It has been sometime since a compact zoom camera entered our labs. The last one we reviewed was the Nikon Coolpix S9100. The Olympus 610UZ with its 22x ultra zoom optical lens graced our labs recently promising to fill the gap between its predecessor SP 600UZ and the SP 800UZ. The launch of this camera also marks the 10th anniversary of the Olympus’ SP range of cameras. This affordable camera with a truckload of feature and SLR looks could be a perfect travel companion for amateur photographers? Read the full review to find out whether it can replace that ultra-compact digicam.
It is disappointing that Olympus did not implement continuous shooting at maximum resolution.
Features and Specs
The USP of The SP 610UZ is the 22x optical zoom lens which falls short of the class leading Canon Powershot SX30IS (which is soon going to be obsolete as SX40HS is soon entering the market) and Nikon Coolpix P500 which have 35x and 36x zoom lens respectively. It has the basic 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor with 14MP resolution. The 3 inch LCD monitor doubles up has a paltry resolution of 230k which I feel is a little too less for a screen of this size. An optical viewfinder is also sorely missed.
The lens has the best in-class focal length ranges from 28mm to 616mm (35mm equivalent). However, you cannot meddle with the aperture speeds because it doesn’t have an iris diaphragm. Therefore, there is neutral density filter which has been set at 2.5. For a camera of this size it also boasts of maximum apertures of f/3.3 at the widest focus and f/5.6 in telephoto.
The SP610 UZ can capture videos at 720p resolution at 30fps. Apart from that Olympus claims that SP610 UZ can capture 17 frames of 3MP pictures at 10fps, 5MP pictures can be captured at 4.8fps (15 frames) and 8MP pictures at 0.92 fps. It is disappointing that Olympus did not implement continuous shooting at maximum resolution.
It comes with a manual pop-up flash which is another amazing inclusion rather than an autopmatic pop-up flash. ISO range includes 80, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600. Shooting modes do not include aperture/shutter priority modes or manual shooting mode which is understandable considering the price-range this camera falls under. It has a plethora of shooting modes at your disposal. The Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode chooses the scenes on its own. The program mode is the advanced user mode that lets you play around with a lot of options. The panorama mode has three options to choose from where you can stitch photos using either of the three - Auto, Manual and PC options. The SP 610UZ can also shoot in 3D but you cannot view images on your camera. You can also apply a range of magic filters while shooting or after you have captured the images. These filters are fun for casual users who are averse to using image editing tools on a PC. The camera also requires 4
Features-wise the SP 610UZ scores in a lot of departments but falls short in some owing to certain glaring omissions. It is obvious that Olympus has tried to cut some corners to keep the camera at a low price.