22 July 2007

Olympus Stylus 770 SW Product Review - Shock and Waterproof Camera

Posted by Darrell under: Gear - Tips, Reviews, Wishlist .

Olympus Stylus 770 SWI am often asked how I come up with video and pictures while scuba diving and spearfishing. The answer is simple: I have one bad (as in good) camera.

I bought my Olympus Stylus 770 SW camera just prior to leaving for my Alaska bear hunt. I wanted a camera that I could use in the rain. When I bought it, I wasn’t thinking about taking pictures with it UNDER the water. But, it has served me well in this regard too.

The camera takes great photos. Pretty much every recent photo in my Gallery was taken with this camera. All of the videos were too. I have absolutely no complaints with the picture quality.

It is easy to use, too. I’m not a photographer and I find this camera really simple to use - just point and shoot. It has auto settings for about any situation you can imagine, so I just choose the setting or choose full auto and snap away.

With the 2 gig XD card I bought for it, it will hold close to 600 SHQ pictures or 1163 HQ pictures (3072 x 2304). Content with 2048 x 1536 pics? The card will hold 2559 of those. It will hold almost 1 1/2 hours of video in HQ mode (320 x 240 AVI).

I’ve had mine 30 feet deep without any problems. I’ve dropped it several times and other than some scratches, it seems fine. My only complaint is that the battery life isn’t that good. I’d highly recommend getting an extra battery or two. The battery is a special Olympus rechargable and isn’t cheap.

This camera is small enough to keep in a pocket which is another reason I love it. It is by far the best camera I’ve ever purchased.

Retail is $379, but you can buy one on Ebay for less than $350!

_________________________________________________________

Camera Specs:

  • Size 3.6” W x 2.3” H x 0.8” D (91.8mm x 59.2mm x 20.6mm) 
  • Weight 5.5oz. (155g) without battery and media card   
  • Shockproof Up to 5 feet (MIL-STD-810F Drop Test Compliant) 
  • Waterproof Down to 33 feet (10m) (JIS Class 8) 
  • Freezeproof Down to -10°C/14°F 
  • Crushproof Up to 220 pounds-force 
  • Imager 7.1 Megapixel (effective), 7.4 Megapixel gross, 1/2.33” CCD 
  • Lens 6.7 – 20.1mm (38 – 114mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 10 lenses in 8 groups, 3 aspherical lenses 
  • Zoom 3x optical + 5x digital; 15 total seamless zoom 
  • Aperture Range f3.5 – f5.0 
  • LCD 2.5” (6.4cm) HyperCrystal LCD (approx. 230,000 pixels) 
  • Focus System CCD Contrast Detection 
  • Focus Range Normal Mode: 19.7” – infinity (0.5m – infinity)
  • Macro Mode: Wide: 7.9” – infinity (0.2m – infinity)
  • Super Macro Mode: 2.8” – 19.7” (7cm – 50cm) 
  • Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec. – 1/2 sec. (up to 4 sec. in Night Scene Mode) 
  • ISO Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 
  • Metering Mode Digital ESP Multi-Pattern, Spot Metering 
  • White Balance Auto, Pre-Sets (Sunlight, Overcast, Tungsten and 3 Fluorescents) 
  • Recording Modes Still Image: JPEG
  • Movie: AVI Motion JPEG 
  • Adjustment Resolutions 3,072 x 2,304, SHQ/HQ
    2,560 x 1,920, SQ1
    2,304 x 1,728, SQ1
    2,048 x 1,536, SQ1
    1,600 x 1,200, SQ2
    1,280 x 960, SQ2
    1,024 x 768, SQ2
    640 x 480, SQ2 
  • Shooting Modes 27 Shooting Modes: Auto, Program Auto, Digital Image Stabilization Mode, Scene Preset (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape & Portrait, Night Scene, Night & Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach & Snow, Under Water Wide1, Under Water Wide2, Under Water Macro, Under Water Snapshot, Movie) 
  • Panorama Modes Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with OLYMPUS Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™ 
  • Sequential Shooting High speed: 3.5 frames per second up to 12 frames (3MP)
  • Normal speed: 1.1 frames per second to the card capacity 
  • Movie Mode AVI Movie with Sound: 640×480/15fps, SHQ; 320×240/15fps, HQ; 160×120/15fps, SQ 
  • Image Processing TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor 
  • Pixel Mapping Automatic Pixel Mapping (APM) available via menu setting 
  • Noise Reduction Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Candle, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks 
  • Image Playback Still Image: Single, Index display (4/9/16/25), Up to 10x Enlargement, Slideshow, Rotation, Calendar, My Favorites Movie: Normal, Fast-Forward, Reverse, Frame-by-Frame 
  • Playback Edit Effects Still Image: Red-Eye Fix, Black & White, Sepia, Resize, Brightness, Saturation, Frame, Title, Calendar 
  • Direct Printing Options PictBridgeTM and DPOF 
  • Flash Built-in 
  • Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off 
  • Flash Working Range Wide: 12.5 ft. (3.8m), Tele: 8.5 ft. (2.6m) 
  • Selftimer 12 Seconds/Auto 
  • Setting Memorization On (stores changes) / Off (restores default settings) 
  • Date/Time Calendar Automatically recorded with each image (up to 2099) 
  • Memory 18MB internal memory 
  • Removable Media Card xD-Picture Card™ (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB, 1GB or 2GB) 
  • Outer Connectors Multi-terminal (USB connecter, Audio/Video output, DC input*) *Optional connector is required. 
  • Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full Speed (USB mass storage) 
  • System Requirements Auto-connect USB: Windows® 98SE/ME/2000PRO/XP/VISTA with USB port, Mac OS® 9.0-9.2x/OS X 10.1-10.4 with USB port. Software: Windows® 2000PRO/XP/VISTA, Mac® 10.3 and higher 
  • Operating Environment Operation: 14° – 104°F (-10° – 40°C), 30% – 90% humidity Storage: -4° – 140°F (-20° – 60°C), 10% – 90% humidity 
  • Power Supply Lithium Ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-42B), AC Adapter (D-7AC) with optional CB-MA1 DC coupler 

