Archive for September, 2007

Olympus µ770SW

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

After my trip to the Auckland Islands I realised that I had taken very few photos because it was wet weather and the ground was saturated, so my camera stayed in its bag in my rucksack most of the time. It was a conscious effort to get the camera out and given my hands on role I rarely had the chance. Most of all, I didn’t have those people doing things photo’s. I need a small camera that could handle some rough treatment and getting a bit wet.

As it happens, I’m heading off to Vanuatu in a few weeks for a holiday on a tiny resort island in a marine reserve, Hideaway Island. Waterside bungalow, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and scuba diving if I feel so inclined. Should be good. A camera like this would be great for the trip.

I did a bit of searching on the web for weatherproof, or splashproof cameras and came across the Olympus µ770SW. ‘S’ for shockproof and ‘W’ for waterproof. Not only did it meet my requirements, but beat them by a country mile by being waterproof to 10m. Perfect for my upcoming holiday to capture all those cool fish while I’m snorkeling and I can take it on sailing boats and kayaks with no worries.

Only problem, price! List price in NZ was NZ$700. Not outrageous, but more than I had in mind. I looked at second hand ones on Trade-Me (NZ’s answer to eBay), a couple, but too expensive. Google came up with a great price at NZ$480’ish, but it would be a grey import with a limited supplier warranty of three months duration, not the factory twelve months. However, it was so cheap that I went for it, but their website was broken! Fate. A couple of days later I checked the Dick Smith (NZ geeky electronic store, like Maplin in the UK) website to see if I could get a second rechargeable lithium battery. Amazingly they had just announced a special price of NZ$160 discount for the camera plus a 2GB xD card. Given the internal memory in the camera is virtually useless, you need a memory card and a genuine Olympus 2GB xD card is way more than the price difference from my failed Google buy. And, for another NZ$80 I got a pack containing a 256MB xD card, a spare battery and a bag. All this for less than the list price for just the camera a week before, very cool!

Olympus µ770SW

I’ve had the camera for a couple of weeks now. I haven’t got it wet yet, but love it so far. It has a macro and super macro mode, but better still it has a white LED to illuminate the object. I’ve used this a number of times at work in the last two weeks as it is so easy. Great for documentation, so easy. Beats trying to arrange suitable lighting and the super macro mode is great for real close up pics, such as electronic circuit board faults.

I’m really happy with my new buy. It’s small enough to fit in most pockets, tough and waterproof. It has some cool features, including an automatic lens cover, so no fluff or smudges whilst in your pocket. Oh, and its 7.1 megapixel.

If you need a pocket camera which is water and shock proof, even just in case, and is well designed and easy to use, I’d consider the Olympus (mju) µ770SW, especially if you can get a great deal like I stumbled on.