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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus Stylus 830 Review


   

Olympus Stylus 830 Review

Review Date: Dec 17, 2007

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Olympus Stylus 830

Choose your favourite colour: Black | Silver | Blue | Orange | Green

HANDLING & FEEL

The Olympus Stylus 830 is a weatherproof (splashproof) ultra compact digital camera that can withstand rain and dust. It is encased in a durable metal and plastic composite body with elegant lines, and is light and compact enough to be easily carried in a jeans pocket or small fashion purse.

The Olympus 830 is available in five different colours: Black, Silver, Blue, Orange and Green. There is a bar at the front to serve as a finger grip. As usual, the use of the wrist strap is highly recommended. The lens extends about 19mm (0.75 in.) to 28mm (1.1 in.) outside the body.

Startup is fast at approx. 1 sec. and shot to shot times average at about 2.2 sec. There is no practical shutter lag.

STYLE
- Colours: Available in 5 colours with chrome accents: Black, Silver, Blue, Orange and Green.
- Looks: elegant
   
FEEL
- Comfortable to hold and operate, though can be slippery
- Controls & FUNC. menus are easy to use (once you get used to them)
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Ultra Compact: fits in a jeans pocket or small fashion purse
- Dimensions: 99.6 x 55.1 x 24mm /
3.9 x 2.2 x 0.94 in.
- Weight: 125g / 4.4 oz. without battery and media card
- Takes 1 rechargeable Li-ion battery Li-42B (3.7V 740mAh)
   
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Startup and LCD turning on in about 1 sec.
- Shot to shot time about 2.2 sec.
- No practical shutter lag
   

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery which takes approx. 5 hrs [according to the manual, though it seems to take me far less than that] to recharge fully. Olympus does not rate the battery. A spare battery is highly recommended.

The flash has a max. range of 3.6m (11.8 ft.) at wide-angle, which is adequate only for close range. You can set the flash to Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, On (Fill-in) or Off.

Controls

Olympus Stylus 830 Top View

The top of the camera has, from left to right, the Power button, Shutter Release button and the Image Stabilizer button. The buttons are on the small side but Olympus designers have cleverly made a "well" around the Power and Image Stabilizer buttons and the Shutter Release button juts out slightly so they are all easy enough to push down. I have no trouble operating them, though if you have particularly large fingers, you may want to give the camera a hands-on try first.

You can record movies with sound at 640x480 at 30fps. You can preset optical zoom before any movie recording, but cannot use optical zoom during recording (though digital zoom is available).

No card comes with the camera but there is approx. 14.8MB of Internal Memory. 14.8MB can record only 8 sec. of SHQ movie.

xD-Picture Card Storage Capacity (approx. # images)
Quality
Pixels
14.8MB
1GB
SHQ
3264x2448
3
255
HQ
3264x2448
7
499
SQ1
2560x1920
12
841
SQ1
2304x1728
15
1031
SQ1
2048x1536
19
1305
SQ2
1600x1200
23
1560
SQ2
1280x960
36
2460
SQ2
1024x768
55
3762
SQ2
640x480
90
5815
16:9
1920x1080
28
1938

As the above chart shows, at SHQ, only 3 images can be saved into the 14.8MB of Internal Memory. We recommend that you purchase at least a 1GB xD-Picture Card.

Olympus Stylus 830 SW Back View

The Mode Dial on the back has Favorites, Playback, AUTO/P (set in FUNC), SCN (Scene Modes), GUIDE and Movie. The Mode Dial has just the right stiffness so it's easy to rotate but won't change inadvertently when you place your thumb on it.

Sensor-shift image stabilization compensates for camera shake. Digital Image Stabilization will select a high ISO and favours a fast shutter speed so as to reduce or eliminate blur caused by subject movement.

There are 26 shooting modes in all: AUTO, P, Image Stabilization, 22 scene modes to cover almost every possible situation, and Movie.

A Silent Mode is also available in the Menu (now available in all modes) which will immediately turn all beeps and other warning sounds off. It is a very quick and convenient feature for times when you need absolute quiet. Note that in Movie Mode, you can set the camera to Silent Mode but sound will still be recorded. When you play back the movie, simply turn Silent Mode off to listen to the sound.

Almost all the shooting functions are accessible through the OK/FUNC. button placed in the middle of the 4-Way Arrows.

