Here at www.paddlesurf.net we're not quite big time enough to get expensive digital cameras sent to us for review. So I'm going to have to be a little restrained in my testing of this camera because, after all, I shelled out my own bucks for it. Which kind of sucks because I would've liked to film myself dropping the Oly a couple of times onto a concrete floor- it'd be fun if it wasn't my camera. Here are some first thoughts:
The Olympus 1030sw just feels good. First of all, the thing is pretty darn heavy. It kind of feels like a little metal brick. That's not a bad thing- it feels solid. Strong. Supposedly I could sit on the thing and not smash it- that's good because I could see myself doing that sometime.
Actually, it'd probably get smashed by my big, white, marine-grade (that just means it's white and more expensive), Igloo cooler. Or I'd forget it in the bottom of my daypack and jam a sandy, wet, wetsuit on top of it and then put the cooler on it. I think you get it, I abuse stuff. The camera feels like it could take it.
I'm a fan of the amount of metal used in its construction. How many times have you reached for some gadget and been kind of let down by how "plasticy" it felt? There's a lot of good, old fashioned, metal in this camera. In fact the only parts that were obviously plastic were the waterproof doors covering the battery and cable compartments and the big screen on the back of the camera. Speaking of the screen, it seems to me that if something's going to get messed up in the rough conditions this camera will be subjected to, it's the screen. It'll probably be a good idea to buy some kind of protective cover for the screen.
As far as photos go, I like it better than the X-acti. There's all kinds of controls and options that you can monkey around with. To be honest, I haven't done too much of my homework as far as what I need to do to take really bitchin' pictures (check out this guy's blog- he uses an earlier version of the 1030sw and get's unbelievable images). I've been messing with the "Scenes" settings for taking photos indoors and for sunsets and photos around the fire- it's been fun and for my purposes seems to work well. Favorite photography feature so far? The rapid fire mode- you can set the camera to fire off bursts of photos for as long as you hold the shutter button down- can't wait to use it to capture some lip schwackin' action.
All photos in the last two posts were taken with the Oly- check 'em out and let me know what you think about them. I'm still learning about this camera but so far- I like it. It feels really tough and the pictures have come out fine for me so far.