Camera question

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Camera question

Postby Dangerjudy » Mar 2, 2007 9:58 am

I'm considering buying this camera:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/SP550/SP550A.HTM


The Olympus SP-550.

The camera I have now is a Pentax Optio 33WR. I use it while kayaking, and it does fine outdoors, but in low light it, ah, sucks. So, I was wondering how the Olympus SP-550 would do in low light and who better to ask than y'all... :grin:

I am interested in the Olympus SP-550 because of the zoom lens. There is a certain waterfall on the Cheoah river that I took a great shot of with the Pentax but the low rez setting I was using (since then I've gotten a bigger memory card) made the shot unprintable.
<img src ="http://dangerjudy.smugmug.com/photos/72558027-M.jpg">
The whole time I was there I was craving a zoom lens. I considered a Nikon D50 like some friends of mine have, but the cost of lenses for DSLRs is prohibitive.

So, yes I am seduced by the Olympus' 18x digital zoom. But if it did better in caves than what I've got that would be great, too. I had the Pentax in Mammoth cave this past weekend and my shots were pretty disappointing.
Example:
<img src ="http://dangerjudy.smugmug.com/photos/132250238-M.jpg">

with flash (useless in cave):
<img src ="http://dangerjudy.smugmug.com/photos/132249997-M.jpg">

So, thoughts welcome... Olympus will be making a waterproof housing for this camera and I'll get it. :caver:
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Postby Mike Cato » Mar 2, 2007 1:39 pm

The 18x optical zoom on that camera along with the 28mm bottom end does make it attractive but if you like macro and super macro shots the SP-510 UZ is a better choice and can be had for around $240 or so thru Amazon. Bottom end on the lens is 38mm, though. Go here and take a look at the specs.:

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_secti ... oduct=1268

Other than the 28mm wide angle and the extra 8x on the optical zoom for the 550, they're basically the same camera. I'm a nut for macro and super macro shots which is why I got the 510.

Finally, I can't say enough good things about this cigarette pack size camera from Olympus (bought it in black, again best price thru Amazon). I take it when I'm in "minimal mode":

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_secti ... oduct=1266
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Postby Mike Cato » Mar 2, 2007 1:48 pm

Oh yeah, both cameras I linked plus the SP-550 UZ have what Olympus calls Bright Capture Technology (kinda like "see in the dark" although it's distance-limited) which you can read about by clicking the link at the bottom of the page on the second link in my previous post. Also linked at the top on Olympus' page for the 550:

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_secti ... oduct=1289
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Postby Dangerjudy » Mar 2, 2007 2:07 pm

Many thanks. Pardon my ignorance but what are macro and super macro shots? :grin:
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Postby bigalpha » Mar 2, 2007 3:06 pm

Macro is a very up-close shot. Super macro is a super-up-close shot.

A site with some examples:

HERE
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Postby Dangerjudy » Mar 2, 2007 10:43 pm

Ah I see. I crave the zoom...
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Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 4, 2007 8:23 pm

Here's a couple of reviews of that camera:

http://scaredofthedark.typepad.com/blog ... 0_r_1.html

http://scaredofthedark.typepad.com/blog ... index.html

Hope it helps :grin:

I bought a Canon S3IS recently and I found http://www.dpreview.com really useful they have very detailed reviews and you can compare the same scene taken with different cameras to see how the camera compares. They don't yet have a review of the SP550 but if you keep an eye out they might put one up soon.

I found the biggest issue with the compact mega zooms is how noisy the sensor is and how the camera deals with that noise. Olympus looks good but it would be good to see some side by side comparisons.

I agree with your thoughts about the zoom when I bought my camera I wasn't that fussed with zoom but now I've got it (12x) I love it especially for wild life. Macro photos are fun too.

I have a little trouble keeping a 12x zoom from shaking(hand held shots) even with image stabilization so you might need a tripod to shoot 18x (or you may be better than me, which is probably not too hard)

My opinion, take your time deciding if you can the price for your camera is only going to go down.

PS: I think xD memory is a bit more expensive, but it's not a big issue.
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