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Photography - Equipment - Olympus C-5060

In 4Q, 2003 Olympus announced the PT-020 underwater housing for their new C-5060 camera. Olympus also announced an Olympus flash housing for underwater TTL (PFL-01), and a wide-angle adapter (PPO-02). An Ikelite C-5060 Housing with Olympus TTL automatic exposure circuitry shipped in April 2004.

From a critical review by Andrzej Wrotniak; "I've been using both the '5050 and '5060 on regular basis and my original conclusions still hold. While I like both cameras a lot, I would give a nod (by a very slight margin) to the older model, the C-5050Z."

My take, 08/30/2004

While there is only a limited amount of field data on this camera as housed by Olympus and Ikelite, I think the following points will turn out to be true.

  • The 5060 will work well for macro photography when using either the Olympus or Ikelite housings.
  • Because of the severe optical limitations of the flat Olympus wide angle port (PPO-2) the 5060 with a wide angle lens will only be useful for wide angle photography when housed in an Ikelite housing with the Ikelite dome port. See chart below for details.

    5060 Coverage In Degrees With Olympus and Ikelite Housings

    Olympus Housing

    Ikelite Housing

    No WAL With WAL

    No WAL

    With WAL
    Standard Port PPO-2 Port Flat Port Dome Port Dome Port
    56 deg. 68 deg. 56 deg. 78 deg. 97 deg.

    Data courtesy of Dave Knight, Cameras Underwater Ltd.  Degrees coverage shown in the table are in water values at infinity, on the diagonal, before optional software adjustment for barrel distortion.

Olympus Housing Problems - Many problems have been reported by users of the Olympus PT-020 housing. For details click here and here and here.

Bottom Line: In the past, Olympus housings have provided a lower cost alternative to more full featured Ikelite housings. However, in the case of the 5060, the severe wide angle limitations of the Olympus housing make it a non starter for all but the simplest of needs. For all other uses, the Ikelite with the dome port will prove to be a superior solution and will cost only a few dollars more than a similarly configured Olympus solution.

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