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Old Dec 8, 2005, 1:27 AM   #1
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Hello Olympus folks.
After much research and compare-and-contrast situations, I purchased the C-8080 on my birthday, May 6th, 2005. By August, I was having focusing problems.
I talked to a tech via their NY 800 number, but to no avail. He recommend I send the camera in to be checked out. So I sent the camera to Olympus requesting repairs on August 28th. I then received a reply from Olympus via snail-mail dated October 4th. They informed me the repairs necessary were not covered under warranty. They included a repair form stating the total cost for repair would be $286.15. That is nearly 60% my original purchase price from BuyDig.com. I politely disagreed with the bill and, with no other options, compromised with Olympus and talked them down to $148.08 for the repairs--under 30% of my original purchase price.
I received the camera from Olympus in mid-October. It included a paper from the person who inspected the camera with a checklist on it. It stated that the following things were in working order: Powers On, Zoom operation, Flash operation, Mode operation/display, Image Quality, LCD operation, Downloads image, Battery operation, AC operation, and Focus (it also included General Condition--which was okay--and Memory card, Cables, Misc., Hardware, and Accessories, but those options did not come in to play for my particular situation). I was quite excited until I attempted to use the camera. The exact same problem persisted, despite paying $150 for repairs. Despite the "tech" (identified only as MR-7) stating to me that the Image quality and the Focus were completely fine.
If anything, the problem had worsened in the time Olympus had the camera.
I decided to give them the benefit of doubt and test the camera in all possible conditions. In the coming month I would have many opportunities for travel and some top-notch photo shoots and excursions. So days passed and despite the camera being tested in every condition possible, the focusing issue remained. I spoke to a tech again, to no avail.
I sent Olympus the camera for the 2nd time on November 21st, this time including a small 32MB memory card with examples of simple photo's the camera was failing to take properly. Unlike the 1st time, they made no effort towards correspondence. This led me to think the worst and imagine them not doing anything to fix the camera. Since it passed their inspection last time, why wouldn't they simply inspect it again and send it back? I attempted to check the camera's "repair status" on Olympus USA's website, but it turned out to have nothing to do with repairs, or their status. It was basically some info about your camera you already know, plus a shipping update.
So yesterday, I received the camera from Olympus again, and again, the focusing problem persists. The same checklist stating everything to be in proper working order was included again (this time inspected by a tech identified only as MR-3).
So now I'm feeling really helpless. This was my first digital camera purchase and was the camera I thought I would be learning photography with. But I'm left with a $500 paper-weight (well, I shouldn't say that since you can take decent pictures under near-laboratory controlled conditions, just don't expect anything nearly in focus in anything but perfect lighting conditionsor anything hand-held) and no correspondence with Olympus of any help. Just phone-tech's who tell me to send the camera in. If I send it in again, this will be $45 (or nearly 10% of my original purchase price) I've spent just mailing the camera to Olympus for repairs that don't seem to have actually happened. I honestly don't think they believe that anything is wrong with the camera. I don't know what they do to test focusing and image quality but it sure isn't by taking pictures and looking @ them.

Notes:
- The first time I sent the camera in I had to have the lens replace.
- The focusing problem consists of the camera acting like it's focusing properly, but then when you look @ the pictures you've taken you realize they're blurry to the point that they look hazy or foggy. This has been the problem that has persisted since August.
- I know something is obviously wrong with the camera because I used it from May until August with no problems what-so-ever. I have a few pictures from the summer up @ this web address: http://photobucket.com/albums/v150/eslin/ if anyone is interested. Nothing spectacular, quite on par with a beginner actually, but definitely high-quality photo's for the most part.

So after hearing my story, what the heck can I do? Send the camera in again? Or am I out nearly $700? I'm a 21 year old on a college budget, so that's quite a lot of money for me.

I'm really just feeling helpless over this and I had to vent. Thanks to anyone who stomached the reading.
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Old Dec 10, 2005, 12:08 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about all the trouble you're having with Olympus and your 8080. Did you buy a refurbished unit, by any chance?
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Old Dec 10, 2005, 12:29 AM   #3
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Sad to say, the camera is not a refurb'. I purchased it brand new from Buy Dig.com on closeout around the time Olympus decided the camera would be discontinued. The great price was what in fact made me decide to go with it over the Canon G6 and a couple others.

Thanks for replying.


