Olympus SP-820UZ Review

January 28, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Jose kerginaldo de paula

Olympus SP-820UZ is undoubtedly a great camera for a fair price. Olympus has outdone himself more and more, and along with Panasonic, Canon, Nikon and Sony (could include Samsung) are among the trusted companies to buy a photographic device.

12:04 am - Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#2 Roy

Shame that Olympus have gone to AA-sized batteries for this camera, when all previous 800-series cameras ran on Lithium Ion batteries.  A backward step, I feel.

8:36 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#3 Roy

Shame Olympus have gone to AA-sized batteries on this camera, when previous 800-series models have used Lithium-Ion batteries.  A backward step, I feel.

8:38 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#4 Igor Antolovi?

AA bateries are not backward step for everyone because you can easly change with other charged. It is chiper are more durable option then changing Lithium Ion batteries.

7:54 am - Sunday, March 17, 2013

#5 Henk

AA Batteries are a step forward. When on holiday and forgetting to load your Lithium you have a problem. AA’s you can buy almost everywhere to continue making your pics.

11:57 am - Tuesday, May 7, 2013

#6 Bernard North

am thinking of buying this camera due to good reviews
I have a question please - the spec is good (I’m no expert) but is Olympus good for product reliability and customer service ie do their cameras often arrive faulty or stop working without good reason and if they do how easy to get them fixed ?

many thanks in advance

10:24 am - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#7 adrian

I’m looking for a potential replacement to my very old but fantastic 765UZ so i see things that i appreciate and some that i don’t. I do not see the need of ISO6400 but i believe ISO 64 was more useful and it’s a shame they droped it. When i used 10 optical zoom with the small and light 765UZ i needed most of the time (i also prefer to use) the viewfinder as focus is difficult at this point. With a 40 optical zoom and no viewfinder !?? AA batteries are great since you can change them any time wherever you are. They also make the camera heavier that might give a better grip feeling.
Is there anybody that can say if the size of the pictures is reasonable? I noticed that with settings of SHQ and 2048 size, pictures i got with 765UZ are not only sharper and true color but also much smaller than others taken with same settings with other cameras (Nikon to be more precise).

11:07 am - Monday, June 10, 2013

#8 Jim Britt

AA batteries are the ONLY way to go!

I use 2 sets of aA rechargeable with a 15 min charger and NEVER run out of power~

1:10 am - Saturday, June 22, 2013

#9 Mike

I also agree that AA batteries are a step forward. I use a set of Eneloop and they last me a lot.

10:03 am - Sunday, December 8, 2013


It is a nice all round cam-The only criticism I have is using the macro mode -more specifically the SUPERMACRO-mode-Although locking the lens to function like a fixed macro, I find that this feature -makes no difference at all.It does not   matter how close you physically move the cam to within the said focusing distance i.e 1cm-I does not focus.Ths is typical of cheap high res cameras whose glassware is typically ‘Bland’-with no focusing available.

4:30 pm - Monday, May 12, 2014

#11 VM

I LOVE this camera, but (and I’m sure it’s user error)I can’t figure out how to turn off or change the “automatic shut off” feature.  While I appreciate saving battery power, I have missed a number of good shots, because the camera shuts itself off after just 10 seconds without taking a shot.

2:20 am - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#12 Jeremy

WARNING! This turned out to be my worst photography purchase ever. I used it on Auto every day for months assuming it would be doing something sensible. Only just learned about ISO. Discovered that unlike my other camera which adjusted the shutter speed on Auto this one increases the ISO. I shot on a tripod with a shutter release in really good daylight thinking I would be getting about as good a picture as I could get with a bridge. But Auto was typically shooting on ISO 800 and even higher. They should have all been shot on ISO 80. So rubbish pictures compared to what they could have all been. And I didn’t know enough to realise why things were smeared when enlarged. Ha ha you’re possibly thinking. This camera is not good for the ignorant. You have to understand ISO to use this camera - and steer clear of the Auto!

8:57 pm - Monday, September 15, 2014

#13 Pedro

All colors of this bridge are wrong… Auto needs correction of ISO… Cant understand the review.

9:55 pm - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#14 Giorgos

agree with Jeremy. Do NOT use auto option.

10:41 am - Saturday, December 6, 2014

#15 Lorraine Thorpe

Ive not long since bought my camera, ir seems nice to handle , but is not great indoors, & the sound quality is’nt very good at all, i videod a jet going right in front of me , you’d ave thought it was about 2 mile away, it needs improving.

