Nice intermediate camera!
Ease of use, macro, zoom, flash choices, picture quality.
shutter speed, slow zoom.
The Bottom Line:
This is a great camera for intermediate users, with a plethora of features and ease of use.
I bought this camera with the idea that I would be getting a few more features than my previous camera which was a Canon S3 IS. I wanted a little better zoom and the wide angle lens for my nature shots. I was a little skeptical about changing brands but decided it was worth the risk.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the photos and noticed several distinct differences between the 2 cameras. I hope it helps someone with the decision process. The Olympus has a different feel to it entirely, not as boxy and a little more light weight. The flash is distributed much better; instead of a blast of light throughout your shot, it places it where it needs it the most. If you want more of a dispersed flash, all you need to do is switch the settings around to suit your needs.
It will do macro in "auto" mode, which is nice because you don't have to change the setting to take nice close-ups. Also, if you set the camera to "P" (program) mode, it will save your macro setting so you don't have to keep setting it.
There is a flash setting that allows you to use flash whenever you want to instead of deciding for you, that is really nice! The flash has a push button so if you don't want to have it come on at all, you don't have to pop it up. I couldn't get my other camera to flash if it didn't want to and sometimes I really wanted some flash.
There is a noticeable difference in picture quality, mostly when I edit the photos. They crop much better with more clarity and less distortion.
Something else I noticed was the colors in the pictures are more natural. I find I don't have to "pump up the color" in the editing process as much and my pictures look much more true to life.
There are definitely more choices to pick from in "scene" mode; with all the variety, you have everything covered from pictures of documents to behind glass shots. The menus are easy to navigate and pretty self explanatory. A few things are buried in the menu, such as shooting rapid succession pictures. (The Canon had a button for that.)
In all honesty, the shutter speed is slower; which I expected thanks to the large zoom. If you're like me and pretty much never in a hurry, this won't bother you.
I experimented with an SLR last weekend and would much rather have a camera I don't have to mess with as much. The weight and hassle of changing lenses isn't something I'm fond of, so this camera makes a nice alternative and quite frankly, the pictures are close to the same quality of most of the lower level SLR's. I walked around Seattle and didn't have to keep changing my lenses like my friend did; which was a bonus considering the dangers of paying attention to your expensive camera in downtown Seattle and risking any number of scenarios that involve your life or your camera. Mine fit inside of my coat much better when it rained; she was fumbling around for her large bag every few minutes.
The Olympus is a great camera for those of you who wish to do a little more than "point and shoot". If you're a beginner, go with a more simple format and less features; but if you're graduating from the basic point and shoot camera and want more challenge in your photography, this one's for you.
It will shoot RAW images and there's room for expansion with multiple lenses you can buy if you want more choices.
This camera is small enough to be portable, yet feels like an actual camera in your hand; rather than a credit card or bar of soap. The 2.5 inch LCD screen is very accurate and true to life in color and presentation. As with all LCD screens, you'll have to use the regular view finder in bright weather as you can't really see the images on the screen. I don't see this as a problem though, I like using both ways of shooting.
Another nice feature of this camera is that anytime during shooting, you can push the "play" button to view your photos rather than to switch settings all the time. When you shoot an image through the view finder, it will show on your LCD screen for a couple of seconds so you can see it. (The Canon didn't do that.) Plus, switching from the view finder to the LCD screen only involves pushing a button instead of going into a menu, which is nice.
I could go on quite awhile listing all the features it has, such as the display for the pictures you've taken. You can choose to view one or several of your photos at a time. I haven't counted the maximum it will show you but it's a lot. You can also keep scrolling until you get to the calender mode and it will show you a folder for each calender date you shot pictures on. Very nice!
I'm excited to learn about ALL of the features this camera possesses and may write more of a review after I've fully explored it's capabilities. So far I'm impressed with the performance of my new camera and hope I've helped someone to make the right camera choice for them.