A somehow surprising upgrade

Started Feb 14, 2012 | User reviews thread
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Augustin Man
Augustin Man Forum Pro • Posts: 11,322
A somehow surprising upgrade

As the SP-810 has been presented as an upgrade of SP-800, I’ll also make my considerations by comparing the two cameras.

It’s rather unusual, but for those who don’t want to read it all, here is the conclusion: SP-810 is even more a P&S than SP-800, but the IQ is better and the IS much better. It’s a camera for a hobbyist traveller, not for a photographer traveller.

The aspect of 810 is more impressive, but the shooting position is with the lens more extended, like the 800 on super macro setting. It seemed the Olympus people also saw this, so if you switch to display mode, the lens retracts after 15s. Of course when you switch back, there is a notable extra time to revert to the shooting position. They also changed the functioning of the display button: you can start displaying and switch to shooting mode, but you have to put off the camera using the general on/off button, something better I think.

From the tests I’ve made, mainly landscape and zoom by day in P mode, by night SCN-Night Scene, the 810 was all the time better than 800.

Other observations: I’ve imagined that the 810 was more than 800 in choices; well, I was wrong, because the 810 is much LESS: for instance, the SCN-Night Scene has the timer only, compared to the added EV and WB of 800. There is no bracketing, no colour editting and the setting menu was significantly reduced. There isn’t the AREA choice of AF, something rather disturbing, as you have to choice SPOT or try refocusing again and again; a tip is to zoom in to the wanted area and than zoom out again; the mark will remain there. Also shooting movies with sound prevents using the zoom, something clearly explained in the 800 Instruction Manual, but not in the 810 one; in exchange the so called “Fine Zoom” of 800 is no more called like this, but explained as a trimmed raw image and, more important, shown at the zoom scale also. The All Erase option was migrated to the display menu, probably better, I don’t know…

That’s all for the moment.

My advice: if you are a hobbyist in love with big zooms like me, go and get an 810, because it’s better and cheaper than 800; otherwise think again…

P.S. One says “an image is worth a thousand words”, so here you find some of my tests with this camera:

https://picasaweb.google.com/106913078899624028286/ZoomExperiencesWithOlympusSP810UZ

Happy shooting!

Problems:

Sometimes, but not frequently, when shutting down the camera from shooting mode, it fails to restart. Taking out the battery and pushing it back restarts the camera.

 Augustin Man's gear list:Augustin Man's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P1000
Olympus SP-810 UZ
14 megapixels • 3 screen • 24 – 864 mm (36×)
Announced: Jul 27, 2011
Augustin Man's score
4.5
Average community score
4.5
bad for good for
Kids / pets
great
Action / sports
good
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
unrated
= community average
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