Customer Reviews: Olympus SP-820UZ iHS Digital Camera (Silver) (Old Model)
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on December 5, 2012
My wife and I were looking for a camera for Christmas and really wanted a Cannon SLR because of how quickly they took pictures and the view finder. However my wife told me she use to own an olympus and how great it was... it sure does live up to its name. The pictures take very quickly to where you don't have to wait forever long for it to load up. Zoom is great of course ( that is a given) but I'd say this camera takes pictures about as fast as the Cannon SLR's we were looking at in the stores and for a cheaper price. Trust me you wont regret this purchase. Also takes pictures very steadily even if your hand isn't steady! We love this product!!
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on June 15, 2013
This is my seventh Olympus camera. While it took the supplier an inordinate amount of time to ship it, the camera itself is very nice. I've been playing with the settings to figure out what works best for me. So far so good. As a professional photographer with a few photos published on the New York Times Best Seller list, cameras are not a stranger to me. I back pedaled from an Olympus DSLR camera which broke to this one. I'm convinced the camera is a tool and I'm the master of the tool. While I can change a majority of settings to do just about as much as my DSLR, I'm not finding any misgivings for purchasing this camera. I've had my eye on it for several months and have done much research on it.

The only item I don't like is where they have the chip located. It's next to the battery compartment and you have to open the battery compartment door to get to it. If you're not careful when opening that door, I am concerned the door could be broken off by accident. Not only that, the batteries could fall out.

Another issue that I've found a bit annoying is the chance the camera turns on video/movie mode if you press the red button (on the back of the unit) by mistake. I turned it on multiple times. Fortunately, when I went to snap a photo, the camera did capture the photo at full resolution which I had set it to do. It stopped the video mode so as to take the picture. This is a good thing. However, it resumed the video recording once the picture was processed. If you don't see it recording, there is a chance you could fill up the chip and then you have to contend with deleting what you filmed by accident. Both time consuming situations as well as power drain on the batteries.
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on January 13, 2013
I am an amateur nature/wildlife photographer, and I go out on hikes....sometimes long hikes.
My previous camera is an Olympus SP-800UZ which is powered by a re-chargeable ion battery (cell phone type). I bought two spares that fit easily into my pants pocket, and could be gone all day taking pictures and never worry about dead batteries. I love that when Olympus came out with this one I was soo excited, only to be disappointed.
This camera is powered by alkaline batteries, and it eats through them if you use the zoom at all! Four batteries last only about an hour and a half! So I would have to carry five pounds of alkaline batteries with me to get close to having enough power to take pictures all day.
If all you want to take pictures of is birthdays, holidays, and an occassional vacation, this camera is okay, and it does take good pictures. But if you want to go out for hours hiking and expect it to wont. Yes, it is my fault. I didnt check to see how this camera was powered before I bought it. Shame on me....that wont happen again.
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on June 25, 2013
I recently purchased the Olympus SP-820-UZ digital camera here as I needed a decently priced high-powered zoom "point & shoot" digital camera to replace a troublesome Nikon P-500 digital camera I recently had and it died on me and was plagued with a lot of problems. Anyways, I needed a lower-priced, decent and easy to use "point & shoot" digital camera with decent zoom, equal or near equal to my prior Nikon P-500 digital camera. This Olympus SP-820-UZ digital camera I spotted here recently, it seemed too good to pass up since it was on sale and it had just about what I needed on my next digital camera.
Pros: It's pretty easy to use, easy to use menu, very little shutter lag, excellent 40X optical zoom lens, decent-sized LCD rear viewfinder panel, uses 4 "AA" batteries, long battery life, uses "SD" card and takes excellent photos.
Cons: No optical viewfinder, seems a bit cheaply built and the macro is hard to locate.
I have had several other long-zoom "super zoom" digital cameras over the past few years and this Olympus digital camera is about the best I have ever had! I had disasters with prior Olympus digital cameras...but this camera has been superior and I have had no troubles with this camera so far. I am shocked on just how easy it is to use and constantly takes a great photo in all conditions. As I mentioned before, the pros are plentiful and the cons are minor....but the lack of an optical viewfinder puzzles me on this digital camera because there is room for an optical viewfinder on this camera. The other cons are minor and despite the lack of optical viewfinder on this camera, I have got photos on this camera nearly equal in quality to my Nikon DSLR digital camera in some cases! You can use this camera in full Auto mode or manual modes also. Manually controlled/operated flash in low-light situations and indoor plus outdoor photos so far for me has mostly been extremely good. Video quality is decent and easy to use....equal to my basic compact Canon digital camera I got...a huge plus for me!!
It has 40X Optical wide zoom & decent megapixels. This digital camera accepts the commonly-used "SD" photo cards and is powered by 4 "AA" batteries....which kind of surprised me as I prefer to use "AA" powered digital cameras as those batteries [rechargeables] in the long run seem cheaper than specialized rechargeable batteries found on most other larger digital cameras. Battery life for outdoor photos seems pretty decent at about 400 to 480 photos per 4 "AA" batteries mostly not using flash. With flash used somewhat...of course...I got less photos per batteries, but still over 300 photos...not bad for me.
If you need a decent-priced "super-zoom" digital camera that is fairly straight-forward and easy to use or figure out and get great photos and decent videos and has a long 40X optical zoom... this camera seems to fill that bill quite my case it does. I ordered another one of these digital cameras as a spare as I take a lot of photos and would hate to be without this camera for too long!
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on June 27, 2013
Pop the batteries in, follow the on screen setup, just set for auto mode and shoot away*. So much for the easy stuff.

