Operating the camera is one thing, actually using it on the road is another. To our opinion a camera review isnít complete without actually having spent a few days with the camera where it ought to be used, in and out of the house and on a holiday. Thatís the only way you can accurately measure the responsiveness and ease of use. Well, the Olympus didnít disappoint here either, the rubber grip sits tightly in the palm of your hand and the camera isnít too heavy to carry around whole day. Yet with the full metal alloy body it is robust enough to withstand the usual wear and tear but also has a better chance to survive accidents such as dropping it on the floor. Fortunately Olympus does not follow the trend of many other digital camera manufacturers to use more and more plastic parts throughout their cameras. To give you an impression of what the Olympus C8080 Wide Zoom is capable of, take a look at the table below that lists most of the camera's specifications.
Another benefit is the fact that Olympus ships the camera with a decent battery; battery life certainly wasnít something Olympusís engineers forgot about when designing this camera. On one occasion weíd been using the camera for three full days, taking over 400 photos and using the flash and LCD monitor on many occasions and the battery still didnít give in. Whatís also good thinking on Olympusís part is the fact that the battery used is the same for all of the cameras in their semi-professional series, so the C5060 and the E-1 digital SLR all use the same battery. We can only applaud them for that, as really whatís the use of yet another proprietary battery that can only be used in one type of camera?
The 5x optical zoom lens with lens cap, zoomed in and zoomed out.
Image quality is excellent, even at full automatic settings. The auto-focus is very fast, it focuses in just a few milliseconds and from the more than 400 photos we took only a few were out of focus due to user error, not because of the camera. White balance was also good, in full sunlight and indoors it maintained proper color, which usually is most evident when taking shots of people, their skin color will shift to some awkward tint if the white balance is not working properly.
A video of the Olympus C8080 Wide Zoom with the zoom lens going in and out.
As we already stated in the second paragraph of the first page of this review the Olympus C8080 Wide Zoom currently is our favorite 8 megapixel camera. If youíve read through the following pages youíd have seen why exactly. If youíre looking for something thatís a step up from regular 3, 4 or 5 megapixel cameras but donít want to spend too much money on a digital SLR the Olympus C8080 Wide Zoom certainly deserves your attention. Youíll have to take our word for it, as seasoned amateur photographers, that this camera comes highly recommended both for the novice user as well as the seasoned amateur. It simply has all the required features youíd expect from a semi-professional camera worked into a digital camera that is responsive and boasts a great lens and excellent image quality.
Manufacturer: Olympus Corporation Japan
Model: Camedia C8080 Wide Zoom
Price: +/- $ 899 or 850 euros