Skip to main content

50x optical zoom, EVF, ‘dot-sight’ are new features in Olympus SP-100 ultra-zoom

Like Olympus’s new rugged camera, the long-zoom bridge category is another area where camera makers can offer something smartphones can’t – so expect to see more of this type in the coming months. The new Stylus SP-100 is a new DSLR-like point-and-shoot that has a new 50x 24-1200mm optical zoom fixed lens paired with a new dot-sight framing-assist feature that lets you track distant moving subjects for stills and video, like the sight of a scope or gun. At $400, the camera will be available in March.

An illustration of how the new dot-sight feature works.
An illustration of how the new dot-sight feature works. Image used with permission by copyright holder

The SP-100 has a 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and the latest TruePic VII image processor. Above the electronic viewfinder (920,000 dots) is the new dot-sight feature (dubbed Eagle’s Eye) that works with the EVF. The dot-sight “helps the user keep the subject in the frame by offering a wide-angle view of the scene on its semitransparent mirror. The dot-sight stows away for portability and pops up immediately to easily track any subject without the need to adjust the zoom, so the shooter never has to miss another image by having to retrace and compose. Olympus carefully designed the location of the EVF and the shape of the eyepiece for minimal contact between the photographer’s face and the camera body, giving even greater ease of shooting,” the company describes.

olympus_sp-100_2
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In addition to the image-stabilized lens with a 1-centimeter Super Macro function (even at full 50x zoom), the camera has a focus-limit button that focuses only within a set range when it’s on, and into the distance when it’s off. There are more advanced features like AF lock and manual focus, and PASM shooting modes. For the step-up user moving from a basic point-and-shoot, there are plenty of auto and creative modes. Operating the SP-100 will feel more like a small DSLR than a point-and-shoot, due to the form-factor and controls; compared to previous Olympus ultra-zooms, the SP-100 has an improved grip. The SP-100 records video up to 1080/60p, which even one-ups Olympus’s new high-end OM-D E-M1.

olympus_sp-100_5
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Despite the trend of Wi-Fi in cameras, there’s none here. Instead, the camera supports Toshiba’s FlashAir Wi-Fi SD cards. We had a chance to play with a preproduction sample during CES 2014, and some of the things we noticed were that there is auto switching between the EVF and LCD, and a performance that lagged. Compared to the Stylus 1 premium compact, the performance isn’t as strong in the camera. But then again, the SP-100 isn’t as expensive either.

Les Shu
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am formerly a senior editor at Digital Trends. I bring with me more than a decade of tech and lifestyle journalism…
Save 35% on this SanDisk 128GB SD card for a limited time
The 128GB version of the SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card, on a white background.

When you buy from camera deals, you should also purchase an SD card or two to make sure that you have ample storage for your photos and videos. Unfortunately, the costs will start racking up if you're also going to buy accessories, so you should be on the lookout for offers like this one from StackSocial -- the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB for only $20, following a 35% discount on its original price of $31. That's $11 in savings on a dependable SD card, but you'll need to be quick in completing the transaction because there's no telling when the bargain ends.

Why you should buy the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD card
DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras usually use SD cards as their storage devices, according to our guide on how to pick the right memory card for your digital camera. If you need one, the SanDisk Extreme Pro is an excellent choice because it offers shot speeds of up to 90 MB/s, which is perfect for recording 4K Ultra HD videos, photos in burst mode, and other types of content that will require a high-performance SD card to keep up with them.

Read more
How to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer
The Apple iPhone 15 Plus's gallery app.

As the old saying goes, the best camera is the one you always have with you. If you're like most iPhone users, that means you've likely amassed a sizeable collection of photos on your device. However, while Apple's Photos app is a great way to manage and view your photo library, it's never a good idea to keep all your eggs in one basket. After all, suffering a lost or broken iPhone is painful enough without also losing all your precious digital memories in the process.

Even if you're backing up your iPhone to iCloud or your computer, it's a good idea to keep your photos backed up separately. After all, opening a folder or a photo management app is a much easier way to get at your photos than trying to extract them from an iCloud or iTunes/Finder backup, which requires either restoring them to another iPhone or relying on special software tools.

Read more
This Canon mirrorless camera deal cuts the price by $85
A Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera on a white background.

For one of the best camera deals, check out the discount on the Canon EOS R100 mirrorless camera over at Walmart right now. Usually you’d have to pay $499 for the camera, but right now you can buy it for just $414, meaning you’re saving $85 off the regular price. The perfect time to treat yourself to a superior photography experience for less, here’s what you need to know before you commit to a purchase.

Why you should buy the Canon EOS R100 Mirrorless Camera
Ideal for anyone checking out the best mirrorless cameras but wanting to keep costs down, there’s a lot to love about the Canon EOS R100 Mirrorless Camera. It’s the smallest and lightest EOS R series camera while packing in plenty of features. It has excellent still-image capabilities with its 24.1 Megapixel APS-C size CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 8 processor. It also has Dual Pixel CMOS AF with the ability to detect human faces and focus on their eyes. Its sensor is significantly larger in size than many smartphones and can capture images with natural bokeh. It’s also able to take high-sensitivity and low-noise images which capture the atmosphere, even if you’re taking photos in low-light conditions.

Read more