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The sample video was taken with this camera from the Maryland side of the Potomac River at Great Falls National Park overlooking the main channel on January 28, 2010. The river was swollen from melting snow. High winds played havoc with the tiny camera microphone, distorting the sound.

Olympus Stylus 7010 12MP Digital Camera with 7x Zoom

I've taken thousands of photos with my Nikon DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex), but my wife won't touch it because "it's too big and complicated". So, we bought this tiny Olympus for her.

Pros:

- Camera is capable of taking excellent photos.

- Smaller than a pack of cigarettes, the 7010 is easily carried on your belt, in a purse, your pocket, a car's storage bin, etc. In its case on your belt, someone might think it's a cell phone. There are smaller cameras available, but not with the features (such as the 7x zoom) of this model.

- Automatic lens guard. When the camera is off, the lens is protected from dust, fingers, or objects touching it. Turn the camera on and within a half second, the lens extends and the lens guard opens. Cameras without this built-in protection are much more likely to collect dust on the lens.

- The optical zoom (to 7x) is astounding for such a tiny camera. On the other hand, landscapes or other wide-angle scenes are quite doable with no zoom. (Of course, the built-in image stabilization is mandatory for high-zoom shots.) The telephoto lens moves very quickly at the touch of a button, almost too quickly; but at least you don't have to wait.

- Excellent, sharp, 2.7" LCD screen to view scenes, images/movies taken, menus, etc.

- On the AUTO setting, the camera selects shutter speed, ISO, white balance, flash/no flash, etc., which is what my wife wanted. All you do is point, and shoot. On the P setting, you can "program" those variables, and other options; then, you can then quickly switch the mode dial between AUTO, P, and built-in scene settings, while walking around.

- The "movie" setting is used to capture a moving scene with sound (but it's a far cry from even a rudimentary camcorder). It couldn't be easier. Select "movie", zoom if you want, and press the shutter "release". When done, press the shutter release again. You can't change the zoom once you start shooting a movie.

- The battery seems to handle a couple of hundred shots, but that depends on how the camera is used. If it's used a lot on a vacation for example, you should do a recharge daily.

- Has many other features too numerous to go into, such as macro & super macro (extreme closeup), panorama stitched shots, connection to a TV for viewing images, many scene settings, controls that light up at night (for a second or two), etc.

- There's only a slight delay on startup or when taking a photo.

- Construction quality is excellent.

Cons:

- In spite of the "dual image stabilization" feature, out-of-focus photos are too common. Of course, holding the camera as still as possible (or supported), not "jerking" the shutter release, etc., helps enormously -- not to mention good lighting. Although she took many excellent shots, a fifth of the photos my wife took on a recent vacation were noticeably blurred. In addition, far too many indoor flash photos are also less than ideally focused (or too dark), so multiple attempts may be required. It could be me, but I find it harder to hold a tiny camera steady versus a large DSLR; so perhaps part of the focus issue is user "error".

- On the AUTO setting during a sunny day, over-exposure (too bright) of part of a scene frequently occurs if some subjects are in a shaded area and others are in the sunshine. (I'm possibly being too critical here, but my DSLR handles this situation much better.)

- Buttons and controls are really tiny, especially if you have large hands.

Other:

- 12 MP images at normal compression are around 2,600 KB each, so a 2 GB picture card will hold about 750 photos. A 30 second movie consumes about 10 MB.

Summary:

Put the Olympus on your short list if you want a really small camera with an excellent image-stabilized zoom, for not too much money. It's also a good backup camera when a big DSLR is impractical to carry. In fact, it's so easy to carry around, you might want to take it wherever you go. In spite of the occasional focus issues, I gave it 4 stars because of its extensive features and relatively low price.
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11 comment|81 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 29, 2009
Wanted to purchase a compact camera with a larger zoom and more mega pixels then my old 6mp Fuji. I was hesitant because this is a new model from Olympus and there were no reviews. This camera works great, plenty of features and great pictures. The panoramic is really nice and the 640 x 480 video option is good quality for a digital camera even though it disables the zoom function. With the zoom extended (7X) pictures are occasionally not as sharp. After owning the camera for a week I'm very pleased with it. The 8 gig micro sd card holds about 1000 pics at 12mp (fine) or 25 minutes of video.
11 comment|84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 25, 2009
This is a really impressive camera, especially for the price, and I'm surprised it doesn't have more reviews. I was taking a trip and looking for the best combination of small size, maximum MP, long zoom, and picture quality - and this little guy has it all.

First off, it's little. Not the smallest or thinnest camera I looked at, but easily the smallest with a 7x zoom. And that zoom is wonderful. It's also much faster than most of the other cameras I tested. The zoom is zippy and the camera itself only takes about one second to start up after you hit the button. The 12MP is great for high-res images. Also, as advertised, this camera's image stabilization makes it very good at taking shots of moving objects. There isn't much shutter lag time. The camera has both macro and "super macro" modes which take amazing extreme close-ups. It has a very wide angle and can connect images to make a panorama.

Potential cons: There is no viewfinder. The LCD is crystal clear, though. The buttons on the back are a little inelegant; they seem clunky to me. But they light up, a big plus at night!

