8/6/2012 5:28:18 PM

The pop-up flash is okay for nearby subjects, although it doesn’t have a massive reach.

The lens cap is not secured to the body – you’ll need to keep an eye on it.

The 21x zoom gets you close to the action and helps you pick out details in the scene.

Description: Olympus-620UZ

Buy this if

You want a camera with a bit zoom for very little money

Get a lot closer to the action with this far-reaching superzoom camera from Olympus

There are two main things you should know about the Olympus SP-620UZ: it’s cheap and it has a big zoom. For some, these two factors may have you sold already, but they do come at s price.

Our biggest criticism is the camera’s inability to focus in limited light. Taking shots of a children’s football match inside a sports hall rendered this camera practically useless, with no sharp shots at all. Even with the ISO setting ramped up to the maximum, the SP-620UZ could not focus and pull off a crisp capture.

Outdoors though, the focusing is a much more normal affair, locking onto subjects quickly and capturing a shot without delay. This camera lends itself to landscape photographers, who will normally be capturing images in daylight. Colours are well saturated, with lots of green tonality in landscape subjects – just watch out of dark shadow, which often lack detail.

If you are looking to shoot indoors for birthday parties or others events, then this camera might not be able to capture the shots you want. There is of course the flash to fall back on, which is fine for close-up subjects, but not so good for subjects positioned further away.

A great selling point of this model is the exaggerated grip, making it extremely well-balanced in the hand and easy to hold. The plastic body won’t win any awards for design or quality, but it’s a practical, well-built model.

There are plenty of features on board to keep the beginner occupied, including a movie model, 16 scene modes and a selection of Magic Modes such as Pop Art, Pinhole and Drawing to add artistic effects to your shots. All the modes are located via the d-pad and menu button, which may be a bit tricky to access at first.

This camera does an okay job of shooting in daylight, and the zoom is a great feature. But those looking for quality images in any situation may be disappointed.


When taken in the right light, this camera gives great macro images, however, the lens is quite large, which limits how close you are able to get to your chosen subject.

Description: The exaggerated grip makes this really comfortable to hold and shoot with one hand

The exaggerated grip makes this really comfortable to hold and shoot with one hand

We answer your questions…

Is this model good to take on a cruise?

In a word, no. it would be ideal for shooting the details in daylight of your travel destinations on the shore using the zoom. However it just wouldn’t be able to cope with shooting any of the colourful, fast-paced action of the on-board cabarets and entertainment shows.

What’s good about it

ü  It has a great telephoto lens for picking out details in the landscape

ü  It has some fum Magic modes to experiment with for creative shots

What could be better

ü  The camera really struggles to capture sharp shots of moving subjects

ü  There is no separate mode dial for easy access to the exposure modes

How good is it for

Portraits: If you are outside or next to a window then it perform well

Landscapes: One of the camera’s stronger subjects due to the ample daylight

Sports: Not a chance. This camera is slow to read and subjects are reduced to a blur

Low light: Even with the ISO raised to its highest, the camera struggles to perform

Macro: It captures good close-up detail, but the large lens limits your distance

The info

Price: £180/$200

Megapixels / 16MP

A generous helping of megapixels to give you decent-sized prints

Zoom / 21x optical, 4x digital

The zoom is stabilized to reduce camera shake and blurry shots

Shutter speeds / 4-1/1500sec

An average shutter speed spec for easy day-today snapshots

ISO sensitivity / 80-1600

A decent ISO range means you can shoot more in low light

Exp. modes/ 16 scenes, plus iAuto, PA, Magic Filter, panorama, movie, 3D photos

A fabulous array of automatic settings, great for beginners

Aperture: f3.1-5.8

Flash modes: A, RE, FI, FOff

Weight: 435g

Dimensions: 109.7 x 74.3 x 73.7 mm

Batteries: AA: Alkaline/ Ni-MH

Storage: SD/ SDHC

Screen: 3 inches



Features: 3/5

Design and handling: 3/5

Build quality: 2/5

Image quality: 2/5

Value for money: 4/5

This camera is a cheap option for landscape shooters, or for daylight photos. However, anyone wanting to capture fast, indoor shots is likely to feel let down using the SP-620UZ: 3/5

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