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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus Stylus 790 SW Review


Olympus Stylus 790 SW Review

Review Date: Sep 17, 2007

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Olympus Stylus 790 SW


This Olympus Stylus 790 SW Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.


The third generation Olympus SW digital camera, the Olympus Stylus 790 SW, gains a more elegant design in its all-metal brushed silver compact body which is JeansPocket™ Certified. It basically retains its "toughness": it is shockproof and can internally withstand a 1.5m (5 ft) fall; is waterproof up to 3m (10 ft); and, is freezeproof to -10°C (14°F).

The Stylus 790 SW can be used at the beach, boating on the lake or ocean, hiking, skiing, or just traveling -- without worrying about bumps, knocks, rain, mud, sand or dust!

This camera is targeted to Point-and-Shoot photographers, has 7.1MP resolution and a 3x optical zoom. AUTO and 24 Scene Modes simplify shooting. More advanced photographers can also switch to the Programmed AE (P) mode which provides control over ISO (ISO 80 to 1600), WB, exposure compensation, and light metering. Digital Image Stabilization favours a high ISO and fast shutter speed to reduce or eliminate blurring caused by camera shake and/or subject movement (though the use of high ISOs introduce noise and/or loss of image detail).

The large 2.5-in. LCD monitor has a high 230,000 pixels resolution which, together with a fast refresh rate, makes for a clear and smooth display. The LCD monitor gains up in low-light to permit easier composition.

Startup is fast at about 1 sec. and shot to shot times are about 3 sec. There is a slight practical shutter lag, though pre-focusing takes care of that. Image quality is good and ISO 80 produces low noise images.

For those who want to stay a long time underwater or go explore deeper, there is an optional PT-041 Underwater Housing made of durable, high quality polycarbonate construction and which is waterproof up to a water pressure equivalent to a depth of 40 meters.

The Olympus 790 SW has an improved movie mode at 640x480 @ 30fps, adds Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology, and a more practical Mode Dial. It handles well and, though the buttons are on the small side, they are easy enough to operate. [Those with large hands may want to try it out first.]

What do you get with an Olympus Stylus 790 SW? You get a tough and elegant digital camera that won't get damaged if you bump it, drop it, or dunk it. This is the digital camera you may want in your pocket if you travel a lot, do boating, hiking, skiing, and other sports activities. It is not afraid of falls, bumps, salt water sprays or snow. [Olympus advertises the 790 SW for the "casual active users" and the 795 SW for the "real active users."] It is easy to get good pictures with the Stylus 790 SW using any one of its 27 shooting modes. Get it in one of four or five colours, depending on your country: Silver, Black, Blue, Orange and Green.

See if you fit the Olympus Stylus 790 SW User Profile below:

Olympus Stylus 790 SW
User Profile
Desire a quality 7.1 MP resolution point-and-shoot digital camera.
Camera must be able to take bumps, knocks and falls... and keep working, even in cold temperatures.
Camera must be weather and waterproof (up to 3m / 10ft).
Want a compact, JeansPocket™ Certified digital camera (small fashion purse, jeans pocket).
Have no problem with small buttons and dial as long as they are precise and responsive.
Able to hold a small camera steady and gentle with shutter release.
Like the WOW! Factor: this camera makes a fashion statement.


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