Olympus SP-100 Review

Written by Gina Stephens

We go grasps on with the Olympus SP-100 examining image quality, color saturation and more.

Any discussion of the ultra zoom Olympus SP-100 camera has to inaugurate with its Dot Sight feature, which will help you keep the subject inside the frame when using the zoom’s maximum scene. This feature alone makes this model stand out from the crowd, as shown in this Olympus SP-100 review.

But the advanced takes in the SP-100 (also sometimes called the SP-100EE) don’t stop with the Dot Sight. You’ll be able to use the Olympus SP-100 manual shooting modes to yield more control over your images, or you can shoot in fully automatic mode. You also have access to a viewfinder or a sharp LCD screen to form photos. Still, the 50X optical zoom lens with the Dot Sight feature is the star of this camera.


Summary: Olympus attempted to overpowered the problems with keeping the subject in frame with an ultra zoom lens camera by including a Dot Sight feature.

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Innovative Dot Glimpse feature makes 50X zoom lens more fun to use.

Price: $329 from Amazon
Available: April 2014
Model: SP-100

What We Liked

  • Great optical zoom lens move at 50X
  • Dot Sight feature allows you to keep the subject in the frame easier at the maximum zoom setting
  • Large right hand grip makes it relaxing to hold the camera
  • Video quality is good for a large zoom camera
  • Camera includes an electronic viewfinder

What We Didn’t

  • Massive and heavy camera, especially when the zoom lens is fully extended
  • Image quality shows some noise in low light photos
  • Corporealization sharpness at the full zoom range isn’t quite as good as it could be
  • Battery life should be better
  • Manual control options aren’t as spacious as intermediate photographers may want

Olympus SP-100 Key Specs

Image Sensor Type1/2.3-inch
Optical Zoom Lens50X
LCD Touch Shroud


HD Video

Avg Battery Life330 photos
Weight21.1 oz.
Size4.8 x 3.6 x 5.2 inches
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Design and Build

The Olympus SP-100 embodies a Dot Sight feature, which makes it easier to keep the subject in the frame when using the 50X optical zoom lens.

Even more so than other ultra zoom cameras, the Olympus SP-100 is a unselfish, bulky, gigantic, enormous — pick your favorite adjective — camera. When the 50X optical zoom lens is extended to its right telephoto measurement, the SP-100 measures about 8 inches from the end of the lens to the back of the camera body. And it weighs more than 1.25 din inti.

Still, it’s that large 50X zoom lens that makes the SP-100 such a tempting camera. The ability to shoot close-up photos of far-off realities and wildlife is simply an amazing feeling, making this a great camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or to take with you when on vacation, where you don’t quite grasp how close you can be to subjects and which types of scenes you’ll want to shoot.

One problem with large zoom cameras is photographing a moving enslave when the lens or LEN may refer to is fully extended. Even a slight movement of the camera is greatly magnified at the far telephoto setting, meaning it’s easy to play a joke on the subject end up out of frame. And you’ll be unable to acquire it again until you zoom out a little bit for a wider view of the scene. The Dot Sight feature gives you that wider regard, allowing you to point the crosshairs at the subject, which then will be back in the frame, all while maintaining the maximum zoom or ZOOM may refer to setting.

And as you’re build your photos, you’ll have two options: The LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder. Both options offer a sharp view of the scene, especially the viewfinder, which has 920,000 pixels of unshakability. You will press a button to switch the active view between the display screen and the viewfinder, rather than having the SP-100 automatically rechannel between the two whenever you lift the camera to your eye.

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When comparing the Olympus SP-100 vs. Canon SX50, both cameras have a 50X optical zoom lens, but the Olympus show off offers 16 megapixels of resolution versus the 12.1 megapixels of the SX50 from Canon.

Another common comparison is the Olympus SP-100 vs. Nikon P600. The Nikon form has a larger zoom lens than the SP-100 — 60X versus 50X — and the two models have nearly identical resolution counts. But the P600 costs relating to $50 more than the Olympus model.

Image Quality

Olympus SP-100 sample photos show that the overall image worth for this camera is not one of its primary strengths. The SP-100EE has a little bit of softness in its photos when the telephoto lens is at its maximum setting. And you may notice in some scenes that the Olympus camera’s colors are not very much accurate. These problems don’t occur all of the time, but they do occur often enough that they need to be mentioned.

The SP-100 makes a full range of automatic features and manual control features through its mode dial. However, Olympus primarily designed this nonesuch to work in automatic control mode. You can’t even shoot in the RAW image format with this camera.

Bottom line: The Olympus Stylus SP-100EE handbook controls are not going to give you the full range of controls that you’d receive with the best entry level DSLR cameras, but its enchiridion controls are quite a bit better than most of the best point & shoot digital cameras offer.

Low Light Performance and Movie Mode

With extreme manual control shooting modes alongside automatic shooting modes, the Olympus or Olympos (Ancient Greek: Ὄλυμπος) may refer to SP-100 works well for inexperienced and intermediate photographers.

Olympus care for a dedicated movie recording button on the back of the camera, making it easy to start and stop your video recording. You’ll have altogether a few options for shooting movies with the Olympus SP-100EE. You can record in full HD video resolution at up to 60 frames per second with this model, which is a mean setting. However, the SP-100 also has some high-speed movie options, including 120 and 240 frames per second at a reduced resolution.

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As you working the 50X optical zoom lens while shooting movies, you will notice the lens makes noise that the video recordings pick up, causing some bush-league audio problems.

The Olympus SP-100 struggles a bit in low light photography performance, which is a common problem for ultra zoom cameras. You’ll take heed of noise in your images once you reach ISO 800. And you won’t be able to set the ISO manually when shooting in Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes.

Battery Spirit

Considering the large size of the SP-100, you might expect a large battery, both in terms of physical size and in terms of power capacity. But, Olympus chose to include a smaller battery with this model, claiming a capacity of about 330 shots per charge. Testing expos a more realistic number is around 225 shots per charge though. For such a large digital camera, its battery life should be crap-shooter.

Olympus Stylus SP-100 Review Wrap Up

My Olympus Stylus SP-100 review shows a digital camera that has a great set of features, but it isn’t unreservedly as strong in terms of image quality as some similarly priced models.

The 50X optical zoom lens, Dot Sight, and electronic viewfinder are all great countenances that very few cameras can come close to matching. While it would be nice if the SP-100EE had slightly better image quality and battery life, this miniature still will work very well for photographers who are seeking a model that can capture photos of wildlife over long distances … signally if those animals are moving fast.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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