Is a really long lens packed into a small camera body a good thing? We shall see, as today Olympus announced the 14-megapixel SP-810UZ, a megazoom camera measuring 4.2 inches by 2.9 inches by 2.9 inches with an ultrawide-angle f2.8-5.6 24-864mm lens, or a 36x zoom.
Though some may consider this a bridge camera simply because of its lens, I don't because it lacks semimanual and manual shooting modes. In fact, Olympus boasts that its lack of "time-consuming manual settings...frees you to concentrate on your subject." The 810UZ is full of scene modes and a scene-recognition auto mode as well as 10 Magic Filter creative modes: Pop Art, Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Watercolor, Reflection, and Miniature. The camera also captures HD 720p-resolution movies at the touch of a button.
There's a 3-inch LCD on back for framing your shots, but to keep the camera small there is no viewfinder. Here's hoping its image stabilization is top notch because keeping that lens steady when fully extended won't be easy.
Estimated street price will be $329 when it hits stores in September.