Olympus Stylus SP-100 Review

Review posted 07/22/2014

Quick Take
  • 50x zoom lens offers up to 1200mm telephoto setting
  • Dot Sight feature makes it easier to track moving subjects at full telephoto
  • Autofocus works quickly
  • Minimal shutter lag and shot to shot delays
  • Good video quality
  • A few different high-speed-frame video options are available
  • Good collection of burst mode options
  • Camera is very easy to use
  • Two switches for controlling zoom provides flexibility
  • Large shutter button is convenient
  • Large right-hand grip makes it easy to handle this camera
  • Very large camera body; at full telephoto setting SP-100 measures almost 8 inches in depth
  • Images almost seem to be over-processed
  • Some chromatic aberration in high contrast photos
  • Images shot at full telephoto aren't as sharp as they could be
  • Small image sensor versus others in its price range
  • No RAW capture capability
  • Advanced camera modes only offer limited manual controls
  • Menu options are extremely limited
  • Camera doesn't switch between EVF and LCD automatically as you raise the camera to your eye
  • No Wi-Fi or touch screen LCD
  • Battery capacity is limited
  • Power button is very small
  • Those more familiar with rifle dot sights may be disappointed in the SP-100's Dot Sight accuracy
Bottom Line
Considering the Olympus SP-100 ultra-zoom camera has a starting price around $400, most of this model's features are below average compared to similarly priced models, including its overall image quality. This camera's advanced shooting modes are limited at best too, which leaves the SP-100 trailing other cameras in this price range. But the SP-100's top two features -- a 50x optical zoom lens and a unique Dot Sight technology that makes it easier to track moving subjects when shooting at full telephoto settings -- make this Olympus camera worth considering for photographers who often shoot moving wildlife subjects over a long distance. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
At CES 2014, Olympus announced a new Ultra-zoom camera, the SP-100EE. In this series, you'd expect features like a 50x optical zoom lens (a 35mm equivalent of 24-1200mm) and a 16-megapixel backside illuminated image sensor and a high 920K resolution Electronic View Finder (EVF). But, the SP-100 is special because it's the first camera to debut with a built-in Dot-Sight, which "helps the user keep the subject in the frame by offering a wide-angle view of the scene on its semitransparent mirror. The dot-sight stows away for portability and pops up immediately to easily track any subject without the need to adjust the zoom, so the shooter never has to miss another image by having to retrace and compose."

This DSLR-styled camera also includes manual exposure options as well as a Focus-Limit Button, which lets you focus only within a certain range when on, or only focus in the distance when off. The SP-100 also records Full HD 1080p Videos at 60 frames per second (fps), and can capture 120fps and 240fps material at lower resolutions. And, while the SP-100 does not have built-in Wi-Fi, owners can pick up an optional Toshiba FlashAir card, which allows you to connect the SP-100 directly to a smartphone, tablet, or PC to share and backup content.

Olympus Stylus SP-100 Features:
  • 16-megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor
  • TruePix VII image processor
  • 50x optical zoom
    • 24-1200mm (35mm equivalent)
    • Super Macro as close as 1 centimeter
  • 3.0-inch LCD Display
  • 920K dot Electronic View Finder
  • Full 1080p HD Movie Recording at 60p
    • HS120fps slow motion at 640x480
    • HS240fps slow motion at 320x240
  • First ever camera with Built-in Dot Sight
  • A new Focus-Limit Button
  • AF (AutoFocu) Lock
  • P/A/S/M Manual Shooting Modes
  • Additional Zoom Lever on left side of the lens
  • Compatible with Toshiba FlashAir cards
    • Connects the camera, via Wi-Fi to Smartphones, Tablets, and PCs

The Olympus Stylus SP-100 is available in black with a $399.99 MSRP. See our best price box at the top right of this page to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • SP-100 Black Digital Camera
  • Lens Cap
  • Premium Shoulder Strap
  • LI-92B Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • USB Cable & AC Adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • CD-ROM with Instruction Manual and Olympus Viewer 3 Software
  • Worldwide Warranty Card

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