Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Review
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.
| 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
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:
| Shutter Priority
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:
Full Manual Exposure
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.
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.
Allows slower shutter speeds than would normally be available in 'P' exposure mode, also automatically enables noise reduction and selects larger apertures. Tripod recommended.
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.
Selects fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring.
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.
Displays the last image taken (or last image on storage media), play mode is described more fully later in this review.
Controls (Record mode)
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.
Controls (Play mode)
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).
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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