Olympus SP-800UZ Review

April 12, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#101 Bill

George, I couldn’t agree more.  I really miss using my Minolta camera.  It had EVERYTHING, except one… portability.  It was so damn big.  Counting the camera, multiple lenses, light meter, filters, flash, blah, blah, blah, and it required a charter jet of it’s own just to go on vacation.  I like digital, and I like the idea that you can compress a lot into a little.  This is why a camera such as this appealed to me.  My only complaint is that it might not fit into my pocket!  :)

Jey, waiting to hear your thoughts once you test it out!

My wishes on these digitals… Flash shoe (so I can take a pic in the dark more than 10 feet away), more manual controls, and maybe viewfinder (there are times I just cannot see what the heck I am looking at on the screen!).

4:50 am - Thursday, October 28, 2010

#102 Mary

Bought this today, charged it up via USB, turned it on - “zoom error”  and it turned itself off.

Dead. Took the battery out for half an hour, put it in again - same thing.

Any suggestions before I take it back to the shop on Tuesday ?

9:55 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#103 tim777jet

hi Mary, never seen this message before, just checked the manual, you can down load it from the web, doesnt mention that failure message. I fired up the camera and checked the in-camera help pages and instructions, but cant find it either. When you connect the camera via USB it should go into a setup mode on the PC, did it do this.
Sorry cant help any further, cheers tim

10:34 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#104 tim777jet

Just punched into google, your failure, there is website with help for cameras, your problem not listed, but try removing the SD card and try to fire it up, worth a go.help page below.

10:44 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#105 John Herron

Re Mary #102.
Just take it straight back to the shop and get a new one. Guessing that it may have something to do with extending the lens when the camera is fired up. So manufacture problem.

10:58 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#106 Mary

Hi Tim - yes I set it up on the computer, date, language etc.

I tried uninstalling and setting up again, still the same message.

But thanks for trying to help.

11:11 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#107 Mary

Thanks v much, hadn’t even got as far as putting in the SD card - so will take it back to shop.

11:25 pm - Sunday, October 31, 2010

#108 George Zimmerman


I agree with Tim & John… take it right back to the store and ask for a replacement. I am beginning to think that the SP800UZ has various electronic defects, that are not all the same for all units.

My SP800UZ had perfect white balance capabilities when I first got it….. NOW.. now its having problems with any photo taken in daylight. The resulting image looks as if it were submerged in bleach for 5 seconds. Contrast is lacking and the image appears under exposed no matter which setting you have it set on. The pictures looked like an under-developed Polaroid instant picture.

Mine is going back as well…..

12:13 am - Monday, November 1, 2010

#109 tim777jet

Within the camera menu is a CCD remap function, it states you should recalibrate the CCD once a year, try that first, any port in a storm, cheers tim

8:48 am - Monday, November 1, 2010

#110 tim777jet

just posted a few macro shots of a dragonfly thingy, that was at the side of the pool,


10:38 pm - Monday, November 1, 2010

#111 George Zimmerman


Thanks! I’ll try the pixel mapping suggestion and see what happens. I also got a reply from Olympus which suggested that I go in the menu system and do complete camera RESET that will put all internal settings back to factory default. Will see what happens and I’ll report back.

Thanks again,


2:05 am - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#112 Mary

Thanks for all advice. Took it back and it was exchanged with no bother. Time will tell how good a picture I can get with it ;)

10:34 am - Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#113 George Zimmerman


I’m reporting back on the results of pixel remapping and also Olympus’ suggestion to do a complete reset to “factory default”.

The results were (I would say) about 85% effective. It’s a lot better that it was, but still seems to lack the full image contrast that it once had.

The live view LCD doesn’t flicker as much during the process of shutter release as it did when the problem started. But I am still concerned that there is an inherent problem that will get worse with time…..

Hmmmmm this camera is not one of Olympus’ best efforts in electronic engineering…. lens is OK.

Again, thanks for your help TIM!

3:43 pm - Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#114 Ben

This camera is a piece of garbage. With taxes and a memory card and warrenty, i ended up paying $450. And the picture quality is no better than $60 cameras!

3:59 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#115 tim777jet

Hi George, seems there must be an issue there and best to return, maybe it was a friday afternoon model.
Hi Ben, sorry you were not happy with the results. In fact when i first used mine, the pictures i took were lacking somewhat, just lacked punch, i was dishartened. I had bought the camera in the duty free as i departed for work and couldnt go back and discuss with the shop, so set the P modes to a lower ISO and went out snapping and pictures were great. In Auto mode they are as good as my P mode settings now, dont know why, it just seemed to improve with use, strange.
Anyway, I just got back from a shopping Mall, where i came across a Sony shop. Killing time, i took a look at the Sony NEX3, they didnt have the NEX5. Now this camera is meant to be awesome. It had the pancake lens on it so we swapped it for the larger lens which gave around 3 X zoom (18mm-55mm, something like that). I had an SD card, so took a few shots. Camera was in full auto, 14mp and fine quality, and the shop was very well lit. Just looked at the pics and they are disapointing, the colours look nice and bold but zoom in and the detail just isnt there. For a big lens that only has to work over a 3X zoom range, compared to a lens which has to work over a 30X range, i dont think the pics are impressive. Just uploaded them to flickr, link here.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/54318196@N08/sets/72157625319883328/ Dont know why they are a little poor, i held the camera as still as possible, maybe the stabilization system wasnt switched on or something, didnt check that. The camera was not as nice to hold as the SP800, which fits my hand like a glove, it was quite light which suprised me. I found the NEX3 menu ok, it has a few selections without going into the menu, but not many. The screw on flash unit does make the body larger I believe they made it like this so they could claim it was the smallest 2/3rds camera on the market.Must say I love the pop up flash on SP800, beautiful design, i have seen people complain there is not a button to push to release the flash, I love the lift up function, no need for another button.
Maybe it was just me and the NEX5 is suposed to be better as well, so a shame they didnt have that. I will try to find a shop with an NEX5 and take comparison pics with the SP800 at same time in the shop and see difference then.
Just my humble observations, cheers tim

10:07 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#116 Jack

Hey Ben - I think the problem is with you. Fancy spending $450 instead of $60. That $60 camera must be a real masterpiece - can you tell me where I can get one?

10:18 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#117 George Zimmerman

Hi Tim:

Just a few last notes on the washed-out color correction. It does seem to be more stable in a sense that the LCD doesn’t flicker light-dark-light-dark aa it was before. Now it only flickers once when the shutter button is pushed, but usually winds-up lighter that it was before the picture was taken.

One curious fact is that I only have this problem when bright sunlight is involved. If I shot something in the shadows while standing in the shadows, the color content and contrast are perfect…... Dunno… this camera (mine) must be an enemic albino genetic freak or something. It’s a qwirky little bastard anyway.

LOL…... I have to laugh, it ain’t worth crying over…. LOL


10:27 pm - Friday, November 5, 2010

#118 tim777jet

george, i suppose you have tried different scren brightnesses from the menu, try it half way/ then full then dim to see if it makes a difference. Just tested mine in bright sunlight and shade, no flickering etc, cheers tim

8:54 am - Saturday, November 6, 2010

#119 George Zimmmerman

Hi Tim,

I at one time also thought maybe the display LCD was giving me a false indication of the problem. I did vary the LCD brightness and the flickering continued but at the different brightness levels. As a verification of what was observed on the display, I would download the image to the computer, and the image was at exactly the same brightness and contrast as it was at the time of shutter release but without the effect of raising and lowering the LCD brightness level. (WOW… at 5am my sentence construction really sucks ... LOL).

I also thought that maybe a weak battery was contributing to the problem .... wrong. With a fully-charged battery the results were the same.

