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Olympus Stylus 850 SW

Waterproof 8-megapixel digital camera with 3X optical zoom (Yellow)

2 Reviews

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Item # 279850SWY

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Our take on the Olympus Stylus 850 SW

Bring the rock-solid Stylus 850 SW with you on your next adventure at the pool, in the snow, or just about anywhere. This camera is waterproof down to 10 feet, so you can take pictures of splashing children and even film movie clips underwater. Snap fun shots on the slopes — the 850 SW keeps working in below-freezing temperatures. Detailed 8-megapixel imaging lets you capture a skier's expression as she finishes her first expert run. And shoot crisp, lifelike portraits with help from the camera's face detection feature. It focuses on your subject and automatically adjusts exposure to suit the surrounding light.

Bring the rock-solid Stylus 850 SW with you on your next adventure at the pool, in the snow, or just about anywhere. This camera is waterproof down to 10 feet, so you can take pictures of splashing children and even film movie clips underwater. Snap fun shots on the slopes — the 850 SW keeps working in below-freezing temperatures. Detailed 8-megapixel imaging lets you capture a skier's expression as she finishes her first expert run. And shoot crisp, lifelike portraits with help from the camera's face detection feature. It focuses on your subject and automatically adjusts exposure to suit the surrounding light.

Take extra-wide panorama shots with this camera's built-in photo stitching capability. If you want to record the team lineup at a swim meet, for example, just press the shutter button and slowly pan across your scene until all the swimmers have appeared in your frame. The camera automatically takes three shots, and then turns them into a seamless image that spans the whole group.

The camera's built-in 14.8MB memory holds about 3 pictures at top resolution — add optional xD-Picture Cards™ for more storage.

And for snapping photos in the water, Olympus offers the Stylus 850 SW Deluxe Summer Kit. It comes with a colorful floating wrist strap to keep your camera secure while you swim.

Product Highlights:

  • 8-megapixel effective recording
  • 2-1/2" color LCD with 5-level brightness adjustment
  • 3X optical zoom (5X digital/15X total zoom)
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 38-114mm
  • top JPEG resolution: 3264 x 2448
  • digital image stabilization
  • shockproof metal body designed to withstand a 5-foot drop
  • waterproof down to 10 feet for underwater shots
  • performs in below-freezing temperatures down to 14°F
  • airtight build keeps out dirt, dust, and other particles
  • shutter speed: 1/1000-1/2 second
  • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings
  • face detection automatically focuses on faces in your frame and adjusts exposure for better portraits
  • multi-frame LCD preview shows the effects of various settings and lets you select the best version
  • 24 scene modes including Underwater, Sunset, and Fireworks
  • VGA movie mode with audio (640 x 480 at 30 fps) works underwater
  • in-camera panorama mode takes three successive shots and stitches them together
  • shadow adjustment technology for more detail in back-lit and dimly lit photos
  • in-camera editing to correct red-eye and brighten dark portions of photos
  • in-camera slide show
  • built-in flash
  • high-speed USB interface
  • 14.8MB internal memory
  • uses optional xD-Picture Card™ and microSD memory cards
  • compatible with PictBridge-enabled printers
  • 3-3/4"W x 2-7/16"H x 1"D
  • weight: 4.8 ounces (without battery and media)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable lithium-ion battery (Li-42B)
  • battery charger
  • microSD adapter (MASD-1)
  • audio/video and USB cables
  • wrist strap
  • software CD-ROM

So far, great. very portable, I bought it for its ease, not many controls, easy to turn off flash, doesnt shake. I intend to take pictures on the ski slopes, hope it works in the cold. (still early fall here) 10/14/2008

Jmacsnow, Killington, VT

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (yellow body)
  • LI-42B Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (3.7V/740mAh)
  • LI-40C Battery charger
  • 6' AC cord
  • Wrist strap
  • 5' A/V cable (with a proprietary connector on one end and composite video RCA and mono audio RCA plugs on the other end)
  • 54" USB cable (with proprietary connector on one end and a USB Type A connector on the other end)
  • MASD-1 microSD/xD adapter
  • Olympus Master 2 CD-ROM software
  • Software Installation Guide
  • Instruction Manual/Quick Start Guide (English)
  • Instruction Manual/Quick Start Guide (French)
  • Instruction Manual/Quick Start Guide (Spanish)
  • Warranty card
  • microSD attachment Instruction Manual
  • "How to insert the battery" sheet
  • Maintaining Water Resistance booklet

Featured Video:


Olympus Stylus 850 SW Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(2 Reviews)

Great Camera

Jmacsnow from Killington, VT on 10/14/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

So far, great. very portable, I bought it for its ease, not many controls, easy to turn off flash, doesnt shake. I intend to take pictures on the ski slopes, hope it works in the cold. (still early fall here) 10/14/2008



Olympus Stylus 850 SW

Kay from Hilo, HI on 9/3/2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great camera to capture underwater scenes. I haven't made any prints yet, but the pictures look fine in my photo software program. I love the fact that you can select 'scenes' which have the right settings, as sometimes the 'auto' feature doesn't yield the best pictures.




