Friday, December 18, 2009

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Dark Gray)






Silver






Blue





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Brand Canon

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Product Details
* 10.0-megapixel resolution captures enough detail for prints up to 13 x 19 inches
* 3x optical zoom; 2.5-inch PureColor LCD II screen
* DIGIC 4 Image Processor with evolved Face Detection Technology; Face Detection Self-timer
* Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
* Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 0.9 x 2.2 inches ; 4.2 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

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Reviews Canon PowerShot SD1200IS Digital Camera


I mostly compare the SD1200 to the SD1100.

* The big changes: Digic4 and a larger CCD sensor. The slight increase in CCD size (1/2.3" vs 1/2.5") should make for "cleaner" photos. And Digic4 promises faster/cleaner shots also.

* You get 10MP vs 8MP on the SD1100, and "medium" (M1) size is now 6MP. JPG quality is down to 2 setting: Fine or Normal.

* SD1200 is only slightly smaller than the SD1100, but feels notably smaller by virtue of curved edges and the LCD being flush with the body (no bump-out).

* The 1200 now feels as small as this design can shrink. Good news: my average-sized male hands can still comfortably hold it, barely not covering lens, flash, or resting on the LCD. But the round power-button is now almost too small to press if you had big fingers and no fingernails.

* 1200's new battery is a higher capacity 1000mAh (vs ~760mAh for SD1100). There's also a new charger (not compatible with the old batteries), a glossy white-colored model to blend into your wall.

* The buttons and menus are streamlined. There's now a button for review mode, pressing it a 2nd time takes you back to the previous state. Handy. The slider has dedicated AUTO and Manual settings, no longer need to use menus for that switch.

* Continuous mode and ISO now are in the Function Menu (on the SD1100, they had dedicated buttons).

* A SD card is no longer included. This makes sense to me, a 32MB card is barely useful, and with the downward pressure on electronics prices, I can't imagine Canon wanting to bundle a more expensive/bigger card. Some people will find this lack annoying.

* The A/V output is gone, and the USB connector now serves both purposes (both kinds of included cables now have a USB-end)

* A new version of Canon software is required for this model, Zoombrowser 6.3. Canon typically requires a new release for each new family/season of cameras. Unfortunately, the CameraWindow software has been intentionally dumbed-down in the 6.x software and no longer offers the options to delete your photos (have to go through the OS), nor to chose custom naming for the downloads. I say intentionally, since I asked Canon customer-support about it and they stated the changes were not bugs. The last Canon software to still have that functionality was 5.x, corresponding to the SD1000 and other cameras released that season.

* In casual indoor tests, the 1200 seemed more ready to go to ISO400 (often too "noisy" to be useful) when the SD1100 would have chosen ISO200.

* The SD1200 and SD1100 have identical specs on their optics. However, I noticed a more pronounced barrel-distortion on the 1200 at extreme wide-angle. (still only noticable in close-up shots of straight-edged items at wide-angle)

* In a casual speed test, the SD1200 took/stored photos notably faster the SD1100 (same scene, continuous-mode, same brand SD card), despite the 1200's image size being larger.

* Canon's paper manuals have been shrinking steadily. With this model, the only manual included is a quick-start guide, the rest is on CD-ROM.

* The packaging is even more efficient than before, about half the size of the SD1100's box.

* Sadly, there is no HD video mode, although all of the other Elphs released this spring had HD. SD1200 owners are stuck with 640x480 video.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canon PowerShot D10 Digital Camera

Reviews Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD








Brand Canon

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Product Details
* 12.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
* Waterproof to 33 feet, cold resistant from 14-104 degrees (F) and shockproof up to 4 feet
* DIGIC 4 Image Processor; evolved Face Detection Technology plus Face Detection Self-timer
* Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
* Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.9 x 2.6 inches ; 6.7 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

PowerShot D10 Highlights

Take this camera anywhere: waterproof, cold resistant and shockproof
Life can take you almost anywhere. So Canon engineered a digital camera durable enough to go where you go and produce the kind of awe-inspiring images that will earn your respect. It’s the PowerShot D10 and it's no ordinary digital camera. This unique camera is waterproof down to 33 feet so you can take it scuba diving, snorkeling or surfing. It’s freeze proof and can withstand extremes of temperature from 14-104 degrees (F) so it’s also ideal for snowboarding, mountaineering and more. Plus, it’s shockproof to 4 feet, so when the going gets rough, the D10 will keep going strong.
Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights

Unique accessories available such as customized straps and interchangeable faceplates
You’re always up for any challenge. So Canon designed the PowerShot D10 with a selection of versatile accessories (sold separately) that enable you to outfit the camera to meet the requirements of your next adventure. The customized strap is a perfect choice for those who want to have their camera within easy reach, yet keep their hands free. The Canon faceplates let you distinctively mark the camera as belonging to you alone. The carabiner hook offers you a handy way to securely suspend the D10 from a belt, backpack or diving harness.