* Used the enclosed alkaline batteries, get a feel for how long they last.

Now for the difficult stuff:
1.- Getting high powered rechargeable batteries... recommended 2500ma or higher - you will need two sets - one in the camera and one to replace those that are spent.
2.- Memory chip (SDHC) a good 32 GB** and at least a class 10 ... is a perfect fit for HD movies and max megapixel pictures.
3.- Load the software and read the manual (with camera in hand.)
4.- Install Picasa (Google free picture, movie tool.)

** shop around there is not much difference in the price for a 16GB and 32 GB... Buy a back up chip also.

Now for the down sides (you can live with these and adapt or adjust):
1.- the viewing screen washes out in bright sun light (so do most all other digital point and shoot with out a view finder.
2.- at high magnification above 30x (and it can go to 80x) you will need someway to support the camera... the antishake can not handle this very well.
3.- at high magnifications ... focusing (and/or finding) the subject takes a lot of practice. Easier to start at low magnification and zoom in....

My learning curve (I am a very experience digital camera user) was about an hour for many features. I have used about 85% of this camera features, and except for the "focusing" problem, I am impressed with the images and the quality of the pictures. This camera's versatility, will fill all your picture needs. Buy a light weight / sturdy tripod and watch those 40x to 80x images impress others. If you do not want to READ the manual , DO NOT buy this camera. This is a semi-pro point and shoot.

It is hoped and I have commented to Olympus.... they should develop some type of hood(ed) screen that can be attached to the viewing screen. If you looked on line, there are several hoods available for DSLR's and some point and shoots.

This is a do all camera (still trying to figure out how to shoot the International Space Station - hd movie or 80x still.)
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on January 7, 2014
This camera is supernatural. Pics look beyond amazing. Beautiful colors. You can zoom out and take pics of surfers from the beach with amazing accuracy and clarity. I took pics of beach birds and you can see the detail and shine in each feather. I'm shocked by how well this camera performs. Nikon and Minolta may dominate the market but the Olympus performs better and can be bought for less at Amazon. Mine came with strap, lens cap, cables and battery but I purchased a genuine Olympus bag at Amazon separately.
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on February 20, 2015
I have owned a previous OLYMPUS camera (model 570UZ) for several years and have been very pleased with the function and photos derived from this camera, therefore I was excited about the prospect of owning this "updated" OLYMPUS 820UZ, so much in fact that I saved up for several months to secure enough cash to purchase.

