Olympus C8080 WZ digital camera resource

Latest changes: July 28th, 2009
July 28th: Memory cards section updated.
Aug. 29th: Firmware section updated
Apr. 6th: comparison between the E400 and the 8080 by Snaarman


Contact & Questions

This online resource is under construction. If you have new information please send me an email or leave a message using the form below. If you have very specific questions about the Olympus 8080, I'd suggest that you put them in the

Olympus 8080 users group



Will you help me ?

I can't have my eyes everywhere and if you are aware of any information specific to the Olympus 8080 which isn't yet available here, or if you'd like to leave your own user report, you can send it to me here. Just leave a notice in the message box below (leave name and email adress if you'd like me to reply to you):

Note: if you have questions about the Olympus 8080, please put them in the Olympus 8080 users group.



Technical data and reference manuals





Lens resolution

Lens used
Focal length
(35mm equiv)

vert. hori. diag.
E300 Macro 50mm 100mm F4
3 2-3 3
E300 14-45 kit lens 90mm F8
3 3 3
E300 14-45 kit lens 46mm F8
3 3 3
E300 40-150 kit lens 162mm F8
3 2 2-3
E300 40-150 kit lens 300mm F8
3 2 3
28mm F4
3 2-3 3 Test target only covers approx. 80% of the image
54mm F4
3 3 3
140mm F5,6
3 3 3-4


Sample images


White balance settings


ISO test: ISO 50 vs. ISO 200


RAW file format




Memory cards

Which memory card to use with the Olympus 8080 ?




Questions ? Comments ? Put them in the Olympus 8080 user group

Autofocus methods


Noise test: the Olympus 8080 vs the Olympus 5050

Note: for this test I compared the noise levels in the RAW images of both cameras. The final JPEG image of the 8080 will probably be less noisy due to the more sophisticated noise reduction firmware of the 8080.

It appears that the CCD of the 8080 is a bit more noisy than that of the 5050.

noise comparison results

More specifically at ISO 64 the 5050 has the same noise level as the 8080 at ISO 50. At ISO 100 the 5050 has the noise level of the 8080 at ISO 80 (actually a bit lower than that), at ISO 200 the 5050 has the same noise level as the 8080 at ISO 125 and at ISO 400 the 5050 has the same noise level as the 8080 at ISO 250.

The complete test results are available here.

What does this mean ? Well, if you shoot only JPEG or TIFF you might ignore the results, because the 8080 applies more advanced noise reduction than the 5050, although some detail gets lost as a result of this.

If you however shoot primarily RAW, it basically means that you have to use the 8080 at lower ISOs and therefore the 8080 is less sensitive to light than the 5050. Since the 5050 also has a more bright lens, it is much more suitable for low light handheld photography than the 8080 - in a specific situation the 5050 will need only half the exposure time of the 8080 (or even less, depending on zoom levels).


Chromatic aberrations / Purple fringing


Polariser filter and other filters





Questions ? Comments ? Put them in the Olympus 8080 user group

BLM-1 battery and cheaper 3rd party alternatives

Infrared photography with the Olympus 8080

Infrared photo taken with the Olympus 8080
by Antara Scales
Sunny day, f2.4, 2sec, ISO50, hoya r72, tripod.

Photoshoped (levels, curves, channel mixer, usm, cropped to get rid of vignette at wide angle. I'm using a 49mm filter from the UZi). It took a bit of work.



Auxiliary lenses


Questions ? Comments ? Put them in the Olympus 8080 user group


External flash


Controlling the Olympus 8080 with a computer


Travelling and storage


Questions ? Comments ? Put them in the Olympus 8080 user group

Underwater Photography



Data recovery



Noise reduction


Exposure information data (EXIF)


Panorama shots


Linux and the 8080


Astrophotography with the Olympus 8080





What follows is a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) compiled by Jens Birch, based on questions asked in the Olympus 8080 users group.

Q: Can I use a linear polarizer with my camera?
A: Yes. You can use either linear or circular polarizers. Circular ones are needed for most autofocus SLR cameras (not the Olympus E-10 and E-20 though).

Q: How can I avoid the annoying beeping sound when turning ON by mistake?
A: Turn mode dial to GREEN ARROW...it works every time! You can also use a sufficiently long lens tube (does not work for the 8080 without vignetting).

Q: How can I obtain exposure times longer than 1/2 second or shorter than 1/1000 second?
A: With the 8080, exposure times longer than 1/2s are available A, S and M modes. 1/4000 second is available in all modes. Bulb is only available in M mode.

Q:How can I speed up the time it takes for the camera to take the picture after I press the shutter button?
A: There are many things you can do:
  1. You can be prepared beforehand by 1/2-pressing the shutter button (and keeping it 1/2-pressed) while aiming at the subject before the actual moment when you want to take the picture. The autofocus (AF) and the aperture will be set and the camera will then take the picture with no time lag when you press the last 1/2-way.
  2. Set the camera to manual focus (MF) at the subject distance you intend to take the picture at. This is most easily done by aiming at an object at the distance you want to use and 1/2-pressing the shutter button. While keeping it 1/2-pressed, press the AF/Macro/MF button. That fixes the focus at the desired distance and the camera is set to MF. This will significantly reduce the shutter lag.
  3. Set the camera to manual exposure (M) which further reduces the shutter lag.
  4. When it is tricky to catch the moment, use Hi-drive sequential shooting and start taking pictures just before you think the action starts. Use the optical viewfinder in order to follow the action when the camera's LCD is occupied while taking the pictures.
  5. Turn off the "REC-view in the "SETUP" tab in the "Mode Menu". That will minimize the time that the just taken picture is displayed and you will be ready for the next shot as soon as possible.
  6. Use fully charged batteries if you are using the on-board flash. Otherwise it takes a long time to re-charge.

