Olympus 770 SW Review

 
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Olympus Stylus 770 SW Optics


Lens

Zoom
A typical 3x optical zoom range, though lower than average performance with both the optical and digital zooms.

38mm 114mm 5x Digital Zoom

The Olympus Stylus 770 SW optical zoom covers the equivalent of a 38-114mm range, which is about average among consumer digital cameras. Results were fair at wide angle, though details were soft overall and there was noticeable blurring in the corners with mild coma distortion. At telephoto, details were softer than I'd expect, though definition was still pretty good overall. The camera's 5x digital zoom results in very strong blurring and loss of detail, and really isn't worth using; a pretty dismal performance. Overall, I'd stick to the standard optical zoom for the best results.

Macro
A tiny area in Super Macro mode, with good resolution and detail. Flash results in an uneven exposure, however, particularly in Super mode.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash
Super Macro Super Macro with Flash

The Olympus Stylus 770 SW's macro setting performed moderately well in its normal mode, capturing a minimum area of 3.31 x 2.48 inches (84 x 63 millimeters). In it Super Macro setting, the camera captured a much smaller area measuring 1.76 x 1.32 inches (45 x 34 millimeters). Detail and resolution were high in both shots, though there's strong blurring in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash produced a very uneven exposure in both shots, with strong reflections on the brooch, and shadows in the corners. (Plan on using external lighting for your closest macro shots with the 770SW.) It should be noted that the Olympus 770 SW has a special LED to illuminate in Macro mode.

Distortion
High barrel and average pincushion distortion.

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

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). The Olympus Stylus 770 SW's 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is higher than average among the cameras we've tested, and quite noticeable. At the telephoto end, the 770SW's pincushion distortion was about average, at 0.2%.

Chromatic aberration
High at wide angle, noticeable effect on images at edges.

Wide: High and bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: Quite bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: High but less bright,
top left @200%
Tele: Less bright,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is rather high at both wide angle and telephoto, showing about 6-7 pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines. (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.) Pixels are very bright at wide angle, but much less noticeable at telephoto.

Corner Sharpness
Strong blurring in the corners of the frame at wide angle, though less blurring at telephoto.

Wide: Very soft in the
corners (lower right)
Wide: Sharp at center
Tele: A little soft in the
corners (lower left)
Tele: Sharper, but still slightly soft at center

The Olympus Stylus 770 SW produced very soft corners in a few shots, particularly at full wide angle. At telephoto, corners were only slightly soft compared to the center of the frame.

Viewfinder

Accuracy
Good accuracy with the LCD monitor.

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

The Olympus Stylus 770 SW's LCD monitor showed about 100% accuracy at wide angle, and about 97% at telephoto. Great results overall.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Olympus Stylus 770 SW Photo Gallery.

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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