Olympus SP-820UZ Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Olympus SP-820UZ
Resolution: 14.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3"
Lens: 40.00x zoom
(22-896mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 80-6400
Shutter: 4-1/2000
Max Aperture: 3.4
Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.1 x 3.7 in.
(117 x 78 x 93 mm)
Weight: 17.1 oz (485 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $330
Availability: 09/2012
Manufacturer: Olympus
Full specs: Olympus SP-820UZ specifications
14.00
Megapixels
40.00x zoom
1/2.3"
size sensor
image of Olympus SP-820UZ
Front side of Olympus SP-820UZ digital camera Back side of Olympus SP-820UZ digital camera Top side of Olympus SP-820UZ digital camera Left side of Olympus SP-820UZ digital camera Right side of Olympus SP-820UZ digital camera

Olympus Stylus SP-820UZ

by Roger Slavens
Posted 08/22/2012

Made expressly for those who still want to get just a little closer to frame that perfect shot, Olympus has introduced a new flagship Ultra Zoom compact camera that boasts its longest optical zoom ever. The Stylus SP-820UZ iHS bests its predecessor's 30x wide-angle lens with a 40x super-wide-angle upgrade, providing an equivalent zoom range of 22.4mm to a truly telescopic 896mm. Aperture starts at f/3.4 at full-wide and goes to f/5.7 at telephoto.

Such a wide focal range makes the Olympus SP-820UZ a great candidate to take along on vacations, when lugging around a full-sized DSLR and multiple lenses just wouldn't be fun or practical. And depending on how it delivers on image quality, it may also prove to be a perfect second camera for both enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The Olympus Stylus SP-820UZ was designed to offer all-in-one versatility far beyond its long-range optics. The trademark iHS in the model name stands for the Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed technologies Olympus has built into the camera, most notably a 14MP CMOS sensor and a TruePic V image processor that the company says will deliver sharp, high-resolution images and fast shooting even in low light. Also featured in the SP-820UZ are Dual Image and Multi-Motion Movie Stabilization modes for reducing camera shake and image blur, which comes in especially handy when the lens is at full ultra zoom. Finally, a 3-inch LCD screen (non-touch) with 460,000 dots lets you view your shot setup and results in colorful high resolution.

A plethora of scene and creative options come onboard the Olympus SP-820UZ, including the Hand-Held Starlight mode that blends multiple images together to create a single, sharp photo at night or in low light. Not versatile enough for you yet? The Olympus Beauty Make-up mode also lets you add eyeliner, eye shadow and blush just in case your subject didn't have time to put her face on. And the in-camera Smart Panorama mode can create a full 360-degree photo, especially useful if you like to capture your view spinning in circles.

Video seems to be a particularly strong point of the new Olympus Ultra Zoom. It boasts a choice of either 1080p or 720p high-definition video. If you're a fan of slow-motion footage, impressively swift  frame rates of up to 240 frames per second are possible, albeit only at QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels). Also geared to provide high definition sound, Linear PCM audio recording technology has been borrowed from the manufacturer's professional-level audio recording line. To top off its multimedia features, the Stylus SP-820UZ offers a Photo with Video Clip mode, which captures a video before and after you take a photo.

The Olympus Stylus SP-820UZ iHS runs on 4 AA batteries, and it's WiFi compatible via an optional Eye-Fi SD memory card. The camera, available in black and silver, will be available in September 2012 for a retail price of US$329.99.

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