A World of Advantages with Canon’s Technology

DIGIC 4 Image Processor has evolved Face Detection Technology that tracks the faces of moving subjects and lets the shooter enter the frame seamlessly with the Face Detection Self-Timer.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
DIGIC 4 Image Processor
Canon’s most advanced image processor, DIGIC 4, delivers evolved Face Detection Technology that keeps every face in every photo looking its very best. The technology finds and tracks the faces of moving subjects until you’re ready to shoot, then delivers perfect focus. In addition, exposure, flash and white balance are compensated, so that faces exhibit natural skin tones and backgrounds are properly exposed.

iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of thousands of different photos, iSAPS works with the advanced DIGIC 4 image processor to improve focus speed and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance.

A Face Detection Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces and makes the appropriate adjustments. For instance, to include the photographer’s face in a group shot, there’s no need to rush in. Just put the camera on a stand or tripod, specify Face Detection Self-Timer, and the camera will wait for the photographer’s face to get on-camera before it takes the shot. Motion Detection tracks moving subjects in a much larger range--allowing you to wait for the perfect shot without refocusing.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
Intelligent Contrast Correction
DIGIC 4 also makes possible the i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) system, which controls the compensation level in pixel units to brighten dark areas while leaving bright areas unchanged for better images where the main subject is dark, and more natural transition. The PowerShot D10 can even use i-Contrast in playback mode to adjust images that were shot without the setting activated.

Red-eye Correction provides three options for removing red-eye from subjects in flash pictures.
1) Red-eye Correction during shooting actually identifies and corrects red-eye in human subjects as pictures are taken.
2) The PowerShot D10 can be set to automatically detect and correct red-eye during image playback.
3) You can manually locate any red eyes in a scene during image playback on the LCD screen, and command the camera to remove them.

Life doesn’t give you second chances to capture special times. That’s why the PowerShot D10 features ISO 1600 setting that reduces the effects of camera shake and sharpens subjects in low-light situations, giving you greater shooting flexibility. ISO can be expanded to 3200 when you select ISO 3200 Special Scene mode.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
12.1 megapixels, plus 3x optical zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer
With the PowerShot D10, dramatic, personal pictures have never been easier to shoot and share. This 12.1-megapixel camera lets you create impressively large photos of family and friends you’ll be proud to display. The high-resolution images taken by the D10 can be enlarged up to 13 x 19 inches.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
The PowerShot D10 has a 3x optical zoom that gives you the power to shoot distant subjects with razor-sharp precision and stunning lifelike color.

The PowerShot D10 is equipped with Canon’s acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology that automatically detects and corrects camera shake--one of the leading causes of fuzzy or blurred shots. Even when zoomed in, you can get the steady, crisp, brilliant images you’ll be proud to shoot and share. And Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer Technology is so convenient to use. It functions perfectly with or without a flash.

Blink Detection
Nothing ruins a great picture more than having your subjects’ eyes closed. That’s why the PowerShot D10 is equipped with Blink Detection. If closed eyes are detected, a "blink warning" icon appears for 3 seconds, allowing you to retake the shot before your subject or subjects move on. Blink Detection provides you with extra assurance when capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments like planting the flag at the summit of the mountain.

Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
Just set the Canon PowerShot D10 to Smart AUTO and you’re ready for maximum enjoyment from your picture taking every time. It’s a relaxing and satisfying way to shoot because you can completely concentrate on your subject knowing that the camera has the technical details covered. Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions. Then it automatically selects an appropriate setting from 18 specially defined settings. So whether you’re photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at the park, you can be confident that you’re getting dramatic, memorable images.


Shooting Modes
Advanced presets for the best possible photos under certain conditions. With 19 Shooting Modes including 16 Special Scene Modes, you’re ready for whatever shot comes your way

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Reviews Canon PowerShot D10 Digital Camera


The controls are conveniently arranged, and easy to use, and the associated icons displayed are both informative and intuitive. You can choose to display all the settings or turn them off and just see the image. One of the useful display options is a grid overlay on the screen to assist with shot composition and the "Rule of Thirds." The optical zoom works great. By the time you get to 12x with the digital zoom, the image is kind of grainy, but that's to be expected.

