The Olympus SP-800UZ is an SLR-like ultrazoom which, like most of the cameras in its class, has a large lens and built-up right hand grip. However, unlike many ultrazooms, which are often referred to as "hybrid" cameras because they have many of the functions of a DSLR in a smaller package, the SP-800UZ is strictly a point and shoot, as it lacks a viewfinder, mode dial and manual control over shutter speed and aperture.
This is a departure for Olympus, as its previous SLR-like ultrazooms have all been of the classic "hybrid" type. But even though the SP-800UZ lacks some of the attributes of other ultrazooms, it does have a very long zoom lens with a focal length of 28-840mm (35mm equivalent), or 30x optical zoom. The only other ultrazoom currently available with a 30x optical zoom is the Fuji HS10, covering a focal range from 24-720mm.
In my "First Look," which appeared a couple of weeks ago, I said I was pleased with certain aspects of the camera but noticed some problems. Now that I've had a chance to thoroughly explore the SP-800UZ, let's see if my initial impressions have been borne out.
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