Like I said… there was an improvement after the remapping and reset processes, but not 100%. What I’ll do next has not been decided, but will probably just relegate this camera to even further limited use. It may even piss me off further and then I can get the satisfaction of watching it splatter against a brick wall. (OR… I could conduct another test to see how well it holds-up when run-over by a stone quarry 80 ton loaded dump truck…. that would be both interesting and gratifying at the same time).

Thanks again for your assistance Tim.


11:28 am - Saturday, November 6, 2010

#120 tim777jet

hi george, are you out of warranty, if not take it back.
Anyway, i ended up back in the same place where i toke the Sony nex3 pics in the shop. I nipped round with the Olympus and tried to take the same pics, i had taken the day before. None of the shots have been altered in any way, straight out of the camera. In some shots, each camera has the slight edge over the other and also when zooming around a picture the same applies, depending on exactly which part of the picture the camera zoomed. Obviously the zoom on the Olympus blows the sony away, but i must say, the olympus does a fair job, especially when you consider the miniscual size of our CCd compared to the Sony.
For comparison sony pics 19 20     21   22
          olympus   31 41/43   32   35
link here http://www.flickr.com/photos/54318196@N08/sets/72157625319883328/
cheers tim

10:21 pm - Saturday, November 6, 2010

#121 Amy

Im really struggling with the settings. I cant get the sports setting to work inside a gymnasium now, I finally got it sorted out for the most part on the football field. I cant turn on the digital or fine zoom, I get the message conflicting settings. I also tried the noise reduction feature and get the same message. When I can get the settings how they need to be, I love this camera…..Please help me….

3:05 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#122 George Zimmerman


Here is what the SP-800UZ manual has to say about it. The explanation to me is sort of confusing.

Shooting at magnifications higher than
optical zoom without reducing the
image quality [FINE ZOOM]

Submenu 2 Application

[OFF] Only optical zoom is used to zoom in
for shooting.

Optical zoom and image cropping
are combined to zoom in for shooting
(up to 39×).
This function will not reduce the image
quality since it dose not convert the data
with fewer pixels into the data with larger
When set to [ON], [IMAGE SIZE] is limited
to or lower.
When set to [ON], [DIGITAL ZOOM] is
canceled automatically.
[FINE ZOOM] is not available when
[% SUPER MACRO] (p. 24) is selected.
Shooting at magnifications higher than
optical zoom [DIGITAL ZOOM]
: P A S M r?IA
Submenu 2 Application
OFF Only optical zoom is used to zoom in
for shooting.
Optical zoom and digital zoom are
combined to zoom in for shooting
(Still pictures: Approx. 130x (max.),
Movies: Approx. 78x (max.)).
When set to [ON], [FINE ZOOM] is canceled
[DIGITAL ZOOM] is not available when
[% SUPER MACRO] (p. 24) is selected.

Maybe you can figure out what its’ trying to say?

Good Luck,


4:42 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#123 tim777jet

Hi Amy, when you get the message Conflicting Settings, it means, for the set up that you have chosen, that feature is not one that you can select. In Sports mode my camera lets me select DIgital Zoom and not Fine Zoom. There would prob be a reason for this, that the guys that wrote the program decided upon. Like wise the Noise Reduction is not available in this mode, there would be a reason for this to. If you need a particular function, try the P mode more different Scene modes. Its a shame the manual dosnt give a description as to which settings are available in which modes. If I get bored one night, i might have a play and write them down, sorry cant help any further. cheers tim

8:19 am - Sunday, November 7, 2010

#124 Jane

Just bought this camera and very pleased with it !  Jill, the three shots Kevin is referring to is the panoramic shot - and you move the camera around your scene for that one. For the sequential shots you need to hold the shutter down.
For an enthusiatic ametuer this camera is really easy to use, and the ‘bird watching’ mode is fantastic for picking up detail.  I was not happy with the manual being in the camera so I connected the camera to my pc, downloaded and printed it. SORTED !!!

7:47 pm - Saturday, November 20, 2010

#125 George Zimmerman

You know?.......... Its all about what floats your individual boat. For me the SP800-UZ just doesn’t quite cut the mustard! The design intent was on-point for its intended market, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. I have assigned this particular camera the duty of being a “standby” when I nothing else is handy at the time of need.

For a point and shoot camera, the 8 megapixel camera on my HTC EVO 4G cell phone fills the bill.

For a serious camera, my Olympus E-300 DSLR is the camera of first choice. With 3 lenses, most all of my capability requirements are met. No FUSS, no MUSS, no Bother!

12:32 am - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#126 Sakis P

I read some comments and looks like the people does not know that you have to use tripod if you want to take a picture with much zoom!

This days I looking to find a camera with very very zoom, I couldn’t find with 50x or 40x. Also I want the maximum zoom without to need to sell my car for to buy it!

So yesterday I found the Olympus SP-800UZ look good in the price. And today I wanted to read some tests, reviews and to see some sample pictures. As I said I interest in full zoom in 30x or more if I can add a lens 2.0x. As I want to take pictures from birds on the trees or wild animals from far away and not airplanes!

Some serious users of the camera say is noisy.-
Some others say is useless the 30x zoom. Hey guys, there is many other cameras for you, this is not for you ;)

I notice something very very disappoint in full zoom sample pictures: is so much noisy, no quality, very bad, worse than cheap cell phone pictures, does not look as 14MP pictures, you can not see details. And also I notice rainbow colors on the pictures where the color change from dark to light or light to dark. In 28mm pictures I notice similar, especially on some sample pictures with trees, I can not separate the leaves! bad. Maximum video on HD 29’, anyway this is a digital camera not a video camera.

Does anybody can suggest me a digital camera with 30x or more zoom, less than 500 grams weight, with optical or EVF finder, picture with real 16 or 15 or 14 or 13 or 12 MP and price less than 450 USD?

4:34 am - Sunday, November 21, 2010

#127 Bryan V

I have been using this camera for quite a while now.
I got to use it outdoors a lot.
I recently started using it mostly indoors, as I am really taking my time learning everything about the camera.

I was used to Canon cameras, and this is actually my first Olympus.

It’s funny that a lot of you are looking for specifications that this camera doesn’t have.
Don’t you look at the specs before you buy something?
When you buy a new gadget isn’t it a given you try it out first and familiarize yourself with it?
Wherever you’re buying a camera you can actually test it out before you buy it.
Don’t buy something when the store doesn’t allow you to try it, especially for gadgets.

this camera is not for pros.
This camera is a GREAT point-and-shoot.
They’ve been very clear from the beginning.

If you don’t like it then find another camera.
Talking shit about this camera and not liking when you didn’t actually use it just doesn’t quite give you the right to give a credible review.

For those who used it and weren’t please, I guess I’m sorry.
Why did you buy it in the first place.

There are A LOT more cameras out there.
Don’t buy something just because it looks good.
You check it first.
Think about how you’ll be using it.
Yes you can consider what other people say, or how they rave or rant about theirs but remember that it’s YOU who will be using the camera. Not them.

It really depends on YOU.

SO for those hoping for someone to give them an answer is, this is a good start.
You’re researching. But the next step is comparing the cameras you actually like. Try them out. Each and think which will suit your activities best and which will fit your budget. Don’t just buy it because its cheap. Buy it because its worth the money your paying for it.

10:23 am - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#128 Raj

i am a Pro in photography, my previous camera was Nikon D50 but i love this Olympus SP800UZ..just try it’s sport section..it has all the features with names..you just have to select it by sport,night, firework etc..who is telling this camera is shit,  i doubt on their photographic ability..sorry.
A equivalent bazooka looky cannon lens of 600 MM will cost $10450..i bought this camera @$249…get it straight..

6:22 pm - Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#129 rebecca

I got this camera for $160 at radioshack. So, i dont think the cheapest you can get it for is 250

10:39 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#130 zebarnabe


That was freaking cheap >_>

11:55 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#131 Jack

Sounds impossibly cheap to me. Retailers are having a tough time but this would be below cost for the SP800. Are you sure it wasn’t an SP600.