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (top to bottom)
- Zoom: It takes about 2 sec. to zoom from wide-angle to telephoto (I counted 12 steps).
- Mode Dial: Favorites, Playback, AUTO/P, SCN (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape+Portrait, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot&Select 1, Shoot&Select 2, Beach&Snow, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2, Underwater Macro), Shooting Guide, and Movie
- Speaker
- MENU button
- Playback / Print
- Arrow Pad: UP=Exposure Compensation, RIGHT=Flash, DOWN=Selftimer, LEFT=Macro, Super Macro
- OK/FUNC in the middle of Arrow Pad
- DISP (Info, No Info, Info + Grid, Info + Live Histogram) / Help (when in MENU)
- Shadow Adjustment / ERASE
   
MACRO
-

Press the LEFT ARROW key to select between MACRO and SUPER MACRO.

-

MACRO allows you to focus as close as 20cm (7.9 in.) and SUPER MACRO at 3cm (1.2 in.).

   
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING
-

Select Drive from the FUNC menu.

-

Normal speed: 1.0 fps, up to 6 frames in HQ mode (3264x2448)

High speed: 3.9 fps, up to 11 frames in SQ1 mode (2048x1536)

- The drive mode is kept and restored when the camera is turned off and on again, so remember to reset it back to Single Frame. If you usually shoot SHQ mode and selected High speed continuous, image quality will switch to SQ1 mode, so remember to reset back to SHQ mode, too.
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Press the UP ARROW key to select Exposure compensation
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (1/3 EV increments)
- Perfect Shot Preview displays small thumbnails with the range of effects displayed
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when the camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
   
DISP/HELP
-

Press the DISP/HELP button when the camera is OFF to display the Date and Time (and Alarm if you set it in SETUP) for 3 sec. You can set an Alarm with three different rings with Snooze capability and specify whether it is a one-time or daily setting.

   
Shadow Adjustment / ERASE
-

In Shooting mode, automatically brightens shadow areas to reveal details.

-

In Playback mode, erase displayed image.

   

At the bottom of the camera, the tripod mount thread is plastic. There is a Battery/Card door and the battery has a latch to keep it from accidentally falling. The Battery/Card door locks tightly. You won't be able to change battery or card when the camera is on a tripod.

LCD & Menus

There is no optical viewfinder but a large 2.5 in. LCD monitor with a high 230,000 pixels resolution. The LCD has a fast enough refresh rate for a smooth display in both good light and low light. It can sometimes be difficult to see in bright sunlight, but you can adjust the brightness in MENU/SETUP. It is one of the few LCD monitors that gains up very well in low-light with a smooth image (in extreme low light, the image displays almost monochrome/sepia but is quite clear and smooth).

There is no AF-assist Illuminator and though the AF works well in bright light, it can be challenging in low light situations depending on how contrasty your subject is. Face Detect AF easily detects the face but I find that there seems to be a disconnect with the Face Detect and the AF: too often, the camera will detect the face but when you press the shutter release button, it ignores the face and focuses on something else.

While the FUNC. button gives access to the shooting settings, the MENU button gives access to the Menu and Setup settings.

MAIN MENU

- Note the Silent Mode option

MENU 1 of 2

- WB
- ISO
- Drive
- Fine Zoom
- Digital Zoom

MENU 2 of 2

- Light Metering
- AF Mode
- Voice Memo
- Panorama (only with Olympus xD-Picture Card)

WHITE BALANCE 1 of 2

- Auto
- Sunny day
- Cloudy day
- Tungsten light

WHITE BALANCE 2 of 2

- Fluorescent lamp 1 (daylight / home)
- Fluorescent lamp 2 (neutral white - desk lamps)
- Fluorescent lamp 3 (white - offices)

ISO 1 of 2

- Auto
- High ISO Auto
- 64
- 100

ISO 2 of 2


- 200
- 400
- 800
- 1600

DRIVE

- Single
- Continuous
- Hi Speed (2048x1536)

METERING

- ESP (Multi-Pattern)
- Spot

AF MODE

- Face Detect
- iESP (camera selects area to focus on)
- Spot (Center)

 

SETUP MENU

SETUP 1 of 4

- Format
- Backup
- Language
- Power On Setup
- Menu Theme

SETUP 2 of 4

- Beep
- Warning Sound
- Shutter Sound
- Volume
- Rec View

SETUP 3 of 4

- File Name
- Pixel Mapping
- LCD Monitor Brightness
- Clock
- Dual Time

SETUP 4 of 4

- Alarm Clock
- Video Out
- Power Save
- LED Illuminator

LANGUAGE

 

