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Timing & Performance

The C-8080 Wide Zoom is a fast camera for its type, indeed its sub-one-second startup time is better than some digital SLR's, it's still faster than the competition even at telephoto. Kudos Olympus. Auto focus felt fast and was truly fast in a point-and-shoot situation, if you 'half press' the camera returns with an AF lock indication somewhere between three quarters and one and a half seconds. However this isn't the whole story, if you skip the half press and simply take a shot in one action (full depression of shutter release) the C-8080 auto focuses, measures AE and takes the shot much more quickly. In a good AF situation (wide angle, good light) we managed it in 0.3 seconds, that's almost twice as fast as the competition.

The C-8080's slowest function is playback, image to image times with an SHQ quality JPEG were around two and a half seconds which can get a bit tedious for reviewing.

Timing Notes

All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3264 x 2448 SHQ JPEG image (approx. 3,500 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card.

Action Details Time, seconds
Power: Off to Record Lens to wide angle 0.9
Power: Off to Record Lens to telephoto 2.2
Power: Off to Play Image displayed 3.2
Power: Record to Off Lens at wide angle 1.1
Power: Record to Off Lens to telephoto 1.8
Power: Play to Off <0.1
Record Review Image displayed 1.5
Mode: Record to Quick View Depends on image size 3.1
Mode: Record to Play Depends on image size 3.1
Mode: Play to Record Lens already extended (wide angle) 0.8
Mode: Play to Record Lens not extended (wide angle) 1.7
Play: Magnify To first level of magnification <0.1
Play: Thumbnail view 2 x 2 thumbnails 1.1
Play: Thumbnail view 3 x 3 thumbnails 1.8

Action Details Time, seconds
Zoom from Wide to Tele 28 to 140 mm (5 x) 1.6
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Wide angle 0.5 - 1.5
Half-press Lag (0->S1) Telephoto 0.8 - 1.9
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2) Wide angle (LCD / EVF) 0.1
Full-press Lag (0->S2) Wide angle (Auto AF Area) 0.3
Off to Shot Taken Wide angle (Auto AF Area) 1.9
Shot to Shot Record Review On 2.1
Shot to Shot Record Review Off 2.1

Lag Timing Definitions

Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
 

(Prime AF/AE)
Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
 

(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
 

(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)


Continuous mode

The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. Media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/250 sec during these tests.

High / Standard / AF continuous drive modes

Image Type Continuous
mode
Avg. frames
per sec
*1
Frames in one burst *2

Delay before
next shot
*3

3264 x 2448 RAW High 1.8 fps 5 61.8 sec
3264 x 2448 SHQ High 1.8 fps 5 8.7 sec
3264 x 2448 HQ High 1.8 fps 5 7.1 sec
2288 x 1712 SQ1 High 1.8 fps 5 7.6 sec
1600 x 1200 SQ2 High 1.8 fps 5 6.7 sec
3264 x 2448 SHQ Standard 1.2 fps 12 5.0 sec
3264 x 2448 HQ Standard 1.2 fps 22 3.0 sec
2288 x 1712 SQ1 Standard 1.2 fps 14 4.7 sec
1600 x 1200 SQ2 Standard 1.2 fps 40 2.5 sec
3264 x 2448 SHQ AF 0.8 fps 12 5.0 sec
3264 x 2448 HQ AF 0.8 fps 22 2.7 sec
2288 x 1712 SQ1 AF 0.8 fps 14 5.0 sec
1600 x 1200 SQ2 AF 0.8 fps 41 2.5 sec

*1 This is an average over the entire burst, all shooting modes 'stutter' after first exposure before reaching full speed.
*2 In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).
*3 You can take a frame as soon as there is space in the cameras internal buffer (writing continues "in the background") - apart from RAW mode.

A consistent, reliable if average performance from the C-8080. Thankfully at least Olympus has chosen to be conservative in its marketing material, it labels high speed as 1.6 fps (we achieved 1.8 fps) and standard speed as 1.0 fps (we achieved 1.2 fps).


File Write / Display and Sizes

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator beside the Compact Flash compartment door went out. This means the timings also include the cameras processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 1 GB SanDisk Ultra II Type I Compact Flash card.

