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Old Mar 24, 2010, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default No Optical Viewfinder On Oly SP-800UZ?

I find it incredulous that Olympus would put out a camera with this range without an optical viewfinder. What could they have been thinking? It's going to be almost next to impossible to get decent focus holding this thing at arms length (not to mention looking dorky) and there is not an LCD display in the world that will give you a bright enough image in all possible situations to suffice as the only viewfinder. I can only hope someone from Olympus reads this and realizes what a mistake they have made. I love the Olympus quality, both of their product and images, and was really looking forward to trying one of these but won't go near it now.
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Old Mar 24, 2010, 8:28 PM   #2
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Canon is about to do the same thing (no optical viewfinder) with their new SX210 model. That might have been why Oly made that decision.

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Old Mar 31, 2010, 8:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jlarson View Post
I find it incredulous that Olympus would put out a camera with this range without an optical viewfinder. What could they have been thinking? It's going to be almost next to impossible to get decent focus holding this thing at arms length (not to mention looking dorky) and there is not an LCD display in the world that will give you a bright enough image in all possible situations to suffice as the only viewfinder. I can only hope someone from Olympus reads this and realizes what a mistake they have made. I love the Olympus quality, both of their product and images, and was really looking forward to trying one of these but won't go near it now.
I just got this new Olympus and you are right on the money. Impossible to use effectively because there is no view finder. Incredibly awkward to have to keep looking in the distance and then back down in front of you at the LCD. I feel like throwing it away because I was so looking forward to using it instead of my Panasonic with the 18X zoom. Really a ridiculous mistake to not have a view finder on this camera.
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Old Apr 3, 2010, 10:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlarson View Post
I find it incredulous that Olympus would put out a camera with this range without an optical viewfinder. What could they have been thinking? It's going to be almost next to impossible to get decent focus holding this thing at arms length (not to mention looking dorky) and there is not an LCD display in the world that will give you a bright enough image in all possible situations to suffice as the only viewfinder. I can only hope someone from Olympus reads this and realizes what a mistake they have made. I love the Olympus quality, both of their product and images, and was really looking forward to trying one of these but won't go near it now.
This is.... what.... the 6th or 7th version of this line, and it has pretty much always not been a very good camera with an EVF. Now it's a not so good camera without an EVF.

Pretty obvious what they're doing. They are trying to drive this user group to micro four-thirds.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Apr 3, 2010 at 10:43 PM.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 5:13 PM   #5
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I had one SP800uz for two days then i sold it. I liked it but it was inpossible to use. I cant understand why they took away the viewfinder? And the screen size was strange to - not an ordinary "3 but this wide thing that i didnt liked att all. And why 14 mpix? Strange camera.
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Old Jun 4, 2010, 6:12 AM   #6
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I have my SP-800 on order(should arrive early next week). While I have yet to handle an SP-800 I have spent 30 minutes playing around with a SP-600 and was very pleased with the performance and feature-set.

I've read every review I could find on the net related to these new SP's and two things are common with most critics....Lack of EVF and lack of traditional buttons on the rear of camera. Neither of these points discourage me personally. In the last 10 years of using digital cameras I never once used the viewfinder. My current digital is a Canon SX110 and while its only a 10X zoom compared to the SP-800s 30X zoom, I think I'll be able to manage. As for the lack of traditional buttons, I believe this will become more and more common. With the advent of iPhone, iTouch...touch this, touch that, computer this computer that.....Its coming and Olympus knows it. Doesn't make it better but that's where the world is going so the computer menu meets camera days are coming. I dont mind it personally.

After playing with the SP-600 I was however left scratching my head why they packed the camera with tons of modes but omitted a traditional Aperture and Shutter priority modes.

In a closing note, I was torn between the SP-800 and the Nikon P100. Read all the reviews I could and several reviews mentioned the zoom lens locking up. When in Best Buy examining the P100 yesterday I was in the middle of playing with the camera functions and guess what? Camera locked up hard on me.......Decided at that moment to pull the trigger on the SP-800. $279 shipped to my door is a deal I couldn't refuse!!!

Will follow up when I get mine out of the box and tested.

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Old Jun 9, 2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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Default One day with the SP-800UZ

I received my new SP-800UZ last night and spent a few hours today putting it through its paces.