Upon receipt of the parcel, my initial response was great disappointed as the camera itself felt so lightweight and cheap as compared to my older model. The battery/data card compartment door felt insubstantial (plastic) and was VERY loose - so much so that I had to take great care when opening/closing it for fear that it would break off of the hinge (not good for such a movable/utilized part of a camera). The door did "tighten up" substantially when batteries were inserted, however the "play" noted in the door even after battery insertion raised concern for prospective breakage on such an integral, utilized part of a camera.

Overall, I was hoping that the camera's updated features (movie with sound, larger screen, MAGIC creative mode, increased zoom/megapixels) would compensate for it's losses: dedicated viewfinder, variable focus ring, external flash option, etc , however in my opinion, it did not. I found that I really did miss viewfinder capability during photo composition and during photo review (when screen glare was problematic). On this upgraded 820UZ model, I was surprised to find that the flip-flash was manual lift (rather than pop-up button activated as on my 570UZ). Also surprising was the finding that my photos were often too bright, producing an unpleasant "overflashed" result. Unfortunately this 820UZ model does not offer a "SLOW FLASH" function - my favorite "go to" for adding just a touch of light to photos without the undue glare and shadowing of subjects produced when using full flash.

However, all was not bad with this OLYMPUS 820UZ as it did produce good movies with sound (although the activation button is located in an area that could be inadvertently turned on). Photos produced via this camera were good, with the exception of flash photos which seemed to be too bright as previously mentioned; bright in the foreground; dark in background. Download speed to my PC was excellent when combined with a TRANSCEND 45MB/s 300X 32MB data card. As with my old 570 UZ, this model also uses AA batteries which is my personal preference.

I returned this camera because it did not meet my expectations (plastic components, loose battery compartment door function, upgrades did not compensate for loss of older model functions).
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on December 29, 2013
I am not a professional photographer. I have used other brands, Kodak, Canon, Fuji. All point and shoots, mainly for travel and family events. Most photos have been average for the price category.. I wanted to upgrade to a longer zoom and cmos sensor for better contrast and range. After reviewing several brands was ready to buy another Canon for the color performance and viewfinder..I also compared Lumix, Nikon, Fuji and Sony in the same price range. I was not satisfied with the inconsistent reviews - Q.C. and customer service issues on these name brand models. I checked Photo and found this Olympus higher rated than Nikon L820..after about 120 shots indoors and out, I found the Olympus to have a smooth, quiet, fast operating zoom, fast burst mode and user friendly controls. The initial pictures, and video on the lcd all look good, taken with or without flash. I will report later on any issues , but so far , I am sold on the performance and features at this price.. highly recommended.
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on January 8, 2014
I bought this camera right after Christmas to replace a less expensive Kodak that was never that great. I had looked at a few Samsung and Cannon cameras and came to Amazon looking specifically for those cameras. I was unimpressed after reading reviews and saw this camera at the bottom of the page. I read reviews and decided to get it. I absolutely love this camera. I am by no means a professional photographer but the images I was able to get with this camera are amazing. The first day I took it out, we went to a local park on the water and I was able to film dolphins. The video is clear and allowed me to zoom in even closer to them which is amazing for me because I do not have the steadiest hands. I took about 200 pictures over the course of the day and a few videos. I had zero blurry pictures and that is something that never happened with the Kodak. This camera was a great deal and I would buy it again in a heartbeat. The only issue I actually had was that UPS lost my first one and it has yet to be located so Amazon shipped out another which was tossed over my neighbors fence by UPS. To sum up, if you are a pro, you will probably find some fault in the camera, but if you are a normal everyday hobby photographer, you will love it.
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on March 20, 2014
This camera works well for most situations other than fast moving targets. I purchased this to take pictures of my son's basketball and volleyball games. There aren't many manual setting available and even at the highest ISO or automatic (sports) settings, you will have a hard time getting a picture that isn't blurry. Indoor lighting can be a problem in a gymnasium.

As other reviewers have commented, this camera really drains batteries quickly. It takes 4 AA batteries and you would be hard pressed to have them last a full day of shooting. I purchased the Amazon brand rechargeable batteries to deal with this.
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