The camera has two full-resolution burst modes available: one can shoot at up to 7fps but only for six frames (at which point you have to wait a few seconds before you can fire again), while the other can continuously shoot up to 200 frames at 2.5fps.
Design and features
As I mentioned earlier, Olympus had basically moved away from making higher-end full-size megazoom cameras, dropping things like electronic viewfinders and direct access to settings like shutter speed and aperture.
The SP-100 brings them back, though. The EVF is nice and extends back from the body more than most, making it comfortable to use without jamming your nose into the screen. Combined with the dot sight it really does make getting your subject back in frame easy at long focal lengths and a much better solution than zooming out and back in.
It's a comfortable camera to use, too, and a programmable function button as well as a thumb dial make it easy to change important settings without diving into menus too much.
Olympus also added a focus-limit button so the camera will focus only in a set range -- close or distant -- when turned on. A second zoom control on the lens barrel means you can keep your right finger ready to shoot while you adjust focal length with the left.
|Key specs||Olympus Stylus SP-100EE||Fujifilm FinePix S1||Nikon Coolpix P600|
|Price (MSRP)||$400 (£360, AU$450)||$500 (£400)||$500 (£360, AU$400)|
|Dimensions (WHD)||4.8x3.6x5.2 inches (121.2x91.3x133.2 mm)||5.2x3.6x4.3 inches (133.1x90.9x110.3 mm)||5x3.4x4.2 inches (125x85x106.5 mm)|
|Weight (with battery and media)||21.1 ounces (589g)||24 ounces (680 g)||19.9 ounces (565 g)|
|Megapixels, image sensor size, type||16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS||16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor||16 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS|
|LCD size, resolution/viewfinder||3-inch LCD, 460K dots/Electronic||3-inch LCD, 920K dots/Electronic||3-inch LCD, 921K dots/Electronic|
|Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length)||50x, f2.9-6.5, 24-1200mm (35mm equivalent)||50x, f2.8-5.6, 24-1200mm (35mm equivalent)||60x, f3.3-6.5, 24-1440mm (35mm equivalent)|
|File format (still/video)||JPEG/H.264 AAC (MOV)||JPEG, raw (.RAF), raw+JPEG/MPEG-4 H.264/AVC (.MOV)||JPEG/H.264 AAC (MOV)|
|Highest resolution size (still/video)||4,608x3,456 pixels/1,920x1,080 at 60fps||4,608x3,456 pixels/1,920x1,080 at 60fps||4,608x3,456 pixels/1,920x1,080p at 30fps|
|Image stabilization type||Optical and digital||Optical and digital||Optical and digital|
|Battery type, CIPA rated life||Li ion rechargeable, 330 shots||Li ion rechargeable, 350 shots||Li ion rechargeable, 330 shots|
|Battery charged in camera||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Wi-Fi/GPS||No (Eyefi, FlashAir card support)/No||Yes/No (geotagging available via Wi-Fi)||Yes/No (geotagging available via Wi-Fi)|
The dot sight is no doubt a great feature to have, as are the extra controls. But looking at the competition, there are several things that the SP-100 just doesn't have. The LCD, for example, is lower resolution than most at this price point and it's fixed so it can't be tilted, swiveled, or rotated.
There's no hot shoe or mic input (though, to be fair, it would be in the way of the dot sight); no option for raw capture; no built-in Wi-Fi (a shame since Olympus has one of the best mobile apps for its cameras that do have wireless); and there's no built-in GPS for geotagging. Also, the battery is charged in-camera using Olympus' proprietary USB connector.
Plus, the plastic body makes it feel a bit cheaper. It's up to you whether any of these are deal breakers, obviously.
|General shooting options||Olympus Stylus SP-100EE|
|ISO sensitivity (full resolution)||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|White balance||Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, two one-touch|
|Recording modes||Auto, Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter speed-priority, Manual, Art Filter, Scene, Panorama|
|Focus modes||Face/iESP Auto, Spot AF, AF Tracking, Manual|
|Focus range||2.8 inches (7 cm) (Wide), 11.5 feet (350 cm) (Tele); 0.4 inch (1cm) in Super Macro|
|Metering modes||ESP, spot|
|Burst mode shot limit (full resolution)||Six shots|
Although you won't find anything too terribly different in the shooting options, the SP-100 has everything I expect to find. That includes a reliable Auto mode; an easy pan-and-shoot panorama mode; an HDR mode; and a nice assortment of filters and effects.
The SP-100 also marks the return of manual and semimanual shooting modes to the SP series; the last several models were basically fully automatic cameras.
The Olympus Stylus SP-1oo is very good and it's definitely nice to see Olympus trying to improve the shooting experience for consumers instead of just churning out another megazoom camera. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that its competitors have. But, its dot sight is an excellent addition and should excite those considering it for casual birding or outdoor sports shooting.