on 19 May 2008
upgraded my camera from the fuji s5500 and was so glad i did,what an excellent camera,fantastic features,easy to use,and a great zoom to capture the wonderful wildlife,macro mode is excellent to.highly recommended to anyone wishing to buy a compact digital camera with the feel and looks of a DSLR.
on 17 April 2009
Olympus started the most recent "arms race" to progressively greater zoom with the SP-550, which is, I guess, the father or grandfather of this camera.
In this incarnation, the zoom has been extended from 18x to 20x and the sensor has been extended from 7.1 to 10. To me, this is what a bridge camera should look and feel like. It's a compact, but is starting to have the design characteristics of a "proper" DSLR, in as much it behaves in a similar way to a DSLR in how you focus it.
The focussing is probably the biggest drawback on this camera. Some people say the ring round the lens that focuses the camera is slow. It is slightly slow, but only if you're in a hurry to take a picture. If you're not, then you probably won't notice it. Others say that it feels weird to use or turns counter-intuitively. It might, but only if you're used to a DSLR. To me focussing is a bit of a drawback because it's different to what I'm used to, and that might put you off. Once I'd tried it, however, I found it easy to use and discovered it was really useful when it came to framing pictures, because I had less "backward-and-forwarding" as I framed it just right.
With respect to the other characteristics of this camera, I don't think there's that much diference between it and a modern Fujifilm, Canon or Nikon "bridge camera." You pays your money, you makes your choice as far as I'm concerned. I'm not able to point at a particular function and say "Ah ha, this is the decider that'll make you convert from either of those brands." If you've used an Olympus before you'll find this camera easy to use because all the buttons are in similar places. If you've been thinking about eventually getting a DSLR, this camera is probably for you, because it'll get you thinking about how a DSLR works.
If, however you have another (non-Olympus) type of camera, I'd suggest that you don't buy this one (even if you are thinking of heading DSLRwards in the future). That's because Olympus uses the xD card in this camera. They're supposed to be slower than SD cards (though if your a typical amateur photgrapher, I don't think you'll really notice the lack of download speed).
The xD cards are, however, more expensive, and unable to hold as much as SD cards. Those are factors you'll notice in these cash strapped times. Had I not already owned an Olympus already I wouldn't have both this one. Not because it's a bad camera, (with its 10MP sensor, hotshoe and focusing ring it's a good camera) but because I'd have found myself looking longingly at the cut price SD cards whenever I went into a store (or whenever I saw the SD cards I bought for my old camera at home). That is what really puts me off this camera and should make you think twice too.
on 2 July 2010
I have this camera for a while now and I'm really happy with this purchase. You'll make great pictures from over a few hundred meters thanks to 20x zoom, but also from just a few centimetres. It's good for all trips. Makes perfect photos thanks to "Guide" function, helping you choose best settings to weather and light conditions. It's not a SLR but very close.
on 6 September 2009
i have been taking lots of different kinds of pictures with this camera,,eg.using long exposures at night time,car lights at night,,moon shots which came out cool,even at 100 times zoom on a tripod..indoors with flash is also great..also lots of macro shots of insects and flowers,and even water drops with flash is brilliant..using the zoom is easy..i love the closeup settings..tripod is recommended for super macro,,as it does not use the flash on super macro..the lcd is superb,,plus the extra flash hotshoe will be really usefull.picture quality is very high even at 5mega pixels..lots of features in menus which are easy enough to get used to..body feels solid,,but a little bit heavy..manual focus is a bit wierd to get used to but auto focus seems to do the job just fine..OVERALL.EASY TO USE-EXELLENT PICTURE QUALITY EVEN WITH FLASH...EVEN FOR BEGINNERS WILLING TO LEARN.