You can take macro photographs an inch or two from your subject. I've had trouble focusing my Digital Rebel in the dark, but Canon seems to have improved low-light focusing quite a bit. It has a manual focus feature that indicates the distance to the subject as you adjust the focus, just in case it can't get the focus right.

I like the Panorama feature, which displays the previous shot on the viewfinder while you're composing the next shot, allowing the photographer to closely match subsequent shots, resulting in panoramic photos with less distortion when they're stitched together. Panorama mode also locks in the exposure value of the first shot so that the exposure in subsequent shots all match the first shot.

The face recognition and blink detection both seem to work well. As the camera focuses, it will zoom in on one of the faces so the photographer can verify correct focus. After the shot is taken, if someone blinked it will identify the face of the person blinking so you can take another shot. These can be turned on or off according to user preference. Images seem very crisp, which I attribute to the image stabilization features, which can also be turned on or off.

The camera doesn't allow you to shoot in RAW. I generally don't shoot in RAW with my SLR, so that doesn't worry me. It has a number of white balance modes, custom white balance, and auto white balance. It seems to do a good job selecting the correct shooting conditions in auto mode. Colors appear correct.

A couple of drawbacks: The camera isn't threaded so you're not able to attach filters. There's also no lens cap, and I worry about the lens surface getting damaged. For a rugged "adventure" camera, I'm also surprised that there's no GPS chip so that photos can be tagged with the exact location. I look at old slides taken while I was hiking and think "that's neat, why can't I remember where I took that." It would be nice if the EXIF data included lattitude and longitude. (Watch Canon come out with the Powershot D10 "Gold" six months from now that incorporates these features. The curse of being an early adopter.)

The microphone picks up every movement your fingers make as you hold the camera, so it's difficult to capture movies without some camera noise. The speaker on the bottom of the camera is also difficult to hear when playing movies back on the camera, but movies sounds fine when I pop the memory chip into the computer and watch in Quicktime. Movies are produced in the .mov format, so you'll have to do some conversion if you want to do anything with it in Windows Movie Maker. You can also choose between higher quality 640 x 480, or lower quality 320 x 240. (I should post a video review, but look like a dork in movies, so I'll spare everybody that.)

Tried to take a few infrared photos, but the image has the Hot Spot typical of many Canon cameras and lenses. I held a Hoya R72 filter over the lens and took several shots. Bright sunlight is about a 4" exposure, and all shots have a bluish circle in the center.

Some great features:
- Good looking waterproof camera, "cuteness" is very important, I disliked those clear cases that you have to screw on your camera and as one reviewer reported they can still get fogged up
- Rainproof/Waterproof up to 33 ft, good for most pools or waterparks
- Freeze proof lens up to 14 deg F
- SMART Auto mode that detects the right scene mode for each shot (works great)
- Digic 4 processor, auto shots are nicer than some older Canon cameras, optical image stabilization and motion detection to prevent blurring of images
- 2.5 inch extra bright LCD that's covered by a protective surface to prevent scratches and looks good in bright sun
- 3X optical and 12X digital zoom
- Face detection
- "Blink" detection - the camera gives a blink warning if someone's eyes are closed in the picture
- Contrast correction - Can be set while taking picture or even afterward to correct darker areas
- Continuous shooting lets you capture the perfect water shot
- Scene modes - The auto mode does a good job of sensing the conditions but if you want to set a mode you get the choice of - Night exposure, Panorama (stitch together shots in one), programmable mode, portrait, sunset, beach, fireworks, aquarium, underwater, snow, indoor, kids and pets, foliage, long shutter, color accent (keep only one color in a pic, so the water and jeans will be blue while the people black and white) and color swap (change one color to another, swap the color of your boat from beige to red).

Canon PowerShot G11 10MP Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot G11 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Stabilized Zoom and 2.8-inch articulating LCD








Brand Canon

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Product Details
* New 10-megapixel High Sensitivity System; DIGIC 4 Image Processor
* Bright 2.8-inch Vari-Angle PureColor System LCD plus optical viewfinder
* Wide-angle 5x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-140mm); Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer
* Improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects from 22 predefined shooting situations
* RAW + JPEG shooting and recording modes; capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 3 x 1.9 inches ; 12.5 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

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Reviews Canon PowerShot G11 10MP Digital Camera


The G Series comes full circle. You asked, and Canon not only listened, but delivered big-time. Advanced amateurs who have overwhelmingly embraced the G Series will be delighted with PowerShot G11, which features RAW mode for unlimited editing options, a 28mm wide-angle lens, and a 2.8-inch Vari-Angle PureColor System LCD. Add to that Canon’s new High Sensitivity System and high-speed ISO for incredible image quality, and Canon’s top-range compact digital camera is a truly groundbreaking successor.