12:13 am - Sunday, December 19, 2010

#132 Julia

About a year ago I got a SP800UZ.I complained about on this site and in a few week returned it. A few weeks ago and saw the camera(refurbished)at about $240 plus tax and Shipping.I thought what by not. I got it and went to work setting it up for my use and lo and behold I found a setting hidden is a submenu that I didn’t know was there. The setting asked if I wanted to save settings and one for power save off. With the settings set when I’m out taking photos at the marco setting it will stay there until I change the settings or fully turn the camera off. I’ve only taken about 40 or 50 picture with it because of the cold and the snow. But they are great. Can’t wait for a warm spell.

11:59 pm - Monday, January 17, 2011

#133 chris

I bought this camera shortly after it came out. I will not claim to be a pro and I damn sure am not a novice. Out of the box I was taking show quality macro pictures but reason I bought was for the zoom factor and lack of bulky lenses. This camera takes some of the best pictures I have ever seen.I do not do many indoor pictures and have no need for the video features but have had no problem using them.I can go from counting hairs on a flies back to getting breath taking scenery shots with depth and contrast I have yet to see even in the 10 to $20,000 camera’s. If you have the eye this camera can get the shot. The one big flaw I have found is the inability to add filters but with a bit of modification I am able to use an UV filter.I have to say for a point n shoot camera it was the best $300 I ever spent and use it more then the DSLR just for portability factor. The menu I found was a bit hard to navigate but once I actually took the time to learn them the camera is very user friendly.I use a mini tripod and that is all ya really need for the added stability for getting the perfect shot. I do have to agree with those that have said the mount for the tripod isn’t exactly good as it is off center making it hard for fast relocating for next shot, but I knew that when I bought the camera. The only complaint I have about the camera is that they didn’t make it sooner I love the portability of it one small case as compared to a trunk full of lenses n crap. Here is a sample of what this camera will do all but 6 of the pictures in this album was taken with my Olympus SP-800 and it is very obvious the 6. http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?fbid=101963129863583&id=100001496887729&aid=2559 I would recommend this camera to anyone that has minimal knowledge of photography,not for the beginner as it can be a bit overwhelming with just sheer amount of features and settings. For those who I have read on here that claim to be pro’s that have bad mouthed this camera, (if you get your head out of your ass and open your eyes) you can make this camera do things you spent 10,000 or more to try and do.

4:14 am - Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#134 Julia

I also am not a pro. I have been taking pictures for over 50 years(closer to 60). I’d like to look at your photos on your facebook album but the link does not work or I should it say it goes to your main page not to your photo page.

1:38 am - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#135 chris


I have my security set pretty high send me a friend request and mention the photo blog. I have had issues of photo theft so I share a limited and select few photos. I’m not a tech junkie so I do not store my work in on-line galleries. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100001496887729

I look forward to getting to know fellow photographers as I claim no formal training I just have a good eye and now a camera that can capture what I see.


7:35 am - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#136 Jack

Sounds like we are getting a few more sensible comments here rather then the “prima donna wannabe I’m really good and I’m so experienced that I reckon the SP800UZ is garbage” sort that permeated this site a few months ago. Thought I’d send you to a couple of photo’s that I took from where I’m writing when I noticed a sucker fish crawl up from the primordal slime of my fishpond. He must have thought that the waterfall was his ticket out.  He actually got to the top of the waterfall (2 metres) after about 15 minutes before he lost his grip. These shots were taken hand held through the glass of a sliding window and one is on full x30 zoom on a nice bright day.  I’ve added a standard x1 shot which I took today to show that the subject was 5 metres away. I’ve got no complaints about this camera.
I loaded them on Flickr - first time I’ve tried it.

11:11 am - Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#137 tim777jet

Nice one Jack, yes you can get some good pics. I think there is a lot in how these cameras process the info as well as how it is captured. I read an artical recently on RAW, which i know very little about. It appears that the software in the camera determins what received information it will display and how. For me i want to click a button and see a result, not take all my pics in RAW and then play with every one to get a result. I leave this to the camera to decide. We do have some control by selecting scene modes though. My son got the Leica TZ10 for Christmas which is supposed to have excellent image quality. It is 14X zoom and tried it inside. I was impressed how much zoom there was compared to the 30X we have. It is slightly wider angle than ours. We took shots in the house and must say the SP800 was better. Zooming in on detail of our pictures, the SP800 was amazing. When viewed normaly the TZ10 pictures were a little more smooth and pleasant, i guess because the software had decided that was right. The SP800 was more accurate and sharp, but less shall we say Pretty.
The SP800 macro is really excellent, i posted a link to some pics of a dragon fly, here a while back and was very pleased with them.I have taken pictures of cars whilst in Macro mode and they come out really well, worth experimenting.
Interesting the FZ100 camera is now made by Leica, it is the same camera but about twice the price. Leica were asked how they can charge that price for the same camera and they replied, it had a longer warranty and the software was better. It would be interesting to see side by side shots of the Fz100 and the Leica,s version of it, to see what the real difference is.
On passing through an airport a few days ago, i found a Sony NEX5 on display which was powered. I took a couple of shots in the shop, in full automatic, very very disappointing. I compared the NEX3 to the SP800 a while back, taking pics in a shop and posting them, I was unimpressed with the NEX3 as well. Must be me, because they keep saying that is one of best 2/3rds cameras on the market, i am missing something somewhere.
Ref filters, yes there is no thread on the lens front end, but you can make a filter fit. I am using a Hoya HRT Circular Polarizer/UV filter of 49mm. I machined off a few thousands of an inch off the thread and it is a beautiful push fit in the end, works brilliantly. Any machine shop or anyone with a lathe will do this for you for for a few pounds. you could use a 48mm filter and pack the threaded end out with some PTFE tape. PTFE tape is the white tape that plumbers use for wrapping around threads. It leaves no residue it is not sticky, but adhears to itself under pressure. It is available from any hardware store.
All the best Tim

11:26 am - Friday, January 21, 2011

#138 Lucia

Unfortunately I’ve been lazy and not really figured out all the setting and effects I could be using with this camera.  I am, however, still very happy with it.  I earlier posted a link to pics from a trip to South Africa.  I was trying to re-post that link and a couple of others but for some reason every time I try to post I’m getting an error message.  I’ll try again in a separate comment.

I think for being a pretty basic user, the results are great - I LOVE the zoom.  In the Boston album (if I can get the link to post), there are some good examples of the zoom (without a tripod).  Hopefully someday I’ll have the time to figure out all the other things I can get out of the camera.

7:42 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#139 Lucia

Ok, now trying to post links (one at a time)

South Africa -


7:46 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#140 Lucia

Ok, now trying to post links (one at a time)

Boston -


7:49 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#141 Lucia

Ok, now trying to post links (one at a time)

Wash. DC - just a couple


7:51 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#142 Mary

My daughter is getting a lot of ‘noise’ on her pics, even outdoors ones. Any quick solution? I’ve moved the ISO down to 100.

9:01 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#143 Jack

ISO 100 is pretty slow. We used to use this on the old film camera’s and it gave excellent results. I’d check your settings on “setup”.  I use “normal” and not “fine” - try it on different settings. To be honest I haven’t encountered any noise even on ISO 800 but it was outside and bright.

Mainly shoot on AUTO
And ISO is AUTO for normal shooting

My settings are:
‘compression - normal
shadow adjust auto
AF mode Face.isp
esp - esp
fine zoom off
digital zoom off
image stab on
noise reduction——OFF
image size 720p
image quality normal
is movie mode   off
full time auto focus on

power save off
rec view   on
pic orientation on

Try shooting outside in sunlight and in the dark.

