Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Very good resolution, joint best of group
- Fastest startup time of any prosumer digital camera
- Superb build quality, professional feel
- Wide angle five times zoom lens, fast at wide
- Probably the highest quality new lens designed for 8mp
- Low high ISO noise, employs noise reduction
- Fast Auto Focus
- Widest range of image parameter adjustment
- Good flash performance
- Excellent lens, no issues, good performance
- Nine ISO steps from 50 to 400
- Programmable Custom button and initial menu
- Majority of camera settings available on body buttons
- Unique 'direct histogram' mode is surprisingly useful
- Framing assist lines option on live view
- Unlimited (streaming) video
- Excellent battery life, best of group
- LCD performed well outdoors, best of group
- High resolution electronic viewfinder
- Dual media slots (xD & Compact Flash)
- USB 2.0 connectivity
- Supplied IR remote control
Conclusion - Cons
- Least zoom of current eight megapixel prosumer digital cameras
- Camera locked while writing RAW images
- Further than average minimum focus distance (0.8 m)
- LCD only tilts upwards, does not twist out
- Only five steps of zoom from wide to telephoto
- CF card sometimes difficult to grip when removing
- Initially complex button+dial controls, although it becomes easier in time
- Aging menu system
- Slow image to image browsing in play mode
- Zoom speed too fast, not proportional zoom lever
My first impression of the C-8080 Wide Zoom was, "at last a prosumer camera that feels as though it is worth its price tag". The C-8080 is built to a higher standard than any of the other eight megapixel digital cameras (save maybe the Sony DSC-F828), with a thick, high grade metal body simple rubber coating and innovative yet unfussy control layout. This is a camera which feels as well put together as a much more expensive digital SLR, you just know it's going to last. Olympus also broke the mold with the C-8080's design and although initially the camera controls may seem complex it all falls into place and changing settings (almost any setting, they're all there) become fast and logical.
The C-8080's has two major assets which set it up as an excellent 'photographic tool'. The first is the thing which dominates the camera's shape, the large lens. Olympus didn't rush to go down the 7x or 8x zoom route, instead they chose a 5x design but kept the lens diameter big and used high quality glass. This has paid off, image quality is excellent, resolution very high with almost no artifacts and no problems created by the lens itself. Of the five eight megapixel digital cameras currently on the market Sony, Canon and Olympus chose to design new lenses for the sensor, in my opinion the Olympus is the best of all. (The only improvement I could suggest would have been a mechanically linked zoom ring).
The second asset is the camera's performance, being in the right place at the right time to get that once in a lifetime shot is one thing, having the camera switched on and ready is another. Thanks to an amazingly short startup time and short auto focus and shutter release lag you're far more likely to capture the moment with the C-8080 than some of the competition, and we really shouldn't underestimate that.
Take other elements into account, good noise reduction keeping higher ISO's cleaner, a good range of image parameter adjustment, good flash performance, the unique 'direct histogram' feature, superb battery life and an excellent LCD monitor which works well even outdoors and there's little doubt the C-8080 deserves our highest rating.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||8.5|
|Ease of use||7.5|
|Value for money||7.5|
Digital SLR footnote: If you're considering an eight megapixel prosumer digital camera you should also not rule out a sub-$1000 digital SLR while initially more expensive (certainly if you want to achieve the 28 - 200 mm zoom range) these cameras offer higher quality image processing, cleaner images (virtually noise free up to ISO 1600), faster performance, more flexibility and for all intents and purposes (even large prints) as much resolution. On the downside they're not an 'all in one' solution and they're likely to be larger and need you to buy and carry at least a second lens. By sub-$1000 (at the time of publication of this review) we're talking about the Nikon D70 and Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel).
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.