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DCRP Review: Olympus Stylus 750  
   

by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: October 30, 2006
Last Updated: February 28, 2012

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While it may be small in your hands, the Olympus Stylus 750 ($399) is big on features (bad joke, I know). It features a 7.1 Megapixel CCD, 5X optical zoom lens, CCD-shift image stabilizer, 2.5" LCD display, a built-in help guide, and more. All this in a slim, stylish all-weather body.

The Stylus 750 has a slightly cheaper sibling, known as the Stylus 740. It costs $50 less, and has the same features as the 750 except for image stabilization.

The Stylus 750 finds itself in one of the most competitive segments of the digital camera market: the ultra-compact. That means that it has its work cut out for it if it wants to be one of my top picks. How does it perform? Find out in our review!

What's in the Box?

The Stylus 750 has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:

  • The 7.1 effective Megapixel Olympus Stylus 750 digital camera
  • LI-42B rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Battery charger
  • Wrist strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROM featuring Olympus Master
  • 79 page camera manual

Like many cameras these days, Olympus has built 17MB of memory into the Stylus 750 in lieu of bundling a memory card. That holds just five photos at the highest image quality setting, so you're going to want a larger memory card right away. The Stylus uses xD Picture Cards, and I'd recommend a 512MB or even 1GB card as a good place to start. Olympus doesn't say anything about performance improvements using one of the new "Type H" high speed cards, but I'm sure they help somewhat.

The Stylus 750 uses the same LI-42B lithium-ion battery as the Stylus 710 (the last model in this series that I reviewed). This battery holds a paltry 2.7 Wh of energy, which is about as low as you'll find these days. Here's how that translates into battery life:

Camera Battery life, LCD on
(CIPA standard)
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS * 240 shots
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS * 270 shots
Casio Exilim EX-Z700 460 shots
Fuji FinePix V10 170 shots
HP Photosmart R827 240 shots
Kodak EasyShare V705 150 shots
Nikon Coolpix S9 190 shots
Olympus Stylus 740 200 shots
Olympus Stylus 750 * 190 shots
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 * 320 shots
Pentax Optio A20 * 150 shots
Samsung NV3 200 shots **
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 * 250 shots
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T50 * 400 shots

* Has image stabilization
** Not calculated using the CIPA standard

Battery life numbers are provided by the camera manufacturers

With its fairly anemic battery, the Stylus 750's battery life numbers are below average.

As you may know, I'm not a huge fan of the proprietary batteries used by cameras like the Stylus 750. They're expensive (around $38 each), and you can't put in a set of alkalines to get you through the rest of the day like you could with an AA-based camera. Then again, you'd be hard pressed to find an ultra-thin camera that uses AAs.

Olympus includes the above external battery charger in the box with the Stylus 750. This charger is pretty slow, taking a whopping five hours to fully charge the LI-42B. It doesn't plug directly into the wall like some chargers -- you must use a power cable.

Like all ultra-compact cameras, the Stylus 750 has a built-in lens cover. As you can tell, it's a very small camera.

There are a few accessories available for the Stylus 750. The most interesting has to be the PT-034 underwater case (priced from $184), which lets you take the camera up to 40 meters under the sea. If you want to power the camera without using up your batteries then you'll need to get the AC adapter, which actually comes in two parts. First you need the D-7AC AC adapter (priced from $25), and then you must also buy the CB-MA1 power coupler, which will set you back another $35.

Other accessories include a metal neck strap (priced from $10) and numerous camera cases. There's also an accessory kit (priced from $45) which includes a leather case, extra battery, and the metal strap.

You'll find version 1.42 of the Olympus Master software in the box with the Stylus. When you first start it up you'll be presented with the screen above. Options here include transferring images from a camera or memory card or browsing, sharing, and printing photos that have already been transferred. A backup option will save your photos to your hard drive or CD/DVD disk.

Here's the main image browsing screen. In the left pane you can choose how images are viewed: by date or category. Powerful searching features let you find images in a number of ways. The thumbnails in the center of the screen load quickly and you can adjust their size in real time. On the right side you'll find shooting data as well as links to Olympus and their partners.

Items in the toolbar include rotation, editing, printing, and e-mailing. There is also a handy panorama stitching tool that will combine several photos into one.

Here is the editing screen, where you'll find rotation and cropping, "instant fix", redeye reduction, and color balance options.

The Master software can be updated to the "plus version" for $20 more. This adds movie editing capabilities, HTML album creation, improved image e-mailing, more printing options, and the ability to make Video CDs.

