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Jog dial

On the rear of the camera body is the jog dial (which would probably be called a command dial on other cameras). The majority of camera settings changes made by external buttons (such as white balance, exposure compensation etc.) require a hold of a button and a turn of the jog dial. Once you press (and hold) a settings button an overlay is shown on the LCD monitor or EVF, turn the jog dial to change the setting value (see examples below).

Top of camera controls

All of the controls on the top of the C-8080 are located on the right side of the flash hot-shoe. At the very front we can see the shutter release button, angled much more to vertical than any previous Olympus. Behind this is the rocker type zoom lever (non-proportional, one speed), beside this the power button. Immediately behind the zoom lever is the custom button which can be programmed to change a setting of your choice.

Mode Dial

Program Auto Exposure

This is the camera's main shooting mode, just like the C-5050 the C-8080 doesn't have an Auto mode (at this level we wouldn't expect one). New to the C-8080 however is program shift, you can press the up or down arrows on the 4-way controller to select a variety of equal exposures.
Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Aperture is displayed on the LCD monitor, turn the jog dial to change. Available apertures:

• Wide: F2.4, F2.5, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
• Tele: F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD monitor, turn the jog dial to change. Available shutter speeds:

15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250, 1/1600, 1/2000, 1/2500, 1/3200, 1/4000 sec

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above and shutter speeds up to 15 seconds in length plus Bulb (maximum 8 minutes). Turn jog dial to change shutter speed, hold the exposure compensation button and turn the jog dial to select aperture. The C-8080 Zoom provides an instant readout of the difference between the selected exposure and the camera's own metered exposure in the range +/- 3 EV.

My Mode

My Mode are essential user memories, from any of the PASM modes you can record the current settings into one of eight 'My Mode' memory banks. Switching to My Mode you can then recall these settings from one of the banks. Virtually every setting on the camera is stored in one of these memory banks including zoom position and selected exposure. Settings stored in each bank can also be edited via a menu.
Movie clip

The C-8080 provides two movie recording sizes of 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 both recorded at 15 frames per second. Movie recording is 'streaming', that is there is no set limit for a movie, only the available space on the current storage card. You can select to record with or without audio.
Scene: Night Scene

Allows slower shutter speeds than would normally be available in 'P' exposure mode, also automatically enables noise reduction and selects larger apertures. Tripod recommended.
Scene: Landscape

Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background appear in focus). This mode also appears to adjust color balance to optimize blues and greens.
Scene: Sports

Selects fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring.
Scene: Portrait

Selects large apertures (low F numbers) to provide narrow depth of field, this creates the out of focus 'blurred' background effect which enhances portrait photographs.

Enters the camera's set up menu, described in more detail later in this review.
Play mode

Displays the last image taken (or last image on storage media), play mode is described more fully later in this review.

Controls (Record mode)

W/T Zoom

Push to the left to zoom towards wide angle (28 mm equiv.) to the right to zoom towards telephoto (140 mm equiv.). I would have liked to have seen proportional (Multi-speed) zoom control on a camera at this level.

Custom button

The custom button can be programmed (via the SETUP menu) to control any one of the following settings:

 • ISO sensitivity (Auto, ISO 64, 100, 200, 400)
 • Drive (default)
 • Digital Zoom (On / Off)
 • Noise Reduction (On / Off)
 • Function (Off, B&W, Sepia, White board, Black board)
 • Frame Assist (On / Off)
 • Still image audio record (On / Off)
 • Movie audio record (On / Off)
 • My Mode (1 - 8)
 • Histogram mode
 • Sharpness (+/-5 levels)
 • Contrast (+/-5 levels)
 • Hue (+/-5 levels)
 • Saturation (+/-5 levels)
 • Exposure compensation
 • Flash mode
 • Flash exposure compensation
 • Focus mode
 • Metering mode
 • Self-timer / Remote
 • White balance
 • Image size / quality

Controls (Play mode)

Thumbnail index

Pushing the zoom lever to the left in play mode switches to a thumbnail index view. By default this view shows 9 images (3 x 3) although you can change this to 4 (2 x 2) or 16 (4 x 4).
Magnify image

Pushing the zoom lever to the right in play mode magnifies the image (or steps out of thumbnail index view). The C-8080 has four magnification levels of 2.0x, 3.0x and 4.0x. Once magnified you can scroll around the image using the 4-way controller.
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Total comments: 8

Bought mine new at Sam's for $400. Build quality amazing and the camera with original battery still taking nice low ISO shots today.

LOL, get really tired of "loose lens comments" over the years;)


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

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!

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
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!).

Tord S Eriksson

The maximum useable ISO is 140!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting

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

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

1 upvote
Total comments: 8