Olympus Stylus 780 Review

Camera Reviews Olympus

The most recent addition to Olympus Stylus Digital camera line, the pocket-sized 7.1-megapixel Stylus 780 has a weatherproof body, 5x optical zoom lens, and 2.5-inch LCD display. Mechanical image stabilization and a maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600 set the Olympus Stylus 780 apart from previous Stylus digital cameras. It’s a lot of camera in a very small package – and you can take it out in the rain!

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Olympus Stylus 780 Studio Test Images
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Olympus Stylus 780 - Green

    Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • Pocket-sized
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Real mechanical image stabilization!
  • Live histogram display
  • Great high-ISO performance
  • Excellent macro options
    Cons

  • No optical viewfinder
  • Weak flash
  • No aperture or shutter speed display
  • Soft spots in lens
  • Slow shot-to-shot time
Olympus Stylus 780 - front and back


Introduction
I saw the Olympus Stylus 780 at the 2007 PMA tradeshow in Las Vegas and couldn’t wait to try it. It’s got all the makings of a great pocket-sized, outdoor and travel camera. The weatherproof body, Dual iS image stabilization, new TruePic III processor, a 5x zoom lens, and sensitivity up to ISO 1600 make for a powerful and flexible compact digital camera camera. Plus, I’ve enjoyed my experience with other Olympus Stylus digital cameras. So I told them to put me at the top of the list to review the Stylus 780.

I got the camera a few weeks ago and have used it almost every day, mostly for outdoor photos on hikes, mountain bike rides, and trips to the park with the dog. I’ve also taken a lot of flower pictures since my yard and the mountains are in full bloom.

Features
The Olympus Stylus 780 digital camera has a great set of features. Pocket-sized, weatherproof point-and-shoot performance is the name of the game with the Olympus Stylus line, which began back in 1991 with the Olympus Stylus/mju 35mm point-and-shoot camera. With a 5x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch LCD, mechanical and electronic image stabilization, and a weatherproof body, the Stylus 780 has a pedigree and all the parts to make a great take-everywhere digital camera.

For me, the most important feature on the Olympus Stylus 780 is the image stabilization. (Learn more about image stabilization) The 780 uses what Olympus calls “Dual iS” image stabilization. It’s “dual” because the camera has both mechanical image stabilization (MIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS). Olympus’ Sensor Shift image stabilization – the mechanical part of the system, helps compensate for camera shake when you’re taking pictures in low light. Electronic image stabilization uses high ISO settings to help freeze action. EIS is activated either by choosing the “High Auto” ISO setting in the Function menu or one of the three scene modes that use electronic image stabilization for action or low light photography.

The Olympus Stylus 780 doesn’t have advanced exposure modes like aperture priority or metered manual. It has a program mode that offers exposure adjustment via exposure compensation, an pure point-and-shoot Auto mode, and 22 scene modes ranging from standards like Landscape and Portrait, to more specialized modes like Underwater Wide and Auction. Each scene mode includes a description of what the mode is for and how it helps capture that type of subject. There’s also a Shooting Guide menu, which lists different types of subjects and photo problems with detailed instructions for how to best capture them with the Stylus 780.

Olympus Stylus 780 - SCN Mode Menu
Olympus Stylus 780 – SCN Mode Menu
Olympus Stylus 780 - GUIDE Menu
Olympus Stylus 780 – GUIDE Menu


There are two macro modes with a dedicated button on the back of the camera. One lets you focus at 7.9-inches/20 cm at wide zoom and 23.6-inches/60 cm at the telephoto end of the zoom. The other, Super macro mode, fixes the zoom and allows you to focus as close as 1.2-inches/3 cm – that’s close!

In the Hi drive mode, the Olympus Stylus 780 can capture 3.5 images per second for up to 11 frames. Flash and ISO settings are limited in the Hi drive mode, and the resolution is restricted to 2048 x 1536 pixels (3.1 megapixels). But the flash will strobe in the Hi drive mode and that’s very impressive.