9:19 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#144 zebarnabe


Define lot of ‘noise’ ... I suggest you look at the pictures at full size of the monkeys on PhotographyBlog samples…

If yours are similar, with the same amount of smeared details and noisy textures at ISO 100, that’s normal. SP800UZ is not a DSLR, you’ll get noise no matter what, it all depends of what is acceptable or not… specially considering that when printing you’ll be looking at a 6~8MP picture, most people consider SP800UZ awful because they look at a 100% view (but then again that is what allows you to crop and edit without screaming for lost detail)... Try to see them, or resize them to 50% ... it should be OK at that view.

My camera (GH1 - EVIL camera) is better at ISO 800 than SP800UZ at ISO 50, I find it hard to believe that you “haven’t encountered any noise even on ISO 800”, as I find it at base ISO… but sure, I’ve seen worse…

By the way, I still use film, on a Nikon F401x and a Glitt 35 (this camera is older than I am), ISO100 and 200, I’ll be using it till I ran out of film (I have a bunch at home, some with expired dates)

10:53 am - Monday, January 24, 2011

#145 tim777jet

Hi Guys, was in a shop and saw a Sony HX1 20Xsuper zoom camera. Havnt come across this one so out it came. I must say, lovely camera, easy to use and tons of features including full manual controls. the control knobs and wheels work really well and the LCD was superb and whole functionality very impressive. I took lots of shots in the shop and was very impressed. I raced to hotel and picked up the SP800 for a comparison test as the salesman was really helpful.
We fired up the cameras and snapped away. I found that in Twilight mode, it would take 6 shots and stich them together to give a good sharp image. I found that at ISO 400 hand held, the pictures were very good with little noise, less than I had found, previously on ours. I found that hand held at ISO50 on the SP800 i just could not hold still enough at full zoom with no flash and full length of shop, i would say the Sony was marginaly better. I slipped the SP800 into Iauto and what a difference, then i notice the camera had selected ISO400 and was as good as the Sony. Hand held in Iauto,most of the images were sharp, on par with the Sony. The salesman was trying to sell a camera so was taking same pics, but his hand was not as steady as mine and the SP800 was actually sharper and less blurred than his, with me holding the camera i would say in the end, very similar results. he fetched 2 tripods and we set up the same shots. What was supprising is that from 20X to 30X there was not too much extra zoom- in, but some. The wide angle of both cameras was about the same.
The zoomed in pics were pretty much on par with eachother, I would say the colours slightly truer on the SP800,but richer on the Sony, but with no flash and just shop lighting, images pretty good. We tried with flash and fully zoomed in. The SP800 flash did nothing, (big shop), couldnt reach the subject. The camera dialed its brightness down in anticipation of the flah so just got dark pics. The Sony flash did reach the subject but was not really the right colours and again a little dark, but better than the SP800, just too far away.
I tried selecting exposure to INCANDESANT (SP800) and got some sharp results but pics very blue, not quite right. What i didnt try (SP800), was setting my ISO to 200 and trying a shot with the tripod instead of 400.
The Sony automatically goes into Macro mode and shot my watch, very nice picture as good as the SP800 ( I read a report on the sony and they slate the macro, stating it suffers from bad baralleling, but looked good to me).
The Sony is only 9mp and was very impressed with its results put up against the 14mp we have.
We took wide angle shots on the tripod and results similar. I would say the SP800 picks out everything sharper, but looks slightly harsher, if you know what i mean. I think the Sony colours are birghter than they were in real life and the camera must smooth everything to give a nice pleasant overall picture which is pleasing to the eye. I have always felt that the SP800 does lack a certain dynamic in its overall look fresh out of the camera. A click or 2 of saturation and maybe colour, in windows photo gallery does liven them up though.
All in all, I was very impressed, similar image results really, some times pictures taken with the sony were better than the SP800 and sometimes vice/versa. If full manual controls is what you need, then it is well worth concidering as well.
It would be great to have been able to test them in daylight.
cheers tim

9:17 pm - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

#146 tim777jet

has anybody tried this camersa with a hood. did a bit of searching on the internet as i have never used a hood and seems a stops stray light getting in through your lens, light which is not coming from the subject you are capturing, and upsetting the metering system and giving flares etc. Seems some people wont shoot without one. Found this website, where you make your own out of paper, might be worth a go.  http://www.lenshoods.co.uk/custom.php
I read that some people use a poloriser to stop stray light and also neutral Density Filters to do the same thing. cheers tim

6:14 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#147 tim777jet

Guys, managed to mess around with a Sony NEX3 and the Sony Alpha 290 (DSLR) tonight in same shop i played with the Sony HX1.
I posted up the comparison shots on flickr, click here http://www.flickr.com/photos/54318196@N08/sets/72157625911767176/with/5390825616/
Must say, non of these DSLRs can come close to any kind of quality we have when we zoom in fully. The wide angle of the NEX3 seems to have a smaller frame size. The colours of camera are slightly tarnished and the colours from the sony are slightly blue. I should have upper the exposure compensation to +0.7 to lighten up, if you select tungsten, it is way to blue.
Anyway for a point and shoot, dont think we too bad,obviously no contest when zooming in,  cheers tim

7:17 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#148 chris

I finally did it and set up a flickr account so here is a sample of some of my pictures taken with my SP800.I am amazed at the versatility of this camera the more I learn it the more I can do with it.

1:48 am - Saturday, January 29, 2011

#149 tim777jet

Hey Chris, some great shots there. Love the tree picture, i had to keep looking to work it out, very clever picture. Thought it was remains from a large cat, but very clever, wont spoil it for people on here, just take a look, you should send it to one of the camera/photo magazines and see if they print it.
I have messed with Windows Live Photo Gallery on a couple of pictures, and found that, a click or two of Contrast, does wonders to live up the pictures. There is also Sharpen, Saturation functions etc, which can improve the basic out of the camera image. Cheers tim

7:32 am - Saturday, January 29, 2011

#150 chris

  I said I was doing some pretty amazing things with the camera. I am just now really learning how to fine tune everything and the in camera diagnostic feature is amazing. The pictures I put in that flickr album is nothing compared to the few thousand I have on my external photo drive. Yes you are right about the fallen tree picture I would love to get it published but I am far from knowledgeable about how to make that happen. There is also as you said something very clever about the picture that makes you look very deep and hard, for many unless I tell them can not figure it out. Every picture in the flickr album is raw and untouched just to show the quality of picture this camera is capable of taking. I would love any tips, contacts, advice, etc. you are willing to give to help this broke down not so old war horse published. If you are on Facebook please send me a friend request you can use the link I posted in comment 135 of this thread.In the request mention this thread.


8:01 am - Saturday, January 29, 2011

#151 tim777jet

Hey Chris, i am just a humble snapper. The picture of the tree just caught my eye, I meant to say it looked like Crocodile skelington, not a cat. Ref magazines, I have no experience with any of them, but was just reading Digital Camera magazine and there is a section in there where they review peoples photos and offer advise. you could send your photo to them at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  and see what they say. Other magazines do the same, but most photos you see are taken with DSLR’s not a budget super zoom, so would be interesting to see what they have to say. I have just played around with some more of my photos, altering the Contrast slightly, it does give a warmth to the pictures, they do tend to be a little flat sometimes out of the camera. I altered some night shots which were not to good really, but they came out pretty good, worth a play, and the windows photo galley is free software on your windows computer, so even better. There is another photo program, which is quite brilliant, called, GIMP. You can down load it free from the internet and it is a very powerfull piece of kit. I used it to alter one of my Sarafi photos, that i blew up pretty big, just to remove a piece of long gress that was right in the way, very easy to do, even for me. cheers tim

9:27 pm - Saturday, January 29, 2011

#152 g.kat

give me hs10 any time…..got all the needed hardware….better then sx30is…....

