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Olympus SP-810UZ review
Ilse Jurriën : January 19th 2012 - 17:12 CET
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OlympusOlympus SP-810UZ review : The Olympus SP-810UZ is a mega zoom digital camera that belongs to the Olympus Traveler series. This camera series is known for its large zoom range. The Olympus SP-810UZ is at the top with a 36x wide-angle lens, never before has Olympus Imaging developed a compact camera with such zoom characteristics. Usually such a zoom range is at the cost of image quality, especially when the sensor remains unchanged. In order to preserve image quality, the Olympus SP-810UZ is equipped with a double image stabilizer, which counteracts camera shake. Further, the Olympus SP-810UZ is a true point-and-shoot camera, with few manual adjustments possible.

Olympus SP-810UZ review

Olympus SP-810UZ review
The Olympus SP-810UZ is the successor to the popular Olympus SP-800UZ. This ultra-zoom camera already had an exceptional zoom range of 30x, to which the SP-810UZ adds another 6x extra zoom. The fast 1:2.9-5.7F lens has a range of 24-864mm. Despite the extra zoom range, the body of the Olympus SP-810UZ is more compact. Furthermore, the Olympus SP-810UZ has the same 14 megapixel CCD sensor, a 3" LCD screen, and can record 720p HD video.

Review Olympus SP-810UZ

Review Olympus SP-810UZ
To equip a camera with a 36x zoom range sounds good, but there are some software adjustments necessary in order to preserve image quality. Next to double image stabilization, the Olympus SP-810UZ is equipped with improved ISO sensitivity (to reduce noise), an Auto focus tracking function (keeps focusing on moving subjects) and shadow adjustment technology (for a more realistic contrast). Additionally, the Olympus SP-810UZ has a 3" LCD screen with 230.000 image points, unfortunately this LCD screen is not one of the better screens. The only advantage is that the photos look nicer on the PC than you might think at first when you view the photos on the screen.

Olympus SP-810UZ

Olympus SP-810UZ image quality
The 14 megapixel Olympus SP-810UZ generally performs well. The color integrity is pretty good and the image stabilization also works fine. The camera is mostly capable of shooting good photos outside. The Olympus SP-810UZ has an ISO sensitivity of 64 to 1600. Up to ISO 400 is usable, above that is not recommended. The Olympus SP-810UZ is affected by chromatic aberration, which creates purple edges, mostly in wide-angle shots with strong contrasts. The image quality of the Olympus SP-810UZ is fair, although the Olympus SP-810UZ pales in comparison with the competition’s cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix P500 (36x zoom) or the Panasonic Lumix FZ48 (24x zoom). These mega-zoom cameras cost about 50 Euros more.

SP-810UZ

Olympus SP-810UZ camera functions
Besides being able to adjust the ISO sensitivity and the white balance, there are little manual settings possible. This is not exactly a bad thing, as the camera performs well on automatic pilot. The Olympus SP-810UZ also has various interesting functions such as advanced face detection, a beauty-mode, a built-in panorama function and even a 3D-mode. Additionally, the Olympus SP-810UZ has 10 magic filters, which are almost all applicable in photo as well as video recording mode. There are two new filters: Miniature and Reflection. In Miniature, the colors and contrast are increased and Reflection creates a horizontal reflection, comparable with a reflection on still water.

SP-810UZ review

Olympus SP-810UZ review conclusion
The 14 megapixel Olympus SP-810UZ has an exceptional zoom range of a mere 36x. Despite the increased zoom range, the body is compacter than its predecessor, the Olympus SP-800UZ. The quality of the LCD screen is not so great, especially when you do not look straight at the screen, for example, when shooting from above your head. Thanks to the double image stabilization and AF tracking, the photos remain sharp even when using the zoom. In lower light circumstances, however, the camera performs considerably less, which has more to do with the sensor than with the lens. Comparable cameras such as the Nikon Coolpix P500 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ48 offer a better image quality. You do have to pay an extra 50 Euros for them, as the Olympus SP-810UZ is available for about 225 Euros.

Olympus SP-810 UZ review

Olympus SP-810UZ review rating
• User-friendliness : 75
• Features : 70
• Image quality : 65
• Design : 75
• Price : 75
• Rating : 70 out of 100

Olympus SP-810UZ review
Olympus SP-810UZ review
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Photo Olympus SP-810UZ

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