Olympus IS-10


Digital super zoom cameras with a few exceptions have been looked down on by ‘serious’ photographers primarily because they tend to have tiny little sensors with large lenses.  The positive is that they are able to cover a multitude of focal lengths in a single package the trade off has been lower image quality.  Back when the Olympus IS-10 was released in 1994 though it used 35mm film just like almost every other camera available. Olympus called their version a ZLR or ‘Zoom Lens Reflex’ as it had a mirror and prism for viewing just like an SLR however it does not have an interchangeable lens.  The lens zooms from 28mm-110mm with apertures from 4.5-5.6 across that range.  The lens has 11 elements in 9 groups and is superior to any similar point and shoot lens.  In fact at the 28mm wide end the lens is amazingly good.  The program line for the camera will result in the lens being wide open for shutter speeds bellow 1/60sec at 28mm and 1/125sec at 110mm beyond that as the light increases the shutter speed will increase in step with the lens stopping down.  You can also quickly select an aperture using the F.no. button and the camera will respond by selecting the necessary shutter speed (aperture priority).  While full manual control isn’t possible further exposure manipulation can be accomplished by using spot metering.

Like any other lens letting a direct light source like the sun strike it will cause flare and reduced contrast.OlyIS10_Jan2015_009


One thing about one camera:  No matter what buttons you’ve pushed and if you’ve forgotten how to set the camera a quick push of the full auto button will set everything back to its defaults.

The digital bridge camera zoom war has seen the focal length range expand from around 28-500 in 2008 which was already impressive to 24-2000 in 2015 which makes film bridge camera zooms seem pedestrian.



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