4:13 pm - Monday, February 7, 2011

#153 tim777jet

Hey G.kat, not sure if you have an HS10, if you are thinking of getting one, just wait 4 to 6 weeks and get the new HS20exr, looks like a brilliant camera, 16 Mp, larger sensor, same 30x lens, but a lot more refined and updated beeter low light, fast focus, which dogged the HS10.
If you can wait till april, check out the the Sony HX100v, awsome bit of kit as well, 16mp again, backlit CMOS sensor and full manual controls as well, faster focus than the HS20, HD recording. I played with the HX1 recently, it is a brilliant camera, fits your hand well and controls were just brilliant, the 100 has a ring on the lens, which you can set as either manual focus or zoom function. Both allow zooming while recording sound.
It is such a shame olympus have not updated the SP800 this year,they have just updated on of the sp range, i think SP600, but what a shame, olympus, you are loosing out, people want more and more from their cameras, i am not into gimics, just want improved pic quality, the sony does 3D pictures, this is moving on. Gimics like cartooneriz and some of the filters offered do nothing for me, the sketch filter on the SP800 is novel, but with aftermarket software around, you can change your pictures to black and white or increase colour temperature, and crop pictures, why do we need to pay for it in the camera, i would rather pay for image quality. Ps the HS20 also records in RAW if thats your thing, cheers tim

11:54 pm - Monday, February 7, 2011

#154 chris

Hey Tim

You sound like you work in or around a camera shop if I’m not mistaking. I am going to be looking at an upgrade for the sp800 I absolutely love so my standards is gonna be pretty damn high. I want more zoom capability and a much larger sensor with more filter capabilities. I love the sp800 in camera photo diagnostic screen make for easy in the field adjustments easy. My only down fall with the sp800 is the lack of filter and additional zoom capabilities. My next camera must not only have the reach with the zoom that the sp800 has it also has to be weather proof at minimum (must be able to take being splashed while I’m kayaking).  And the biggest thing will have to be image quality the sp800 is nice and gives amazing quality pictures so the next camera is gonna have to blow me away. I would love maybe up to 60x optical with minimal extra baggage optional polarized and UV filters etc. I expect to go into the 7 to $800 range. I do not want to go into DSLR I just want super high quality pictures if the sp800 had better sensors I wouldn’t even be thinking about an upgrade any time soon. I have not seen anything on the market come close to what I am doing with the sp800 you got any suggestions??

4:55 am - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#155 RJ

Thanks to everyone who left a review both positive and negative.

I owned two SP500’s, one was stolen and the replacement one was dropped by a friend while the zoom was fully extended. I looked around but wasn’t happy with the other brands and went with an SP550 which had just come out at the time. A great camera that served me well for a few years until I lost it over the 2010/2011 Xmas holidays while on leave interstate. I wasn’t happy as I had a heap of irreplaceable images on it.

Anyway I am now looking at a replacement camera and after looking around am looking at an SP800. The lightweight, zoom, features etc are what attracted me to the SP series in the SP500 initially.

One thing I would have liked to see is a viewfinder as I wear glasses and hate taking them off to look at a subject/distance and then putting them on again to look at an LCD screen and vice versa. It also assists in steadying the camera. With the viewfinder I can adjust the focus for my eye and then I can shoot photos without specs unless I want to view the images immediately after capture. However I’m sure after a period of adjustment I will get used to only using an LCD screen for framing the shots with an SP800.

I don’t think the push button menu will bug me as I am used to the Olympus SP series already.

Also looks like my sets of rechargeable AA batteries, chargers and XD cards are now useless. The batteries will live on in other applications but the XD cards????


10:25 am - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#156 tim777jet

Hey Chris, I am not near a camera shop, someone sent me link to the CES show in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and saw that Fuji had updated the HS10 and that Sony updated the HX1. Put these two cameras into youtube and google and see what the competion are doing.The HS20 now has double the resolotion 3 inch screen as the HS10 had, and the Sony is twice the res of the HS20, amazing
Ref filters for the SP800, you can fit a filter, two options buy a 48mm filter and wrap a small amount of white PTFE tape from a plumbers shop)around the threads to pack them out slightly, until the filter just pushes into the end of the lens holder this will leave no sticky residue, or buy a 49mm filter like me, and get a machine shop to just take off a tiny amount of the thread, until it is a niece push fit in the lens holder. I have done both and works a treat.
Olympus need to up their game, get a filter thread on the next SP800, increase its sensor size slightly, (the fuji is now 1/2 instead of a 1/2.3), giving 16mp, we need manual focus, a tilting screen like the competion, increase shutter speed to 30secs, for adventurous photo snappers and improve the low light and ISO capability. All the above has been addressed by Sony and Fuji. The Sony and Fuji, also have view finders, not esssential for me, but many others. They are falling behind which is a real shame.
Cheers tim

10:45 am - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#157 zebarnabe


60x lens + bigger sensor = Rocket laucher sized lens…. not joking… search for 1600mm lens and you’ll get what I mean…

If you don’t want to spend lots of money, but want a better camera an entry level DSLR with a dual kit will do fine…

You have lots of options and systems, my favorite for the price is the Pentax K-x with the dual kit with 300mm lens (450mm equivalent) it costs around 700$/€, I’ve been messing quite well with that Pentax, it’s quite nice, but Canon has similar kits and Nikon should have something equivalent as well…

Canon released a new entry level camera and Nikon has released one a few months ago… they might pick your interest…

If you want video without too much compromise, Pentax K-x might be lacking the quality, Canon 550D (Rebel T2i) might do the trick, but with the added specs (megapixel count goes quite of the scale) the price will increase as well…

Later you can buy better lens, and possibly a better body… If you choose Canon system, the 15-85mm lens are quite something for general purpose lens… or the 17-55mm f/2.8 if you are into low light/indoors without flash… but be advised that those lens alone are quite more expensive than a bridge camera.

Weather proof? I assume water (but not underwater) and dust resistance ... cameras with those feature are either small compacts with 5x lens or Pro level DSLRs for a not so nice amount of money…

I still don’t get it why you would want a 1600mm lens… even for birds 300mm is more than enough or 600mm if they are small/far away ... I guess for moon craters 1600mm would do nicely ^^;

If you’re wondering what camera/system I have, I almost brought Fujifilm FinePix HS10, but went for a different beast, a Panasonic GH1 (GH2 was released recently) with the 14-140mm kit lens, later I acquired the 20mm/f1.7, a tripod and a Raynox DCR-250 close-up filter… The 140mm lens it’s equivalent to 280mm and with it’s sharpness I can crop 50% and go to 560mm equivalent and still get more than enough resolution to print A4 size, I would love the 100-300mm lens (600mm equivalent for small birds) and the 25mm f/0.95 (for extreme low light shooting and bokeh), but for now this will have to suffice…

Basically, if you want a long focal range and quality, DSLR (or an interchangeable lens camera system - micro four thirds and Sony NEX are not DSLRs but have similar sized sensors) is the way to go, the problem: a complete system that covers most of your needs will cost 1600$ or more…

Well… SP800UZ it’s not obsolete, so it should suit you well for the next 4 years without many issues… just a tip, if you really want more zoom, you can try a tele-converter, but be advised that image quality will suffer (specially if it’s a cheap one)... A guy with an HS10 and a tele-convert filter lens (uh… SP800UZ has a filter thread right?), took photos to saturn and ISS (for ISS he used sun as a back ground and put an very opaque ND filter over the lens) ... quite impressive… even if the quality wasn’t that good…

11:12 am - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#158 Jack

Re RJ - I too lamented the lack of a view finder after having used cameras with one forever. After nearly six months of using the SP800 it now never occurs to me to even try and use it as I would if it had a view finder.  In some light conditions it could do with one. As for XD cards -beats me. I have a 128Mb, 256Mb and 2Gb SD cards from previous cameras over the last 10 years but the SP800 has 2Gb inbuilt which is good for 500 pics on normal mode. It’s an outstanding camera and too many wanks here have posted crap about the camera because they want people to think they are really top photographers rather than the wannabe’s that they are.

