Expert Review of Olympus SP 610UZ Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Announced just one year later as the successor of Olympus SP-600UZ, Olympus SP 610UZ fits in quite brilliantly in the shoes on what was a really fascinating camera as its predecessor, the device fancies a good 14 megapixel sensor and gives itself the title of a “superzoom” camera with the addition of the new 22x ultrazoom lens. Olympus SP 610 UZ here also features a sensor shift image stabilisation system, which is a range of Art Filters and which gives access to the the camera to bring together two different images into a 3D image stored inside MPO format. A disappointing feature however in Olympus SP 610 UZ is that it still features 720p HD video recording functionality which was already neatly placed in its predecursor, along the side of the device, there also is a mini HDMI port which allows the user to access the camera through an HDTV by the use of an HDMI cable which is not included in the box. Olympus SP-610Z draws power from 4 AA batteries and is really one of the most affordable devices ever to make an impact in the world of superzoom devices.
Design and Build Quality
Yes, Olympus SP 610UZ looks pretty decent but once you touch the device, you can easily tell that it is a budget product as the usually metallic body present in Olympus devices is absent here, instead there is an instantaneous plastic feel in the hand. On the plus side of this device, however the device is quite comfortable all credits to good ergonomics and a pretty huge right hand grip, which is responsible for the housing of all the four AA batteries from which this device draws power out from. As you know, Olympus SP 610 is a superzoom and hence the design is pretty unsurprisingly totally dominated by a huge 22x zoom lens which works under a really versatile focal range of 5-110mm, or 28-616mm in old money. Agreed that this zoom is not quite as big as Canon PowerShot SX30 IS and Nikon Coolpix P500 which are leaders in the class with huge 35-36x lens, coming out of paper and into the real world, the camera certainly provides enough width and big reach which satisfies the demands of most of the photographers. Superzooms have always maintained a reputation of being high on the “fun factor” and our Olympus SP-610 UZ is definitely no different. The camera has the ability to go right from wide anfle to ultra telephoto, this is something which only needs to be experienced in order to be fully appreciated. This certainly gives the user an edge that you cannot feel with many other cameras.
Focus and Face Detection
Focus of Olympus SP 610 UZ can easily be set to normal, macro or supermacro with the help of a TTL AF system and tracking. This device works on a focusing range of 100 cm to infinity in normal mode while in macro mode thi change to 15 to infinity (wide) and 60cm to infinity in tele. The focus comes as close to 7 cm when it comes to macro mode. With an advanced Face Detection Technology which can search for a recognised face in a crowd and focus on it, this Olympus product gives magnificent images! It has the ability to detect up to 16 faces!
Lens and Image Stabilization
Olympus SP-610UZ's lens is also respectably fast, given the size of the lens with maximum apertures of f/3.3 at 28mm and f/5.7 at 616mm. Iris diaphragm is one area where this lens lags and so there is no aperture control of any kind be it automatic or manual - available on the camera. In blinding bright light what Olympus SP 610 UZ does is that it engages a built-in stop neutral density filter which in turn prevents any kind of overexposure of the device but this obviously has no effect on the depth of the field whatsoever. There is a large lens cap in the box which gives the body of the device a sense of security.
Screen and Menus
A negative in Olympus SP 610 UZ is the unavailabity of the eye level electronic viewfinder meaning that all the pictures only need to be formed on a 3 inch TFT monitor which only covers most of the rear of this device. This screen is just fairly basic with entry level 230k dots and pretty narrow viewing angles. Well still, this is hardly surprising, you cannot expect a camera with price tag as low as Olympus SP 610 UZ to sport a High Definition screen along with a huge lens. To the right of the screen is a group of controls including a one-touch movie shutter release, a Playback button, a dial that doubles as a navigation pad with a centred OK button, plus a Menu and a Help button which means that Olympus SP 610UZ's operation is, to all intents and purposes, almost entirely menu based. Even the most often used functions such as exposure compensation or ISO sensitivity are only accessible by way of a menu setting
As mentioned earlier Olympus SP 610 UZ runs on 4 AA batteries which include both the rechargeable and disposable cells while on the other hand this is great too as you can easily pick up fresh batteries almost anywhere. Although as these batteries are not rechargeables these have downsides too, , you need to buy them - as well as a charger - separately, and depending on the charger, they may take longer to charge than a proprietary Li-ion battery pack.
Not really a match stealer in this category either Olympus SP 610 UZ can shoot movies in strictly limited resolutions like 720p VGA or QVGA. You can also tell the camera whether or not to record (mono) sound along with the footage, and whether or not to provide image stabilisation. If you want video with sound, however, you need to give up the ability to use the optical zoom while recording a movie - which is a bit frustrating on a camera whose main claim to fame is its 22x zoom lens. Exposure, gain or audio levels cannot be adjusted manually. Videos are compressed using the H.264 codec and stored in MPEG-4 format.
Olympus SP 610 UZ runs on 1/2.3 inch CCD 16 Megapixel sensor and has the capabilities to zoom upto 22x.
1. Good set of features, 22x optical zoom lens, Great LCD screen, affordable
2. Large focal range, large LCD screen, HD video capture, compact size
1. Subpar video capture, Images beyond ISO 400 are not usable, Build quality is below average
2. Halfbaked 3D implementation, poor build quality, no Raw capture
3. Beauty mode with flash is poor, some of the magic filters are a bit strange