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Olympus SP-310 Review

November 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Olympus SP-310

At the end of August 2005 Olympus added two more cameras to its 'SP' range of 'creative compacts'; the 8 megapixel SP-350 and the model reviewed here, the 7 megapixel SP-310. The SP-310 - on paper at least - offers a compelling mix of point-and-shoot ease of use and advanced photographic features - including RAW capture - at a very competitive price point. But is it any good? Read on to find out.

Let's start with the main selling points:

  • 7.1 million pixels
  • 3x zoom lens (equiv. 38-114mm)
  • 6.4cm/2.5” LCD monitor
  • Auto, Program, Aperture & Shutter Priority and manual exposure
  • 24 scene modes
  • iESP auto focus , spot with option to select AF area with 143 points and manual focus
  • Super Macro mode up to 2cm
  • Histogram function in shooting and playback modes
  • Recording in JPEG or RAW formats
  • Very long battery life (up to 510 shots)* and uses standard AA batteries
  • TruePic TURBO image processor
  • 32 MB internal memory plus xD-Picture Card slot
  • Movie recording with sound
  • USB Hi-Speed AutoConnect
  • PictBridge compatible
  • Availability of lens converters WCON-07F, TCON-17F and underwater case PT-030

* Under ideal conditions using the included CR-V3 battery pack

Olympus SP-310 Key specifications

Street price • US: $333
• UK: £270
Body Material Plastic
Sensor • 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 7.4 million pixels total
• 7.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3072 x 2304
• 3072 x 2048 ( 3:2 )
• 2592 x 1944
• 2288 x 1712
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30/15 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30/15 fps
• Up to the capacity of the memory card
• QuickTime Motion JPEG
Lens

• 38 - 114 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9
• 5x Digital Zoom

Focus • Spot
• iESP autofocus, AF area is selectable (from 143 points)
• Manual focus with enlarged focusing area
• Macro: 0.2m (W)/ 0.3m (T)
• Super macro: 2cm
Metering • Digital ESP metering
• Spot metering
• Center-weighted
Shutter speeds 15 - 1/2000 (up to 8 minutes in Bulb mode)
Apertures (W) F2.8 - F8.0, (T) F4.9 - F8.0
Image Parameters • Saturation ± 5
• Contrast ± 5
• Sharpness ± 5
• RAW edit
• Red-eye reduction
• Sepia mode
• Black & white mode
Shooting mode

• Program
• Aperture priority
• Shutter priority
• Manual
• Portrait
• Landscape with Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Scene
• Night Scene with Portrait
• Cuisine
• Beach
• Snow
• Available light portrait
• Self Portrait
• Indoor
• Behind Glass
• Museum
• Document
• Auction
• Candle
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• Manner
• Shoot & Select 1
• Shoot & Select 2
• Underwater Wide 1 & 2
• Underwater Macro
• 4 My Modes
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
White balance • Auto
• 7 presets
• Manual (custom)
• White balance fine tuning (7 steps, Red - Blue)
Continuous • High speed mode: up to 2.4 shots per second up to 2 images
• Normal mode: up to 1.5 shots per second up to 8 images
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, red-eye reduction, fill-in, off, fill in and red-eye reduction
• Range: 3.8 m (wide) / 2.2 m (tele)
• Guide number: 7.5
• Flash output level control (10 levels)
Storage • xD-Picture Card (optional)
• 32 MB internal memory (24MB available for image storage).
Viewfinder Optical real image
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Full Speed
• A/V out
• Optional AC adapter C-3AC;
Power • 2x AA battery (NiMH, NiCd, alkaline, lithium) or 1x lithium CR-V3
• Optional adapter
In the box*

Camera
Strap
USB cable
audio/video cable
1 x lithium battery LB-01 (CR-V3)
OLYMPUS Master 1.31.

Other features

• DPOF
• EXIF 2.2
• PIM III
• PictBridge
• AE bracketing
• Optional lens converters WCON-07F & TCON-17F
• AF assist lamp
• Playback and record histogram
• Noise reduction on/off (0.5 second exposure or more)
• Saved image editing
Timelapse (interval) shooting - 2 to 99 shots, 1 to 99 minute intervals.

Weight (excl batt) 180 g (6.3 oz)
Dimensions 100 x 65 x 35 mm (3.9 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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