Olympus SP-100 Review


Overview of the Olympus SP-100 Camera

Nowadays, almost cameras are similar to each other in term of the inclusion of the basic features such as the touch screen or built-in Wi-Fi. To find a camera with some completely different features is becoming much harder.

Therefore, it requires manufacturers to be more dynamic and creative to give out certain competitive advantages over other competitors.

With the ultra-zoom SP-100 camera, Olympus has attempted to include a unique feature to make this model outstanding from other ones in the market. The Dot Sight mechanism is that important feature that helps you follow objects over long distances while the cameras has a pretty strong and impressive 50X optical zoom. This interesting feature helps photographers avoid the situation in which they use long zoom lens camera and easily have a object move out of the frame while they are capturing images over a long distance and using the zoom.

You will see the Dot Sight integrated in the popup flash unit. This feature is unique and it is not included in any other camera for the consumer level.

However, there are still some considerable weaknesses with this Olympus camera. For example, the price is pretty high while the image quality is just at the average level. Therefore, if you do not intend to make use of the ultra-zoom lens frequently, you may not necessarily want this camera. But the long zoom as well as such a unique feature as the Dot Sight, the SP-100 shall be a very nice option for your consideration.

Brief Review of the Olympus SP-100 Camera


  • The resolution is 16 megapixels
  • The optical zoom is 50X (24-1200mm)
  • The 3.0-inch LCD has the resolution of 460,000 pixels
  • The image size is 4608 x 3456 at maximum
  • The camera use a Li-Ion which can be rechargeable
  • The dimensions are 4.8 x 3.6 x 5.2 inches
  • The camera weighs 21.1 ounces
  • The 1/2.3 in image sensor uses the CMOS technology
  • A full HD 1080p movie mode is supported


  • Dot Sight is the unique feature with the SP-100 which is very useful for shooting moving objects over long distances
  • The camera has a 50X optical zoom
  • The interface is easy to use
  • It is easy to hold and use the camera with the large right-hand grip
  • The video capacity is nice
  • There is an inclusion of the electronic viewfinder


  • Image quality is just average
  • Battery life is not really good
  • The Dot Sight’s accuracy isn’t perfect
  • The size of the camera is extremely large and it is heavy, too
  • There is no touch screen LCD or Wi-Fi feature
  • The active display is not automatically switched between electronic viewfinder and LCD
Olympus SP-100 Camera Review Buy

Olympus SP-100 Camera Review Buy

Detailed Review of the Olympus SP-100 Camera

Image Quality

In terms of the price approaching $400, the image quality with the Olympus SP-100 does not satisfy me when I see the still images produced with this camera. This may be because of the small image sensor which is just limited to 1/2.3 inches. Actually, this is the common size that you can see with most basic point and shoot cameras.

When you shoot high contrasty photos, you may notice purple fringing issues with your photos. In addition, some softness may happen when you use the telephoto setting at the maximum level.

Moreover, there is no RAW image format supported while this option is very nice when you want to shooting photos of landscapes. You also don’t have a lot of manual control modes in this camera despite the inclusion of the Manual settings in the mode dial.

The movie quality is nice with this camera. You can easily get access to the full telephoto functions of the camera while you are shooting movies.


The performance is good with the SP-100. With the large 50X optical zoom lens, you can take advantage of powerful telephoto capabilities to shoot a lot of photos over distances, especially photos of the nature.

The shutter lag, of course, cannot be avoided with such cameras with ultra-zoom lens when you want to shoot photos over distances. The full telephoto setting is nice with this camera. In terms of the performing speeding, the Olympus SP-100 is still slightly better than other models using large zooms. You won’t have to worry about the delays from shot to shot with this camera.

It takes you about four seconds to move through the whole zoom range when your zoom lens is used. This speed is pretty fast. And there are up to 50 various specific focal lengths you can use with this model.

Unfortunately, you won’t be really satisfied with the Playback mode and the photo editing feature is pretty limited with this camera.


Obviously, the Dot Sight shall be an aspect that attracts the most attention from people. As mentioned above, the Dot Sight is built in the popup flash unit of the Olympus SP 100. Therefore, it requires the flash unit to be raised on the camera and the Dot Sight toggle switch to be turned on, and then the Dot Sight will appear.

When using the Dot Sight, the red sight will appear to notice you to focus the lens right at the object over the distance. This operates similarly when you maximize the zoom up to 50X. This unique feature of the Olympus SP 100 does help you to frame the moving objects precisely, especially when you set the telephoto capacity up to the maximum level because commonly, those objects easily go out of the frame quickly and you may not able to frame them again either with the LCD or the viewfinder.

The performance of this feature is pretty nice although its accuracy may not as good as one found on a rifle. There is not any telephoto capability with the Dot Sight. And because there is no connection between the Dot Sight and the camera’s lens, it is easier to use the red sight to frame the object than with the LCD screen or the camera viewfinder.

Beside the interesting feature like Dot Sight, other features with the Olympus camera are kept very basic. The menu arrangement and the on-screen menus are pretty simplistic. Do not expect to have those features too personalized.

The depth of this model is approximately 8 inches when you extend the zoom lens to the maximum level. This camera is very large and the right-hand grip is big, too. This aspect requires you to keep the camera firmly when you zoom the camera to shoot photos over distances.


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