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Completely Disappointed with Functionality
on June 3, 2010
Do not assume that I am biased or jaded, my score is based upon real-world usage of this camera. I own the Olympus Stylus 1030SW and have been very happy with its performance as a all-around point-and-shoot as well as an underwater camera, so I was thrilled to see the 8010 come out as the upgrade with higher resolution, better zoom and deeper capabilities. I pre-ordered the 8010 and it arrived just days before we left on our cruise which enabled me to do some real-world validation. I was sorely wishing I had brought my 1030SW as I was trying to capture images on the trip.
The overall exterior design is great on the 8010. I really liked the new double-lock on the battery / memory compartment. Kudos for moving to the standard SD format as well. The new 720 video resolution is nice as well. It still feels like it drops a frame or two every so often at 720, but it is very good quality for the optics. The camera performs well underwater with good vibrant images.
The software running this camera is the complete downfall. The menu and selections are very sluggish, going from option to option you have to deliberately think 'go slow' or you will find yourself very frustrated. I am not sure what Olympus did with the white-balance of this camera but its functionality lies somewhere between 'completely broken' and 'completely frustrated'. I could take several pictures of individuals on the beach and one image would be completely blown out like a whiteout and the next image would look like it was a completely dark overcast day. I tried several times to change the settings to compensate for this, and I found that if I angled the camera around enough I could almost get the picture I wanted. The trouble was that for nearly every shot I was taking a picture, then tweaking the settings several times and have to adjust where I am pointing to try and get the image to come out partially descent. I have never had to manipulate a camera so much - EVER. All the while my daughter standing next to me would snap the same shot with her $95 Nikon and it would look great. It also appears that the flash is much less powerful, typically when the individual in the image is too dark, with a lighter background, I would change the settings to force the flash, but with this camera it hardly made a dent. Also on several of the videos take at the beach it was almost as though the sensor was overloaded as I would get a bright white / pink streak on the video as we were shooting on a bright day.
When I returned from my trip, I saw the great reviews here on Amazon and figured i must have bought a defective one so I called Olympus. I received no satisfaction from them, so I ultimately returned it to Amazon. I then purchased a 2nd one to see if truly my original was defective and found the exact same results and as such I have returned the 2nd camera as well. Thank goodness for Amazon's fantastic return policy. I am now using my 1030SW and looking to see what is the real solution for the next upgrade from that camera.