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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus Stylus 770 SW


Olympus Stylus 770 SW Review

Review Date: May 21, 2007

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Olympus Stylus 770 SW is winterized to continue performing at below-freezing temperatures (-10C/14F)


Thursday, Apr 5, 2007 - Here's what I receive in the box:

  • Stylus 770 SW
  • No memory card [I received an Olympus 1GB xD-Picture Card for this review]
  • Li-Ion rechargeable battery LI-42B (3.7V 740mAh)
  • Battery Charger LI-40C with Power Cord
  • Wrist Strap
  • USB and A/V Cables
  • Documentation: Quick Start Guide (English and French versions); Basic Manual (includes English, French, Spanish)
  • Software CD: Olympus Master U; Advanced Manual (English, French, German, Russian, Spanish)

The Olympus Stylus 770 SW is already special by being both waterproof down to 10m (33 feet) and shock proof, certified to withstand a fall from up to 5 feet. Now, it is also certified crushproof (able to withstand up to 220 lbs. of pressure) and has been winterized to perform at below-freezing temperatures (-10°C/14°F) -- which basically means that you have just about run out of reasons why you cannot carry your digital camera with you anywhere you go. This tough, rugged, and excellently constructed digital camera is targeted to point-and-shoot photographers who love the great outdoors and don't want to worry about damaging their digital camera in a fall, bump, downpour or snowfall. The Stylus 770 SW is at home on the boat, up the slopes, on the beach or in the swimming pool.

All of this in a compact body that easily slips into a jeans pocket. Plus it is fashionably elegant, handles very well, and takes good to very good quality images.

I love the extra large 2.5-in. LCD and the "Bright Capture Technology" is impressive, making it possible to see clearly even in very low levels of ambient light. Anti-glare technology uses natural light to brighten the LCD.

Not having to worry about damaging the camera in any way feels very liberating!

Soaking the camera in fresh tap water for 10 min.

Here is a 10 min soak underwater. Shake off the water, wipe the lens dry and it is immediately good to go!

One thing you have to be careful when using the camera in the water is that water droplets can get splashed onto the lens and just one water droplet on the lens will result in a foggy patch on your pictures. Wipe or shake the water droplets off the lens before taking pictures.

As with the Stylus 720 SW, the wrist strap that comes with the 770 SW unfortunately does not have an eyelet to fasten the strap tightly around your wrist. If you are going to take this camera underwater, it is too easy to accidentally let go of the camera -- and watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean floor.

Silicon clear skinThough the camera's internals circuits will not be damaged by bumps and falls, the outer metal surface itself is surprisingly not scratch-resistant. If you want to keep your Stylus 770 SW's protective armor shining for a long time to come, we recommend the optional durable silicon protective skin (comes in blue, orange or clear) which protects your Stylus 770 SW against dust, bumps and scratches while giving you complete control of all the camera functions. Built-in feet stabilize the camera on uneven surfaces. It should also provide a better grip in wet conditions.

There is no AF-assist light, so in low-light conditions, locking AF can sometimes be challenging: I found that the AF works well most of the time, only hesitating when the subject is not contrasty enough. However, there is now a LED light that you can use to light your subject (and provide the light needed to lock focus).

I was a bit disappointed with the shutter lag, but prefocusing easily solves this problem.

Olympus Master 2

The Olympus Master 2 software is very user-friendly and an excellent upgrade from the previous offering. It displays all info on one screen, including very complete EXIF info. You can do image editing, resize, crop, insert text, brightness & contrast, color balance, tone curve, gamma, auto tone correction, hue & saturation, monochrome & sepia, sharpness & blur, distortion correction and red-eye reduction.

It also processes RAW files (though the Stylus 770 SW does not record images in the RAW file format): exposure compensation, white balance, picture mode, contrast, sharpness, saturation, B&W filter, picture tone, gradation, noise filter and color space.

Optional accessories include Neoprene Compact Camera Case, Premium Slim Camera Case, Silicone Skin (mentioned above), and 40m Underwater Housing (PT-035).

If you need a waterproof and "built tough as a tank" all-purpose digital camera, you might as well stop reading right here, and put in your order.

Just like the Stylus 720 SW -- and improving on it -- the Olympus Stylus 770 SW is well designed and well-built, and the "SW" designation means that you do not have to worry about damaging it either from a fall or from the elements. More importantly, it gives great results and should find a home in the pocket of anyone who requires a camera "tough enough to take anywhere." This is definitely the camera for hiking, boating and traveling.

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