Olympus SP-800UZ Reviews and Resources

Olympus SP-800UZ

The Olympus SP-800UZ is a compact bridge camera that is situated between traditional point and shoot cameras and larger DSLRs.  The SP-800UZ features a 14MP sensor with sensor-shift image stabilization, a 30x optical zoom lens and the ability to capture 720p HD video.

Check out my Olympus SP-800UZ Hands-On Review.

The SP-800UZ should be available in March 2010.  Check availability on Amazon.com.

Olympus SP-800UZ Reviews

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Olympus SP-800UZ

Olympus SP-800UZ Press Release

Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Masaharu Okubo) is pleased to announce the SP-800UZ, the smallest compact digital camera in its class and the first in the world to incorporate a 30x optical zoom. Release is scheduled middle of March 2010.

Main Features

  1. The most powerful compact 30x zoom in the smallest body
  2. One camera for photos and movies, featuring wide-angle ,high-definition movie shooting functions and DUAL IS*1
  3. High-resolution 14-megapixel CCD*2 and 3-inch wide-screen(16:9) LCD

The SP-800UZ is a digital camera equipped with a high-magnification zoom lens that covers a remarkably wide shooting range with focal lengths ranging from 28mm*3 wide-angle to 840mm*3 telephoto. Thanks to its advanced optical expertise, Olympus has been able to incorporate in a compact, palm-size camera the same high-powered super-telephoto capability that normally makes SLR cameras so bulky and heavy. Because it is so small, this camera is an ideal travelling companion, offering the power of a full-size camera and lenses without increasing the amount of luggage. The SP-800UZ is an easy-to-use “all-in-one” camera that makes it possible anyone to enjoy the pleasure of advanced photography.

The super-telephoto 30x optical zoom can capture big, up-close images of even the most distant subjects, creating high-impact pictures by capturing details that cannot be seen with the naked eye, such as the facial expressions of children in athletic or theatrical events or athletes in professional sport competitions. When combined with the digital zooming, the total zoom ratio can be increased to a phenomenal 150x, enough to zoom right in on the craters of the moon. Now, a single camera makes it possible to take a wide variety of pictures from various angles of view, including 28mm wide-angle for landscape or group shots and super-macro for close-up pictures of flowers. Clear, focused images are assured by Olympus’s advanced CCD-shift image stabilization function and high-sensitivity imaging, which prevents the picture blur due to camera shake and subject motion commonly associated with telephoto or super-telephoto shooting.

Olympus has also added a new feature added to its popular scene modes – “background defocusing”. A technique usually available only with SLR cameras, background defocusing can defocus the background to make the main subject stand out, proving a sophisticated new way for compact camera users to create more expressive, dynamic photographs.

*1 The image stabilization effect varies depending on shooting conditions.
*2 Number of effective pixels.
*3 35mm camera equivalent
* Available colours: Titanium Silver

HD movie (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264) recording
Extended HDTV (1280 x 720 pixels) movie recording is possible thanks to the advanced MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 movie compression format. *4 *5 *6
Compatible with the SD/SDHC memory card, movie recording can be started and stopped at the touch of a button.

Photo-surfing
Made possible by the incorporation of a 2 GB memory*7, photo-surfing allows you to download favorite pictures from your PC back to your camera, search desired pictures according to recording information such as “date”, “i-AUTO” and “scene mode”, and view them on the camera. It’s just like the camera version of netsurfing. With the provided [ib] software, users can create image collections based on various criteria such as who is in the picture or where it was shot. *8

[ib] software*9
To help people make the most of the possibilities of digital imaging, Olympus has developed a powerful new software solution called [ib] to connect “images” (pictures and movies) and “humans” based on the concepts of “easy”, “safe” and “fun”.
[ib] allows you to organize old pictures, as well as newly recorded pictures. When the camera is connected to a PC for charging the battery, newly recorded pictures are automatically transferred to the PC so you never forget to back up your precious pictures. The software automatically classifies the pictures according to their recording date when uploading to the PC. It is also capable of recognizing the persons shot as subjects and classify the pictures accordingly. In addition, it can assign recording location information for each classified event or each picture. By making classification and organization of multiple pictures simple and easy, [ib] enables you to easily find the pictures you’re looking for.

[ib]: The software was named after phrases such as “Image Bridging”, “Image Browsing” and “Image Brightening”.

*4 The available recording time varies depending on subject motion and shooting environment.
*5 The recording time per session is limited to less than 30 minutes.
*6 Recording is terminated automatically when the file size reaches 4 GB.
*7 The area available to the user is 1.8GB (including Software and Manual).
*8 Tag information added using “ib” is required.
*9 Compatible with Windows OS only.
*10 Image size after compensation is limited to 5 MB. The compensation effect may vary between individuals.
*11 When the HDMI control setting menu is set to ON.
*12 Restricted to devices compliant with HDMI 1.3a or later.

Basic Performance

  • Effective pixels: 14 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 30X
  • Wide-angle shooting: 28mm (35mm camera equivalent)
  • Image stabilization: DUAL IS (CCD-shift image stabilization & High-sensitivity shooting) *1
  • LCD size: 3.0-inch, 230,000 dots
  • LCD type: TFT colour
  • Movie recording: HD movie (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

Other Features

  • Shadow Adjustment Technology that detects faces of subjects and optimizes focus and exposure accordingly
  • Magic Filter effects for creative imaging and Beauty Mode to touch up human faces for more attractive results*10
  • Scene Modes for one-touch shooting adjustment in difficult environments as well as in standard conditions
  • HDMI output control for operations including picture selection and frame-by-frame advancement using a TV’s remote control*11 *12
  • Face Detection AF with which the camera detects and focuses on human faces automatically
  • iAUTO function that analyzes the current composition and optimizes camera settings automatically
  • In-body panorama composition function that lets you shoot a panorama picture by simply panning the camera as guided
  • USB battery charging enables the camera battery to be recharged from a PC while automatically storing and organizing recorded data in the PC
  • AF Tracking to keep a moving subject in focus by tracking it automatically
  • Compatible media: SD/SDHC memory card
  • AF Illuminator: Makes focusing easy for subjects in dark location