Travelers who want to take decent pictures have always faced a bit of a dilemma: carry around all the paraphernalia of a DSLR to get the shots you want, or roll the dice with a compact point and shoot camera and hope for the best. Olympus wants to take away some of the guesswork with its new SP-810UZ ultra zoom camera: it may not be credit-card thin, but it’s small enough for easy traveling and it offers a massive 36× optical zoom that Olympus says is currently the longest in any compact camera.
“The SP-810UZ is the best zoom performance Olympus has ever delivered,” said Olympus Imaging America product manager Jennifer Schmell, in a statement. “No compact camera from Olympus has ever offered such impressive wide-angle zoom performance.”
The 810UZ has a 14 megapixel resolution and a 3-inch viewfinder LCD display, and packs Olympus’s TruePic III+ image processor for processing high-quality images. The 810UZ features both mechanical and digital image stabilization, enhanced low-light capabilities (down to ISO 3200 in manual mode), and the ability to shoot 1080p high-definition video—which used can push to a big screen via an integrated HDMI output. The camera also offers an intelligent auto mode that enables users to pay attention to their subject rather than manipulating their camera: there’s even a face recognition mode for pets. The 801UZ can also take 3D images by snapping two rapid images at slightly different angles to provide depth; there’s also a panorama more that enables users to combine three shots into a super-wide panorama just by panning the camera.
Olympus says the SP-801UZ will be available in September for an estimated $329.99.