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 2.5"
Adjustable-angle LCD ---
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen ---
Waterproof ---
GPS-enabled ---
Lens 35mm Equivalent 38-114mm
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom 5x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing No
Manual Exposure No
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output ---
Internal Memory 14.8 MB
Memory Media None
Sensor Size 1/2.35"
Megapixels 8e+006
Image Stabilization Digital
Highest Resolution 3248 x 2436
4K Video No
Video Resolution ---
Width (inches) 3-3/4
Height (inches) 2-7/16
Depth (inches) 1
Weight With Battery (ounces) 5.3
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Images

Displaying and Editing Images

Supplied Software

Memory Capacity


Shockproof/Waterproof/Freeze-proof: The Olympus Stylus 850 SW is a rugged, everyday camera, designed for on-the-go photographers. The camera has a durable metal body and a floating circuit board, making it able to withstand a 5-foot fall, drop or other mishap (MIL-STD-810F standard). Its innovative waterproof seals and gaskets allow you to take underwater movies and pictures in the pool, lake, or ocean, up to 10 feet depths (IEC6059--IPX8/JISC0920 standard). For those who want to take pictures on the slopes, the camera can withstand temperature extremes down to 14° F (MIL-STD-810F standard).

Face Detection: The Stylus 850 SW has a Face Detection feature which tracks faces within the frame, and focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portraits.

Image Processing: This camera uses the TruePic III image processor, which was developed for the professional Digital SLR, to deliver superior images with true-to-life color, sharper detail, and less noise.

Optics: The Stylus 850 SW is equipped with a 6.7-20.1mm zoom lens (equivalent to 38-114mm in 35mm photography), with 10 lenses in 8 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses.

3x Optical Zoom: The camera has a 3x optical zoom to deliver sharper, clearer images and bring you closer to the action without taking a step.

5x Digital Zoom: In addition to the 3x optical zoom, the camera has a 5x digital zoom. This gives you a seamless total zoom of 15x.

LCD Monitor: The camera is equipped with a 2.5" HyperCrystal color TFT LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 pixels. The monitor features a 5-step brightness adjustment, anti-glare technology, and an extra-wide viewing angle. The LCD monitor allows you to view images being taken as well as review stored images, even in direct sunlight.

Recording Media: The Olympus Stylus 850 SW digital camera records still images or motion video on the internal memory (14.8 MB) or an optional xD Picture Card (16MB-2GB). An MASD-1 microSD adapter allows you to insert a microSD card into the xD Picture card slot. Still images are recorded in JPEG format. Motion video is recorded in AVI (Motion JPEG video and WAV audio).

Backup: You can copy images stored on the internal memory to a removable xD Picture Card.

8.0 Megapixel Image Sensor: The digital camera's high-resolution 8.0-megapixel image sensor delivers superior quality for larger prints without sacrificing detail. The camera features a 1/2.35" CCD (primary color filter) with 8,500,000 gross pixels and an effective pixel count of 8,000,000.

Digital Image Stabilization: The camera combines Digital Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and faster shutter speeds so you can capture sharp, blur-free images, even if your subject is moving.

Focusing Range: The focus range for the normal shooting mode is 1.6' to infinity for wide angle and telephoto lens extremes. In the macro mode, the range is 0.7' to infinity (wide) and 1' to infinity (tele). Super Macro and Super Macro LED modes allow you to take shots as close as 2.8".

White Balance: The Stylus 850 SW offers the following White Balance presets: Auto, Sunny Day, Cloudy Day, Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Lamp 1 (daylight fluorescent), Fluorescent Lamp 2 (neutral white fluorescent), Fluorescent Lamp 3 (white fluorescent).

Flash: The camera's built-in flash operates in the following modes:

  • Flash Auto: The flash fires automatically in low light or backlight conditions.
  • Red-eye Reduction Flash: This emits pre-flashes for red-eye reduction.
  • Fill-in Flash: The flash fires regardless of the available light.
  • Flash Off: The flash does not fire.

Flash Range: The flash's working range is 0.66' to 17.4' (wide) at ISO 800, and 0.98' to 12.1' (tele) at ISO 800.

Self-Timer: You can take pictures of yourself with the built-in 12-second self timer. When activated, the Self Timer LED on the front of the camera glows for 10 seconds, then blinks for 2 seconds before the shutter is released.

Pixel Mapping: In rare cases, the camera may acquire dead or stuck pixels in the CCD. Pixel Mapping allows you to engage a menu function and refresh the CCD, instead of having to send the camera back to an Olympus service center. It is recommended that Pixel Mapping be done once a year.

Inputs/Outputs: The camera has a proprietary multifunction jack used as an audio/video output (with the supplied composite video/mono audio cable) or a USB port (with the supplied USB cable).

Sleep Mode: To save battery power, the camera automatically enters the sleep mode and the LCD turns off after approximately three minutes with no operations performed. After 15 minutes the camera turns off completely and the lens cover closes.

Time and Date Information: The camera has an internal clock, and the time and date information can be recorded on each image, if desired. The automatic calendar system will display dates through 2099.

