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Olympus Stylus 750

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Olympus Stylus 750 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

Based on the Stylus 750's features and sturdy design (it costs $400 as of 10/6/06), this camera is particularly suitable for casual photographers who spend a good amount of time shooting outdoors. For one thing, it's a slick piece of hardware. The compact metallic body feels sturdy and is waterproof, sporting an unusual design in which the camera is thin on the left side and thicker on the right. This allows users to hold the camera more easily with just their right hand as they shoot.

One-handed operation was comfortable enough for me, though my concern was inadvertently pressing one of the controls on the back of the camera where my thumb ended up. The good news is I had to press the button pretty hard to activate the menu. Given the camera's small size, the buttons are extra-small, which was fine for my small fingers, but people with large fingers may find the controls somewhat uncomfortable.

Many pocketsize cameras are extremely sensitive to even the slightest shake, which typically results in blurry, out-of-focus shots. To combat this, the Stylus 750 has a built-in stabilization mechanism to help steady its internal parts. The camera offers two ways to use it: either by switching the dial to image stabilization mode or by pressing the dedicated image stabilization button on the top, near the shutter. Photos I took for an informal comparison showed a difference; with image stabilization turned off, my shots looked blurry compared to the sharper results I got with the feature turned on.

In our lab tests, the 750 scored above the average in the sharpness test. Unfortunately, the camera performed just okay in other tests. The exposure and white balance on the test shots were off: Our prints looked a tad dark, and the white areas of our images had a slight yellow tinge. Battery life wasn't great, either: The camera conked out after 201 shots, putting it below the average.

The Stylus 750 starts up quickly, zooms in and out smoothly, and exhibited minimal shutter lag. But the menus could stand improvement: Though Olympus has enhanced these over the years (by adding an in-camera guide, for example), I still have a few issues. For example, one of my pet peeves is that the LCD shows grayed-out menu options in modes where those options are unavailable. Personally, if I spend $400 on a camera, I want it to provide a friendlier menu system and better battery life that the Stylus 750 delivers.

Grace Aquino

This story, "Olympus Stylus 750" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The Stylus 750 is weatherproof and offers image stabilization, but it's expensive considering its lack of manual settings.

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