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Olympus Stylus 770 SW 6 to 7 Megapixel
Introducing the world's most durable digital camera — the Olympus Stylus 770 SW. You can drop it (from 5ft), dunk it (to 33ft), freeze it (-10°C/14°F) or even try to crush it (up to 220lbf), and it will still take amazing photos. But the 770 SW isn't all brawn and no brains. It features a bright 2.5" Hypercrystal LCD so you can easily compose, view and share your images underwater or in direct sunlight. Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) creates sharp, blur-free pictures, even if your subject is moving. And the 27 Shooting Modes, including movie with sound, allow you to master any shooting situation.
Submitted by Laura a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2011
Strengths: The durability of this camera is a top strength; I've dropped my camera too many times to count and it continues to work flawlessly. Also, having underwater capabilities means that I can take photos in more situations and without a bulky camera casing.
The photos I've taken while outside with full light come out superb. This camera is capable of taking very beautiful photos under the right lighting conditions.
Weaknesses: I've had limited success with the quality of under-water photos. The camera seems to have a harder time focusing on what you want it to, which can get frustrating.
It also has a long delay between time you push the button and when the camera actually takes the photo; this can be irritating when trying to take photos of moving things, like fish!
Another weakness is the quality of indoor and low-light photos. Don't expect to get great shots in those conditions.
I love my waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, lifeproof camera. I enjoy kayaking, fishing, and skiing and prefer to have a camera with me that I don't have to worry about while I'm on the water or could possibly crash and crush the camera.
I've taken many under-water photos and have never had it leak. It's important to read the directions on proper care: the seals need to be clean in order for them to work properly and to keep water out of the camera.
I like having this camera, but I wouldn't be happy if it was the only camera I owned. I would call it an "occasional camera", meaning that it's perfect for certain occasions, but definitely not for others.
I think the camera is a great value because its not terribly expensive. I'm pleased with what I got for my money.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $150.00
Purchased At: ebay
Similar Products Used: N/A
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Curtis Johnson a Casual
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2010
Strengths: The durability, ease of use, size, and versatility.
Weaknesses: video, and picture quality.
I have had this camera for about 4 years now. I have took it camping in the Rockys, to combat in Iraq, and to the beach. It does not take the best picture in the world, but I never expected it to. With the demanding world I live in this camera has been through hell and still works. It holds up to the promises that Olympus makes. When there is a camera that maintains the strengths of this camera, and provides the video and picture quality of non tough compact digital cameras I will get it. Till then for a go anywhere point and shoot camera you can not beat it.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Purchased At: Best Buy
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Betty B a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2010
Strengths: I travel a fair bit and my cameras have been on Africa safaris, through China and hiking the Galapagos. I have taken awesome photos/ video while snorkelling with sealions and penguins. The video may not be the best quality but it captures the moment (which is also why I carry it at work).
The size makes it easy to carry in pocket or purse.
Weaknesses: Picture quality not always up to expectations...but we also shoot with a DSLR.
Memory card is a bit slow...animals move quickly and I don't always get the shot I'd like.
I Ioved this camera, in fact after my first one was stolen I purchased a second only three days later. I cannot be without! I work at a zoo and carry my camera with me at all times. The SW series meets my requirements when moving items (trees/nets/rocks) in animal enclosures and I don't have to worry about it if using fire hosing gets a bit out of control - it's waterproof.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $430.00
Purchased At: Seneal Cameras
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by bellsy a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: November 12, 2007
Strengths: On paper, a very rugged, robust, durable camera which opens the door to pictures under severe conditions.
Weaknesses: The reality. There's a serious problem with the waterproofing on at least some of the examples of this camera. I've now been through two, and simply can't trust that the next one will be any better.
Since this camera makes many picture quality compromises in pursuit of its vaunted durability, I have to call this camera a near total failure for its intended use.
The Olympus Stylus 770 SW brings one unique quality to the compact point-and-shoot category: robustness. It is marketed as a shockproof, freezeproof, waterproof wonder, one which can stand up to the outer limits of what anyone would consider reasonable for a piece of sophisticated electronics and imaging hardware.
My initial experience with the camera was extremely positive. It held up to cold weather, high altitude, and repeated excursions underwater (though none very deep). I was particularly impressed with its ability to keep shooting pictures in sub-freezing temperatures.
Of course, with a physical package like this there are bound to be compromises. Chief among those, the auto-focus is both slow and somewhat inaccurate, and the exposure metering is erratic. The focus issue can at least be partially compensated for by careful planning and pre-focus, but the metering is annoying. Since there is no manual (or even semi-manual) mode, one is left to play with ISO, exposure compensation, and various pre-programmed modes to try and force the right exposure for even mildly difficult situations.
However, given the claimed durability of the camera, these trade-offs should be worth it. Skiing, mountain biking, and (of course) traveling with a child who spends as much time as possible underwater demands a rugged camera. I've gotten some really incredible photographs with this camera (and with the Pentax Option WP which preceded it in my bad), not because these kinds of cameras are technically great, nor because I'm such a skilled photographer, but simply because having a camera that can withstand difficult conditions means it's with me when the shot appears. Many much better cameras (including some I own) would be left sitting on the shelf when this one is in my pocket.
And there, unfortunately, lies the problem with the Olympus 770 SW. Despite Olympus' claims for this unit's durability, my experience is that it simply doesn't live up to its billing.
A couple of months into my ownership I had a minor failure, but one which necessitated sending it back to Olympus for service. I don't know if it was caused by immersion, cold, shock, or simply a manufacturing problem, but I do know the camera was never subjected to conditions which even approached its claimed limits.
Two weeks later I had it back. Not the quickest service, but acceptable. Except that on the first day of a trip with the newly repaired camera the seals failed completely after less than ten minutes in waist-deep water. So no photos for that trip, and another two-week trip for repair.
This time I received a replacement camera. Again, the delay (and the hassle of packing and shipping) was annoying but within reason. Except that, again, the seals failed on the first day of a trip, this time within 20 minutes of hitting water (and, as before, in non-continuous use at depths less than three feet).
Olympus' telephone support was unhelpful, so off the camera goes again, and as before, I included a note requesting that they verify the integrity of the seals before shipping me a repaired or replaced unit. Unlike previously, however, I won't trust a trip's photos to just this camera anymore. Sure, I'll test the replacement in my bathtub, but I'm not comfortable leaving town with only this camera in my bag. And that, in a nutshell, makes it only slightly better than not having it at all.
I have to contrast my experience with this camera with that of my first waterproof point and shoot, a first generation Pentax Optio WP. The Pentax was more limited in its capabilities, and on paper at least, was much less rugged. My experience with that camera, however, was that it was extremely robust, putting up with underwater exposure that exceeded its rated abilities. It also produced images which were closely on par with those of the Olympus (a little more noise, less resolution, but better focus and exposure). It didn't work well in the cold, which was a serious limitation, but then it never claimed to do so. The Olympus is better on paper, but in the real world my experience is that it doesn't even remotely live up to its claimed waterproofness.
In conclusion, I love having a rugged, waterproof, go-anywhere camera that gives me the chance to take pictures in situations where I normally wouldn't have a camera, but the Olympus 770 SW is definitely not the tool for the job.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $325.00
Purchased At: Online
Similar Products Used: Pentax Optio WP
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