Olympus 730 Review

 
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Olympus Stylus 730 Optics


Lens

Zoom
A typical 3x optical zoom range, with good performance.

38mm
114mm
5x Digital Zoom

The Olympus Stylus 730 zooms over the equivalent of a 38-114mm range, which is fairly typical for its class. Overall performance is good, though the wide angle exposure is quite underexposed (which could be due to the overgrown tree and dark shadow across the lawn), and details are slightly soft. There's noticeable blurring in the corners at both wide angle and telephoto focal lengths. The 5x digital zoom takes it out to 15x total, with the typical loss of resolution associated with digital zoom.

Macro
An average macro area in normal Macro mode, but a very small area in Super Macro mode. Flash throttles down fairly well, though coverage is uneven.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash Super Macro Mode

The Olympus Stylus 730's standard Macro mode captures an average 4x3 inch (101x76mm) area, while its Super Macro setting captures a very small minimum area of only 1.7 x 1.32 inches (45 x 34 millimeters). Detail was strong and resolution high, with moderate softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.)

The flash throttles down almost enough, but its light doesn't reach the left corners of the frame and is too bright on the brooch and large coin. Flash is not available in Super Macro mode. Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots with the 730.

Distortion
About average barrel and pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 38mm is 0.9%
Pincushion at 114mm is 0.2%

The 730's 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is about average among the cameras we've tested. At the telephoto end, the 730's 0.2% pincushion is also average. This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic aberration
High at wide angle, quite low at telephoto.

Wide Angle:
High and bright, top left @ 200%
Wide Angle:
High and bright, top right @ 200%
Telephoto:
Quite low, top left @200%
Telephoto:
Quite low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is high at wide angle, showing several pixels of very bright coloration on either side of the target lines, but decreases to very low levels at telephoto focal lengths. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the corners of the frame, strongest effect in the upper right corner. Softness is restricted to the extreme corners.

Wide: Very soft in the upper right corner. Wide: Sharp at center.
Tele: Quite soft in the upper right corner. Tele: Sharp at center.

The 730 produced soft corners, the upper right corner showing the most visible effect. You'll also note the very bright halos around the black elements in both center shots, which is evidence of overzealous edge enhancement in the Olympus Stylus 730's firmware.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

38mm eq., LCD monitor 114mm eq., LCD monitor

The Stylus 730's LCD monitor showed almost 100% accuracy at both wide (101.5%) and telephoto (97.9%).

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Olympus Stylus 730 Photo Gallery.

Olympus 730

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