This is the perfect camera for someone who wants premium features at a relatively low cost. I looked at 10MP, 3x zoom cameras that cost $100 more than this one, and I still can't figure out how that cost is justified. This is a super point-and-shoot for casual and intermediate photographers.
0Comment|72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 8, 2009
I took my time before writing this review because I wanted to be sure I used the camera enough to form a solid opinion. My conclusion is that this camera is an amazing value. I shopped around both online and at various stores and I couldn't find any 12 megapixel camera with this much (7X) zoom for anywhere near the price I ultimately paid for this one.

I took it on a very important vacation trip where we went to two concerts, took it to a gourmet luncheon put on by the Culinary Dept. of the local college, etc. etc. I also tested it against my old Sony 3X (which I still love). The Olympus produced excellent photos and compared favorably up against the Sony Cybershot. It's amazingly compact for a 7X zoom and lighter and thinner than the Sony 3X.

Perhaps that reviewer who gave it 1 star didn't read the manual? I can't understand how someone could take over a thousand photos and get 10 decent ones. I took about 100 and the few that got tossed were my fault, not the camera's. I'm very happy with this camera!
0Comment|48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 25, 2010
I remember those point-and-shoot Olympus digital cameras from mid 2000s - great images with click of a button. That's what I was expecting - and got disappointed. The picture quality is even worse that my old Canon A60 (from year 2003) makes.
The biggest problem is - megapixels. Too many. Many megapixels combined with small sensor area in compact cameras result in very much noise at dark. The camera images are too noisy in any indoor environment, even at relatively low 400 ISO and even with flash! In other hand stabilizer is good - indoor images are sharp, but noisy.
And will you ever need all those 12 megapixels? I doubt. Will you get noisy images because of them? Sure. But this is marketing.
And, the worst thing - you may lower the megapixel setting in the camera - but sensor will still be the same high-resolution high-noise one.

The second big big problem is proprietary standards. The cable and connector look like mini-USB, but they are actually some kind of special Olympus-only connector. You may, fortunately, use micro-SD card (not only inferior xD) with this camera - but it is connected unusual way through the special adapter.

And compact size has it's drawbacks - it's hard to hold the camera in hand but it's easy to accidentally close flash with your finger. buttons are tiny even for my small hands.
11 comment|40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 23, 2009
$180 for a compact 12MP 7X optical zoom is just what I was looking for to get better pics of the wildlife here, and family photos. After using the 7010 for two months, the auto point and shoot works quickly, the wide-angle and panoramic modes produce very good pics, and the low-light flash shots are good from 15ft or less.

Comparing the 7010 to my older digicams, the resolution does not "seem" to be quite 12MP sharpness, nor does the zoom "seem" to be quite 7X, but for $180 this camera is just what I wanted for a compact, mainly point & shoot. The battery life is excellent. It is fast, quiet, and takes good photos that print out very well.
0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 7, 2009
For the price, this camera surpassed my expectations. The different shooting modes made it really easy to get the best shots depending on the what I was trying to take a picture of and the surrounding lighting. The Auto mode does an excellent job also in determining which mode to shot in.

I highly recommend this camera.

To get the most out the camera, read the manual.
0Comment|12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2010
Bought this camera for our daughter for Christmas. Worked fine right out of the box but for some reason the camera locked up. The lense was extended but the camera portion wouldn't work. All other functions were OK. Contacted Amazon who shipped a replacement right away (GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE) The second one again worked right out of the box and continues to work flawlessly. Takes Great pictures, long battery life and although AA batteries are convenient, the batteries don't last if you leave them in the camera, and it is a pain to take the batteries out every time you store the camera. This camera has the lithium ion battery that has a very long camera life and quick recharge time. Very satisfied with the camera and the pictures it produces.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 7, 2009
I bought an Olympus digital camera 6 years ago which served me well so when I decided on purchasing a new camera, I knew I wanted another Olympus (the camera on my cell phone has more megapixels than that old little thing). I absolutely love the stylus! For less than $200, you get a really great little camera. The screen is great, there are so many features, and it's really easy to use. You can take some really amazing pictures (and movies too!) with it. If you want a good, reliable camera, definitely go for it.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 22, 2010
I bought the Olympus 7010 to replace my Canon S2 IS with 5 mega pixels and a 12x tele lens (bought in '05 to replace a 3 meg that succumbed to the sand in Iraq). While I loved the Canon's 12x, 5 megs just doesn't get it any more, and the Olympus is so much more compact. I'm an avid mountain hiker, and it's nice to have a 12 mega camera, super thin, that attaches to my belt for quick access. Other 'musts' with the Olympus are that it has image stabization, panoramic ability, and a 7x tele lens. Most point-and-shoots only have a 4x lens and that's not good enough (like getting closeups of sheep in Scotland a couple years ago). While I am also in the market for a good mid-level SLR digital, like the Nikon D90(had four SLR 35mm's in my previous life), this little gem will long have a place in my travel plans. I currently have my house on the market to sell myself, and the Olympus's 28mm wide angle lens took some all-inclusive shots indoors that I just couldn't achieve with the older Canon. This uber-wonder by Olympus packs so many excellent features in such a small package that I couldn't resist making it a necessity. To me, there just wasn't any legitimate competition for under $160 (via Amazon) or even $200. When size matters (small), this camera is the one. I absolutely love this little guy!
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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