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Old Mar 25, 2006, 7:43 PM   #11
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Dave,

I too am interested in this camera - thanks for the info and pics you've posted so far. I've just noted Peter's comment about the plastic area over the lens. Am I right in assuming that there is no sliding lens cover or any other type of cover?

Also, did you compare this camera with the Pentax WPi or the new Pentax W10 (can't find any user reviews for the latter as I belive that too is also very new)?

Chris
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 2:58 PM   #12
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I too am very interested in this camera, but I think it may overly optimistic to describe it as dustproof. I don't see this term in any of the promotional material from Olympus, although it is described as waterproof and shockproof within specific standards.

I found manuals on the Olympus Asia site, both a "basic" and an "advanced" manual. In one of these, under "specifications" I find the following:

"Dust resistance:
IEC Standard Publication 539 IPX6 (under Olympus test conditions)"

Whatever that means!

And in the other, under "Caution for Usage Environment", is a list that begins, "Never leave the camera in the places listed below, no matter if in use or storage:" and includes the following item:

"In sandy or dusty environments."

All in all, not exactly promising, if one wants to carry the camera around in a pocket!

Dave, can you (or anyone else with experience with this camera) offer any comments on its apparent build quality? Does it appear likely to be an effectively sealed unit?
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Old Mar 27, 2006, 10:31 AM   #13
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Regarding "dustproof"

It is likely that no camera is ever going to be totally dustproof. What Olympus is probably trying to say, is that the 720 SW is designed for better dust resistance than most other cameras out there that do not set "dustproof" as a design criterion.

Olympus has recently post a substantial FAQ page on the 720 SW. Among other items, are these references to water, dust, snow, and shock:

Olympus advertises that the Stylus 720 SW is weatherproof. How does Olympus define "weatherproof?" Olympus' weatherproof cameras feature protection from inclement weather equivalent to the IEC Standard publication 529 IPX4. The camera will not be damaged by water splashed from any direction. The camera can be used outdoors in adverse weather conditions. It will resist water, dust and snow.

Olympus advertises that the Stylus 720 SW is waterproof? How does Olympus define "waterproof?" The Stylus 720 SW is durable enough to shoot underwater at depths of up to 10 feet for up to one hour.

Olympus advertises that the Stylus 720 SW is shockproof? How does Olympus define "shockproof?" The Stylus 720 SWcan withstand a 5-foot drop from any angle.

Press Release: "The shock proof, waterproof, dust proof design of the Stylus 720 SW sets a new standard in digital camera performance and versatility," said Michael Barnett, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc.

On the Features and Benefits tab at the Olympus site, "The Stylus 720 SW is Shock Proof (up to 5ft.), Waterproof (to depths of up to 10ft.), and Dust Proof so nothing gets in the way of its impressive performance."

Note that the reference to the " IEC Standard publication 529 IPX4" pertains to "water splashing" from all directions, like a putting it under a small waterfall, or a heavy rain.


1) FAQs
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_support_faqs.asp?id=1225
2) Press Release
[font="Times New Roman"][font=Arial][size=2][font="Times New Roman"][font="Times New Roman"]http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_PressDetails.asp?pressNo=453
3) Olympus Site, "Features & Benefits" tab
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1225&fl=2


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Old Mar 27, 2006, 12:31 PM   #14
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Thanks for those references, Stefla. It's good to know that Olympus is actually saying "dustproof". I had checked the "Features and Benefits" page, but obviously overlooked the very thing I was looking for!
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Old Mar 27, 2006, 8:31 PM   #15
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Hi,

Just joined the forum after looking for information about the Stylus 720 (I've got a first generation Stylus 300, and it's been a terrifically sturdy camera). Got a bit of insight about the IEC IP4X certification here:

http://www.omega.com/temperature/Z/pdf/z194-196.pdf

"IEC 529 outlines an international classification system for the sealing effectiveness of enclosures of electrical equipment against the intrusion into the equipment of foreign bodies (i.e., tools, dust, fingers) and moisture. This classification system utilises the letters ‘IP' (Ingress Protection) followed by two digits. An ‘X' is used for one of the digits if there is only one class of protection; i.e., IPX4, which addressed moisture resistance only.

The first digit of the IP code indicates the degree that persons are protected against contact with moving parts (other than rotating shafts, etc.) and the degree that equipment is protected against solid bodies intruding into a enclosure.

The second digit indicates the degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against the harmful entry of various forms of moisture (e.g., dripping, spraying, submersion, etc.)."