1:52 pm - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#159 g kat

hi tim
thanks for the tips. but some how i feel hs10 is still better then hs20.tell me higher mp are not necessarly mean good…what i have understood about megapixel that if the sensor chip is not full 35mm hense pixels will fight to get more lights and because the chip is not big physicaly the result wont be that differnt then that of ten mp chip….i may be wrong..

8:53 pm - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

#160 tim777jet

Lot of good posts recently. ref size of sensor and the Mp race, as technology moves on the old ideas and rules by which everything is governed, changes. At one time the CMOS sensor was seen as the poor mans sensor, inferior to the CCD, now the tables have turned. The HS20 has a larger sensor than the HS10, which is prob why they can stretch it to 16Mp. The Sony 100v sensor is about the same size as the old HS10, and that has 16Mp compared to original HX1 which was 10Mp.
They must be doing something right, or they would not be able to squeeze these extra Mp in and sell a camera. The difference between the Bridge camera sensor size, we have, and the DSLR or four thirds sensors is massive and yet they still get 16 Mp in our size sensor as of today.
I have played with numerous cameras and can not understand the idea, where you would buy a top of the range DSLR with a really limited say 270mm lens and say it is so much better than a humble SP800 with 30X zoom, when photgraphing say a bird in a tree a long way off. The pictures I have taken with a Sony NEX5, are blown away by any 30X bridge camera when taking a long distance shot, there is no comparison.
I do feel it frustrating when reviewers print how good some of these stupidly over priced cameras are. For example, recently I read a review on an expensive camera. It had no Zoom, it had a fixed lens. They said the pictures they took up close of a building, or closeup of anything was brilliant. Well what a suprise. It has one function and if it didnt do that well, the designers should be out of a job. I would like to have seen a shot of robin at 150 yards and compared it, after it was cropped to an SP800 at 30X and see the difference. It depends what you want, flexiblity is what I want. I just feel the Olympus have a great product, but have sat back and let Fuji and Sony walk all over them. I will be looking at the HS20 and the Sony HX100V as soon as they are released as they both seem to be making massive improvements, which I think is brilliant, they have listened to their customers and acted accordingly. cheers tim

12:36 am - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#161 zebarnabe

Just to point out three things:

“The HS20 has a larger sensor than the HS10, which is prob why they can stretch it to 16Mp.”

No… Photo sites got much smaller even with sensor size increase (assuming they are not rounding up sensor size value), the diference it’s about 70% of size on the new HS20… however, if the lens are sharp enough, it should be able to resolve more detail, just not pump the ISO and hope for the same levels of noise at pixel level (though in a normalized view, they may be similar).

What can truly make it marvellous is a real EXR sensor with it’s 8MP modes… but if it’s just a Sony sensor with a firmware processing that bins pixels then a HS10 would quite likely fare better.

Other point it’s the hope for a new JPEG processor engine, or a tuned one, in HS10 it often destroyed the quality of the image - compared to RAW file something very wrong was going on, specially on early firmware versions…


“a top of the range DSLR with a really limited say 270mm lens” ... there is no limit to what lens can you put in front of the sensor (actually there is, 1600mm is the most common ‘maximum’ value in most brands, since bridges are at 800mm) but sure the price you pay isn’t cheap, nor the size of it… however glass is ‘forever’ while you can change the camera body when it no longer provides what you need…


“It had no Zoom, it had a fixed lens.” - Fixed focal length lens, also called primes, often offer the best levels of sharpness, colour accuracy, chromatic aberration, distortion and are usually brighter…

Of course, if the camera doesn’t have interchangeable lens you might feel limited as you cannot have wide shots without stitching panoramas or get more detail of far subjects without getting closer to them…


I’m happy with my 14-140mm zoom lens and my 20mm f/1.7 prime ... And I usually only use the 20mm lens ... Zoom isn’t everything, and only when one can see the framing and composition for a potential photo without using the camera is making full use of it. It basically makes one think before taking the photo allowing a better grasp of composition and framing…

11:38 am - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#162 g.kat

hi tim
i hear what you say..i am not in hurry so i wait..another thing that bugs me about all these high zoom bridge cameras…they dont have any option for remote click..i like taking zoomshots on tripod but clocking the shutter gives the shake…you might say that there are IS built in..
the camera ....i am little bit fussy

2:09 pm - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#163 zebarnabe


The Fujifilm Finepix HS20EXR will have remote shutter cable :]

Usually you can use the camera timer, however sometimes you need to capture some fast moment and the timer will fail at that… however a remote shutter cable allows you to choose when to take the photo :]

Just a tip, when on a tripod test if IS hurts image sharpness… in case of doubt disable it…

3:29 pm - Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#164 tim777jet

The HS20 records in JPEG, RAW or JPEG and RAW together.

11:39 am - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#165 zebarnabe

So does the older HS10… surprisingly without changing anything, in HS10, if you shot JPEG+RAW the JPEG would not have as much ‘mushiness’ as the JPEG from JPEG only mode… of course, only in certain situations this was particularly noticeable… I hope HS20 doesn’t suffer from the same… noisy shots are better than smudged ones…

In that matter SP800UZ is much more reliable when shooting JPEG…

In HS20, other improvements, already stated, are the EXR sensor (let’s hope for a real EXR sensor, it’s the first with CMOS technology - meaning 8MP shots should be gorgeous), TTL Flash metering, remote shutter cable, faster drive modes…

I believe screen and LVF got better as well, but I didn’t confirm that.

I hope they fixed buffer mechanism for continuous drive modes… you could not, say, take 3 shots, stop, and then take other 3 shots without waiting for the previous 3 to be recorded on the card… Only after buffer was empty that you could resume shooting…

Well, if not you guys can always wait for HS30EXR HS IS 40x zoom…  *sarcasm*

One thing I wonder it’s the sensor size… if it’s got slightly bigger and lens were kept the same, it would achieve wider shots than the previous HS10 model (around 22-660mm equivalent range) ... and I know that HS10 lens have quite a massive distortion at wide angle (since I’ve done a RAW converter for it) and it’s being corrected by software, softening the corners at those focal lengths ... I just hope they redesigned the lens design and minimized it in some way…

3:42 pm - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#166 George Zimmerman

Its great that folks have experience with other point & shoot zoom cameras, BUT isn’t this supposed to be a discussion about the OLYMPUS SP800UZ? I think this has strayed way-off topic.

4:13 pm - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#167 zebarnabe

Indeed ... ^^; ... I tried to bring it up to topic (By using it as a comparison) ... but didn’t make it the main subject of the comments ... sorry about that :/

4:21 pm - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#168 RJ

Just purchased an Olympus SP-800uz over the net as it was way cheaper then any of my local suppliers. Eagerly awaiting delivery and can hardly wait to try it out.

I already have a few ideas and things lined up to shoot.

I lost my last camera (Olympus SP-550uz), in January 2011 while on holidays with a couple of hundred images and the tripod/camera attachment.

I still have the tripod which is useless without the attachment. So while I search for a replacement part I went out today and purchased a new tripod for $34. Cheap but it will do the job.

In the meantime I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS1 to keep my shutterbug cravings at bay.

When my SP-800uz arrives and I have a chance to try it out I will come back here and share some of my thoughts, positive and negative.

7:00 am - Friday, February 11, 2011

#169 g kat

i dont know why i have this gut feeling that hs10 will be a good choice.ok hs20 has remote shutter cable..i am/was sold to hs20 for this remote cable
but hs10 is still better.i am not proffesional pfhotographer..these are just 1st time buyers view

10:01 am - Friday, February 11, 2011

#170 zebarnabe

g kat,

I would wait for HS20 to come and get some reviews.

