Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom
Prosumer - below USD $1000

May 31st, 2004
Olympus has been coming on strong with recent cameras and the C-8080 Wide Zoom is a prime example - giving Canon and Nikon a run for their money and shaming some other known digital camera manufacturers.

Feature packed and solid, with a wonderful new lens and lightning fast machine performance, the C-8080 deserves serious consideration.

Highlights:
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom

Medium fast lens - Not as good as an f2.0, but the F2.4 to f3.5 lens is still faster than most of competitors. That extra 1/2 stop is worth a lot.

High quality wide angle lens - Although f2.4 is not as fast as I would like, the wide angle lens is great. Also, this camera features one of Canon's high quality redline L-series lenses.

Fast response - The C-8080 has a very quick response time when compared to most other digital cameras.

Mega Battery / Efficiency - One of the most efficient cameras produced so far. The rechargeable battery allows this camera to operate for almost 6 hours!

Electronic viewfinder
Like many of its peer prosumer cameras, the Olympus C-8080 offers an electronic viewfinder - the next best thing to true SLR.

Solid and ergonomic - This camera seems to beat most of the competition when it comes to construction. An elegant no-nonsense design and heavier magnesium alloy body make this camera feel very solid.

Compact Flash - The C-8080 uses compact flash storage which is an industry standard. Unlike Sony who requires you to buy proprietary Memory Sticks.

Conclusion
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom

There are only a couple of minor drawbacks. The zoom lens only goes to (equiv) 140mm, and the minimum focus distance is reported to be 80cm. If these don't affect your shooting style, then this might be the camera for you. I personally chose the Pro-1 over the C-8080 but that was largely a personal choice. In some respects the C-8080 is a better camera. Research and enjoy.

In a very competitive market, Olympus has once again earned distinction. With a large beautiful lens and solid machining, the C-8080 is a true photographers tool.