In summary, this other site pretty much sums it up:

http://www.baseefa.com/page142.asp

"IP4X Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm diameter"

So there you have it folks! The Olympus Stylus 720 SW is not only weather resistant (IP4X), but as it's water-proof, that's a rating of at least IPX7 in terms of moisture resistance. And, since water is smaller than dust, I'm guessing that it rates at least IP5X in terms of dust resistance.



Interestingly enough, the Pentax Optio W10 is rated with "JIS Class 8 waterproof and JIS Class 5 dustproof ratings" This website here says that's equivalent to IP58:

http://www.h20camera.com.evohst.org/..._Standards.pdf



- Marlon
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Old Mar 28, 2006, 8:57 PM   #16
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Thanks, Marlon. This is great information!

matang wrote:
Quote:
In summary, this other site pretty much sums it up:

http://www.baseefa.com/page142.asp

"IP4X Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0 mm diameter"

So there you have it folks!* The Olympus Stylus 720 SW is not only weather resistant (IP4X), but as it's water-proof, that's a rating of at least IPX7 in terms of moisture resistance.* And, since water is smaller than dust, I'm guessing that it rates at least IP5X in terms of dust resistance.
I went back to the specifications listed in the "basic" manual, thinking I might have miscopied the information, since I made a number of other mistakes in my first post to this thread. But no, as I reported earlier, this is what it says:

"Dust resistance:
IEC Standard Publication 539 IPX6 (under Olympus test conditions)"

Unless, I'm completely misunderstanding the information at the Baseefa link, this makes no sense, as IPX6 means "Protected against heavy seas"!

We might hope that what was meant was IP6X, which would mean "Dust tight".

FWIW, water resistance is stated as IPX8.
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Old Mar 31, 2006, 4:14 PM   #17
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Just wanted to say thanks for all the comments on the camera. Have been covetting this particular model since i stumbled across its description over a month ago, when looking for a compact camera for carrying around every day, but I haven't been able to find any reviews anywhere. Certainly sounds like it will live up to its advertising; I'm just wondering about the issue of the lens covering scratching that a few have mentioned -- does anyone have views on this?

thx
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 2:01 AM   #18
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I just bought a 720 yesterday and to me it seems to take great pictures. I primarily bought it because it's waterproof (my wife killed our last camera by getting it wet when doing dishes).

I would be more than glad to post the PDF user's manual or post some hi res pictures if you are interested. Here's one picture I took in very cloudy conditions, just before a rainstorm.

I'm not an digital camera expert but I've owned two Canon digitals before this Olympus. Here's my first impressions of the usability of the camera:
- the menu systems is really, really bad. Some menu options use cyrptic icons that have no meaning. I had to read the manual to decypher them. I'm afraid that in 3 months I'll forget what all of these options are and miss out on some of the features of my camera. With all of the screen space and CPU power, why didn't Olympus add some helpful text to their menus???
- the bottons are pretty small and take some getting used to. Sometimes I feel that I need to press the buttons with the side of my thumb because these's not enought space for my entire thumb.
- Did I mention that the menus suck?
- It powers up fairly quickly.
- some of my shots turn out blurry and some turn out fine in the same lighting conditiotns.
- this thing is build very solid. All of the doors have nice hinges

If I could do it all over again, would I buy this camera?? Probably yes bacuse I love the waterproof feature for camping, backbacking, and not worrying about my wife washing the dishes and my camera.

Let me know if you have any questions about this camera

-Brian
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Old Apr 4, 2006, 1:33 PM   #19
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creeker,

I've read that the 720sw does not really have digital image stabilization. All the image stabilization mode does is increase ISO and therefore shutter speed. What's your experience on this?

OlyOly
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Old Apr 5, 2006, 5:37 PM   #20
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Hi,

First, sorry for my english (i'm not from US) :sad:

I have some questions about this camera. My last digital camera was an Olumpus C-750 UltraZoom (now my brother is using it) and i'm thinking to buy another one, but my problem is that at this moment OLYMPUS does not have a 'high level' camara like C-7070 but instead with a wide zoom, with ultra zoommore used by my.

The SP-500 is not enought to me and waitingfor a future possible C-9090 UZ or similar,meanwhile,ir order to do not have two similar cameras an ultra-compact and shock and waterproof camera could be agood optionto me. I'm a biker-rider and when I do not take with me a rucksack, my old C-750UZit is too great to take on my jacket.

Normally I make photos of average distance, to subjects or things (cars, bikes...) , buildings, animals, and macro-mode.

But here is my questions:

1. I will notice much difference (to worse)in quality of image (colors, sharpness, noise...)?

2. Using in this camera a Xd-Picture Card 'H' of 1 Gb, is really more fast and efective than normal card?

Many thanks to all, you have a great web, forum and articles


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