Now, I don't want to take all the credit for this, but you'll find a full, printed manual in the box with the Stylus 750 (in three languages no less!). Long time readers know that I have been complaining for years about Olympus only giving you the manual on CD-ROM. Well, I guess I can finally shut up about that! Though it's not what I'd call user friendly (not even close), the manual included with the camera should answer most of your questions.

Look and Feel

The Stylus 750 is a stylish ultra-compact camera. The body is made almost entirely of metal, and it feels solid for the most part, save for the plastic door over the battery/memory card compartment. Like its fellow Stylus models, the 750 is all-weather, which means that it can get splashed, dusty, sandy -- you name it. It cannot go swimming with you, though -- for that you'll want the Stylus 720SW or an underwater case.

The 750 fits comfortably in your hands, and the important controls are within easy reach of your fingers.

One of the popular trends on cameras these days is offering them in multiple colors. In addition to the silver camera that I tested, the 750 also comes in black, red, and yes, green.

Okay, now let's take a look at how the Stylus 750 compares with other ultra-compacts in terms of size and weight:

Camera Dimensions (W x H x D, excluding protrusions) Volume (bulk) Mass (empty)
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS 3.6 x 2.2 x 1.0 in. 7.9 cu in. 165 g
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS 3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 in. 8.1 cu in. 150 g
Casio Exilim EX-Z700 3.5 x 2.2 x 0.8 in. 6.2 cu in. 112 g
Fujifilm FinePix V10 3.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 in. 7.4 cu in. 156 g
HP Photosmart R827 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.9 in. 8 cu in. 140 g
Kodak EasyShare V705 4.0 x 2.0 x 0.8 in. 6.4 cu in. 124 g
Nikon Coolpix S9 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.8 in. 7 cu in. 115 g
Olympus Stylus 740 3.8 x 2.1 x 1.0 in. 8 cu in. 140 g
Olympus Stylus 750 3.8 x 2.1 x 1.0 in. 8 cu in. 120 g
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07 3.7 x 2.0 x 1.0 in. 7.4 cu in. 132 g
Pentax Optio A20 3.5 x 2.1 x 0.9 in. 6.6 cu in. 125 g
Samsung NV3 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.7 in. 5.7 cu in. 142 g
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 3.6 x 2.2 x 0.8 in. 6.3 cu in. 140 g
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T50 3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in. 7.9 cu in. 130 g

Although it's one of the larger cameras in the ultra-compact group, the Stylus 750 can still fit into any of your pockets with ease. I have no idea why it's 20 grams heavier than the Stylus 740, though.

Okay, it's time to begin our tour of the camera now, beginning as we always do with the front of the camera.

Olympus' engineers have managed to put a big 5X optical zoom lens into this very slender camera. This F3.3-5.0 lens has a focal range of 6.4 - 32 mm, which is equivalent to 36 - 180 mm. Not bad for such a tiny camera! The lens is not threaded, nor would I expect it to be.

While it uses the same concept, the 750's CCD-shift image stabilization system works differently than the lens-based system on most stabilized cameras. Sensors inside the camera detect motion caused by slight movements of your hand (which can blur your photos). The camera then "shifts" the CCD to compensate for this motion, which reduces the risk of blurring. Now, this system won't freeze a moving subject, and it won't let you take night scenes like the one in my reviews, but it will let you get sharp photos at shutter speeds than you could not use on an unstabilized camera.

I did notice a few quirks about the IS system on the Stylus 750. For one, it's only activated when you actually take the photo -- and not when you halfway-press the shutter release button. Most cameras give you the choice of when it's active. In addition, it appears that the IS system is deactivated in movie mode, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Anyhow, here's a comparison showing you that yes, the IS system does produce sharper photos:


Image stabilization off


Image stabilization on

Both of the above photos were taken with a shutter speed of 1/3 second, and it's pretty obvious that the IS system does its job well. I can't do the usual sample movie since the IS system is not active in movie mode.

To the upper-left of the lens is the built-in flash. Olympus is pretty vague about the flash working range, providing only the maximum range at each end of the lens. At the wide end that's 3.8 m, and at full telephoto it's 2.7 m. Both numbers are about average for an ultra-compact camera. You cannot attach an external flash to the Stylus 750.

Hidden next to the flash is the self-timer lamp. To the upper-right of the lens is the camera's microphone. There is no AF-assist lamp on this camera.

