Olympus Stylus SP-100 ultra zoom review

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LCD screen has average performance. It has a 3 inch diagonal and 460,000 dots. Viewing angles are not that great, there is a visible change in display visibility when viewed from above or below. The LCD is also not tilt-able nor has the touch capability.

Electronic viewfinder has very low resolution and low contrast but at least it doesn’t have the RGB tearing effect like the one on Nikon P600. It takes around a second to switch from LCD to EVF and vice versa. If nothing else, at least you have the EVF for those situations where LCD would be impractical, but its low quality will keep you from using is regularly.


Dot sight finder is a very useful gadget you can find only in Olympus cameras. When used on maximum or close to maximum zoom, it is very hard to find the target once you lose it. Anyone who owned a camera with more than 500mm equivalent focal length has surely encountered this problem. The only solution is to zoom back, find the target on wider field of view and then zoom back in. This is time and battery consuming process. With the Dot sight finder, you only need to align the red target mark with the subject you are shooting and it will show up on the LCD. This really works in real life and is very useful since you can walk around with the lens already on maximum optical zoom and frame the subject you are shooting really fast. I recommend watching my video review of this camera on YouTube since it is easier to understand it when demonstrated in real life.


Olympus SP-100 uses standard SD memory cards to store photos and videos.

Li-Ion battery is strong enough for around 250 shots an average, maybe more if you don’t use optical zoom a lot and this is quite good performance since many competitors average around 200 shots only.

Olympus SP-100 has USB and mini HDMI connectors. There is no option to attach external microphone for video or flash unit.


SP-100 takes around a second to extend its lens and be ready to take the first shot. Other response timings are equally good: playback is swift as are both the quick and main menu system. Quick menu can be used to adjust main shooting settings like ISO, WB and similar. I noticed a rare detail in the main menu – interval shooting. This is important feature if you intend to create time-lapse videos. Still, the camera cannot create the time-lapse video by itself, you will have to do it later on PC.

Shooting layout and quick menu:

Main menu:

Interval settings and options for customizable “Fn” button:

Dial customizing options and Dot Sight adjustments:


Video recording is available at maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 @ 60p. In theory this as good as it gets, but real life is something different. Videos are not bad, but they are not that good either. There is a noticeable jello effect and image stabilization cannot fully stabilize recordings. At any zoom position videos are too shaky for my taste. ┬áThe good thing though – is the auto focus. It is very fast and accurate even in lower light. For most situations, it didn’t took more than 2 or 3 seconds to acquire focus and this is superb, especially when compared to some competitors like Nikon P600.

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4 thoughts on “Olympus Stylus SP-100 ultra zoom review

    • SP-100 is good for beginners but is nowhere near the image quality Canon 100D can deliver. Go for Canon

  1. Do you know how much video can be recorded with the included batteries fully charged?

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