Olympus SP-610UZ 22x Wide-Angle Ultrazoom with HD and 3D Photos

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Product Reviews

Camera Review

Center Valley, PA—The 14 megapixel Olympus SP-610UZ is a lightweight full-featured, 22x wide-angle ultrazoom camera with HD (high-definition) video capability and user-friendly operation.

The all-black SP-610UZ comes with a variety of features that include: magic filters to create artistic effects; HD movie & HDMI control for playback on HDTVs; a 3D photo mode that captures two shots of a scene from two different angles to create still photos that can be viewed with the realism of 3D; Eye-Fi card compatibility for automatic wireless uploading of images to a website or PC; in-camera panorama creation; and AF tracking, to track a moving subject automatically and keep it in focus.

“The new SP-610UZ combines the zoom power that has made Olympus ultrazooms famous with fully automatic controls ideal for amateur photographers looking to capture it all at the touch of a button and in-camera magic filters for artistic control in a portable body,” said Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America.

The SP-610UZ packs a 22x wide-angle optical zoom lens into a compact body. With an f/2.8 (wide) to f/5.6 (tele) wide-angle lens providing the equivalent of a 28-616mm focal length, users can get closer to the action with zoom performance comparable to that of a 500mm equivalent telephoto lens for digital SLR cameras.

The in-camera magic filters enable users to customize images as they’re being captured, and magic filter movie is a new feature that allows users to apply magic filters to HD movies. The magic filters for stills and HD movies include: pop art, to saturate colors to create pictures with the feel of the 1960’s Pop Art style; pin hole, which reduces the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole; fisheye, which emulates the wide-angle of a fisheye lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame; soft focus, which encloses the foreground of an image in pastel colors with a soft focus; drawing, which turns images into sketch outlines children can color; watercolor, which applies a finish like that of watercolor paintings; sparkle, which adds twinkling lights to photos; and punk, which creates two-tone images in the spirit of rock and roll.

In addition, the SP-610UZ shoots 720p HD video, and its HDMI control function allows users to connect the camera to an HDTV for playback with an optional HDMI cable and then use the TV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus.

A step-up here is the camera’s ability to shoot 3D photos in any mode from macro to landscape, recreating a sense of depth like that of the original scene. In 3D photo shooting mode, when users release the shutter for the first shot and slowly pan, the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera resulting in an .MPO file, the universal 3D format for display on 3D TVs or laptops.

Additionally features include: a 3.0-inch LCD monitor; dual image stabilization that combines mechanical sensor-shift image stabilization and digital image stabilization to provide an anti-blur solution for capturing in-focus images whether the photographer or the subject is moving; a face detection function that detects up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure; beauty mode to touch up the appearance of a subject’s skin as the photo is captured; two newly designed pet modes that recognize the faces of a variety of breeds of cats and dogs; intelligent auto mode that automatically identifies what’s being shot (portrait, night + portrait, landscape, macro or sports) and adjusts settings accordingly; and compatibility with both wireless Eye-Fi cards and SD cards up to 32 gigabytes.

The Olympus SP-610UZ comes with four AA-size dry-cell batteries, a strap, Win/Mac USB cable, audio/video cable, manual, warranty card and Olympus [ib] software. $229.99.

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