On the back of the camera you'll find a large 2.5" LCD display. Olympus didn't skimp on the resolution of this screen, as it has 215,000 pixels. That means that everything's nice and sharp. I found the screen to be quite difficult to see outdoors -- definitely worse than average there. The LCD is much easier to see in low light, as the screen brightens automatically in those situations.

As you can see, there's no optical viewfinder on the Stylus 750. In fact, you won't find one on most of Olympus' point-and-shoot cameras. Whether this is a good or bad thing sort of depends on you. Some people really like optical viewfinders, and others won't miss them. I fall into the first group.

Moving now to the upper-right of the photo, we find the zoom controller. This moves the lens from wide-angle to telephoto in just 1.6 seconds. I counted thirteen steps in the 5X zoom range.

Below that is the mode dial, which has these options:

Option Function
Playback mode More on this later
Auto record Normal point-and-shoot mode
Scene mode You pick the situation and the camera uses the appropriate settings. Choose from portrait, landscape, landscape+portrait, night scene, night+portrait, sport, indoor, candle, self-portrait, available light, sunset, fireworks, museum, cuisine, behind glass, documents, auction, shoot & select 1/2, beach & snow, underwater wide 1/2, underwater macro; see below
Guide mode Camera helps you out in various situations; see below for more
Movie mode More on this later too

As you can see, this is a point-and-shoot camera that has no manual controls. But if you like scene modes, the Stylus 750 has got you covered. The available light mode is similar to what Fuji calls natural light mode. The camera lowers the resolution to 3MP and then cranks up the ISO as high as necessary in order to get a sharp photo. The problem is that it boosts the ISO so high that the photo ends up being really noisy (example), so my advice is just to increase the ISO manually instead, keeping it as low as possible.

The shoot & select scenes are continuous shooting modes that let you choose what photos you want to keep after they're all taken.

The shooting guide is a feature unique to Olympus cameras. You can choose from thirteen different things that you might need help with -- some of them are shown in the screenshot above. Let's say you want to reduce blur (one of the choices). The camera lists two things to do: turn on image stabilization and increase the ISO. If you want, you can have the camera do both for you automatically.

Below the mode dial we have four buttons plus the four-way controller. The buttons are:

  • Menu - does just as it sounds
  • DPOF print marking
  • Display (toggles info shown on LCD) + Help (describes menu options)
  • Delete photo

You'll mostly use the four-way controller for navigating the menu system. That was frustrating at times, as the controller is small, and the four buttons around it are too close, so it's easy to press the wrong thing. The additional functions of the four-way controller are:

  • Up - Exposure compensation (-2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV increments)
  • Down - Self-timer (on/off)
  • Left - Macro (Off, macro, super macro) - more on this topic later
  • Right - Flash setting (Auto, auto w/redeye reduction, fill flash, flash off)
  • Center - OK/Function

Pressing the center button opens up the function menu (sort of a shortcut menu), which has the following options:

  • Shooting mode (Program mode, auto) - the former lets you adjust white balance and ISO, the latter does not
  • White balance
  • ISO
  • Drive
  • Metering

I will have more info on all those when I discuss the record menu later in the review.

On the top of the Stylus 750 you'll find three buttons: power, shutter release, and image stabilization. Why would you want to turn off IS? I'll give you a great example: when you're shooting on a tripod.

Nothing to see here.

On the other side of the 750 you'll find its I/O ports, which are protected by a plastic cover. The ports include DC-in (for the optional AC adapter) and USB+A/V out (one port for both).

For some reason, Olympus refuses to support the USB 2.0 High Speed standard on their cameras. That means that transferring photos over the USB connection will be much slower than they should be.

The 5X lens is at the full telephoto position here.

On the bottom of the Stylus 750 you'll find the battery and memory card compartment and a plastic tripod mount (boo!). The battery and memory card slots are covered by a flimsy plastic door. You cannot swap memory cards while the camera is on a tripod.

The included LI-42B battery is shown at right.

Using the Olympus Stylus 750

Record Mode

It took about 2.5 seconds for the Stylus 750 to extend its lens and "warm up" before you can start taking pictures. That's about twice as long as on your typical ultra-compact camera.


There's a live histogram in record mode

Focusing speeds were more-or-less average. Typically it took between 0.3 and 0.5 seconds to lock focus, though a few times (at the telephoto end of the lens) it took the camera more than a second to confirm focus lock. I found low light focusing to be poor -- why there's no AF-assist lamp on this camera is beyond me.