The 5x f/3.5-5.0 optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 36-180mm lens on a 35mm film camera. That’s a pretty good range for a camera that fits in the pocket of your jeans. It’s capable of getting in pretty close to most subjects and works great for zooming in for landscape photos. However, the 36mm wide end isn’t really what I consider wide.

There are a couple of other features that should be mentioned: Shadow Adjustment Technology and the Panorama scene mode. Essentially, the Panorama scene mode is a built-in stitching system that helps the photographer create a panoramic image in the camera. You have to use an Olympus xD memory card and the included Olympus Master software in order to use the Panorama scene mode. Shadow Adjust has a dedicated button on the back of the camera that simply and automatically compensates for contrasty lighting or backlit subjects.

Camera Menus

Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 shooting mode display w. info and histogram
Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 Function menu
Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 menu navigation
Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 main menu
Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 playback mode display w. info
Olympus Stylus 780 - LCD Display
Olympus Stylus 780 playback mode display w. info and histogram


Design
Olympus Stylus 780 - weatherproof!The Olympus Stylus 780′s most important design element isn’t readily visible. In order to protect delicate mechanical parts and sensitive electronics, rubber gaskets protect all openings on the camera.

Two-thirds of the camera back are dedicated to the 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD. Like most compact digital cameras now, the Olympus Stylus 780 has no optical viewfinder. Camera controls are placed well, with everything in reach of your right index finger and thumb. I like the Function button, which gives quick access to often used controls like ISO and white balance. Dedicated buttons give even easier access to the most important controls – exposure, flash, macro and self-timer. There’s also a Mode Dial for choosing the shooting mode, viewing photos, using the Guide mode.

I like point-and-shoot cameras that actually fit in my pocket. And in spite of having some big camera features, the Olympus Stylus 780 will fit in a shirt or jeans pocket. That means you can have it with you all the time, ready to get the shot – no matter what the place or occasion.

Camera Experience
I’m always on the lookout for digital point-and-shoot cameras that can do serious trail duty with minimal compromise. The Olympus Stylus 780 is tiny and packs a lot of power along with excellent features. I was excited about it having actual mechanical image stabilization. In my experience, mechanical image stabilization is invaluable because it means I can shoot in lower light and use lower ISO settings for less noise, hence better image quality. I’m also a long-time fan of the weatherproof Stylus line. I am in the outdoors in all kinds of weather and a camera that can handle some moisture gives me a lot more confidence.

I didn’t have a real opportunity to test the Stylus 780′s weatherproofing because it never really rained while I had it. However, I gave it a couple of good blasts with the hose, just for a photo. It performed just fine after that. And based on my experience with other Olympus Stylus digital cameras, I am not at all concerned about using the 780 in the rain. Olympus has the weatherproof thing down.

Olympus Stylus 780 - Absolutely Usable ISO 1600

For the most part, camera performance was very good. The new TruePic III processor is very good, making the camera quick, and delivering very usable images at high ISO settings. I was actually unprepared and happily surprised by the high ISO performance of the Olympus Stylus 780. I’ve come to expect mediocre to terrible quality from compact digital cameras at sensitivity settings over ISO 400. But Olympus has done a great job in this area. I’m a little uncomfortable about what I’m going to say next, because it goes against what we’ve all come to expect from compact digital cameras. But I’ve checked and re-checked and I believe that the 780 has absolutely usable ISO 1600. If you doubt, I suggest you download the full resolution version of the image above and print it to see for yourself. Normally I try to use the lowest ISO possible to minimize noise and optimize image quality. After using the 780 for a couple of weeks, I think I would actually try to shoot at ISO 200 or even 400 most of the time so that the camera can use a smaller aperture and faster shutter speeds. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, rest assured that the Olympus Stylus 780′s auto and scene modes will serve you well and you’ll get better photos in low light than you have with previous digital cameras. Olympus has done an amazingly good job with their TruePic III camera processor. Every type of photographer will benefit from the improved image quality and low light performance.