Image Type Time to store
(secs)
*1
Time to display
(secs)
File size *2
(approx.)
Images on a *3
1 GB Card
3264 x 2448 TIFF 16.6 11.5 23,424 KB 42
3264 x 2448 RAW 13.0 10.4 11,800 KB 85
3264 x 2448 JPEG SHQ 3.6 2.3 3,500 KB 255
3264 x 2448 JPEG HQ 2.5 1.5 1,630 KB 508
2288 x 1712 SQ1 2.7 1.8 2,200 KB 349
1600 x 1200 SQ2 2.2 0.9 840 KB 710

*1 Subtract 0.9 seconds for the actual CF write time.
*2 All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).
*3 Camera estimation.

A respectable performance, the C-8080 processes images quickly and begins writing them about a second faster than some other eight megapixel digital cameras. In addition it had an approximate CF interface throughput of between 1 and 1.5 MB/sec.


Low Light Auto Focus

This test is designed to measure the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.

Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).

AF assist lamp

The C-8080 has an orange AF assist lamp positioned on the camera body which it uses to illuminate the scene in low light situations. This extra illumination is designed to assist the contrast detect portion of the hybrid AF system to achieve a good AF lock.

Focal length Aperture
at focal len.
AF assist lamp Lowest light focus Time to focus
from min.
Wide (28 mm equiv.) F2.4 Yes Darkness 2.1 sec
Tele (140 mm equiv.) F3.5 Yes Darkness 3.7 sec
Wide (28 mm equiv.) F2.4 No -0.4 EV 2.4 sec
Tele (140 mm equiv.) F3.5 No 1.1 EV 3.3 sec

  Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)

Low light AF was as we had expected, AF lock in complete darkness with the AF assist lamp enabled and AF lock with a little light with it disabled. AF times were noticeably slower in these low light situations but again approximately what was expected for this type of camera.


Battery life

We ran the camera through our new battery life test. This test is designed to be fair and comparative to each camera and battery type:

  • Take 4 shots without flash
  • Wait 2 minutes (50% of the time powering the camera off)
  • Take 1 shot with flash
  • Wait 1 minute
  • Repeat

Batteries are fully discharged and recharged before the test and all cameras were reset to their factory default settings. Here are the results:

Camera
Prosumer / SLR-Like
Battery Power Battery life Number of shots
Minolta DiMAGE 7 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 1 hr 14 mins 125
Minolta DiMAGE 5 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 1 hr 56 mins 195
Nikon Coolpix 5700 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 08 mins 215
Canon PowerShot S40 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 13 mins 225
Minolta DiMAGE S304 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 18 mins 235
Canon PowerShot S45 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 28 mins 240
Nikon Coolpix 4500 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 27 mins 250
Fujifilm FinePix 6900Z NP-80 4.1 Wh 2 hr 29 mins 250
Nikon Coolpix 990 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 30 mins 255
Nikon Coolpix 995 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 30 mins 255
Nikon Coolpix 5000 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 2 hr 32 mins 260
Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 33 mins 260
Canon PowerShot Pro1 BP-511A 10.2 Wh 2 hr 36 mins 265
Canon PowerShot S50 NB-2L 3.9 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Minolta DiMAGE S404 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Sony DSC-V1 NP-FC11 2.8 Wh 2 hr 39 mins 270
Olympus C-7000 Zoom LI-12B 4.5 Wh 2 hr 44 mins 280
Nikon Coolpix 8700 EN-EL1 5.0 Wh 2 hr 45 mins 280
Minolta DiMAGE 7i 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 46 mins 270
Olympus E-20 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 2 hr 48 mins 285
Canon PowerShot G1 BP-511 8.1 Wh 3 hr 00 mins 300
Nikon Coolpix 5400 EN-EL1 4.8 Wh 3 hr 06 mins 315
HP Photosmart 850 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 12 mins 325
Sony DSC-S75 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 15 mins 330
Nikon Coolpix 8800 EN-EL7 8.1 Wh 3 hr 27 mins 350
Fujifilm FinePix S602Z 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 29 mins 350
Canon PowerShot G2 BP-511 8.1 Wh 3 hr 32 mins 355
Casio QV-4000 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 38 mins 365
Olympus C-5050 Zoom 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 3 hr 48 mins 380
Casio EXILIM EX-P700 NP-40 4.5 Wh 3 hr 48 mins 385
Sony DSC-S85 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 3 hr 50 mins 400
Sony DSC-F717 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 4 hr 02 mins 405
Pentax Optio 750Z D-LI7 6.6 Wh 4 hr 03 mins 415
Sony DSC-V3 NP-FR1 4.4 Wh 4 hr 05 mins 415
Nikon Coolpix 8400 EN-EL7 8.1 Wh 4 hr 09 mins 420
Sony DSC-F707 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 4 hr 20 mins 440
Fujifilm S7000 Zoom 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 4 hr 23 mins 445
Konica Minolta DiMAGE A2 NP-400 11.1 Wh 4 hr 26 mins 450
Canon PowerShot G3 BP-511 8.1 Wh 4 hr 32 mins 455
Canon PowerShot G5 BP-511 8.1 Wh 4 hr 33 mins 460
Pentax Optio 550 D-LI7 6.6 Wh 4 hr 36 mins 465
Minolta DiMAGE A1 NP-400 11.1 Wh 5 hr 02 mins 515
Leica Digilux 2 BP-DC1-E 10.1 Wh 5 hr 05 mins 515
Sony DSC-F828 NP-FM50 8.6 Wh 5 hr 28 mins 540
Fujifilm FinePix S5000 4 x AA NiMH 1600 mAh (GP) 7.7 Wh 5 hr 31 mins 555
Canon PowerShot G6 BP-511A 10.3 Wh 5 hr 38 mins 570
Olympus C-8080 WZ BLM-1 10.8 Wh 5 hr 52 mins 595
Other test notes:
 • LCD monitor is left on during the battery test
 • The camera is powered off half of the time and left on half of the time (switch every 10 iterations)
 • There are now higher capacity AA NiMH batteries available, however in the interests of fair
    comparison we will continue to use our 1600 mAh test set

