Olympus SP-100EE review

Olympus's 'dot sight' helps long-distance composition

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Our Verdict

The SP-100E's dot sight is an interesting innovation for framing distant subjects, but the fixed rear screen and lack of raw files hold the Olympus back.

The SP-100E's principal claim to fame is its dot-sight gadget to help you frame and track subjects in the distance – it's the only camera in the world to have one, and it's built into the pop-up flash. If you have trouble keeping your subject in the frame at high magnifications, then this could help. Unfortunately, the SP-100E sadly doesn't feature too many other enticing features.

The 50x zoom range is good, though no longer exceptional, and while you can shoot in program AE, aperture-priority, shutter-priority and manual modes, the SP-100E can't shoot raw files for higher-quality editing later on.

That's not all. The rear screen is fixed, where most rival bridge cameras come with tilting or articulating screens, and while there is an electronic viewfinder it's a little on the small side. Not only that, there's no eye sensor, so you have to switch between the LCD and viewfinder manually.

Olympus SP 100EE
The dot sight appears when you pop up the flash, and you can target your subject with the crosshairs.

On the plus side, in good light, images are bright and punchy directly from the camera – though if you examine closely, you will some image smoothing, something which many cameras like this are guilty of. It's caused by the combination of small sensors and high megapixel ratings – the photosites (pixels) on the sensor are so small they produce a lot of noise, which the makers then have to try to process out.

You may want to avoid shooting low light situations, though, if at all possible, because the quality falls at higher ISO settings.

Verdict

The SP-100EE's dot sight is an interesting innovation and could be useful if you're into wildlife photography. The maximum aperture is f/2.9 at the wideangle end of the zoom range, which is good, though this does drop to f/6.5 at full zoom.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
HDMIYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyStylus Traveller
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom50x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Shadow Adjustment, Noise Reduction, Self-timer, Live View, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime Motion JPEG
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)589 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height91.3 mm
Width121.2 mm
Depth133.2 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 215 mm (Lens 1)
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelSP-100EE
Product NameStylus Traveller SP-100EE Bridge Camera
Product LineStylus Traveller
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Manual
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Auto
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV103070BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

On the dot precision that's sharp as a pin

Keep your sights on the subject - and the exact photo you want. The Dot Sight feature integrated in the SP-100EE is an Olympus first in such a compact traveller camera. Whether you're zooming in on a far-away subject or a moving object, Dot Sight Framing Assist makes sure you always have a target on the subject and get the precise photo you want, without weighing you down.

Package Contents
  • Stylus Traveller SP-100EE Bridge Camera
  • LI-92B Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB8 USB Cable
  • Neck Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Lens Cap