After spending time experimenting and using some of the many modes, settings and features I have a strong understanding of this camera and find it fairly intuitive now that I have some time with it. I think Olympus did a good job laying out the gui(graphical user interface). When you select a given mode only the adjustable settings are displayed for that mode. Scrolling down a list and modifying a setting is simple. While you cannot select specific shutter speeds or aperture settings, you can find a mode that will accomplish what you want to do. Want to stop action? No problem, Want to shoot a portrait and blur the background? No problem! Slow sync shutter? Burst modes, panoramas, multiple exposure shots, time lapse, White balance selections, ISO selections, exposure bracketing? You name it......Its there.

Image quality so far is decent although I haven't taken enough pictures to really evaluate it. The display on the rear of the camera is very wide but not tall so it means when your in regular photo taking mode(4:3 aspect ratio) your not filling the screen. Even though the display appear large, in practice it really could be bigger.

The build quality of the camera looks good. I have large-ish hands and the camera feels small. The Nikon P100 feels better in my hand but that is subjective.

14 megapixels.......I dont know, I think once you get over a certain degree of resolution the human eye cant see it any more. I compared resolution side by side against my old Canon SX110 9 mp camera and while the Olympus had better resolution, you couldn't really tell until I magnified the images on the computer. If your thinking that at 14mp that this thing is going to set a new standard in image quality....Dont get carried away.

I experimented with the four different burst modes today and its fairly impressive. My favorite was the burst mode#1 that fires off shots ridiculously fast at 5mp. Gotta be something like 4 or 5 shots/second. You can fire like 15 shots a second if you can tolerate 2mp resolution. The auto panoramic feature works great! The camera makes it foolproof.

Overall, for $279(shipped to my door) I'm quite pleased with the Olympus SP-800OZ. Its clearly a point and shoot with tons of features and that awesome ultrazoom lens. Unlike the Nikon P100 or Canon SX20, this camera is designed for the person who wants a point and shoot but also wants DSLR-like zooming and performance. I'm confident the professional photographers will not select this ultrazoom as its geared for a different user. Would I pay MSRP of $349 for this camera? Probably would buy the Nikon or Canon first but at $279 shipped, you cant go wrong.

Craig

Last edited by Craigmri; Jun 9, 2010 at 10:34 PM.
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Old Jun 10, 2010, 1:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jlarson View Post
I find it incredulous that Olympus would put out a camera with this range without an optical viewfinder.
You mean without a viewfinder period, as UZ cameras never had optical viewfinders...they had EVFs or Electronic ViewFinders.

As a former UZ user (C-700 & C-750), I have to agree...I could never use my UZ camera without a viewfinder, and it was only 10x optical zoom (not 30x like this camera). I now own a Stylus 850SW (in addition to the E-300 & E-330), and it's driving me nuts not having a viewfinder on the Stylus...I couldn't imagine not having a viewfinder on a UZ camera.

Olympus has done a lot of unintelligent things in the past, but this is just STUPID!!!

Have the people who designed these cameras ever used one?

And they'll probably think that because no one buys them that people aren't interested in UZ cameras anymore. Meanwhile it's their own shortsightedness that does them in.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 1:47 PM   #9
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I ended up returning the SP-800UZ. Not because of the lack of viewfinder(I've never used viewfinders on point and shoot cameras) instead, because it was a little too dumbed down with lack of aperture and shutter priority and manual modes. I was starting to get comfortable with the menu selection structure but the biggest problem I had is every time I wanted to do one thing, I had to find a "Scene" mode to accomplish it instead of telling the camera what I want to accomplish. Kinf of like fitting a square peg in a round hole.

The SP-800UZ would be a fine camera for someone who just wants to take pictures yet wants a big zoom. Its clear that its a point and shoot camera with a big lens stuck on.

My Panasonic Lumix FZ-35 will be here tomorrow. Can't wait!

Craig
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Old Jun 19, 2010, 2:44 PM   #10
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You will THOROUGHLY enjoy the FZ35. I have its predecessor, the FZ28, and it's a fine little (I mean LITTLE!) camera. Panny color is great and they're very intuitive cams - I think they improved the noise issue somewhat with the model you're getting. That's one of my issues with my FZ28 - noise is hideous above 200 ISO.

I also have the Olympus SP570 - one of the much-maligned of its long-zoom series. Personally, I've discovered it to be a hidden jewel once you start shooting it in full manual - it becomes a true joy and a surprisingly capable and sturdy camera.

It DOES have an EVF along with the LCD and I will fully agree, making the SP800 without an EVF (and no manual control!) was one of the stupidest marketing decisions Oly has made (and they've made a few). I dropped it from consideration immediately when I discovered those two things about the camera. I'm no great shakes as a photographer, but a model I own has to be a learning tool and this model - well, you said it - it's just dumbed down too much.
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