The Olympus 1030SW Review

Olympus 1030SW

I spent the last week on business in the UK. While this meant no fishing, it also meant I managed to pick up a fantastic new toy.

So for all of you who offered input into my camera selection…thank you once again. As I said, I was originally planning to get an Olympus 850SW, but ended up with the bigger (and hopefully better) Olympus 1030SW.

I did look at the Olympus “Tough” range, but I couldn’t work out the benefits? They were more expensive than the 1030, and only waterproof to 3m, and not 10m. They were also more vulnerable to drops. But they did come in pretty colours…ooooh, aaaah.

My initial impression of the camera is that its fantastic (for what it is). It certainly doesn’t compare to my digital SLR, but we all knew it wouldn’t.Its quick and easy to use, and takes reasonable pics. The start-up time is fast, and you can operate it with one hand. All very important when taking a photo while waist deep in water.

I found that the pictures are not 100% sharp, but they are perfect for snapshots, and a little post processing in photoshop (sharpening, levels, etc) certainly sorted that out. Otherwise the in camera processing is very good, with no visible colour casts, good contrast, brightness and saturation.

All in all I love the camera. I would’ve liked some aperture and shutter speed control rather than picture modes, but I knew I wasn’t getting that. And there were no options that did offer me those.

I also liked the fact that you can get a waterproof housing to 40 meters, if I ever get around to doing my open water course.

Another feature I loved (and seems to work well, although I need more time to experiment with) is the in-camera panorama feature. Basically you take a photo, more the camera in the chosen direction, and when the next photo is lined up, it automatically takes the next picture. It does this for 3 photos, and then stiches them together in camera. So you no longer need to do this on the PC. And it does a good job…granted I only tried 2 or 3 times.

For a camera of this size and functionality, I don’t think you’ll do better.

Now I need to test the underwater feature…but this involves me first catching a few fish. Wish me luck!!

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