8:34 pm - Saturday, January 3, 2015

#16 Jodie

I’ve been using this camera for about a year and I’m not happy with it, which is why I decided to read this review.  I though maybe I have something set wrong.  I love the HD video I can take with it.  But I don’t like the way the photos come out.  I’m not a photography expert, so I mostly use the Auto setting.  Indoors the flash never seems to go off which results in blurry photos. So instead I now use the program mode with the fill flash.  The photos still always seem to have an orange look to them.  Also, if photographing a group of people, the people on the sides seem to have warped heads. I didn’t read this entire review but I didn’t notice these issues mentioned.  Could my camera be defective?  I’m considering getting a new camera, possible Canon or Nikon.

2:51 pm - Saturday, February 28, 2015

#17 lorraine

Hi jodie it sounds as though your camera is faulty,  peoples heads should’nt be warped at all, & there does sound as if there is a problem with the flash too, i’d take it back to where you got it from. Lori

1:38 pm - Sunday, March 1, 2015

#18 Jodie

Thank you Lorraine! I’m going to look into it further. I also just emailed Olympus to see what their thoughts are.

6:52 pm - Sunday, March 1, 2015

#19 Ron

The flash on my camera also never goes off when the camera is in auto mode. I sent it back to Olympus for repair under warranty. I just got it back, and the flash still doesn’t work in auto mode.

7:58 pm - Sunday, April 12, 2015

#20 Pete

Ron, please take a moment to check if your flash setting is on “flash never fires” or “disabled” when you’re on auto. Also, perhaps you need to physically raise or activate the flash before shooting. Nowadays, users prefer deciding when to use the flash rather than letting the flash pop up unexpectedly when they actually don’t want it.

2:28 pm - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#21 Ron

The flash on my camera never goes off when the camera is in the auto mode.  Yes, I checked to see if the flash is disabled, and the flash is raised.  I sent the camera back to Olympus twice for repairs, and it still doesn’t work.  They finally told me the camera is designed to work that way. The tried to tell me this is a feature, not a problem.  This makes no sense.  Why is there a flash setting for the auto mode if the camera never flashes in the auto mode?

6:08 pm - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#22 Jodie

This just seems to be how the camera is. If I’m taking an indoor photo I will first try Auto mode with the flash up. If it doesn’t fire, I switch to P mode and use the fill flash.  So I end up with one photo that is slightly orange and blurry and another which may be slightly over exposed. It is what it is. I do like this camera for other features though.

8:30 pm - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

#23 cev

I can’t find how to take black and white photographs.  Doesn’t it have this option?


1:31 am - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#24 Jeremy

Cev - its easy to turn a photo to black and white with software on your computer - Irfanview and Gimp are two freeware ones to try.

Thought I’d add to my earlier panicky post of a while back. When you learn how to use this camera - steer clear of the Auto like the plague, and use ISO 80 if possible - you can get good shots. At least I think they are, I only have the experience of other cheapish cameras to compare.

The port for the shutter release came loose inside the camera shortly after that post - and I had to go back to the timer. The battery compartment cover bit also snapped recently. This could be partly my handling of it - or maybe those bits aren’t robust enough.

I’ve now accidently dropped the camera in the river - and it is no more. But… but… am thinking of possibly even buying another the same model for the replacement.

8:16 pm - Thursday, September 10, 2015

#25 alex

There is 1 big problem with this camera. The colours are very bad and you can not change to vivid. i have never got a camera with such bad colours

9:00 pm - Friday, February 19, 2016

#26 Marcel Smit

Image Qualty for this camera 4.5 !!!??????
What’s going on here, I’ve owned this camera back in 2014, picture taken in auto were awfull so I used Program Mode with ISO below 400. That improved matters a little but compared to Fuji HS50EXR which is rated 4 for Image Quality here by Mark Goldstein, images from the fuji looked so much better. Again what is going on here? And now the Panasonic Fz 200 which was rated 4.5 for Image Quality, is this another 4.5 with different critera like premier leaqe and first division or whatever it’s called. These reviews cannot be trusted.

1:10 pm - Thursday, May 12, 2016

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, olympus, super-zoom, 14 megapixel, super zoom, ultra-zoom, 40x zoom, sp-820 uz, sp820uz, sp 820uz, sp 820 uz, Olympus SP-820UZ Review, 22.4mm, sp-820uz

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