There were a couple of problems with the camera. One is that it doesn’t display exposure settings. It does have a histogram display to help judge exposure. But I like to be able to see the shutter speed the camera is using so that I know if I’m going to get a sharp photo. In my opinion, this is a major omission and it makes it hard for me to really get the most out of the camera. The average photographer might not care. But anyone who has a little camera experience is likely to want to know what shutter speed the camera is selecting. Knowing your shutter speed allows you to decide whether a photo is possible and the best technique to use.

Since the majority of my serious photography is of mountain bikers, I always take test cameras out on the trail. I had high hopes for the 780 as a mountain bike camera. However, like yours truly on the dirt jumps, it falls short. It’s really hard to take panning photos with only an LCD display. An optical viewfinder is more accurate and you pan better with the camera braced against your eye. And although it’s comparable to most cameras in its class, the 36mm wide angle zoom isn’t wide enough for tight trail photos. Finally, the flash is very weak. When shooting in the woods, the standard technique is to use the flash and follow the rider (pan). The lack of an optical viewfinder and a weak flash made it next to impossible for me to get a clean panning shot. Panning shots in the woods resulted in spookily dark photos of decapitated riders. Also, unless you’re using the Hi drive mode with its lower resolution, the shot-to-shot time makes it easy to miss a shot. It takes the camera a while to process and save an image. However, if you’re willing to use the Hi drive mode and shoot 3-megapixel photos, then the 780 is pretty quick.

Olympus Stylus 780 - Miniature Rose Close-Up Olympus Stylus 780 - Rose with Raindrops Close-Up Olympus Stylus 780 - Flower Close-Up


The Olympus Stylus 780 excels at close-up photography. There are two macro modes that allow you to get pretty close. But the Super macro mode allows you to get within 1.2-inches/3 cm of your subject. There’s some distortion around the edges, but since depth-of-field with macro is so limited, it’s not that noticeable. And since the mountains and my yard are full of flowers, I found myself taking lots of close-up flower photos. In fact, I think these flower closeups – especially the ones I took after some rain – are the best photos I took with the 780. The mechanical image stabilization makes a big difference for a lazy photographer like me, too. Normally, a tripod would be necessary for these photos. But I did all right shooting handheld. If you like to take close-up pictures then this camera works very, very well. The mechanical image stabilization also makes it possible to take slow exposures of moving water, for that silky look. Normally, without a tripod, the image below would be all blurry because of my shaky hands. But the Stylus 780′s mechanical image stabilization, a few tries, and some careful bracing and breathing, made this come out very nicely, in spite of the super slow 1/13th of a second shutter speed.

Olympus Stylus 780 - Soft Water

Now the bad news. As wonderful as the design and features of the Olympus Stylus 780 are, the camera is spoiled for me by some hard to avoid lens problems. I took a lot of pictures with this camera. And I started to notice that many of them had soft spots that couldn’t be attributed to anything but a lens problem. Since I shot a lot of outdoor photos, I kept thinking the soft spots might be wind on leaves. But I did some very controlled tests to confirm the problem and discovered that the spots were there, in the same place, no matter what the subject. I then asked Olympus for another camera, in case I just got a bad one. The second camera had the same problem. Photos taken in low light, with the aperture wide open have soft spots around the middle of the frame. Click on the image below to view the high-res file and scroll around to see the soft spots. This would have been a very nice photo if it weren’t for the mushy areas.

There is a possible solution to the lens problem. Actually it’s more of a workaround, but it will help. Since the soft spot only occurs when the lens is wide open, using a higher sensitivity setting should avoid it. And since the Stylus 780 has such impressive high ISO performance, this is a realistic strategy for minimizing the problem. However, it’s a problem that shouldn’t be there in the first place. I like to always use the lowest sensitivity setting a camera offers, so I can get the best possible image quality. With the 780, I have to compromise ultimate image quality in order to avoid the soft spots. That’s a bummer.

