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1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw an Olympus 770SW on cragis list for 150 and couldn't pass it up. Its their waterproof/crushproof/freezeproof point and shoot. Build quality of the body is really top notch. All stainless steel and fun to look at as you can see nice little stainless screws holding it together. Even the little doors are SS and have nice thick rubber seals. The operation of the camera is pretty simple and the owners manual is definately not necessary for taking basic pics (its still sealed in the plastic actually:rolleyes)

It has a very bright LED illuminator for low light focusing, macro's and can also be used as an emergency flashlight.

The general operation of the camera feels a bit more crude than pilette's sony W80. The focus motor makes more noise and the buttons feel a little less smooth.

So for a quick comparison of the W80 and the 770SW. They are just about exactly the same size. The W80 is $175 and the 770SW about $300 for street prices. They both have the same zoom range (3x). The oly should do about 80-100 more pics on a battery charge by the ratings. The Sony feels a bit smoother, quieter and more sophisticated, while the 770 is virtually indestructible and feels like it. The Sony has image stabilization and a slightly faster lens which gives it an edge in overall picture taking ability, however it is much less durable. The olympus has the edge for macro pictures as its illuminator light works very well for such situations.

Why all little cameras don't use SD cards is beyond me. They are fast, ultra cheap and very common. The oly uses XD which are hard to find and expensive and the sony uses memory stick which is less hard to find and less expensive than XD, but still not as good as SD.

770SW Pros
Just about impossible to break
can go under water without a case (up to 33ft)
has built in manometer that records altitude or depth to the exif file (pretty cool huh?)
LED Illuminiator light works really well.
Excelent macro mode
Lots and lots of scene mods, including 4 different under water modes.
Great screen resolution
Really fast burst mode (I took 17 pics in 4 seconds - this is at less than maximum resolution, but still respectable)
Video mode very good other than frame rate.
Decent battery life at 220 pics.

770SW Cons
Slow lens (f3.5 wide open).
A bit noise and crude feeling in operation
Lots of noise at higher ISO's.
No optical image stabilization
Camera operation could be faster
No optical viewfinder
Video mode a bit choppy at 15fps
Memory much more expensive and less available than SD (XD required).

W80 Pros
Very smooth and sophisticated feeling
Lighting fast operation and picture transfer
Image stabilization works very, very well. Have gotten sharp pics at 1/5th of a second.
Comparatively fast lens with f2.8
Has optical view finder
Great video mode.

W80 Cons
Feels fragile and has no weatherproofing
Battery door very flimsy feeling plastic
screen is large, but resolution is sorta low.
Optical view finder is too small
Hard to keep camera from automatically boosting the ISO
Flash is a little weak.
Battery life a bit poor at about 120 pics.
Memory More expensive and less available than SD. (memory stick)

bottom line. If you don't need the durability the W80 is probably the best by, if you do need the durability you don't give up too much other than $$ and a bit of low light performance.

More pics of each camera here

397 Posts
I have the w90 8.1 megapixel and I love it, The picture quality is great and I love the quick change dial on the side . It is easy to swap picture type, and it aslo tells you what they do. And the night shot is amazing, its like shooting it in the sunlight. I highly recommend it.

1,185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
:thumbup I decided I can't live without manual controls so I ordered a panasonic LX1 to go with it;)

The little oly does pretty well, but I just don't like scene modes and wanna control the cam myself. It does stupid stuff like lock you out of the ISO control for night shots:coocoo Anyway, its good for a stricly point and shoot and a great everyday pocket cam, but I sure wish they'd run different sofware on the thing that allowed a user to use their own brains a little.

Night shot with the oly

Same shot with my way old sony dsc-s85
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