Shutter lag wasn't a problem in good light, and I noticed a tiny amount of it at slower (read: tripod) shutter speeds.

Shot-to-shot speeds were average, with a delay of about 1.5 seconds before you can take another shot.

There's no way to delete a photo immediately after taking it. You must use the quick view feature or just enter playback mode to do so.

Now, here's a look at the image size and quality choices available on the camera:

Quality Resolution # images on 17MB onboard memory # images on 512MB card (optional)
SHQ 3072 x 2304 5 147
HQ 10 293
SQ1 2560 x 1920 14 420
2304 x 1728 17 515
2048 x 1536 22 652
SQ2 1600 x 1200 27 779
1280 x 960 42 1229
1024 x 768 65 1879
640 x 480 105 2905

See why you want to buy a memory card right away? The difference between the SHQ and HQ settings is the amount of compression applied: the HQ files are more compressed, and thus smaller in terms of file size. The quality will be slightly lower as well.

Not surprisingly, there's no RAW or TIFF support on this camera.

Olympus' file naming scheme is a little different than on most cameras. Files are named PMDD####.jpg, where M = month, DD= day, and # = 0001-9999. The numbering is maintained as you swap memory cards.

Now, onto the menus!

The Stylus 750 has a rather unusual menu system. When you press the menu button, you are first presented with the screen above. From here you can adjust the image quality, enter the recording or setup menu, or put the camera into "silent mode". If you're in scene mode, you can also get to the list of available scenes from this menu as well.

Choose the "camera menu" option and you'll arrive at a different screen. By pressing the display button you can get a help screen for any of the options. Here's what you'll find in this menu:

  • White balance (Auto, sunlight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent 1/2/3) - no custom option here
  • ISO (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600)
  • Drive (Single shot, sequential, high speed sequential) - see below
  • Metering (ESP, spot)
  • Digital zoom (on/off)
  • AF mode (iESP, spot)
  • Sound recording (on/off) - records 4 seconds of audio along with a photo
  • Panorama - helps you line up photos for later stitching on your computer; requires an Olympus-branded xD card

There are two sequential shooting modes on the Stylus 750. In regular sequential mode, the camera took just three shots in a row at a little under one frame per second. The high speed mode is indeed faster, though the camera "cheats" by lowering the resolution to 3 Megapixel. It took 16 photos in a row at 3.3 frames/second, which is a lot better, as long as you don't mind the low resolution. All-in-all I was a bit disappointed with the continuous modes on the camera, especially having used the infinite modes Canon and Panasonic's ultra-compacts. The only real positive here is that the LCD keeps up perfectly with the action, with no pauses or blackouts.

There's also a separate setup menu available, which you can get to in both record and playback mode. The options here include:

  • Format (memory or card)
  • Backup - copies files from internal memory to memory card
  • Language
  • Quick View (on/off) - when on, jumps to playback mode by pressing the DPOF print marking button on the back of the camera
  • PW On Setup - choose a startup screen and sound
    • Screen (Off, 1, 2)
    • Volume (Off, low, high)
  • Screen setup - use a photo you've taken as the startup screen
  • Color (Normal, blue, black, pink) - menu color
  • Beep (Off, low, high)
  • Warning sound volume (Off, low, high)
  • Shutter sound (1-3, low/high)
  • Volume (Off, low, high)
  • Rec view (on/off) - post-shot review
  • File name (Reset, Auto)
  • Pixel mapping - removes hot pixels
  • LCD brightness (-7 to +7, 1-step increments)
  • Date/time set
  • Dual time (for when you're on the road)
  • Alarm clock - yes, that's right. there's even a snooze function!
  • Video out (NTSC, PAL)
  • Power save (on/off) - turns off the LCD after 10 seconds of inactivity

I hope everything up there makes sense!

With that, we can now move onto our photo tests!

If your first reaction to our macro test shot is "wow, those colors don't look right", then you're correct. The colors are a bit off because there's no custom white balance option, which is needed to get accurate colors with my studio lights. Since I can't do that, I used the tungsten setting, which isn't quite right. Now this shouldn't be an issue for most people, but if you shoot under unusual lighting conditions, I'd encourage you to get a camera with custom WB.

That aside, the subject is nice and sharp, with no visible noise.

There are two macro modes on the Stylus 750. In regular macro mode, the minimum distance to your subject is 20 cm at wide-angle and 60 cm at telephoto, both of which are pretty lousy. However, put the camera into super macro mode and the minimum distance drops to just 3 cm. Do note that the lens is locked at wide-angle and the flash disabled when in this mode.

