Olympus SP-800UZ 14.0 MP Digital Camera - Silver Reviews

Olympus SP-800UZ 14.0 MP Digital Camera - Silver

3 ratings (3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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super zoom and away

Jun 28, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Photo Quality:
  • Shutter Lag

Pros:Easy to learn, Easy to use
Great quality color reproduction
Solid build 
GIANT MONSTER ZOOM

Cons:Special battery
No viewfinder
LOUSY ib (Olympus) software

The Bottom Line: Great for adults of all ages


We were looking for a camera to use for bird watching and macros of flowers without spending the time/money involved with an SLR system.  Also as we get older a single SMALL unit is more and more appealing - much easier to handle, carry around all day.
Choices came down to the Olympus 800uz, Fuji HS10, Canon SX20.
Fuji was much more $ (with not so great reviews re. quality), Canon a fairly old unit with only 20X zoom (boy, does technology spoil us).
The Olympus SP 800UZ has a 30X OPTICAL zoom, image stabilization, and shoots 720P video.  Also has 2 G internal memory and use SD(HC) cards NOT XD like previous Olympus models
It does NOT have a viewfinder, BUT the LCD screen is GREAT even in bright sunlight.
Camera is light (under 1 lb.). Pretty well balanced, considering that it is basically a compact point & shoot with a GIANT lens attached.  Definitely NOT a pocket camera; but not an SLR either.
Very few controls on unit - power button, zoom and shutter release on top.
Only buttons on back are: record button for video, info button above rocker/wheel, rocker wheel - for all Settings/adjustments, menu (return) button, ? button(manual/answer questions).  Most buttons served dual function depending on mode used.
Camera uses Olympus LI-ON 50B battery (same as for many of their compact cameras). We got about 200 shots so far (with maybe 25% using flash, same amout using zoom),; no indication of power drain.
I do suggest turning off auto focus assist light if using unit in daylight, from previous experience I know this is a major power drain.
Image quality is excellent in normal lighting conditions or while using the built in flash.  We took tons of shots at Botanical garden and color range was EXCELLENT for all uses - many macros, long zooms. Spectacular shots of roses and water lillies.  It seemed that Auto setting did BETTER job of macro shots than when I set up for dedicated macro in menu?!
Zoom works very well through entire range.  Focus can be hit or miss at higher end of zoom, especially if lighting conditions are variable(shifting cloud cover). Focus time is OK up to about 20X zoom, then it seems to be MUCH slower (1/2 sec?) at maximum zoom.
When no flash is used in low light, there is an overly high amount of noise when over 400 ISO.
Because the camera has FEW buttons on back; most setting done thru use of rocker/wheel.  This removes many buttons from rear of unit, but means you have to dig into menus a bit for special settings
I found that iAuto setting (lets camera pick best settings) works VERY well for Macros and Long zoom.  iAuto Not so good for low light, Sports shots.
You CAN use a variety of manual settings (adjust white balance, sequential shots,etc.) in Program (P) mode.  As with most recent Olympus cameras there are a LOAD of scene/mode presets; too many in my opinion.  You CAN set up your OWN special preferences AND keep them in memory for future use
Keeping in mind that this IS a point and shoot camera with a BIG honking zoom attached- NOT AN SLR - I am extremely happy with the 800 UZ so far.
I intend to see how it does on July 4  with Macy's fireworks display in NYC (using a tripod), and take some wildlife shots if birds co-operate at all. I'll revise the review after that.
So far the Olympus SP800 UZ is a SUPER super zoom.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 285
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Flexible Enough for Enthusiasts

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