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Zoom and Panoramic Shots with the Olympus SP-800UZ ($299 limited time)

The most important factor for me when buying a digital camera it’s zoom capability. Each year, it seems, camera companies compete for the greatest zoom at the lowest price. Olympus is not exception, and their SP-800UZ is a standout in this regard, and it has some fantastic features, too.

Zoom! This Olympus Sp-800UZ has an incredible 30x (840mm) zoom! (Don’t be surprised if a 1,000mm zoom comes out soon.) And for all that it is surprisingly light. The zoom makes it great for taking sports pictures from the “nose bleed” seats, or for nature watching, or for taking unobtrusive shots of your subjects from a distance. The camera’s impressive ISO of up to 3200allows you to take excellent shots of moving subjects.

(Beatles music welling up) If  zoom is all you need and you want to save on the $349 most retailers are asking for this great feature-rich camera, then use this link ahead before Nov. 27, 2010 and save $50 instantly on the Olympus SP-800UZ 14MP Digital Camera for only $299.

Picture Editing in the Camera. Another great feature is that you can edit the still pictures you have taken using the special effects function. This includes reducing red eye, shadow adjustment, color saturation, and cropping. With most digital cameras, if you want to edit your pictures, you would have to download them to a computer first.

Panoramic Function. The SP-800UZ’s Panorama mode is more interesting. You have a choice of using either Auto, Manual or PC modes.

  • In Auto mode, you only have to press the shutter release once, then move the camera to the next position, so that the target marks and pointers overlap, and the camera automatically releases the shutter for you. Three frames can be taken this way, which are then combined into a single panoramic image automatically in camera.
  • In Manual mode, you can also take three frames with the help of an on-screen guide, but you have to release the shutter manually. After that, the camera stitches the frames as above.
  • Finally, in PC mode, you can take up to 10 photos, which can be stitched using the supplied software after being downloaded to the computer.
Olympus SP-800UZ with Case + Kit

Camera with Case + Kit (Extremely Limited Supplies)

Best Results. For best results, in my opinion, use a tripod mount in the Manual or PC modes, since the Auto mode tends to introduce blurring in the image.

Do beautiful panoramic shots make you day? Then buying the Olympus SP-800UZ 14MP Digital Camera may be just the thing for you, too, and for only $299 before Nov. 27, 2010.

Be careful when unpacking this camera. The owners manual is stored on its memory chip, and you must download the manual before you use the camera. The camera’s PC software is also stored on the camera, so download that, too. Just connect the camera to your computer after removing the memory chip from the camera. Otherwise you can retrieve the manual and software from the Olympus website.

Video Mode and HDTV Connectivity. The camera comes with cables to connect to your computer and your HDTV to playback still images and movie pictures in 720i high definition. The SP-800UZA uses a rechargeable lithium battery pack instead of the Alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries. Which save you from frequent recharges. After all, battery capacity is important if you use your camera frequently or shoot video which drains both the battery and your memory card.

2GB internal memory. This camera has great internal memory storage when not using a memory chip. Plus the camera has an app which can transfer the pictures taken from internal memory to the memory card. The camera uses SDHC cards up to 8GB, which also great if you intend to shoot a lot of video.

Beauty mode. Like last year’s Olympus SP-590UZ, this camera has an in camera capability for touching up portraits. In this mode, you take a picture of a person, then the camera identifies the face and tries to remove blemishes and other minor imperfections, giving the skin a smooth look in the process. The touched up copy and the untouched up original are both stored in memory. The only drawback to the beauty mode is it does take several seconds for the camera to complete its work, which makes the camera unuseable until it’s finished.

Overall, the Olympus SP-800UZ is an amazing feature-laden point-and-shoot camera, with stunning zoom and panoramic capability, but it’s not likely to be a pro’s first choice.

Bonus: Get the [amazon asin=B003EG6D9E&text=Olympus SP-800UZ with 2 batteries, a case, and Accessories kit for $289.95]. Supplies are extremely limited.