Olympus Stylus SP-820UZ iHS Review

Sections: Cameras for Beginners, Point and Shoot

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Olympus-SP-820UZ-iHSTo capture wider group shots and sharper close-ups, Olympus gave the Stylus SP-820UZ iHS—its flagship ultrazoom point & shoot and most powerful optical zoom ever—intelligent technology that delivers amazing image quality with ease.

The camera’s 40x optical zoom lens captures the detail normally possible only with an interchangeable telephoto lens—bringing the action closer from hundreds of feet away without swapping lenses. And with Super-Resolution Zoom technology, its focus distance is doubled to 80x magnification. Beyond this incredible zoom power, the 22.4–896mm equivalent, super-wide-angle lens takes in sweeping panoramas and group portraits, as well as focuses on up-close macro images.

Lightweight and compact enough to be an everyday travel companion, the SP-820UZ iHS sports a sleek housing and comfort grip that will keep it steady even when you’re shooting at high magnification.

The camera’s optical prowess is matched by Olympus’s iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) technologies in a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor and the TruePic V image processor. The two combine for fast reaction times, radiant colors and sharp images of fast-moving subjects and low-light, backlit scenes.

Using the 3.0-inch high-res LCD to compose, you can also record high-speed, adjustable-frame-rate 1080p Full HD video, while the camera’s photo with video clip function captures a video clip before and after you take the shot. To combat camera shake while you’re moving, Olympus added dual image stabilization and multi-motion movie image stabilization. Plus, Linear PCM audio recording, a technology pioneered by Olympus and incorporated in its professional audio recording devices, enhances your videos with better-than-CD quality audio. And with HDMI output and control, you can use your HDTV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your couch.

Another benefit is handheld starlight mode for shooting at night or in low light, when image blur is more likely to occur; the camera captures multiple images and stitches them together into a single, crisp photo without the use of a tripod. Another useful technology is HDR backlight adjustment, which captures a collage of images at various exposure levels and blends them into a perfectly exposed image. No time to fix your makeup before someone takes your picture? No worries, the SP-820UZ iHS’s beauty makeup mode lets you apply everything from eyeliner to eye shadow and blush to your photo.

For even more creativity, smart panorama mode creates a sweeping photo automatically when you pan across a subject, and there are a host of in-camera magic art filters, like pin hole and pop art, that apply spectacular effects to both photos and videos. Another bonus is the camera’s support for Eye-Fi memory cards that let you wirelessly transfer images and video. The Olympus SP-820UZ iHS comes in silver and black. $329.99

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