megapixel C-5050ZOOM. The ergonomically designed camera incorporates an ultra-bright f1.8-f2.6, 3x optical zoom lens system. Its many manual options give you the freedom to create the images you want. The tilting LCD monitor helps frame scenes when shooting from difficult angles, such as from the floor or above the head. A range of automatic modes is also included, enabling the quick reaction to capture the moment. Furthermore the C-5050ZOOM is compatible with the new digital image storage standard xD-Picture card, as well as SmartMedia, Compact Flash and Microdrive.