Olympus Stylus 780 - Aspens

Image Quality
Generally, I find that Olympus digital camera image quality isn’t quite as good as I’d like. That’s not to say it’s bad. I have tons of photos I’ve taken with Olympus digital cameras that I’m very pleased with. It’s just that Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Nikon are usually a little better. The Olympus Stylus 780 is consistent with that experience. However, I was very pleased with the noise levels at high ISO settings. Olympus’ new TruePic III processor does a really excellent job at reducing noise and I have no problem using this camera at ISO 400, 800, and even 1600! The Stylus 780′s high ISO performance was a big surprise for me and I think it’s the most impressive part of the camera.

There’s a noticeable absence of purple fringing in Stylus 780 images. I’m not saying there isn’t any. But it’s much improved since the last Olympus Stylus digital camera I tested (Olympus Stylus 720 SW) and it’s not obvious enough to matter.

I almost always use auto white balance with point-and-shoot digital cameras. Olympus Stylus 780 color is pretty good, although there is occasional white balance wackiness, with darker images having a somewhat warm, reddish hue. Shadow and highlight details are preserved fairly well, although highlights have more of a tendency to blow out than with some other cameras I’ve used. Careful exposure, using the histogram will take care of this. Most point-and-shoot photographers likely won’t notice or care. But the camera does tend to lose some sky and cloud detail. And that’s always disappointing if you’re taking landscape or other outdoor pictures. Auto exposure metering is very good and aside from the highlight problem, I rarely had an exposure that really disappointed me. Most of the photos you see accompanying this review have had at least some adjustment in Photoshop. That being the case, they should be viewed as representing the ultimate potential of the camera and not what it delivers at the most basic point-and-shoot level. For pure, untouched image quality, it’s best to look at the studio sample photos.

Detail is very good. However, I often lost critical details in low light due to the soft spots I mentioned in the Camera Experience section. I checked and rechecked and neither focus nor noise was the problem. But there are distinct soft spots in many images, where important textural details like leaves, branches, and rocks are too soft. And what might have great photos are throwaways. Basically, a very nice camera has been seriously compromised by a lens problem.

Olympus Stylus 780 - Josh Olympus Stylus 780 - SLC Sunset Olympus Stylus 780 - Cliffs


Olympus Stylus 780 - Ball Killer Olympus Stylus 780 - Thai Elephant Art Olympus Stylus 780 - Pink Tongue

Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.

Conclusion
There are so many good things about the Olympus Stylus 780. It fits in your pocket, it’s quick, it’s weatherproof, the image stabilization works great, and the high ISO performance is amazing for a compact digital camera. But no matter how much I want to like it, I can’t ignore the 780′s lens problems. The Olympus Stylus 780 might have been a great camera. But not with this lens. Aside from the weatherproof body, there are other cameras that offer a lot of the same features and functionality. Unless you’re a photographer that shoots in bright, perfect light, where the lens won’t reveal its flaws, you don’t care about small details, or you need the weatherproof design, the 780 is likely to disappoint you, as it did me. Hopefully, the camera designers at Olympus will read this and go the extra mile on the next Stylus digital camera. I want it all. And I know they can do it.

Who Should Buy It
Pardon me, but I’m going to backtrack a little here. No one makes an outdoor point-and-shoot camera like Olympus. If you spend a lot of time hiking, boating, fishing, biking, skiing, or doing anything where a pocket-sized, weatherproof digital camera will come in handy, the Olympus Stylus 780 may serve you well. The only caveat is you must be aware of the camera’s limitations. If you aren’t super picky about image quality and don’t plan on shooting masterpieces or printing larger than 8×10, then the 780 is a smart, worthy camera. There are so many good things about it that everyone will like. But if you’re an experienced, demanding photographer, used to looking closely at your images, then I would advise you to steer clear of the Olympus Stylus 780. Unless I happened to get two bad samples, I predict the lens will let you down.

