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Olympus Stylus 800 (Mju 800) Digital Review

October 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Olympus μ DIGITAL 800

Olympus unveiled its first 8MP compact, the µ Digital 800 / Stylus 800 Digital, back in May 2005. As well as offering one of the highest pixel counts in its class the Stylus 800 is 'weatherproof' and uses a unique technology, 'Bright Capture', to boost sensitivity immensely (up to ISO 2500 in some modes), ensuring a bright screen image and blur-free non-flash photography in very low light. Otherwise specification is fairly standard for this type of camera. The camera is known as the Stylus 800 Digital in the US, and the µ ('Mju') DIGITAL 800 in Europe and SE Asia, so you can have a camera with a silly name wherever you live in the world. We'll use the Stylus 800 name in this review mainly because it's easier typing that than trying to remember the key combination for µ.

  • 8.0 million pixels
  • Weatherproof metal body with glossy surface in dark blue or silver
  • Bright 3x zoom lens (38-114mm equivalent), 1:2.8-4.9
  • Bright Capture Technology for superior performance under low light conditions
  • Extra-large 6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD (160° horizontal and vertical viewing angles)
  • 19 Scene Programs plus Program Auto, Aperture priority and Shutter priority
  • Blur protection to guard against the effects of camera shake
  • High-speed sequential shooting
  • Movie function with sound (in VGA quality)
  • Macro and Super Macro shooting (from as close as 3cm in Super Macro mode)
  • TruePic TURBO image processor
  • Calendar function
  • PictBridge compatible

* weatherproof equivalent to the IEC standard publication 529 IPX4

Olympus Stylus 800 (μ 800) Key specifications

Street price • US: $380
• UK: £280
Body Material Metal + plastic
Sensor • 1/1.8 " Type CCD
• 8.3 million pixels total
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 2560 x 1920
• 2272 x 1704
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 640 x 480 15 frames per second
• 320 x 240 15 frames per second
• 160 x 120 15 frames per second
• Motion JPEG
• Duration limited by card capacity (streaming)
Lens

• 38-114mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9
• All-glass with 3 aspheric elements

Focus • TTL autofocus with contrast detection
• Auto iESP autofocus
• Spot autofocus
• AF lock
• Macro: 0.2 (W)/ 0.3 (T) - 0.5 m
• Super macro: 3cm
Metering • Digital ESP metering
• Spot metering
Shutter speeds 4 to 1/2000 sec
Apertures (W) F2.8 - F8.0, (T) F4.9 - F8.0
Shooting mode

• Program
• Shutter priority
• Aperture priority
• Portrait
• Landscape with Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Scene
• Night Scene with Portrait
• Night Shoot
• Cuisine
• Beach and Snow
• Self Portrait
• Self Portrait and Self Timer
• Indoor
• Behind Glass
• Document
• Candle
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• Shoot & Select 1 & 2
• 2-in-1 function
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800 and 1600 for Indoor and Night shot mode (2048 x 1536 or lower)
White balance • Auto
• 6 presets
Continuous • Normal: 1.3 fps up to 4 frames (HQ)
• High Speed: 4 fps up to 10 frames (SQ1)
Flash • Auto, red-eye reduction, on, off
• Range: Up to 3.5 m (Tele) / 6.5 m (Wide) in Auto Mode.
Up to 7.2 m (Tele) / 12.8 m (Wide) with ISO 1600.
• Guide no: 10
Storage • Approx 21MB built-in memory
• xD-Picture Card (optional)
Viewfinder none
LCD monitor • 2.5" HyperCrystal LCD
• 215,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Full Speed
• A/V out
Power • Lithium-Ion LI-30B rechargeable battery
• Charger supplied
• Optional D-7AC AC adapter (dummy battery)
In the box*

Camera
Strap
• Lithium Ion battery
Charger
USB cable
A/V cable
16MB xD-Picture Card
CD-ROM (utility software and manuals)
Printed manual

Other features

• TruePic Turbo processor
• Pixel mapping and noise reduction
• In-camera picture effects in playback mode (Black and White, Sepia, Resize, Rotation, Red-eye Fix)
• PictBridge compatible
• Record + playback histogram
• 4x digital zoom
• Weatherproof (splash resistant)

Weight (excl card) 211 g (6.9 oz)
Dimensions (103mm x 57.5mm x 33mm (4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3 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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