The 750 turned in a good, but not great night photo. Since there are no manual shutter speed controls, I had to use one of the scene modes to bring in enough light. Since it's a scene mode, I had no control over ISO either, and the camera chose 125, which is why the shot is pretty noisy. The photo is a bit soft as well, especially around the edges of the frame. Purple fringing was well controlled, though.

Since I can't control ISO and shutter speed, I can't do the night ISO test. I'll have one taken in my studio a bit later.

There's mild to moderate barrel distortion at the wide end of the Stylus' 5X zoom lens. While vignetting (dark corners) wasn't a problem on this camera, softness around the edges of the frame was. Take a look at examples one or two for great examples of this problem. Now, this won't matter at small print sizes, but if you make large prints or view the photos at 100% on your computer, you will certainly notice the softness.

Compact cameras almost always have big redeye problems, and the Stylus 750 is no exception. I even used the redeye reduction tool in playback mode, and you can see that it didn't help.

Here's the now standard ISO test that I take here in my "studio". This test is comparable with those performed on other cameras which I've reviewed over the last few years. While the crops below give you a hint about noise levels at the various ISO sensitivities, viewing the full size images is always a good idea. The colors are off due to the white balance issue that I discussed in the macro section of the review.


ISO 80

ISO 100

ISO 200


ISO 400


ISO 800

ISO 1600

Things look pretty clean through ISO 200, though you will see some of that edge blurriness I was talking about. At ISO 400 there is a noticeable loss of detail, though you still should be able to make up to a midsize print at that setting. ISO 800 and 1600 have a lot of "static" noise, so I'd only use those settings as an absolute last resort.

Overall, the photo quality on the Stylus 750 is good, but not great. On the positive side, photos were well-exposed with pleasing, saturated colors. Purple fringing was well controlled. The bad news is that the camera seems to apply a lot of noise reduction to its photos, giving details a fuzzy appearance. Another place you can see this is in the sky -- it's mottled instead of just one solid color. Add in some softness around the edges and you've got photos that don't look as good as I'd like. This photo is a great example of all the negatives I just mentioned. As I said before, none of this matters at small print sizes -- but if you do enlargements, look out.

As always, I must point to you our photo gallery. If you can swing it, try printing a few photos at the sizes that you'd normally use. Then you should be able to decide if the 750's photo quality meets your expectations.

Movie Mode

The Stylus 750 has a rather unimpressive movie mode. While you can record VGA-size (640 x 480) video (with sound) until you run out of memory, the frame rate is a choppy 15 frames/second. The internal memory holds just 19 seconds worth of video, so you'll want a larger card for longer movies. A 512MB card holds just under 10 minutes worth.

For smoother video you'll have to lower the resolution to 320 x 240, which boosts the frame rate to 30 fps. There is also a 160 x 120 / 15 fps mode available.

Believe it or not, the image stabilizer is disabled in movie mode. I have no idea why. You can't use the optical zoom during filming, either.

Movies are saved in QuickTime format using the Photo-JPEG codec.

Here's a sample movie for you. The quality is, say we say, a little lacking.


Click to play movie (14 MB, 640 x 480, 15 fps, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime
.

Playback Mode

The Stylus 750 has a pretty fancy playback mode. You've got all your basic features like slideshows, DPOF print marking, thumbnail view, image protection, and zoom & scroll. This last feature lets you enlarge a photo by as much as 10 times, and then you can scroll around to check focus, closed eyes, etc. There are also image rotation and voice caption functions in the playback menu.

The 750 has an Edit option, which lets you change photos to black & white or sepia, adjust sharpness and contrast, and reduce redeye (though you saw how well that worked). You can also put virtual frames around you photos, or put text on top of them. There's also a calendar creation tool available.

Speaking of calendars, above you can see another way in which to view the photos that you've taken.

You can also create up to twelve different photo albums on the camera. The camera doesn't store the album photos in a special memory bank, so when you delete them from the card, they're gone from the album as well (and vice versa).

By default the camera doesn't tell you much about your photos. Press the display button and you'll get more information, including a histogram (but where are the basics like shutter speed and aperture?).

The Stylus 750 moves through photos at an average clip. You'll wait about 1.5 seconds between photos in playback mode.

How Does it Compare?

