Olympus Camedia C-8080 Wide Zoom
Review Date: 24th May 2004
(out of 5 stars)
I was really looking forward to reviewing the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom because I had enjoyed using the C-5050 Zoom so much last year. It's great to see that Olympus have carried on where the C-5050 left off in terms of design and ease-of-use - the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom is a fantastic tool for the aspiring amateur photographer, with an extensive range of features that are mostly accessed via external controls on the camera body. Once you have become familiar with the camera's initally cluttered design, it is a joy to use.
From an image quality point of view, the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom is also a winner. That 8 megapixel CCD allows you to make quality A3 prints at 200dpi, so if you need to make large prints then the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom should definitely be on your shortlist. Chromatic aberrations are only noticeable by their absence, something which very few digital cameras can claim. And the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom's images are vibrant with good colour straight out of the camera.
The main aspect that detracts from the camera's overall performance is the levels of noise at the higher ISO settings. Noise is very apparent in images taken at ISO 200 and faster. An effective range of ISO 64-200 is not the most versatile in the world, but it will suit landscape and still-life photographers very well. This will be the dealbreaker for some people - if you require an ISO speed faster than 200, I would suggest that you consider buying a 6 megapixel DSLR, which generally control noise much better than the latest 8 megapixel prosumer digital cameras. If you can live with the limited effective ISO range, I would highly recommend the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom to you. It's a great all-in-one solution and a real alternative to the weight and bulk of a DSLR with several lenses.