PowerShot G11 Highlights

Canon PowerShot G11 highlights
New 10-megapixel sensor coupled with Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor
The PowerShot G11 employs a newly developed, 10-megapixel High Sensitivity System by combining a powerful CCD sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 4 Image Processor. Thanks to this technological advancement, the G11 is dramatically more sensitive than cameras with identical megapixel counts, and delivers spectacular images with minimal noise. Increased sensitivity demands a higher ISO speed, and the PowerShot G11 delivers with a new maximum setting of ISO 3200. Blur and camera shake are notably reduced for the ultimate in sharpness and clarity.

In addition, a new Low Light mode lets you capture images in an astonishing range of conditions. The camera automatically adjusts the ISO speed from ISO 320 to ISO 12800 in relation to ambient brightness, subject movement and camera shake.

Full range of shooting and recording modes including RAW + JPEG
The PowerShot G11’s RAW mode lets you shoot images without JPEG compression. It gives you clearer images and complete creative control in editing. RAW images are transferred directly to the computer where they can then be edited using image adjustment software or a processing application to adjust your images as you please. The camera can also be set to allow the simultaneous recording of both RAW and JPEG images while shooting.

Also, with 26 Shooting Modes, you're ready for whatever shot comes your way.

Canon PowerShot G11 highlights
Large, bright 2.8-inch Vari-Angle LCD
The PowerShot G11 gives you a large 2.8-inch PureColor System LCD screen for excellent control when framing your shots. But size is only part of the story. Canon’s PureColor System LCD offers spectacular color, resolution and contrast even at an angle. The screen is durable and easy to see. It is a perfect feature for gathering friends and family around to see your images.

Optional accessories including Speedlite flashes, underwater housing and Tele-Converter Lens
The PowerShot G11 is compatible with the Speedlite flash series intended for all EOS series SLR cameras. Attach a Speedlite flash to the hot shoe, then you can set and control the flash on the "Flash Control" menu in the camera. With a Speedlight, the G11 is given extra functions such as autoflash metering, FE lock and Flash exposure compensation; continuous shooting with external flash. Also Canon’s Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2 enables you to have multiple slave flashes and wireless control. A Tele-Converter lens designed for the G11 and WP-DC34 Waterproof Case are also available.

Wide-angle 5x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-140mm) with Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer
Canon PowerShot G11 highlights
5x optical zoom in action
The camera is equipped with a long, 5x Optical Zoom, and Canon’s own Optical Image Stabilizer Technology keeps images steady and blur-free all through the zoom range--even in low light--by detecting motion and generating a corrective signal. Because it is an optical system, more corrective movement is allowed and there is no degradation of image quality.

The G11 is a highly versatile camera with a wide-angle zoom lens that reaches all the way from 28mm at the wide end to 140mm at the telephoto end (35mm format equivalent). You’ll capture more image in every shot, and add greater depth to your overall photography.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor
Canon’s proprietary DIGIC Image Processors have long set its cameras apart from the competition, and the new DIGIC 4 sets the bar even higher. Faster, more accurate noise reduction delivers better image quality, even at high ISO speeds.

iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of thousands of different photos, iSAPS works with the advanced DIGIC 4 Image Processor to improve focus speed and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance.

A new Face Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces and makes the appropriate adjustments. For instance, to include a photographer’s face in a group shot, there’s no need to rush in. Just put the camera on a stand or tripod, select the Face Self-Timer, and the camera will wait for the photographer’s face to get on-camera before it takes the shot. Motion Detection now tracks moving subjects in a much larger range, and the new Servo AF retains focus on a moving subject after the shutter button is pressed halfway – allowing you to wait for the perfect shot without refocusing. Also, Face Detection and Motion Detection are markedly improved.

Canon PowerShot G11 highlights
i-Contrast in action
Intelligent Contrast Correction
DIGIC 4 also makes possible the new i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) system, which controls the compensation level in pixel units to brighten dark areas while leaving bright areas unchanged for better images where the main subject is dark, and more natural transition. The PowerShot G11 can even use i-Contrast in playback mode to adjust images that were shot without the setting activated.

Red-eye Correction provides options for removing red-eye from subjects in flash pictures.
1) The Red-eye Correction during shooting actually identifies and corrects red-eye in human subjects as pictures are taken.
2) The G11 can be set to automatically detect and correct red-eye during image playback.

