Top positive review
31 people found this helpful
on 27 January 2005
I have the US branded version of this camera - the Olympus Stylus Verve. It's the same camera, just a different name. Canon cameras do it too, calling their Ixus an Elf in the US for some reason.
Anyway, I have no reservation in saying this is a very sexy camera. It's positively tiny for the functionality it offers - I can hold it in the palm of my hand and even touch my thumb and forefinger together around it.
Despite the small size it has a proper 2xoptical zoom, and weather proofing including a cap that snaps over the lens when not in use. What sets it apart from the competitors is that it has a very shapely curves rather than the traditional lumpy / oblong boxiness in the Ixus for example making it very easy to carry in the pocket. Thus even if you have a larger, more conventional camera, this little baby makes a fine backup especially where you don't want to drag something else around with you all night.
I don't believe it excels in anything particular, but the picture quality is good, the LCD screen is large and bright and the camera offers some extra goodies like being able to take video clips. It even offers modes for taking pictures in certain conditions such as indoors, at night, on a beach, behind glass and so on. It also has 4 picture quality modes to squeeze as many snaps as possible from the available memory. I'd say that the default HQ quality is adequate for 6x4 and 7x5 prints.
An oddity is that there is no view finder. You *have* to use the LCD, but the screen is bright and large so this is no great issue. Given the small size the battery is also non-standard, to fit the form factor but it is rechargable (and there is a recharger), however you must remove the battery to recharge it since there is no dock. The camera also comes with USB & S-Video cables to attach the camera to the PC & TV respectively.
One criticism I have is that the included 16Mb card is pretty stingy. I'd expect a digital camera to offer out of the box the same number of shots as a 36mm camera, however you'd be lucky to get 15 on the memory supplied without slashing the quality. So I bought a 512Mb card which is enough for 512 shots as HQ quality or 128 shots at Super HQ or 22 minutes of video. I don't think I'll run out of space any time soon!
Anyway, this is a great camera. I haven't had any problems with it and the form factor certainly makes it one of the most handy and immediate cameras you're likely to find.