From its inception, Olympus' Ultra Zoom series--simply referred to as "UZ" in recent years--has always led the telephoto field for sheer reach. Once again, the company jumps ahead of the paused-at-18x pack with its 20x lens-equipped SP-570 UZ.
Size matters most in this update to the SP-560 UZ: it's got a higher-resolution CCD, longer (and slightly wider-angle) lens, and slightly larger LCD display. In a nice design tweak, the lens now has a manual zoom ring; on the preproduction unit we toyed with briefly, it still had that odd servo feel that similar controls on camcorders have, … Read more
In addition to the two new waterproof models announced today, Olympus has shared plans to sell three new Stylus compact cameras, all of which include sensor-shift image stabilization. Like some of their competitors, Olympus offers their IS in conjunction with an ISO-boosting mode, which they call Digital Image Stabilization. Together they somewhat predictably call the combo Dual Image Stabilization. Like Fujifilm models, Olympus compact cameras record their images to xD Picture Cards. Last year Fuji transitioned to xD/SD combo slots in all of their compact cameras. Olympus has chosen to stick with xD slots, but will include adapters with … Read more
Among the coolest of Olympus' compact cameras are their rugged, waterproof, dustproof, Stylus models. This year, the company is updating both of their go-anywhere cameras, offering the all-metal chassis 10.1-megapixel Stylus 1030 SW and the slightly more stylish 8-megapixel Stylus 850 SW. Both models include face detection for autofocus and auto exposure, ISO-boost Digital Image Stabilization instead of the more-effective mechanical stabilization found in some of Olympus' other Stylus models, and a handful of in-camera editing functions, including red-eye removal, panorama stitching of up to three shots and more. Like all of their compact cameras this year, these two … Read more
Olympus just announced four new additions to its FE-series of simple, budget-priced digital cameras. All four new models are 8-megapixel cameras and, with one exception, are priced at $200 or lower.
The FE-310 sits at the bottom of the pack as the series' least expensive camera. It sports a 5x optical zoom, but otherwise has no unique features to make it stand out. The FE-320 seems even less impressive on paper, until you consider its ultraslim size. At 0.65 inch, the FE-320 will be one of the slimmest FE-series cameras yet, and a full seven-hundredths of an inch thinner … Read more
Update 8:12 a.m. PST: We added Fujifilm to the poll.
Canon and Nikon dominate the SLR camera business, but if you're entering the market or buying a new camera, it would behoove you to look at other options, too.
One interesting question, though, is who's got the best alternatives today. It's a relevant question for someone buying a first SLR or deciding whether to stick with an existing brand or change. From another perspective, who should Nikon and Canon be fretting about most among competitors?
I'd love to see your vote and hear your … Read more
Olympus just released the latest firmware for its super-zoom EVF (electronic viewfinder) camera, the SP-560UZ. Version 3.1 of the camera's firmware includes a unique feature: support for Olympus' wireless RC flash system. According to DPReview, this update enables the camera to use its own flash to remotely activate Olympus wireless flash modules through the camera's "RC" flash mode. The camera can activate RC flashes up to 32 feet away in a 60-degree arc, or up to 16 feet away in a 100-degree arc.
Some digital SLRs can use wireless flash units, but this is the … Read more
The Olympus Stylus 790 SW is one of those devices that may not provide the best image quality and is lacking in overall functionality, but does something other products do not. And just what does the 790 SW do that many other digital cameras of this ilk do not? It takes a beating (and drenching) and continues to snap images and record video.
While many may find this shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof, and sand/dustproof device to be exactly what they're looking for when they scuba dive or spend time in the outdoors, the picture quality and price preclude me from being able to recommend the 790 SW to everyone else.… Read more
Olympus shipped its first interchangeable-lens dSLR, the pro-level E-1, in the fall of 2003. Four years is a long time to wait for a new model, especially given the rapid pace of technological change in the dSLR category and a cast of photographic characters hungry for the latest and greatest to help boost their earnings potential. Consumers buying their first (and perhaps even second) dSLRs will follow where great technology leads, but pros must commit to a camera system that includes lenses and flashes. Once they've moved on, it takes more than just a snappy shutter and flashy LCD … Read more
How-to guides on photography sometimes advise that you exhale slowly as you squeeze the shutter release, so that you're not tense and shaky from holding your breath. If you breathe out when using the Olympus Stylus 790SW, however, you might end up with unwanted bubbles in your picture--it's designed to go into the swimming pool and still keep working.
That waterproof Olympus is just one of the quirky cameras that might suit your offbeat impulses for snapshooting. Some double as binoculars, perfect for birders who don't want to lose sight of that elusive cerulean warbler--or for private … Read more