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DCRP Review: Olympus Stylus 750
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: October 30, 2006
Last Updated: April 6, 2008
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:
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:
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: