Olympus SP-800 UZ review

Started Jul 4, 2010 | User reviews thread
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Tom Caldwell
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Olympus SP-800 UZ review
Jul 4, 2010

I bought this thinking that I might have been buying a
reasonable quality camera from a company that is
respected as a camera manufacturer of long standing
and some repute. I was a bit wrong.

This is a super zoom camera for persons who don't
think much about their photography and will be
satisfied with something less than the optimum in
images.

It starts off by feeling cheap and plastic.

Its images are noisy at high ISO. Its dynamic range
struggles and it has difficulty in focusing from time to
time. It is also quite slow in recording images.

Its good points are that its colour balance is fair if you
use its ESP mode rather than the garish over-saturation
of the other methods on offer.

The captures are actually better than the k230 pixel
screen might show. When it works the images are fine
but the results are a bit too much hit and miss for my
liking.

There is no real control over the camera other than
ISO setting and Exposure Value and these involve
menu scrolling that always starts at the top and you
work down. Most unsophisticated users would hardly
bother and those that think a bit will find it awfully
frustrating.

There is absolutely no control over aperture, exposure
speed or manual focus. There are many scene modes
and it is obvious that this is an expensive camera for
what it offers in Australia and the cut rate price on
Amazon in the USA shows that it is a twee point and
shoot for for those who are happy to stick to a scene
mode and let the camera do its work or its worst. I
guess everybody gets lucky sometimes.

The flash is well calibrated for fill flash use and that is a
plus as most flash units tend to blow away their
subject in this situation.

Big zoom has possibilities for those that might need it
but the rest of the camera lets it down big time.

A bit of all engine and no controls.

It would be ideal as a cheap disposable-type travel
camera for those that are happy with using scene
modes - it has every possibility of capturing those
distance images with a bit of practice and in good light.

At its Australian asking price it is way overpriced for
what it is. At Amazon prices a lot of people would find
it useful as I have described and could be very happy
with it within its limitations.

Use it scene mode or press the prominent big red movie button and do a movie
and you will be happy enough with what it prooduces - it is a camera that does
not require a lot of thought to use and if you just want to take images without a
course in photography then this might be the camera for you but if you know
anything about cameras then it is not for you. It will drive you mad.

Problems:

Not really it is just a lightweight in design for those who
don't need camera complications. Overpriced by a long
yard in Australia - the Amazon price is about what it might
be worth - look forward to similar run-out prices elsewhere
as people work it out.

Tom Caldwell's score
2.2
Average community score
3.1
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