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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


The Olympus Stylus 830 is a digital camera targeted to point-and-shoot photographers who desires a weatherproof camera. It has 8.0 megapixel resolution on a 1/2.35 in. CCD image sensor, and a 36-180mm (35 mm equivalent) 5x optical zoom lens, with an aperture range of F3.3(W)–F5.0(T).

We find the overall image quality of the Olympus 830 to be average for 8MP digicams with ISO 64 producing low noise images but higher ISO images are noisy and lose detail.

5x Optical Zoom Range
Wide-angle 36mm Tele 180mm
Wide-angle 6.4mm
[38mm, 36mm equivalent]
Telephoto 32.0mm
[180mm, 35mm equivalent]

The Olympus 830 provides 5x optical zoom. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 36mm and then 180mm (35mm equivalent).

Dual Image Stabilization help reduce blur in images: Sensor-shift image stabilization reduces blur caused by camera shake and High Sensitivity reduces blur caused by subject movement (by using a high ISO and fast shutter speed).

The camera provides exposure compensation but no Auto Bracketing. Perfect Shot Preview feature displays previews of the resulting effect (for example, of exposure compensation) on the LCD for you to select from. The screen is divided into 4 smaller rectangles to show what the resulting effects would be. This is a good idea though I find that the small sizes can make it challenging to pick the right effect.

Shutter speed ranges from 1/2-1/1,000 sec. in all modes (4 sec. in Night scene mode). There are no other long shutter speeds.

Super Macro
Super Macro
Super Macro
6.4mm [36mm], P, Pattern
1/800 sec., F3.3, ISO 100

The Olympus 830 lens allows you to focus as close as 3cm (1.2 in.) at wide-angle in Super Macro mode. AF locks precisely and fast; without an AF Illuminator, AF locks well on subjects with good contrast but subjects with low contrast might be difficult to get a focus lock in low-light. There is iESP AF that will focus on subjects that is not in the center of the frame. However, you cannot manually select the AF Frame you want the camera to focus at.

White Balance Indoors
AWB WB = Tungsten
AWB WB = Tungsten

As the above pictures show, the auto white balance is not quite accurate indoors under artificial light. There is no Custom/Manual WB, so I select Tungsten. Outdoors, under natural light, the AWB works very well.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 64
ISO 64
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800
ISO 400 ISO 800
ISO 1600  
ISO 1600  

You can set the ISO on the Olympus 830 from 64 to 1600 (ISO 2500 in Candle and Available Light scene modes at 2048x1536 pixels only). The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate that images at ISO 64 is quite clean with low noise. Above ISO 64, there seems to be very aggressive noise reduction. At ISO 200 and 400, noise has been reduced but at the expense of image detail; they would be usable in small-sized 4x6 in. prints and for Web display. Above ISO 400, the presence of noise is quite visible.

[Note: I took these pictures in the daytime because the usual low-light ISO shots resulted in severely under-exposed images.]

Chromatic Aberrations
CA (Purple Fringing)

CA is not really a problem in everyday shots. In the high contrast shot above, the area delimited by the red square at top right, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom left, shows minimal purple fringing.

Long Shutter Speed
Long Shutter Speed
6.4mm [36mm], Night Scene, Patternt, 4 sec., F3.3, ISO 100
WB=Tungsten, Self-Timer (12 sec.), Tripod Used, 100% Crop

The Olympus 830 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 4 sec. but only in Night scene mode. Generally, with CCD image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds.

To test this noise reduction algorithm, we take a low-light indoors shot using the Night scene mode. Noise reduction seems to work quite well though the scene is quite underexposed. I was surprisingly able to lock AF this time even with no AF-assist.

The Stylus 830 is a point-and-shoot digicam that is best used for 4x6 in. prints and for Web only display. This is when the camera can make the best of the availability of high ISOs and an LCD that gains up very well in low-light. Yes, the use of high ISOs introduce lots of noise and loss of image detail, visible when viewed at full size. However, image quality may be perfectly acceptable to most casual users at small print and display sizes. See our image samples to decide if the image quality is acceptable for your intended use.

The pictures in the Olympus Stylus 830 Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the original 3264×2448 pixels version.

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!


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