Q: How can I stop the camera from entering sleep mode after 3 minutes?
A: Plug in an external DC power unit or a battery pack. You can also excercise the zoom a little now and then with the remote control.

Q: How do I copy between cards in the camera?
A: Change the Camera to Playback Mode, press OK, press right, go to the Edit menu, press right, go to the Copy button, press right, select "All" if you want to copy all otherwise go to "Select" to copy single pictures. Press OK when you want to copy.

Q: How do I switch between the xD and the CF cards when transferring the images from the camera?
A: The camera uses the card that was selected when it was connected to the USB port. To switch card, you must 1) prepare your computer to safely disconnect the USB drive (camera). 2) pull the USB cable from the camera, 3) press once at the CF/xD button to select the other card, 4) reconnect the camera.

Q: How do I tell what firmware version I have?
A: One way of doing it is to open a picture in a text editor such as Notepad, and search for the string "v757". The number of the firmware version follows right after that; for example, v757-75 means you have version 75. A second method is, when viewing an unedited image in Windows XP, right click on on the image, then click on properties, then metadata, and it should be listed. A third method is to run the firmware update utility but do not update and it will tell your your firmware version in the camera.

Q: How do I use a polarizing filter to best effect?
A: The LCD normally compensates for the brightness of the scene which makes the effect hard to see. To see the effect on the LCD you must circumvent that compensation by locking the automatic exposure temporarily. You can do that in two ways, either by pressing the AEL button once or by keeping the shutter button 1/2-pressed. Now, while the exposure is locked, rotate the filter and observe the effect on the LCD screen, when you are satisfied with the effect you must press AEL again or release the 1/2 half pressed shutter button in order to re-activate the exposure meter (to get a correctly exposed picture). If your polarizing filter feature a little knob or a white dot, you can get maximal effect without looking at the LCD by rotating the filter until the knob/dot points towards the direction where the sun is on the sky (as good as you can). This is useful in sunny days when viewing the LCD is difficult.

Q: How high flash trigger voltage is the C8080 capable of handling?
A: Several independent Olympus' tech staff stated that they will survive 300 V trigger voltage. (See e.g., posts #9105, #19780, and #30782 in the Olympus 8080 users group.) However, one Olympus techie recommended to stay below 10 Volts (post #31361) and another said that "the voltage could not be concealed to the public". We have not had any high trigger voltage damages reported so far (July 2004). Note: a minimum of 6 Volts trigger voltage is also recommended by one Olympus representative.

Q: How to RESET my camera?
A: A "soft" reset to factory default shooting settings, but without changing date and file-numbering, is done either by simultaneously pressing the "self-timer" and "custom" buttons or by setting the "All Reset" to ON in SETUP in MODE MENU and then restarting the camera. There is also a "hard" reset which basically restarts the "firmware" (the program that runs the camera) and wipes out the on-board memory. NOTE: This reset is intended for technicians to use. This is done by: putting the camera in M mode, opening the memory door, turning the camera on and then hold the "OK" and "Quickview" buttons simultaneaously for 3 seconds. Select "Reset" in the menu that appears and press "OK" . For the C8080 it is done by opening the storage door and pressing "OK" and "Monitor" buttons simultaneously. A similar reset is obtained by leaving the batteries out of the camera for a long time (12-24 hours).

Q: My camera gives out-of-focus images. What is wrong and how can I avoid it?
A: The camera is by default set iESP focussing which automatically selects what is most important to focus on. Often, the camera decides that a contrast-rich background is more important than the subject. Set the camera to "Spot-autofocus" by pressing the "OK"-button while holding down the "AF/macro/MF"- button and select "spot" with the selection wheel. That will make the camera to focus in the center of the scene. Another possibility is that you set the camera manually according to the distance gauge which isn't accurate at all.

Q: What is a lens tube?
A: A lens tube is the tube you attach to the camera body at the base of the lens; add-on lenses and filters can be attached onto the other end of the tube. On the C8080, a 67 mm male tread on the body is available for a lens tube. The Olympus tube is the CLA-8 which features a bayonet coupling for Olympus original conversion lenses in the end. To access the treads on the body, a factory mounted ring that occupies the threads has to be removed. Note that filters of size 58 mm can be screwed directly onto the lens barrel. Alternatively, you can get third party lens tubes from Raynox, Soligor or Tiffen with standard filter threads that accepts filters as well as third party auxillary lenses. More info is compiled in the document: 'Lens armour_adapter tubes.doc' in the 'Files' section of the Olympus 8080 users group.

Q: What memory card is the fastest for my camera?
A: Generally a fast (faster than 12x) and large (256 Mbyte or larger) card of a good brand (like Lexar, Sandisk Ultra, Transcend, and Ridata) is recommended. At about 7x the camera electronics becomes the bottleneck for the Olympus 8080. Please see the Olympus 8080 write speed survey.

Q: When is it beneficial to use a polarizing filter on my camera?
A: If a polarizing filter is rotated to the correct angle, it will reduce light reflections from wet surfaces, asphalt, glass etc. or darken the blue sky but leaving the white clouds essentially bright. You also use it to reduce haze and glare in misty or polluted air conditions. You can use it all the time but it will steal about 1-2 f-stops of light and it will not have any noticeable effect in other situations than the above mentioned.


Questions ? Comments ? Put them in the Olympus 8080 users group


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