The C-8080 Wide Zoom lasted for almost six hours on its BLM-1 Lithium-Ion battery. Not only was this the best performance of any of our eight megapixel group but also was the longest lasting camera we've ever tested. Sufficient to say that even if you shoot all day the C-8080 and a single battery will last and probably even into the next day.

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Comments

Total comments: 7
papillon_65

Recently picked a mint one up for peanuts out of curiosity, so glad I did, it takes superb jpegs and the colour is as accurate as any I've seen on any camera. I'll definitely use it occasionally, ergonomically it's also very nice, fits my hand like a glove and it's built like a tank. Still a camera worth using IMHO.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
alexisgreat

I loved this line of camera! I remember when the Olympus C-xxxx line and the Nikon E-xxx line went mano a mano to rule the compact camera world! I still have my C-7070 and my E-990 which I consider to be the two best (and their full supply of converters), they dont make compact cameras as great as these anymore- with direct live histograms and pixel mapping! The C-7070 super macros even surpassed those of the C-8080 and we all know how great the E-990 (and C-7070) was with macros and digiscoping! Who needs a superzoom camera when one of these can be directly attached to a telescope eyepiece with no vignetting and full use of the zoom of the camera!

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson

The C-8080 was my first 'serious' digital camera (had a Konica KD-500Z before that), which I bought when I got a small inheritance (UW house, flash, the works).

A superb compact, with excellent one-hand operation (most buttons within reach with your right hand still holding the camera).

Mine is still in working order, still takes lovely macros, and flash shots, but its flaws were plenty as well (a few samples):

It crashed on the third day of my vacation to the US and Canada with my wife, and had to be sent overseas to get new firmware installed (nowadays we are allowed to do such things ourselves)!

It is still lousy in any kind of back-lighting (I use to call the effect 'lilac rivers', as both the EVF, and the LCD became totally useless, due to floods of lilac color flowing over them) but the prints were not affected, bar a lot of flare problems).

Its powered zoom, that had four steps (wide, less wide, normal, and full telephoto), and nothing in between. Nice macro, though. Cont

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson

The inner camera lens barrel is very wobbly, but it doesn't seem to affect the image quality one bit!

Slow, really slow, in every way. Slow update of the EVF, slow saves (about two RAWs per minute, maximum)!
But the majority of reviewers loved it, and I know pros that got one, to complement their Hasselblads, and stuff.

So, till this day, no more C-x0x0 cameras released by Olympus. The camera never earned the company the massive amount they had invested in it, and almost killed Olympus. Happily, the C-7070 was still in production, and earned the company its keep (at least the camera department).

Then came the bold move into m43 (MFT), and another crisis, requiring help from Sony (a lot of money!).

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson

The maximum useable ISO is 140!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
KKramer

One of my favorite cameras ever and I use it to this day. It is built like a tank. Slow by today's standards, it was way ahead of its time with a ⅔ sensor.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
1 upvote
ISOFIX

Yes absolutely right, for me too, have it since amazing 8 years and still really good pictures coming out.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 7