[sorry for some reason¬* the carriage returns are going missing on posting]Some users posting on the olympus forum via¬*http://www.dpreview.com.Found
a detailed review with pics - see below. Other reviews have no pics for objective verification of reviewer opinions.http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcameras/showdoc.aspx?i=2473For
some reason, both the published reviews¬* I can find on the internet by googling¬* are very negative about the IR-300. (Other review is on CNet.)¬*I thought the comparison pictures were very instructive, while the review itself was very biased anti-Olympus at the outset. No mention that is has a superior LCD screen, with twice as many pixels as the others in the test.I thought the images in the review actually were quite good, with the single exception of colour performance . The owners manual says¬* that color bias changes depending on the picture type setting - so who knows what the testers did with that.Several reviews seem to think the ir-300 is made of plastic - not what olympus says it is - magnesium. Macro close focus is 5cm - thank goodness the owners manual is available online. My reading of the manual is that the camera will easily take the kind of photos I want, using intelligently designed¬* scene modes.I have yet to see any really good, reliable comparison information on compact digital cameras, particularly with regard to:* viewfinder/LCD performance, especially in sunlight* image contrast* optical distortion over zoom range (pincushion/barrel)* ease of use - probably the single most important design parameter of any human-made artefact* computer software features* firmware updatesFrom what I have read, I plan to get an IR-300 in spite of the published negative reviews. Second choice would be Fuji Finepix Z2, which is currently not yet released and will be way dearer than IR-300.The only feature I'd really like is environmental protection - splash proof.