By Andrew Liszewski
I don’t like to think I’m a snob when it comes to digital cameras. But after many years of buying and upgrading equipment I guess I’ve developed some loyalties. Specifically, Canon when it comes to compact point and shoots, and Nikon when it comes to DSLRs. So normally I don’t pay too much attention to digicams from other manufacturers, except when they bring something particularly unique or impressive to the table. Like Olympus’ new SP-810UZ which features a whopping 36x zoom lens. Ensuring it will be at the top of stalkers’ Christmas wish lists this year.
If you’re having trouble crunching the numbers, that’s a 35mm equivalent range of 24-864mm. And on top of that you get 4x digital zoom too, but that’s like adding speed holes to a Bugatti Veyron. Of course a camera with that much zoom is only usable with good stabilization, so the SP-810UZ includes sensor-shift IS and an ƒ-stop range of 2.9 to 5.7. On the back you’ll find a 3-inch LCD display, though limited to 230,000 pixels, and like any digital camera these days it’s 720P ‘HD’ video capable. It’s also got a smattering of software based features like image effects, easy panoramas, beauty mode, auto-focus tracking, face detection and processed 3D. All for $329.99 come September.