HS20 it’s not a superior line model, it’s the replacement for HS10.

If you want it cheap, and because we are commenting on the review about it, the Olympus SP800UZ it’s perhaps a winner, since the price went quite down it’s cheaper than HS10, FZ100/45, SX30 and P100 ... just be careful and check if you get a less than perfect assembled one, this goes to the other bridges as well… HS10 and SP800UZ were known for build quality issues (not in toughness, they are both sturdy, but in lens alignment) - I had one SP800UZ on my hands that went back because it couldn’t focus at the end/near-end of focal length…

Also, and this goes to any camera with AA batteries (this reminds me of my old Nikon F401x), make sure you get a proper set of batteries and charger… a good charger will cost you 30$ and will maintain the batteries healthy for a long time, just don’t get some sub-par cheap batteries as well…

11:09 am - Friday, February 11, 2011

#171 g.kat

hi zebarnabe
tell me how can i get ‘accent colour’ effect from the hs10….i think only canon has that software built in the sx10

4:50 pm - Friday, February 11, 2011

#172 zebarnabe


I believe you are refering to this:

I don’t think you can do that on HS10 (or the future HS20), you can play only with contrast and saturation, basically play with luminance curve mapping and white balance… but playing with saturation level by sampled hue like that it’s quite rare on cameras… Not to mention you can achieve the same by post-processing.

Actually the I found the the opposite effect, keeping one color and desaturate the others, much more interesting.

For HS10 you can shoot in RAW, so you can even get stuff that some other cameras can’t (like retrieve an image with uncorrected distortion - useful for fisheye effects - that’s how much distortion there is on HS10 lens at wide angle)

I just don’t get why RAW isn’t available in all cameras… since the data it’s acquired that way, it would be just a matter or recording it on the memory card. Noticeable SP800UZ doesn’t have RAW :[

Same though goes for bracketing modes, it’s just software doing it’s stuff…

By the way, about 9 months ago I did a RAW converter for HS10… It is now obsolete since DCRaw supports HS10 RAW files with a lot more features, but you can find it in this dpreview thread:

Hope it helps :]

5:22 pm - Friday, February 11, 2011

#173 RJ

All this information on the HS10 and the HS20 and the other cameras is great if that was the camera that I was interested in reading reviews about.

I came here to read reviews about the Olympus SP-800uz. To the point comparisons would be ok but if I wanted to read about Nikons and Canons etc I would go to their respective reviews.

Happy to hear from people who are knowledgeable about photography, would just like it to be relevant.

1:02 am - Monday, February 14, 2011

#174 Start Photography

This olympus is really great.
i will grab it soon too :D
thanks for review

4:19 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#175 gkat

sorry i had no idea that this forum was dedicated to OLYMPUS . i just felt that if people brings out there thoughts of similar product in light ,the user would get BETTER PICTURE get it lol

5:58 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#176 zebarnabe

RJ and gkat,

You are both correct, this are user comments, so we are free, as long as we keep it polite, to talk about cameras that relate to the one on the review.

Of course, it is preferable to talk about the reviewed camera, but given the release time of it, it’s only natural to talk about upcoming cameras and what they replace.

Olympus replacement for this camera it’s still obscure, I don’t know for how long this camera will be available, specially with imaging division of Olympus being in a bad financial situation…

6:18 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#177 Claus

I realy do not see the problem,I buyed the SP800 UZ
yesterday,and after shooting 300 tal pictures,the camera produce as good pictures as the FZ100 thad I also have,the diference is speed,the FZ100 is super fast,the SP800 is slow.
Also focus is fast on the SP800 but somtimes It won,t lock focus,as of why I have no clue.
Afcours at 100% view the pictures don,t look good,but the pictures on the FZ100 thond look good eather.
thus you get an camera without viewfinder,but exelent LCD monitor.and $200 lower.
Best is to avoid automodes.
otherwise the camera click over to higher iso,and thad wil ruin your pictures.
For me Iso 50 to iso 200 is exelent,abouve thad you loose fine detail.
But here is the same with the panasonic FZ100 thad cost you $500
Granted the FZ100 is faster but focus lock is about the same,and thad is wat count,flying birds is almost not possible to take picture from,the FZ100 focus to slow,and the SP800 even more.
the best thing I found is to reduce for the high pixels,example shoot in 14 MP
and at home you simple reduce the pixels to abit more then halft.
So if you shoot at 14MP and you have 4000 pixels
reduce thad to 2500 pixels and your pictures wil look as an dslr.
I recoment shooting at 14 MP becouse you never know if you need an large picture for an poster.
In my opinium the SP800 is an exeptional camera at an low prize point,it miss an viewfinder,but it is not the end of the world.
even so it take just the same crap pictures when you view at 100% as the FZ100 H10 or any other camera in this class,you have to consider thad the sensor in this camera"s are very smal.
Another diferent is batterij live,FZ100 450 pictures,Olympus SP800 around 200 pictures,and it is about richt.you don,t get more pictures out of the box,even if you turn of the camera all the time.
so you need an spare batterie,with can be found for $5 on ebay,the FZ100 work only with original batteries,so $60 for an batterie.

Here you can view pictures of the abouve methode
have fun :)

8:06 pm - Sunday, February 27, 2011

#178 gkat

well i express my opinions/reactions to this forum because HS10 was directly compared with SP800 and because of that i came on in to this forum….SMILE please ...

9:06 pm - Sunday, February 27, 2011

#179 Claus

hahaaa ,ok I smile :)
HS10 is ok.
I am not brand loyal thus make no diferent for me.

No this forum is not dedicated to olympus,but we do understand thad this part is olympus afcours.
I to expres myself ,over other camera’s.
thads the purpose of having an forum.
keep it high :)

10:16 pm - Sunday, February 27, 2011

#180 tim777jet

Hi Claus, great pictures, you live in a great area, cheers tim

11:00 pm - Sunday, February 27, 2011

#181 Claus

Thank you tim777jet :)

12:19 am - Monday, February 28, 2011

#182 Augustin Man

Please see below some of my experiences with the SP-800UZ:



Thank you for watching…

8:11 pm - Tuesday, March 1, 2011

#183 Pete P

I just got the Olympus SP 800uz and I like the camera but I have one problem with it. I don’t like having the “Power Saver” on. How do I turn off the Power Saver? Thanks for any help. Pete

11:56 pm - Friday, March 18, 2011

#184 Jack

Hi Pete.
Turn it off in setup.  There are about 4 pages of menu’s and it is on the last one. They are a great camera having used mine for 8 months in all sorts of conditions - but I would have liked a view finder but I have learned to live without it and it doesn’t bother me now.  In spite of the many rubbish remarks here you will enjoy using it. So far as “noise” is concerned I have not struck the problem - to which most negative comments here relate.  I have “noise reduction” switched off and ISO set to auto.  Leave the camera do its job and it works just fine.

1:32 am - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#185 Patricia

Amy, I had the same problem with “conflicting settings” whilst trying to use fine/digital zoom.  Have found a solution.  Do not use “Area” in AF Mode in Settings.  This will invalidate the zoom choice.  Use any of the others, Face/iesp, spot or af tracking and you should be okay.  Just found this out myself.

2:08 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#186 Bill

Well, after months of agonizing research and procrastination, I pre-ordered the Kodak Z990.  The price is a little higher than the Olympus, but has tons more features.  I won’t list them all here, you can just hop over to the Kodak site and see for yourself. The only shortcoming that I can tell so far is the lack of a hot-shoe. I am hoping to compensate for that with my old Minolta 5600 HS-D and attached slave trigger.  Won’t need it often, but there will be times.

Colleen, the Kodak Z990 has ALL of the features you mentioned in your comment.  If you haven’t already purchased a new camera, you may want to check this one out.

