Olympus SP-610UZ review
Performance, value, image quality and verdict
Olympus SP-610UZ review - Performance
The main thing that strikes you when using the SP-610UZ is that it has the feel of a superzoom camera at the more affordable end of the scale. The body feels flimsy and as though it wouldn't stand up to much hard wear and tear, and the aforementioned LCD screen struggles in bright lighting conditions.
With regards to the positives, the button layout and configuration facilities easy use of the camera, while the oversized grip offers a comfortable hold of the camera. The menu system is also well thought out with regards to the beginner, and the in-camera manual is very useful.
The 3D functionality of the camera is somewhat half-baked - as the models screen doesn't support display of the images, it's hard to tell as to how successful your capture has been. Add to that the fact that you have to manually align the images during the capture process, from shot to shot, and it seems as though Olympus has rather forced a half-ready version of 3D capture on to the camera. The model also offers a Panorama capture mode that is far clunkier than some of its competitors, and the addition of magic filters may not be to everyone's liking. There's also the lack of Raw capture, which is an oversight, although as Olympus has aimed the model at the more affordable end of the superzoom pricing scale this may be an informed decision to keep costs down.
Olympus SP-610UZ review - Value
At around £170 at time of review, the SP-610UZ is a lot of camera for the price. The large focal range and HD video capture are an enticing combination, especially when housed in the compact body of the SP-610UZ. Despite some misgivings about design and performance, as well as a few items missing from the specification, you're still getting a lot of camera for your money with the SP-610UZ.
Olympus SP-610UZ review - Image Quality
Image quality is, on the whole, reasonable. There are a few issues with exposure and metering, as the SP-610UZ has a tendency to favour lighter areas and underexpose as a result. Colour fringing is also a noticeable issue, but this is often the case with compact superzooms as they have to accommodate such a large focal range. Image quality also suffers to an extent at higher ISO settings, with noise emerging at anywhere over ISO 400. However, below that the images display a pleasing tonal range.
Olympus SP-610UZ review - Verdict
On the face of it, the Olympus SP-610UZ offers most of what you could want from a compact superzoom, featuring a 22x optical zoom and HD video capture. However, there are a few glaring oversights on the specification, while the build quality is also disappointing. So, while the SP-610UZ is a good camera, it falls short of being a great camera.