April 04, 2012
This is my third Stylus Tough camera. The first was an SW1030, which I replaced after three years (when it leaked on a snorkeling trip), with an Tough 8010. I've used these cameras for all my photography - vacations snorkeling, hiking, biking, skiing; plus (since my wife is a big gardener) lots of flower photos (many macro shots), copying documents when doing genology research, and, everything else. I've been favorably impressed with the image quality and so taken with the convience of being able to have these cameras along all the time under any conditions, that I've quit using my SLR almost entirely. But, I've not been impressed with the slow power on and focusing of the prior models.
The claim that the 820 was much faster convinced me to buy it and I'm happy I did. Power on is almost instant (certianly compared to the 8010) and focusing is definately much faster. This combined with the fast (5 fps at 12mp) sequential shooting definately helps capturing good action shots. The new view screen is also a huge improvement - slight larger, brighter, much more detailed, and much better color rendition than the 8010.
I'm still adjusting to the change in position/style of the controls, I suppose they will be fine once I do. The "super-res zoom" is a feature I'll probably use sparingly as I don't think it really maintains the quality level of pure optical zoom, but, there are times when having a little extra zoom easily available is worthwhile, so, I'll probably leave it turned on.
Overall, I feel this is a really nice upgrade from the 8010.
March 28, 2012
I've been excited and waiting for this camera to come out and finally ordered it on line from Olympus. Couldn't wait till it got to the stores. I have had several Olympus cameras and this camera has quite a few new features I like. First of all it is solid and well made. I like the fact that you can use standard SD cards in this camera which are available most anywhere. I bought this camera for outdoor hunting and fishing use mostly and selected it due to it's toughness and the fact that it works in relitively low temperatures. I use a lot of trail cameras and I like the fact that you can take an SD card out of your trail cameras and put them in this Olympus camera and it works great. You can't do this with the Olympus cameras that use the XD cards. This camera has a lot of features, many of which I won't use, but they are there if I want to. If there is a down side to the camera it would be that you do not get a very good instruction manual with the camera. Just a quick start guide, but you do get a nice manual on the software provided with the camera, but there is a lot of jumping from page to page to learn all functions so I just printed out the manual on my computer. Not a big issue, but I like hands on manuals. The only other issue I have found is that the toggle switch is very sensative and if you don't pay attention and be careful, if you want to move up or down, left or right, you may end up going the oppisite direction from what you want. But again this is not a big issue and can be expected on a compact camera with small controls. Also with more practice I will overcome this problem. When you get out in bright sun with many cameras, you can't see the viewing screen. This is never a problem with Olympus cameras. They are easy to see in bright sun light. The bottom line is so far I love this camera and it does what it is designed to do...Take great photos and video's. I look forward to many years of quality use with this camera.