Written By Katherine Conaway
The Olympus S series is a group of point-and-shoot cameras that offer high quality and high zoom capabilities. Among this group, the Olympus SP-800UZ is a compact camera that contains an ultra-zoom and many additional features that make it an excellent choice for a upper end point-and-shoot digital camera.
- The SP-800UZ has 14 megapixel resolution, which means that large scale prints can be made with a high image quality.
- It has a 30x wide-angle optical zoom, yet the entire depth of the camera is only 3.3 inches.
- The LCD screen is 3” and features an extra-wide viewing angle and anti-glare technology. The SP-800UZ does not have a viewfinder, so all photos are framed using the LCD screen.
- The camera itself has 2 GB of internal memory, storing images in the camera even if there is no SD card inserted.
- There are quite a few automatic features that improve the photos – intelligent auto to identify scene, advanced face detection, and AF tracking. It also has a dual image stabilization that works to ensure that images are clear.
- It has several options you can choose to use, including creative art filters, in-camera panorama, shadow adjustment, and a beauty mode.
- The camera features an extensive help menu within the camera so that you can get assistance and instructions on the go, without having to bring a paper manual with you.
The Olympus SP-800UZ is a high quality point-and-shoot camera that can be used on its highly automatic functions as well as allow the photographer to select various other options to customize individual pictures.
- High quality photos, 14 megapixel
- High-zoom, 30x
- Shooting features like creative art filters, in-camera panorama, and shadow adjustment
- In-camera help and tutorial menus
- Long battery life
- Slow auto-zoom function in video mode
- Larger size than standard point-and-shoot
Olympus has six other S series cameras that all feature quality optics and high zoom capabilities as part of their high end point-and-shoot offering. The Canon SX30IS is another 14 megapixel camera with a high zoom, and another similar camera is the Nikon CoolPix P500 12.1 megapixel with 36x zoom.
Having had this camera for over a year and in various countries and photography settings [see my photos above], I can say that it provides high quality pictures, the opportunity for an impressively high-zoom, and is very intuitive for user interface. It is a great camera to step up to from basic point-and-shoots and switch between full auto shooting and taking more control over the shooting process. Because of its high megapixels and other features, it is also a good digital point-and-shoot for more serious photographers as an alternative to a dSLR.