Olympus Camedia C-50 Zoom Digital Camera

We bought an Olympus Camedia C-50 Zoom digital camera yesterday.


We were at Best Buy and Costco yesterday looking at the various cameras. Based on some of the comments we got last week, we decided we wanted something small. We seriously considered the 3.2 megapixel Canon Elph S230 and the 4.0 megapixel Canon PowerShot S45.

About the same size as the Canon S230, the Olympus C-50 packs a whopping 5.0 megapixels into an 8-oz size. That’s smaller than the Canon S45 and it seems a little easier to use. It lists for $699. Best Buy sells it for $599, Costco for $569. We got it for $510 + shipping at 17th Street Photo.

We found some online retailers claiming to sell it for $444, but it turns out that is the “international version” which doesn’t come with some pretty important things like the battery, battery charger, USB and AC power cables, 32 MB of memory, and software. Most of those places wanted an extra $100 for the “USA version.” Very deceptive. I know from past experience (buying Nikon SLR lenses 10 years ago) that 17th Street Photo is a reputable merchant. I guess the only reason I didn’t think to start with them in the first place is that somehow I equate digital cameras more with computers and less with traditional film cameras.

The major disadvantage of the Olympus is that it uses the less-common xD-Picture Card memory format (seems to be used only by Olympus and Nikon). It’s about twice as expensive as CompactFlash, the format that Canon and Pentax use. We paid $130 for a 256 MB xD-Picture Card, but you can get a SanDisk 512 MB CompactFlash Card for the same price.