Switch-on wasn’t bad – it took around two seconds – and shutter lag was minimal. However, in single shot mode, it took around 2-3 seconds to settle down between shots. The auto focus system was fast and responsive.
The long zoom was a joy to use and even when shooting at the extreme telephoto end, camera shake wasn’t too bad thanks to the IS technology, although a tripod or some sort of support is highly recommended. We also liked the wide angle setting, and the super macro mode (that lets you shoot just 1cm away from an object), was superb – you can literally take good shots with the camera lens almost touching an object.
Click for full-size image
Olympus Fan and here's why
My main camera is a Nikon D200 with all the expected gear. Sometimes, I just need a good point and shoot without all the weight and lens changes. This olympus camera is supurb for general purpose shooting. But the macro outdoes anything I have been able to find for truly authentic close ups. The camera is easy to use if you just don't try to make it into more than a point and shoot. I'd download examples that compete with some of the best dlsrs, but there isn't any way to do so. If you want to see them, go here: http://flickr.com/photos/29259953@N02/sets/72157606689869130/
People, calm down
This is not a professional camera, of course the image won't be great but don't turn your noses up at it. They fill a void which 'daddy cameras' do not cater for. What they boast is an all-in-one solution which is overall easy to use and has some great features (compared to proper cameras). I have a friend who owns the Rebel Xt who found it too cumbersome to keep changing lenses for different shots, this usually meant that he missed the shot - so what's the point of spending all that money for a shot you missed? So he brought himself a superzoom too, purely for the convenience and speed of setup. Yeah it was relatively crap, yet he was happy with his move - why? becasue he got his shots!
You’ll find the image quality for this camera (noise, chromatic aberration, barrelling etc) to be par the course for these cheaper pro-sumer units; those can mostly be fixed in post processing if need be anyway. Thanks to image stabilisation, the user can always drop the ISO to get decent photos – I only ever use ISO 50. Apart from the loose barrel I'm dead happy with my SP550, I can take it anywhere and can get some really natural shots of people. It does everything - not brilliantly but it does it.
Anyone who ever pays RRP is crazy.
20x zoom is bad idea anyway, no matter where you attach it to, due to size, design compromises and maximum aperture. The one you mentioned, Sigma 10x 50-500 (which translates to FoV 75-750 in 35mm format) obviously lacks wide angles. You'd be better off with Tamron 18-250 or similar, if you are ready to trade picture quality and max aperture for conveniance. I know I am not. In fact, I am very happy with my Pentax K10D with couple of Limited fixed-focal lenses.
That CA sucks donkey balls.
Those pictures showed some of the WORST 'Chromatic Abberation' artifacts I've seen in a modern camera! But then most people wouldn't care, I'm too used to the CA and noise free results (up to IS0 800) I get with my Eos 400D, I cringe when I see photos like that.
I was intrigued by this camera with its 20x zoom, but seeing the results of this in relation to your typical 'proper' dSLR, there's just no contest.
DEFINITELY take Ash's advice - "This camera is rubbish for the money. Spend the extra £60 and get the EOS 450D if you want a GREAT camera.".
Only trouble is that you'd be very hard pressed to get 20x zoom on your Eos (if you care), you'd need to shell out at least £600 extra for a Sigma 50-500mm, then more for the 2x teleconverter, oh and a bit more for a Hoya UV filter to protect it all, then you'd need to get your ass down the gym to be able to lift it all up and hold it steady at that weight!
...or shell out £500 more for a top quality tripod and ball joint head which could hold it all.
@err what: AC
So you are saying that the crap photo's that these things take is acceptable because the technology is fundamentally flawed?
And this is supposed to make me think - oh wait yes I do want to spend $500 on a this peice of junk, because it's not that the camera is bad per se, it's that the technology behind it sucks...
And of course why would I complain that the the features they use to sell it macro and 20x zoom don't work. We wouldn't expect them to work would we so it's fine to pay the extra money for this camera to get them.
I dispear for the state of the world when people accept poor quality with excuses like this....
And yes I would like to put it up against my old Fuji 5600 - sure the zoom isn't as good at 15x (but then you admit the zoom on the camera is a reason for it's image crapness). The image is just as bad on both machines, and the Fuji is *much* cheaper.