The Olympus Stylus 750 is one of those cameras that sounded really cool in the press release, but I ended up being less than enthused with it when I actually had one in my hands. While I like its stylish, all-weather body, 5X zoom lens, and image stabilizer, the photo and video quality is lacking, the LCD is hard to see outdoors, battery life is below average, and low light focusing left much to be desired. There are better cameras out there for your hard-earned money.

The Stylus 750 is an ultra-compact camera made almost entirely of metal. The exceptions here are the cheap plastic door over the memory card and battery compartment, and the plastic tripod mount. Being an all-weather camera, everything is sealed, so the 750 can get a little wet, dusty, or sandy, and keep on snapping. Despite its small size, the Stylus packs a big 5X zoom lens, though it has issues with softness around the edge of the frame. The camera also has a CCD-shift image stabilization system, which effectively reduces the effects of camera shake. It's worth pointing out that you can't use the IS system while previewing a shot (it only works when the photo is actually taken) or when recording a movie clip. The 750 has a large and sharp 2.5" LCD and no optical viewfinder. While the screen is easy to see in low light situations, the same cannot be said when you shooting in bright outdoor light -- it's quite hard to see.

The Stylus 750 is a 100% point-and-shoot camera. Thus, it is not for those who want manual controls, but if you like scene modes and help screens, you'll love this camera. There are scene modes for just about every possible situation, whether you're shooting behind glass or underwater. There's also an available light scene, though I'd pass on it, as it uses ISO sensitivities so high that the resulting photo is just plain yucky. The camera also has a "shooting guide", which not only tells you how to do various things (such as reducing blur) -- it actually does them for you! You'll also find help screens for all menu items, which is certainly a nice extra. In playback mode you'll find a photo album, calendar creator, and basic editing tools as well. The movie mode on the Stylus 750 was disappointing. The video is of poor quality, it's choppy, and you can't use image stabilization for whatever reason.

Camera performance is average, at best. The Stylus 750 takes 2.5 seconds to startup, twice as long as competitive ultra-compacts. Focusing times are okay for the most part, but I did get a few sluggish focus times at the telephoto end of the lens. Low light focusing was quite poor: I think the Stylus 750 is the only camera in its class without an AF-assist lamp. Shutter lag and shot-to-shot times were average, though. Other disappointments in this area include a lackluster continuous shooting mode and below average battery life. The 750 also lacks support for the USB 2.0 High Speed standard.

Photo quality was a mixed bag. The good news is that photos were well-exposed, with pleasing colors and minimal purple fringing. The bad news is that there's a lot of blurriness around the edges of the frame, fine details appear fuzzy (probably due to noise reduction), and the sky was mottled. Redeye was also a big problem, and even the camera's redeye removal tool didn't help. Noise levels are reasonable through ISO 400, but I wouldn't use anything higher unless you're really desperate.

The Olympus Stylus 750 is a camera that I really wanted to like, but it just doesn't do it for me. It's okay for the point-and-shoot crowd who will be making small prints, but my thought is: why bother when there are cameras that can do the same things as the 750 and more for the same price?

What I liked:

  • 5X zoom in a compact, stylish, all-weather body (that comes in four colors no less)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Large, sharp 2.5" LCD display; easy to see in low light (but see issue below)
  • Tons of scene modes
  • Live histogram in record mode
  • In-camera shooting guide and help system
  • Optional underwater case
  • Full printed manual... woohoo! (only including this since it's a big change for Olympus)

What I didn't care for:

  • Softness around edges of frame; fuzzy details
  • Redeye a big problem
  • LCD difficult to see outdoors
  • No optical viewfinder
  • No AF-assist lamp; poor low light focusing
  • No manual controls
  • Unimpressive movie and continuous shooting modes
  • Below average battery life
  • Flimsy door over memory card / battery compartment; can't swap memory cards while camera is on a tripod, either
  • Plastic tripod mount
  • No USB 2.0 High Speed support

Some other cameras to consider include the Canon PowerShot SD700 IS and SD800 IS, Casio Exilim EX-Z700, Fuji FinePix V10, HP Photosmart R827, Kodak EasyShare V705, Nikon Coolpix S9, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX07, Pentax Optio A20, Samsung NV3, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T10 and DSC-T50.

As always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try out the Stylus 750 and its competitors before you buy!

Photo Gallery

See how the photos turned out in our gallery!

Want another opinion?

You'll find another review of the Stylus 750 at CNET.com.

Feedback & Discussion

If you have a question about this review, please send them to Jeff. Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for a personal recommendation or technical support.

To discuss this review with other DCRP readers, please visit our forums.