Top critical review
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Not As Pleased With Camera As I Initially Was
on 7 October 2014
I bought this camera based on the many 5 star reviews here at Amazon. Shortly after I'd completed my purchase, I had a look at the various reviews online and most were mediocre to slightly above average. My camera arrived this morning (thank you Smart Sales UK) and it's great. It does exactly what I wanted it to do. Sure, I doubt it would be David Bailey's go-to camera but it takes good clear photographs for general use. I'm really happy with it. It feels substantial, it looks great and it's very easy to use, the menus are straightforward to navigate through. If you're looking for a no frills honest-to-goodness camera then this is it, the built-in rechargeable battery is a bonus. It comes with an adapter for charging through the mains, as well as the option to charge via the supplied USB cable. The enclosed CD-ROM software disc is excellent, very professional looking. Couldn't ask for more. Very happy.
***Amended on May 31st 2015***
I gave the camera a full 5 stars initially because for what I wanted it for at the time, taking a few snaps on a day trip, it performed fine or so I thought. Looking at the images closely upon downloading them however, I noticed that although each shot was composed well they all contained substantial amounts of blurring and all shots had purple fringing around the edges. I took the camera out with me and took random shots; some with the zoom, others employing the macro function and again most of them were blurred. I used the anti-shake function and took time over each shot but again blurring was present in most images. The macro shots were less prone to blurring but the colours looked washed out, deep purple flowers coming out as bright blue to give one example.
I consider myself a decent photographer and my preferred shots are of bird life. I took a shot of a blue tit in my back garden sitting on a branch and I was no more than 20 feet away. I used the zoom function and took the shot. Several shots actually. Most were blurred and the ones that weren't made the bird look cartoon-like and pixelated. It was difficult in the ones which weren't blurred to differentiate the bird from its surroundings, as it just seemed to blend in with no real sense of a foreground or background. Very disappointing.
I began to think I had seriously lost my ability to take a good shot so I borrowed a friend's camera (he's a very good photographer). He took some with mine and I took some with his. His were nearly all blurred and again when in focus seriously lacked fine detail with the colours all looking muted, whereas the shots I took came out fine. All of them in fact. I then took it in turns to take similar shots in the same setting with first his then mine and vice versa. None of the ones I took with his camera were blurry and all possessed fine detailing and we're not talking an expensive camera by any means whereas the shots taken with the Olympus were all blurry and lacking in depth or definition.
I was wondering if it was the camera but that didn't explain why some shots came out okay while others didn't. The only way we were guaranteed a blur-free shot was to stand the camera on a firm flat surface but even then purple fringing was evident in most images, even on the lowest ISO settings. Photos taken with the anti-shake function turned off were nearly all horrendous.
I wish now I hadn't bought the camera. For an extra £30-40 I could have got something which performs a whole lot better. It's a shame because what I initially said about the camera in terms of the menus and ease of use still holds true plus having an internal rechargeable battery at this price point is a bonus. Unfortunately, it isn't up to the standard I wanted when I bought it. I am keeping it and will take holiday snaps with it, shots where it doesn't matter if there's fringing evident because it's more about capturing a mood however for the shots where I need clean lines and detailing I will use something else.