Life doesn’t give you second chances to capture special times. That’s why the G11 features ISO 3200 to reduce the effects of camera shake and sharpen subjects in low-light situations, giving you greater shooting flexibility.

Canon PowerShot G11 highlights
HDMI output for viewing still images on an HDTV
With the advanced PowerShot G11, you can capture breathtaking, high-resolution still images and impressive standard definition movies with ease. The camera also makes it simple to enjoy and share your stills and SD movies with a mini-HDMI connector for direct connection to a high-definition monitor or HDTV, so every color and nuance can be appreciated like you intended them to be.

Improved Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper setting
Just set the Canon PowerShot G11 to Smart AUTO and you're ready for maximum enjoyment from your picture taking every time. It's a relaxing and satisfying way to shoot because you can completely concentrate on your subject knowing that the camera has the technical details covered. Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions. Then it automatically selects an appropriate setting from specially defined settings. So whether you're photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at the park, you can be confident that you're getting dramatic, memorable images.

The next best thing I have noticed about this camera is its improved film speed ratings. I have already done a lot of testing with the G-11 and to say that they have improved the speed ratings is a huge understatement especially in the higher film speed settings. I was extremely hesitant to use a film speed over 400 with the G-10 yet I am using speeds above 800 with the G-11. Depending on the conditions your shooting in you should see anywhere from a 1.0 to 2.0 stop difference. I did some tests where the G-11 shot pictures at 800 that were basically equivalent to a 200 on the G-10. I was hoping for an improvement in this area but wasn't expecting this big of an improvement.

The next biggest improvement has to be with the auto mode. I tested the auto mode extensively with the G-10 as that was going to be the mode my mother used the most, at least out of the gate, and I was unimpressed. There were too many shooting situations to count that easily fooled the camera into shooting with settings that were less than optimal. You would still get decent results but it definitely needed improvement and they have done just that. Running the identical tests I did with the G-10 clearly showed that this camera is much better at selecting the appropriate shooting mode. Some conditions were drastic improvements. This is probably the 2nd biggest reason why I am most likely going to be upgrading my mothers camera to a G-11.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Canon PowerShot A1100IS Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot A1100IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Silver)








Brand Canon

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Product Details
* 12.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
* 4x optical zoom and Optical Image Stabilizer; 2.5-inch LCD screen
* DIGIC 4 Image Processor with evolved Face Detection Technology; Face Detection Self-timer
* Uses 2 AA-size batteries
* Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 1.2 x 2.5 inches ; 5.4 ounces
# Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

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Reviews Canon PowerShot A1100IS Digital Camera


The camera itself and the software included with it are incredibly intuitive. Though there are many manual settings possible, I set the camera in Auto mode and just clicked away. Many places I took pictures required me to turn off the flash, but even those were very clear and bright, and I had to do nothing but aim and shoot.

The delay time between pictures was negligible, and the rechargeable AA batteries I used were good for around 200 pictures a charge, even using flash and with frequent zooming in and out. I used a 16 GB SDHC chip and had the capacity to take 5,000 pictures! I'm still working on filling the first chip!!

The provided software is also very simple to use...as easy as plugging in the provided USB cable, and turning the camera on. All pictures are quickly and automatically saved in folders by date regardless of how many times in a day you download them, and renaming or tagging pictures is a breeze. I have not even begun making full use of the picture touch-up features, but the software includes a fun and easy slideshow application that makes sharing pictures via desktop or projector a snap.

Olympus Stylus 550 WP Waterproof

Olympus Stylus 550 WP 10MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD (Blue)








Brand Olympus

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Product Details
* 10-megapixel resolution for photo-quality, poster-size prints
* Lightweight, aluminum exterior; waterproof up to 10 feet
* 3x optical zoom; Face Detection
* Perfect Fix in-camera editing
* Compatible with xD Picture Cards and microSD memory cards (not included)

# Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 2.4 inches ; 1.4 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 2 pounds

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Reviews Olympus Stylus 550 WP Waterproof


The image quality does not make me excited to buy this camera. The pictures show a significant amount of noise, even when I forced the ISO down to 100. Every shot without a flash looks pale and slightly hazy. With a flash, the image quality improved, but there is still an unreasonable amount of image noise. The best shots were taken of objects about 10 feet away. This was a good distance to prevent the flash from washing out the subject, but still providing an adequate amount of light to get a decent picture. Even those shots seemed to lack sharpness. They were OK, but I guess I expected more. I understand that there are trade-offs in image quality when buying a waterproof camera, but I had hoped that they wouldn't be this bad.