- end -

Olympus Stylus 780 - Box Contents

    Contents of the Olympus Stylus 770 Box

  • Olympus Stylus 780 Digital Camera
  • LI-42B Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger
  • USB cable, Audio/Video cable
  • Wrist strap
  • Manual
  • CD-ROM (OLYMPUS Master 2.0 Software)
  • Warranty card


Other Resources:
Shop For Olympus Stylus 780 >>
Olympus Stylus 780 User Reviews >>
Write a Olympus Stylus 780 Review >>
Olympus Stylus 780 Camera Specs >>
Olympus Stylus 780 Sample Gallery >>
All Olympus Digital Camera Reviews >>
Olympus Web site >>
All Digital Camera Pro Reviews >>
Digital Camera Buyer’s Guide >>
All Digital Camera Sample Images >>


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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.


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  • Al says:

    John,

    Thanks for the extensive review. Many of the earlier
    Stylus cameras have been criticized for LCD’s that are unviewable in the sunlight. 780 claims to add a “hypercrystal” LCD w/ “anti-glare technology that uses natural light to brighten the LCD”. Did you find this aspect improved in the 780?

    rgds,

    Al

  • Christine says:

    May I ask how the camera does at taking videos? I read somewhere that in the highest resolution it will only take 10 second long videos. Is this true? Thanks!!!

  • Photo-John says:

    Al – The LCD and this and other Olympus digital cameras that I’ve used recently have been very good. I don’t think they’re the very best out there. But they’re very good and definitely much better than Olympus digital cameras used to have. I never had any problems using the Stylus 780′s LCD. It was only when there was a camera nearby with a better LCD that I noticed a difference.

  • skrine leong says:

    great camera, for that price. my kids just can’t stop liking it

  • juditn says:

    When I shoot in full sunlight at noon and the light is at my back, I can see my own face superimposed on the object. Does anyone know how to avoid this? I miss very much the viewfinder on this camera. It is needed sometimes.

    J. Natt

  • MNR says:

    Is there a housing for the camera and do you recommend it for underwater photography and if not, which camera would you recommend for that?

  • Carlos says:

    Yes, MNR, apparently there’s an Olympus housing for this camera, and at least another by another maker: check

    http://store.aikotradingstore.com/neolpt8.html
    http://www.ikelite.com/web_two/oly_sty780.html

  • Gary Symons says:

    I was disappointed with the 10 seconds limitation for high resolution movies. The high resolution movies was one of the main reasons I purchased this model. I own several other olympus cameras. My movies taken in bright sunlight all turn purple and show many vertical lines of dark and bright areas. I’ve never noticed this problem with the other olympus models I own. I was told to keep the lens shaded, but I think that this is not what is causing the vertical lines in my movies. Has anybody else experienced this with the 780?

  • Balloo says:

    Yup. This Camera can make only 10 second video !!!! Its not normal and i dont know why they do it.
    On webside specifification you can read – video to end space xD card – its a normal cheat!! My old Canon 3.1 Mpx could make 30 second movie :((
    And the funnist thing is: you buy camera, fast memory to make video xD H, apply and… WTF?? Next you read instruction and there you finding one clause – only 10 second… :((
    I dont know why they do it but i’ll never buy Olympus camera sheating **** again.

  • Balloo says:

    ps. to moderators – pls apply to upper specification time limit 10 second to video 640×480 mode

  • Chris says:

    I bought this camera 6 months ago, because I needed an easy-to-use but reliable camera. Up to now (Jan 08) I am very satisfied and have not regretted the money I have spent. This is my 4th digital camera and I will keep it until something very “dramatic” new will be in market. One comment : I hope Olympus will have a newer printer for it (after P-11).

  • Joel F says:

    In response to Baloo, on page 53 of the specification booklet on the Olympus web-site states that movies at the highest quality (640X480) can be taken for up to 4 minutes and 40 seconds on a 512MB card. The limitation without a card just using the camera memory only is 8 seconds.

    You can view it here:
    http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/Stylus%20780%20Instruction%20Manual.pdf

  • Marek says:

    Hi, can anybody explain how does this ‘Real mechanical image stabilization’ work in Olympus 780? I have shot some pictures with and without it and can see no difference. May be my camera is out of order? How can I test it?