I decided that this was the best camera for the price which included all the auto and manual features that I wanted.

Expected ship date is April 8.  I’ll let you know if it was worth the price.

For anyone who purchased the Olympus, or any other camera, have fun with it.  Any one you choose will capture the memories that last a lifetime, and that’s what its all about.

7:29 pm - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#187 Geo

I find it interesting the two opposing views regarding this camera mentioning here. I have been a photography hobbyist for several years and have gone through an array of cameras both in the SLR and dSLR range as well as hybrids. Each and every one of them had pros and cons, features that were great for certain things and features that were quite simply a pain in the ass to contend with.

I have yet to find one singular camera that does it all and does it all great. It doesnt exist.

One of the things that has to be taken into consideration is that this camera was never created to take on the Big Boys of photography. It is a consumer level device meant to take a certain range of photos for the average person.

If you are a professional looking for a killer camera this isnt it. If you are the average joe looking for something with a decent price that will offer you decent photos then you are going to do fine.

I myself have taken great photos with this camera once I fully understand it’s strengths and weaknesses. It also in part depends on the photographer’s skill and knowledge sets. I have read various problems people mention here when they used this camera that I have not had. I have taken photos that I have gotten paid for. So at the end of the day part of the issue is who exactly has this camera in their hands and what are their expectations of it.

5:09 am - Sunday, April 3, 2011

#188 Augustin Man


I agree with your opinion 100%! That’s almost what I wrote some days ago in the DPReview (“Which is the best camera in the world?” in Open Talk). I simply like my SP-800UZ because for my level of photo knowledge I can get good photos both at the zoom or macro range, it’s a light camera to take it everywhere and that’s all…

6:15 am - Monday, April 4, 2011

#189 tim777jet

Hi Guys, has anyone seen the new Olympus SZ30 MR,  24x zoom, 16 mp and records movies while you can take pictures as well, due to twin picture processors, also does 3D shots, ? cheers tim

10:23 pm - Saturday, April 9, 2011

#190 Tibor

This is the worst camera I have ever seen. The huge zoom is useless bcause it is impossible to get sharp pictures even at modest focal lenghts. The A/F takes forever to focus and there is no manual override. In fact there is no manual of anything which would be not so bad if the camera did funtion effectively as a point and shoot automated unit.
I have now take several thousand pictures in all settings and it is an extremely frustrating camera to use. Cant wait to replace with just about anything.

5:10 am - Saturday, April 23, 2011

#191 Jack

Sounds like Tibor needs to do a basic course on digital photography. You also need to read the manual and figure out how the different setting work. If that is too much trouble or beyond your capability then go and get a $25 point and shoot with 3x zoom.  As I’ve mentioned to someone here before - let digital cameras do their own thing because that is the way they are designed and programmed - by scientists specialised in photography and who designed the functionality and process on the camera. I have three professional photographer friends in town and they say exactly the same thing. And that’s the way they work.  THey also said that they find the SP800 is a really good camera. Their main complaint is that the colours in the photos are not quite real. When I mentioned that the colour could be adjusted in the menus they were surprised. A case of not reading the menus.  Sally went and bought a Canon SX30 instead - as a addition for her $4500 Canon professional unit because she is a Canon person - and finds that it is no better than the Olympus which I loaned her for twoo weeks.

5:34 am - Saturday, April 23, 2011

#192 Augustin Man

Hi Tibor,

I’m just a hobbyist, so please check this two of my test collections with my SP-800UZ camera (the last four images in the first collection taken yesterday):



Thank you,


4:53 pm - Saturday, April 23, 2011

#193 tim777jet

Hi Augustin,
great pictures, you really know how to get the best out of your camera. I have been checking for info on the new Olympus to no avail.I have also reseached the new competion bridge cameras the fuji HS20exr and Sony HX100. The Fuji has many problems with overheating, the video is the worst anyone has seen, but the picture quality is meant to be very good even at ISO 3600. The Sony has no reports yet, but i have seen some pictures from one guy, look pretty good and the manual zoom and focus ring looks great. There is another good review site called infosync, check them out on youtube.
It takes a while to get used to a camera and may be Tibor got a friday afternoon one. Tibor, maybe there is a problem with the sensor itself. You can remap the Pixels, look in the menu and give it a go, it might improve things for you.I took some picts of some birds today, came out really well 30x and hand held. I changed to Spot focus, with ESP set to ESP and shadow adjust set to auto. One picture came out with a great background de-focus. I dont usually like this Behoke look but it suits the picture well.I now have windows 7 and thought i would liven the pics up a bit. They can be little pale out of the camera. The new look Windows Photo gallery, i didnt like, all the manual controls are different. I did some auto adjustments and must say they came out really well. It took a long time to save the pics and i noticed the file sizes were nearly double, strange, i havnt noticed that before. cheers tim

8:36 pm - Saturday, April 23, 2011

#194 Jack

Great pics Augustin. For a hobbyist you must be a real photo junkie!  And the great thing I get from your photo’s is that you are prepared to experiment. I use my camera hand held even on x30 zoom. I’ve always run with noise reduction off and iso set to auto. I’ve tried iso at 800 and 1600 for some fast movement - go-karts etc - and found that iso on auto gives pretty much the same outcome.

10:07 pm - Saturday, April 23, 2011

#195 Augustin Man

Hi Tim777jet, hi Jack,

Thank you very much for the nice commentaries about my experiments, but watching some selected pictures even there on Picasa (subject, composition, technical skills) I understand that I have a very, very long way to go just to be called a photographer, let alone a good one…

Tim777jet, thanks for the link and the pertinent remarks.

Jack, I’ve also observed that in many cases the auto ISO works just fine. Sometimes however I’ve selected ISO 50 to get more clarity. My opinion is that in good light and with a steady hand one can get good shots even at maximum optical zoom, as I showed in the sequences with the cat, the hotel and the building site workers…

Happy shooting,


6:50 pm - Sunday, April 24, 2011

#196 Reggie

Few my fotos with sp800, i own that abaut 6 month and i still not sure-is this bad or normal camera.

1:51 am - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#197 Augustin Man

I’ve tried to get as much as possible from the Golden City charm with my Olympus SP-800UZ camera.
I’m ashamed, but I have to confess that the most part of the time my only contribution to the shots was to hold the camera as still as possible, sometimes pressing it against some support. I’ve only used the tripod once, but I did’n keep the resulting shot in the selection.
Postprocessing was minimal: some autoadjustments with the Canon Zoombrowser, some sharpening and slight rotations with Irfanview.
Advices and criticism are always welcomed and obeyed…


Thank you for watching,

7:45 am - Thursday, June 16, 2011

#198 Antonis

I bought SP-800UZ before two days. I am amature with cameras and fotography generally and i bought this one so i can have quality fotos without knowing much about cameras. The problem is that sometimes the fotos i take are not clear enough. they are dull when i make zoom to see them in close range. The camera is steady. i don’t know what is the problem. Maybe there are some settings that i should do?????

3:52 pm - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#199 Augustin Man

Hi Antonis,

I’ve made several experiments with the optical zoom (30X) and also with the Fine Zoom (not with digital zoom), but I’ve never chosen the iAuto, but the P mode by day and the SCN mode by night. By night the tripod was a must, but by day I’ve got good results even with the hand held camera.

If you want, you can see them here:


Hope this can help you.

Happy shooting,


4:53 pm - Tuesday, June 21, 2011

#200 Sue

Is SP-800UZ compatible with iphoto? I can’t burn photo CDS that work in mt dvd player like I could with my old camera?

10:40 am - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, wide-angle, 720p, olympus, 14 megapixel, 28mm, 30x zoom, Olympus SP-800UZ Review, sp 800 uz, sp 800uz, sp800uz, sp-800 uz, sp-800uz

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