At the same Olympus PR event I attended last week, Michael Bourne from Mullen demonstrated the new Olympus Stylus 770 SW (Shock and Waterproof camera). It’s a very sturdy camera, enclosed in an all-metal housing that can not only withstand drops from up to 5 feet and water pressure up to 33 feet, but can also take up to 220 lbs. of physical/mechanical pressure. Ligia and I have been looking for a new point-and-shoot, and this looks like it might be the camera we want.
While were were talking, Michael casually raised and dropped the camera right onto a concrete ledge, leaving me with a case of drop-jaw. Then he picked it up as if nothing happened, and took some photos with it. Wow! Then, to drive the point home, he dropped it to the ground again, and stood on it with one foot, putting his entire body weight on top of the camera. Again, he picked it up and it was just fine! Here’s a triptych showing that little sequence of events:
I got to use it a bit as well, and it’s got just the right weight for its size. It doesn’t feel flimsy at all. When you grip it, you know you’re gripping something well-made. The all-metal housing looks really nice, and the shutter lag isn’t bad considering that it’s a point-and-shoot. I got to handle it inside a dimly lit store as well, and when I bumped up the ISO to 1600, the photos still looked decent on screen, even when zoomed in. It’s certainly a whole lot better than our current point-and-shoot camera, the Kodak EasyShare v610, which was all the rage in July of last year (2006) due to its dual lenses and in-camera photo stitching capabilities.
Here are a few more photos of the camera (these ones are courtesy of Olympus USA). Notice the sleek lines. If you read my blog regularly, you know I’m a sucker for good design, and I think Olympus did a great job here.
Notice how nicely laid out the buttons are. There’s no confusion about their function, like on some cameras (Samsung, I’m talking about you here). The on-screen menus are also easy to navigate. I had no problem finding my way around the menus as soon as I went in.
All in all, this little camera’s one hot contender in the point-and-shoot market, and a virtual shoe-in for our next ultra-portable digital camera.