21 Comments so far...

Phillip Says:

23 July 2007 at 1:13 pm.

I’ve got one of those too. It’s a great camera for carrying around in the hunting pack, as it’s practically indestructible. Haven’t tried it underwater yet… at least not on purpose.

The only negative is that it’s really limited in zoom. For a lot of outdoor shots, especially wildlife photography, I want as much zoom as I can get.

Darrell Says:

23 July 2007 at 2:31 pm.

Phillip, it is nice to know that I have fellow hunters that are already using this camera! I agree with your comments about the zoom. The zoom is really limited. When I want a zoomed shot of something , I often resort to just taking the picture in SHQ mode and then cutting out the item I wanted to zoom to. It works OK for a picture for a blog, for example - but sure won’t work if you are wanting to print an 8×10.

Phillip Says:

24 July 2007 at 10:53 am.

The only way I solved the problem was to pick up a Sony Handy Cam with (I think) 16x optical zoom. It takes great photos, is really compact, and fits in my hunting pack (I wear tactical thigh packs most of the time). I use the Stylus mostly for “hero shots” and snapping cool photos…and of course, if the weather turns nasty the Sony has to stay home.

Of course, now I’ve gotten into digital video too, and picked up a sweet little video camera. Makes me wonder how I’ll handle all this and a gun or bow when I’m hunting.

Darrell Says:

24 July 2007 at 1:56 pm.

I’ve gotten into the camera video camera thing, too. It is a recent thing for me. A few years ago, I’d have never dreamed of toting a camera along with me in the woods - even if it was pocket size. Now, a camera (and a video camera when the weather is cooperative) are essentials that I carry in my pack. It is nice to be able to photograph what I harvest and even nicer to take photos of what I don’t harvest.

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