May 12, 2005 — Adding another Stylus to its lineup, Olympus announced the Stylus 800 today. With 8 megapixels and a 2.5-inch LCD screen, this model takes the lead in the fleet of Stylus digital cameras. It takes a big leap in the megapixel war with a 1/1.8-inch CCD rather than the 5-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch CCD found on the Stylus 500. The new Stylus 800 offers more manual control, faster burst and startup times, and better performance in low light. The Olympus Stylus 800 will be available beginning in July 2005 for a retail price of $449.99.
While earlier Stylus models boasted simple automatic features, the Stylus 800 takes a step toward more manual functionality. While it still lacks a fully manual mode and manual white balance, it does offer aperture and shutter priority modes. These are in addition to the 19 scene modes that range from Document and Cuisine to the basic Portrait and Landscape modes.
Olympus markets its 8-megapixel CCD with the TruePic Turbo image processor, which is also found in the Stylus 500 digital camera. This combination is marketed to start-up in less than a second and have a faster burst mode that shoots 4 frames per second.
The Stylus 800 offers ISO 800 and 1600 speeds, although they are only available at the 3-megapixel image size or below. Still, this compact camera takes a step into the realm of low-light photography with its ISO ratings and larger available apertures of f/2.8 and f/4.9.
This model keeps the same all-weather housing that the Stylus line of digital cameras in known for. It has rubber gaskets throughout the camera so it can take a few splashes and raindrops. The 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3-inch Stylus 800 is slightly larger than the Stylus 500, but keeps the same rectangular-but-still-rounded design. The camera includes a 3x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 38-114 mm in 35 mm format. When the camera is turned off, the lens retracts back into the body and a single panel snaps tightly shut.
Weighing 6.4 ounces without the battery or the card, it is heavier than the 500 also, but packs in more technologies too. With an in-camera red-eye fix feature, the Olympus Stylus 800 aims for the point-and-shoot market that attempts to avoid computer editing. There is also a Help Guide function that is activated with its own designated button on the back of the camera.