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|Product:||Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom|
Olympus SP-810UZ Compact Digital Camera Review - The Olympus SP-810UZ is a compact digital camera with a massive 36x optical zoom. Available for less than £200, it appears at first glance to be quite a bargain, Daniel Bell finds out if it is.
The Olympus SP-810UZ was released in the Summer of 2011 as a replacement to the SP-800UZ, boosting the zoom from 30x to 36x. The SP-810UZ is available in black and silver for £189.00
- 36x wide optical zoom (35mm equiv: 24 - 864mm)
- 720p HD movie recording with sound
- 14 megapixel sensor
- Dual Image Stabilisation
- 3inch colour LCD screen in 16:9 format (230,000 dots)
- Advanced Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology
- Beauty Mode
- Intelligent Auto Mode (i-Auto)
- AF Tracking
- Pet Detection Mode
- Scene Modes
- 3D photo shooting mode for striking stills
- Eye-Fi Card compatibility
- 10 Magic Filters
- In-camera Panorama
- HDMI technology
- SDHC and SDXC memory card compatible
- Built-in flash
- In-camera manual
- USB charging
The camera doesn't have many buttons, with most of the settings changed via the menu system which appears down the right hand of the screen, as per most of Olympus' compact cameras. The menus system is easy to navigate, and makes it clear which settings can be changed dependent of which mode you are in. This will make it more time consuming than if you have a dedicated button on the camera body. The buttons which are on the camera include movie record, playback, menu, rotating dial, OK, shutter release and zoom rocker.
Olympus haven't provided a CIPA rating for the camera's battery but it was charged before testing and was not needed to be recharged. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
|Shutter Response||0.1 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.55 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.75 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.1 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||1.5 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.8 seconds|
Sequential shooting records at full-sized 14 megapixel resolution, with high-speed 1, 2 and 3 shooting a 5, 3 and 2 megapixels respectively. When using the lens towards its longest length, the camera does have a problem with focus hunting, meaning you can be waiting a little while for the camera to focus after having pressed the shutter.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/400 sec | f/2.9 | 4.3 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/100 sec | f/5.7 | 154.8 mm | ISO 100
Digital Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/5.7 | 154.8 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/30 sec | f/2.9 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Images at ISO 64 are unaffected by noise, with ISO 100 only having a slightest hint appearing. Noise steadily increases through ISO 200 and 400 with images remaining sharp. Again, noise increases at ISO 800 which is causing images to become softer, with ISO 1600 producing plenty of noise and reducing sharpness quite significantly. Even at the higher ISO settings, colour reproduction remains good.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom ISO test images
ISO64 | 1/10 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
ISO100 | 1/15 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
ISO200 | 1/30 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
ISO800 | 1/100 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
ISO1600 | 1/250 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm
Landscape mode takes pictures with good blues and greens. Portraits are free of red-eye but skin colour does give a slight tanned look when using the flash. Sport mode has been used to gain a fast shutter speed to capture the movement of the water.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom Scene modes
Landscape | 1/640 sec | f/2.9 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Landscape With Building | 1/800 sec | f/2.9 | 4.3 mm | ISO 64
Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 200
Sport | 1/800 sec | f/4.3 | 16.2 mm | ISO 500
The SP-810UZ takes a decent panorama picture, with good exposure throughout and very little signs of where images have been stitched together.
Panorama | 1/800 sec | f/7.4 | 4.3 mm | ISO 500
Below there are a couple more test images using large amounts of optical zoom.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom Sample Photos
Zoom Example 1 | 1/400 sec | f/5.0 | 109.0 mm | ISO 64
Zoom Example 2 | 1/500 sec | f/5.7 | 154.8 mm | ISO 64
When using the auto white-balance (AWB) setting under both the fluorescent and incandescent lights there is a green cast in the image. Under the incandescent lighting the preset performs well, with the fluorescent preset giving a magenta cast under the fluorescent lighting.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.6 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.6 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.6 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/6 sec | f/3.6 | 7.8 mm | ISO 100
The SP-810UZ has a number of magic filters, some of which can be used during video recording.
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom Digital filters
Magic Filter Drawing | 1/40 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 500
Magic Filter - Fish Eye | 1/50 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Pin Hole | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Pop Art | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Punk | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Reflection | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Soft Focus | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Sparkle | 1/25 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 400
Magic Filter - Watercolour | 1/40 sec | f/4.2 | 13.7 mm | ISO 640
Video ModeBelow is a test video shot at 720p HD. During recording the SP-810UZ allows the use of optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.
Value For MoneyThe Olympus SP-810UZ is currently priced at £189.00. Other cameras with similar levels of optical zoom are the Nikon Coolpix P500 (36x) at £229.98 and Canon PowerShot SX40 HS (35x) at £359.00. The P500 has now been updated to the P510, which has 42x optical zoom and is priced at £399.00. With slightly less zoom are the Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR (30x) at £234.95, Sony DSC-HX100V (30x) at £339.00 and Fujifilm FinePix S4500 (30x) at £199.00.
Olympus SP-810UZ ProsGood value for money
Decent image quality
Massive optical zoom range
Fast hi-speed shooting
Olympus SP-810UZ ConsMinimum focus distance of just 5cm
AWB wayward under our studio lights
Focusing can be a little slugglish when using lots of optical zoom
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Olympus SP-810UZ Ultra Zoom Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.9 - f/5.7|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 864mm|
|CCD pixels||14Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||No Data|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||230,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/850sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Continuous shooting||No Data|
|Video FPS||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB6 USB Cable, CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable, Hand Strap, Instruction Manual, World Wide Warranty Card, [ib] Image Management Software|