  • Photo-John says:

    Marek-
    There are three kinds of image stabilization – optical, sensor-based, and electronic. Optical and sensor-based are both mechanical. Olympus uses a sensor system that moves the camera’s sensor to compensate for camera shake. I would be surprised if it isn’t working. The best way to test is shoot some tests in low light with the image stabilization turned on and off. You should be able to see the difference. Most people can’t hold a camera steady at shutter speeds much slower than 1/60th of a second. But with the mechanical image stabilization on, I think you should be able to shoot at 1/15th of a second or even slower. Sometimes I can shoot as slow as 1/5th of a second with a camera that has optical or sensor-shift image stabilization.

    For more on the benefits of image stabilization and how it works, check out the Image Stabilization Guide in our Learn section.

  • Marek says:

    Thanks John, I agree ‘it is not a magic bullet’.
    I’ve compared photos shot with the system on and off trying not to move the camera at the shutter speed 1/4s and being honest observed a real difference with a zoom 5x and more only. Maybe my hands were very stable. I tried also to shake my hands a little and then all pictures with the system on and off were blurred. So I would agree it can help in specific cases only. But the statement that it works by taking photos when going in a car is in my opinion exaggerated. Well, maybe it must look like this. Regards.

  • Photo-John says:

    Marek-
    If you can get sharp photos at 1/4 of a second, you’re pretty damn steady – even with the image stabilization.

    Where did you see the statement about shooting from a car? I don’t think that came from my review. I don’t remember saying anything about that. Was that in the Olympus marketing material? That sounds more like something that would be said about the electronic image stabilization, which increases shutter speed to freeze action.

  • Marek says:

    Hi John, I have foud it in recommended by you ‘Image Stabilization Guide’ by Sebastian Szyszka:
    ’2. What does it do?
    Image stabilization counteracts vibrations and movement that rob our photographs of sharpness. Whether it’s from shaking hands or the vibrations from being in a moving vehicle, image stabilization will help make photos sharper’. A car is ‘a vehicle’, isn’t it?
    In fact, it is a general statement, and probably you are right it is not related to the mechanical system. Kind of misunderstanding that caused I expected more than possible.

  • Photo-John says:

    Marek-
    Thanks! I understand now. And you read it right. A moving car might encounter bumps and image stabilization might compensate for those bumps. The variables are the size of the bumps, the shutter speed, and the amount of zoom you’re using. But it will make a difference. It may not make enough difference all the time, though. I think you just need to experiement more with it to get a better feel for it. I know it makes a big difference for me. I don’t like using point-and-shoot cameras without image stabilization anymore. And I really enjoyed using the Stylus 780 because of the image stabilization. Photos like the one of the flowing water just wouldn’t be possible without a tripod if it weren’t for image stabilization.

  • Marc Santicola says:

    John, Thanks for the review. I will be shooting alot indoors, My daughters volleyball, basketball games, will this camera do the job?
    Thanks Marc

  • Photo-John says:

    Marc-
    The Olympus Stylus digital cameras would not be my first choice for any kind of serious sports photography – especially not indoor sports. I think they’re great for hiking and outdoor stuff where you want to keep a camera accessible. But for volleyball I’d encourage you to take a serious look at a digital SLR or a superzoom digital camera. Please take a look at our digital camera and sports photography forums and post your question there. I think you’ll get some good advice. And I will probably answer there, too.

  • Resa says:

    Hello John,

    You mentioned the flash is a bit weak for lanscape,but did not mention anything about red-eye reduction function.İs it satisfactory?

  • Photo-John says:

    Resa-
    You can’t really use flash for landscape photos with any camera. What I wanted to be able to do with the flash on the Stylus 780 was take mountain bike photos in the woods. But I generally didn’t get enough light out of the flash for what I wanted. The truth is, most point-and-shoot cameras have very little flash power. There are some exceptions. But with most, you need to be less than ten feet away to really get enough flash.