MENU THEME 1 of 2

- Normal
- Blue
- Black
- Pink

MENU THEME 2 of 2

- My Favorite

ALARM SET

- You can set an Alarm with three different rings with Snooze capability and specify whether it is a one-time or daily setting

ALARM SET

- Time
- Snooze
- Alarm Sound

ALARM DISPLAY

- Year.Month.Day
- Current Time
- Alarm Time
- Press the DISP/HELP/LED Illuminator button when the camera is OFF to display the Date and Time (and Alarm if you set it in SETUP) for 3 sec.

 

SCENE MODE 1 of 5

- Portrait
- Landscape
- Landscape + Portrait
- Night Scene
- Night+Portrait

SCENE MODE 2 of 5

- Sport
- Indoor
- Candle
- Self-Portrait
- Available Light

SCENE MODE 3 of 5

- Sunset
- Fireworks
- Cuisine
- Behind Glass
- Documents

SCENE MODE 4 of 5

- Auction
- Shoot & Select 1
- Shoot & Select 2
- Beach & Snow
- Underwater Snapshot

SCENE MODE 5 of 5

- Underwater Wide 1
- Underwater Wide 2
- Underwater Macro
- Movie

SCENE MODE HELP

- After approx. 4 sec. a help screen appears for the selected Scene Mode

 

SHOOTING GUIDE 1 OF 3

- Shoot w/effects preview
- Brightening subject
- Shooting into backlight
- Set particular lighting
- Blurring background

SHOOTING GUIDE 2 OF 3

- Adjusting area in focus
- Shooting subject in motion
- Targeting with assistance
- Close up photo
- Super close up photo

SHOOTING GUIDE 3 OF 3

- Shooting at night
- Reducing blur
- Reducing red-eye
- Adjusting image quality

 

FUNC - Shooting Mode

- P (Programmed AE), Auto
- The display is a bit funny but you get used to it real fast: the selection bar is always at the bottom; the selected functions are highlighted

FUNC - White Balance

- AWB, Sunny day, Cloudy day, Tungsten light, Fluorescent lamp 1 (daylight / home), Fluorescent lamp 2 (neutral white - desk lamps), Fluorescent lamp 3 (white - offices)

FUNC - ISO

- Auto, High ISO Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

FUNC - DRIVE

- Single, Continuous, High Speed

FUNC - METERING

- ESP (Multi-Pattern), Spot

 

IMAGE QUALITY

IMAGE QUALITY 1 of 2

- SHQ 3264x2448
- HQ 3264x2448
- SQ1 2560x1920
- SQ2 1600x1200

IMAGE QUALITY 2 of 2

- 16:9 1920x1080

SILENT MODE

- Turns off operational sound (warning beeps, shutter sounds, etc.) though Movie sound is still recorded even in Silent Mode

 

PROGRAM

- Programmed AE Shooting Mode, Shutter Speed 1/15s, Aperture F3.3, Exposure Compensation +0.3EV
- Shadow Adjustment, Flash Off
- Image Stabilizer
- Tungsten WB
- High ISO, Super Macro
- Continuous Shooting
- Alarm, xD-Picture Card used
- Image Quality HQ, Image Size 3264x2448, Space left for 497 images
- Grid ON

LIVE HISTOGRAM

- Why can Olympus digicams display a Live Histogram and more expensive models from other companies cannot?

 

PLAYBACK 1 of 8

PLAYBACK 2 of 8

PLAYBACK 3 of 8

 

PLAYBACK 4 of 8

 

PLAYBACK 5 of 8 - EDIT

- Crop
- Color Edit
- Frame
- Label
- Calendar

PLAYBACK 6 of 8 - SLIDESHOW

- BGM
- Type

PLAYBACK 7 of 8 - PERFECT FIX

- All
- Shadow Adjustment
- Redeye Fix

PLAYBACK 8 of 8 - ERASE

- Selected Image
- All Erase

The Olympus Stylus 830 is an easy-to-use ultra compact digital camera that you can carry in your pocket. Yet it features 5x optical zoom with sensor-shift image stabilization. Best of all, it is weatherproof which means that it is not afraid of a little rain, snow, sand or dust. It is not built as tough as the Stylus 790 SW or Stylus 770 SW, but it is still a digital camera you don't have to hide away when the weather turns wet.

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