Expert Review of Olympus SP 810UZ Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
Olympus SP 810UZ is living up to this reputation with its amazing 36X wide angle lens and this is pretty much what the Olympus Traveller series is famous for. Olympus SP 810UZ comes with a 14 Megapixels CCD sensor and a 3”LCD screen which is a bit of a set back as it does not truly show a pictures true color up until you see them on your computer. It weighs at, however, not a bad 413g and measures 105.9mm x 75.9mm x 73.5mm. For Olympus SP 810UZ the ISO ranges from 64 to 1600 for clear pictures even in the dark. It also allows you to set up white balance but that is just as far as manual settings are offered. It is more or less a point at shoot camera which is not a bad thing as the performance it delivers on automatic pilot it amazing. In short it lets you concentrate on your subject and worry least over those time consuming manual settings. Olympus SP 810UZ has also other various interesting functions like advanced face detection, a beauty-mode, a built in panorama function and even a 3D mode! It also gives you a total of 10 ‘Magic filters ‘that gives you the freedom to apply your own creativity to the movies and stills.
Design and Build Quality
Olympus SP-810UZ can easily be mistaken for an SLR at the first glance majorly because of the vast lens it carries along with it. But this can only last up to the first look, as upon closer inspection, one will notice how slim the body of the camera actually is, barring the large lens and hand grip, of course. When talking about slim, here it does not refer the attractively slim handsets, like the ones from Sony’s T range of cameras, but to standard travel compacts found in the market, such as Panasonic TZ series of cameras. This camera is available in two colour options - silver and black. The one, which we received in our labs was of the black variant and apart from the hand grip and lens, the rest of the body was finished in gloss. Though the body has an overall black finish, it has hints of silver on it mainly featured as a strip at the side, the rim of the lens and the buttons.
Focus and Face Detection
Olympus SP 810 UZ works on a focal range of 0.3 m wide and 2.9 m tele when working in normal conditions. The focus of this device features TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection and various modes namely Standard, Macro, Super-Macro and a variety of AutoFocus systems such as Spot AF, Face Detection AF and AF Tracking.
Lens and Image Stabilization
Olympus’ lens is astonishingly well crafted. Edges are sharp, chromatic aberration is all but absent, and distortion is under control. The plastic lens barrel bulges out of the main camera body regardless of the focal length it carries. The zoom, to be precise is rather bulky as a result of a weak and noisy motor. . Surrounding the opening is a chrome bezel, so shiny that it often reflects light directly onto your subject. At least the bezel looks nice, the barrel itself is plain black matte. Optical zoom range extends all the way to 36x, which makes the reach of Olympus SP-810UZ’s hands largest to be witnessed all year. 36x is an insane amount of zoom, you can easily see across the entire cricket field, or directly across the street into your neighbour’s window. Talking about image stabilisation Olympus SP 810UZ has a really efficient sensor shift image stabilisation system. Image details shoot up by a good 40% while shooting. To be perfectly honest, the detail is a little low to begin with but the output does not do anything that does not impress.
Screen and Menus
Olympus SP-810UZ sports a big 3 inch, 16:9 LCD which is basically the only means of framing since there is an absence of a viewfinder. The multinational was literally forced to allow this significant feature to let go in order to slip an ultrazoom into such a small frame. The LCD screen looks decent, it is bright enough, and the 460,000 dot resolution works to its potential, the angle of view is however limited and the on screen display does not look legit from far away. What is missed the most here is a decent EVF. Olympus SP-810UZ’s quick menu is, in a sense, always active. Simply pressing down on the directional pad begins menu navigation, and the interface is relatively fast and intuitive, though we wish settings were a little more legible and that the menu remembered your previous place.
Olympus SP-810UZ includes a Li-50B battery which is CIPA rated at 190 shots, which is anything but impressive, and places it at a deep lower end of the ultrazoom range. Conveniently however, the battery is always charged with USB, using either the AC wall socket adapter, or by simply plugging the camera into a computer. Playback mode is also unlocked while charging.
Olympus SP-810UZ can shoot videos at a limited range. Maximum image resolution that is provided is 1280x720 pixels or simply at 720p quality, and the frame rate works fine at 30 frames per second. Control access is nonexistent while recording, optical zoom and all the menus are locked. Autofocus–at least–is active, though the contrast-based system is aggressive and sometimes distracting. Color accuracy drops while shooting video, and while this is fairly common, the problem is worse here than in some of the competition. The vast majority of colors are too dark, though saturation is pretty close. Sharpness also tends to dip while shooting video, and again the problem is more severe in the SP-810UZ. The camera resolves 450 lw/ph of detail horizontally and 500 vertically.
It is utterly tragic that a lens of this calibre has been wasted on a sensor that seems incapable of rendering an appealing photo. The device works on a 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor, which is real tragic because with a lens like that a CMOS sensor would have worked fantastically well. Let us just wait to see if a CMOS variant of this device is launched.
Longer zoom range (36x vs 24x)
Wider angler (24 mm vs 25 mm)
Shorter focus range (30 cm vs 60 mm)
High image quality
Good battery life
Ease-of-use and very useful Automatic mode
Fast 1/2000 sec maximum shutter speed (vs 1/17000 sec)
Dual image-stabilization (fights against blur)
Very effective image stabilization
Lower resolution LCD (230K vs 460K)
Relatively Bigger and heavier
No manual controls (M, A or S)
No Full HD 1080p videos and no stereo sound (only 720p HD)
Slow continuous shooting, faster in lower resolutions