    Red-eye reduction isn’t something I tested. In fact, I almost never use it. It usually works – if your subject holds still. But most people don’t hold still. The first strobe goes and they think the photo is done so they move. For that reason, I’d prefer to get the redeye than no photo at all. And I actually avoid using flash most of the time. There are also very good software redeye removal tools available now. I think those are a better solution than red-eye reduction flash modes.

    Hope that helps. Thanks for reading the review. Please visit the user review section and write a review once you decide on and buy a new camera. We need your reviews!

  • Resa says:

    Hello again John,

    Thak you for your rapid response.I am taking both landscape and indoor photos of people as single /group i.That is why I worried about red eye reduction function.

    Recently I examined the panasonic Lumix FS3 review
    and have noticed that tthe red eye reduction does not work properly.

    I colud not decide which camera to buy .I am not professional but an experienced amateur so I whish to have a compact digital camera with capabilities more than easy_fun type.

    Would you kindly suggest one for me please

    Many Thanks

  • Marek says:

    I have been testing the 780 since Dec 2007, esp. the image stabilization system and learned that it really visibly works at slower shutter speed (although results are not esp. brilliant) and when using max. zoom (both optical and digital) but one must hold the camera very stable then. I have even shot photos when driving at bright light and results were very good. Refering to John’s pros and cons I would say that for me the most annoying thing is lack of aperture and shutter speed display before taking photos. The rest of cons is for me not important, I can accept them. As for faults of the lens I did not find any, probably they do not exist in my cam. More important is that the display is hardly visible in sunny days. I have taken some photos in such weather conditions and was able to make assessment of the photos only when was at home. To produce good photos one must learn the camera for some time. I would say it is a ‘learn, point and shot’ camera. But results are then more satisfactory. Generally I recommend it.

  • Kendal says:

    I just want to know if this camera can take black and white, sepia tone, and various pictures like that. Also, does this camera have a feature, when it’s in black and white mode where you can just enhance the blues reds greens or yellows.

    Thank you.

  • Marek says:

    Hi Kendal,
    this camera does not take pictures you have mentioned, otherwise you can edit colour pictures later in the camera.
    You can:
    - transform colour pictures into black & white
    - transform colour pictures into sepia
    - adjust shadows
    - remove red eyes (although effect not very great)
    - apply different frames
    - paste into a picture some texts as ‘congratulations’, ‘thank you’ and so on in different colours, but one cannot edit the texts – maybe you can copy some motives into the camera from your PC, but I did not test it
    - create calendars (days of a choosen month + a photo)
    - change brightness (in determined limits)
    - change saturation (in determined limits)
    - transform high density pictures into lower , e.g.3072×2304 into 640×480 or 320×240
    The only way to get pictures you need is to use any special software and edit them in the PC.
    You get special software for photos edition with the camera (an OS must be higher than Windows 98SE, Mac OS must be at least 10.3) but I do not know if you can create any fancy effects.
    Marek

  • William says:

    In response to Joel F, a single movie at 640×480 lasts 10 seconds max. The 4m40s figure in the manual refers to the total length of clips (each max 10 seconds) that will fill a 512MB card.

    Like Gary Symons, in movies shot at 640×480 in bright light, I have observed a light purple cast and reduced contrast, which is not present in the columns of pixels with a darker object. This produces the effect of vertical bars across the darker object.

    The still images from this camera, on the other hand, are quite decent (and don’t show this purple cast), but benefit from increasing the contrast afterward. Dynamic range seems to be a problem more often than with my Canon A720IS.

    Super macro is impressive, with ~ 30mm frame width at the wide end.

  • Alex B. says:

    Was a great camera while it worked for about a year and a half. Then the power lens was getting stuck in fully extended position. Resetting power might help or not . Sometimes waiting for 30 minutes would revive the camera. Now it is dead, not even powering up. Bought a new battery – no luck. Olympus could probably fix it but it is cheaper to buy a new one.

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