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Old Dec 13, 2005, 4:23 PM   #4
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It would help if you describe this "focusing problem." I have a C-8080 and haven't experienced any focusing problems.
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Old Dec 14, 2005, 11:17 PM   #5
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Ryan: could you post some ofyour problemphotos for us to see, and so we can check the exif data? The focus on my C-8080 is razor sharp.
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Old Dec 18, 2005, 5:56 PM   #6
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JKusmier and Steven R:
Thank you for taking some time out to reply. I will post pictures tomorrow. From the first 3 months I owned the camera and some new shots to compare with.

JKusmier:
The camera usually appears to focus correctly (this is in P-mode). You feel/hear it obtaining focus and then it finishes and waits for you to take the picture. After the picture has been taken and I view it on the large LCD, it looks so softly focused that it appears blurry or hazy. It happens in 4 out of every 5 pictures I take. These are just simple hand-held shots of pets or Christmas decorations now.
Occasionally, when you depress the shutter button to obtain focus in P-mode, you'll see it obtain perfect focus but then continue focusing beyond that point until the picture becomes blurry. It had perfect focus but continued focusing until it lost it.
These are problems I didn't have the first 3-4 months I owned the camera.

But again, thanks for replying. Pictures will be up tomorrow (Monday, Dec 19th).

- Ryan
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Old Dec 19, 2005, 2:40 PM   #7
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By P-Mode do you mean [P]rogram (as opposed to A[perture Priority], S[hutter Priority], etc.) ? That's not really relevant.

Make sure passive phase detection, or P-AF, is enabled. (See manual). Much faster, more consistently accurate autofocus. Perhaps this was accidentally disabled at some point? Also make sure your focus assist lamp is on. And disable full-time autofocus, just wastes your battery.

W/ P-AF and focus assist lamp enabled, I can get accurate focus in complete darkness.
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Old Dec 19, 2005, 6:12 PM   #8
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jkusmier wrote:
Quote:
By P-Mode do you mean [P]rogram (as opposed to A[perture Priority], S[hutter Priority], etc.) ? That's not really relevant.

Make sure passive phase detection, or P-AF, is enabled. (See manual). Much faster, more consistently accurate autofocus. Perhaps this was accidentally disabled at some point? Also make sure your focus assist lamp is on. And disable full-time autofocus, just wastes your battery.

W/ P-AF and focus assist lamp enabled, I can get accurate focus in complete darkness.
JKusmier:
I was referring to Program mode to illustrate that I'm not manually messing up pictures.
P-AF has been on for any pictures taken in iESP mode. I prefer Spot focusing however, and I don't believe P-AF is an option in Spot mode. Focust-assist lamp is always on. Full-time autofocus has never been used.

I could also get accurate focus in total darkness... for the first 3 or 4 months I owned the camera. After those first beautiful months, the camera has been an inconsistent nightmare. But I want it fixed by Olympus under warranty. I really don't want to be out $700 via Olympus and then have to pay for the repairs in a camera shop.

Again, the camera was pro-quality for the first 3 or 4 months I used it. All problems have happened after that breaking in period.

The pictures appear fine until you view them full-size and you realize everything is softly focused and not sharp. It's really hit-or-miss and it was never like that @ all from May until August 2005. I luvd (luv) this camera.

Pictures are going to be up shortly.
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Old Dec 19, 2005, 8:14 PM   #9
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Here are some pictures that I took between May and August when the camera was working correctly and taking sharp pictures: http://photobucket.com/albums/v150/eslin/

Here are pictures that have been taken recently that show the softness that I'm complaining about: http://photobucket.com/albums/v150/e...cams%20Forums/

All pictures were hand-held except the Christmas tree pictures. I placed the camera on a TV tray so as not to cause any streaking in the lights from an unsteady hand.

If you need better pictures I can do requests, if you think you have a scenario that would better illustrate the problem. All of the recent photos except the sand glass one were taken @ SQ2 quality. If you know of a place I can upload HQ quality pictures and think it would help you more, let me know. I did try to take a good arrangement of pictures in various modes and settings to give a good sampling.

Thanks for looking, folks.


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Old Dec 20, 2005, 5:48 PM   #10
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Well, Ryan, it's hard to say, the EXIF data doesn't tell me much. If you were using iESP and larger apertures I'd say perhaps the camera focused on something near or far-field, leaving everything else out of focus. My camera occasionally has trouble focusing; best fix I've discovered is to power off, then back on - or change to A, change aperture. Have you upgraded the firmware on your 8080? I suspect Oly engineers would have done that during the servicing(s). I'm at a loss - never had significant problems focusing w/ my 8080. Ideas, anyone? Youmight also report your problem at Oly forum on dpreview.com.
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