Power Requirements: The Stylus 850 SW operates on an LI-42B rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. A battery charger (LI-40C) is supplied to charge the LI-42B. The camera can take up to approximately 190 photos with fully charged battery. Charging time is approximately 5 hours. The camera can also operate on AC power (useful during computer downloads or viewing images on your TV) using the optional D-7AC adapter with the CB-MA1 DC coupler.

Recording Images

Resolution: Several recording settings are available for still pictures and motion video, requiring varying amounts of memory:

  • Still pictures:
    • Image Size: 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 1920 x 1080 (16:9)
    • Compression: Fine or Normal
    • Audio: With sound or Without Sound
  • Motion video:
    • Image Size: 640 x 480, 320 x 240
    • Frame Rates: 30 fps, 15 fps
    • Audio: With sound

Scene Presets: The Stylus 850 SW camera offers 24 scene presets, optimizing the shutter speed and exposure for specific conditions and subjects. You can choose from the following scene presets: Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach & Snow, Pre-capture movie, Underwater Snapshot, Underwater Wide, Underwater Wide 2, and Underwater Macro.

Pre-capture Movie: After pressing the shutter button, a movie that lasts 7 seconds (2 seconds before pressing the shutter button and 5 seconds after) will be saved. No sound will be recorded.

Sequential Shooting: The camera can take one frame at a time, or a sequence of pictures at a time by holding down the shutter button. Normal speed sequential shooting locks the focus and exposure on the first frame, and the shooting speed depends upon the image quality setting. High speed sequential shooting takes pictures at a faster speed than normal speed sequential shooting. Shooting speed is approximately 1 frame per second for normal and 6.9 frames per second at high speed.

Focus Lock: If it becomes difficult to focus on the subject due to low contrast to the surroundings, close up and far away subjects in the same shot, or quickly moving subjects, you can lock the focus on an object at a similar distance, then shoot the picture after recomposing the shot.

Sensitivity: The higher the ISO value, the greater the camera's light sensitivity and better its ability to shoot in low light. The Stylus 850 SW can automatically set the camera's sensitivity according to the conditions around the subject. To minimize blur caused by a moving subject or camera movement, the camera can automatically use a higher sensitivity (compared to Auto). Manual settings include ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1600 equivalents.

AF Mode: There are three AF (auto focus) modes:

  • iESP: the camera determines the subject, even when not in the center
  • Spot AF: focus detection based on the subject within the AF target mark
  • Face Detection: tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant photos

Panorama: Using the included software it is possible to connect images with overlapping edges together into a single panoramic image. You can connect together up to 10 images either horizontally or vertically. This function requires the use of an xD Picture Card.

Exposure Compensation: In some situations, you may get better results by adjusting the exposure slightly using exposure compensation. You can adjust from -2.0 to + 2.0 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

Still Image Audio Recording: The camera's built-in microphone can be set to record four seconds of audio after the shutter button is released and the picture is taken. In the playback menu, you can add up to 4 seconds of audio to still pictures.

Displaying and Editing Images

Image Playback: Once still images or movies have been captured, the camera gives you several options for playing them back. Play still images back manually one at a time or present them as a slide show. You can also enlarge the images and rotate them +/-90° if they aren't correctly oriented. For viewing multiple images at once, you can create an index display of 4, 9, 16, or 25 frames. For movies, you can playback at normal speed, forward or backward. You can also play movies frame by frame in either direction.

My Favorites: This function registers your favorite still pictures as separate still pictures in the internal memory of the camera. You can register up to 9 favorite pictures. Favorites will not be deleted when you format the internal memory. Registered pictures cannot be edited, printed, copied to a card, transferred to a computer, or viewed on a computer.

Displaying On A TV: Still images and movies can be viewed on a conventional TV through the supplied composite video/mono audio cable. In the menu, you can select the proper video signal type (NTSC or PAL) depending on the TV.

Editing Still Images: You can edit images in the camera and store them as new images before transferring them to a computer. Types of edits you can make include:

  • Size: You can resize a picture to 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 and save it as a new image file. You can also crop a picture and save it as a new image file.
  • Color Edit: Color Edit feature changes the color of the picture and saves it as a new file: black & white, sepia, high saturation, low saturation
  • Frame: Frame edit feature lets you integrate a frame within an image
  • Label: Label edit feature lets you select a preset label and integrate the label into the image.

Perfect Fix: If a picture you have taken turns out less-than-perfect, you can edit it using one of two image fixes, saving the corrected image as a new file:

  • Shadow Adjustment: The camera edits only the portions that are photographed dark when there is backlighting.
  • Red-eye Fix: Corrects a subject with red-eye
  • All: Shadow Adjustment and Redeye Fix are activated together.

Erasing/Protecting Images: Unwanted images can be erased one at a time or all at once. You can protect important images to avoid accidentally erasing them. Once an image is protected, it cannot be erased during a single-frame erase or all-frame erase function. Protected images are erased when the memory is reformatted.

PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compliant printer. PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

Exif Print (Exif 2.2): The Olympus Stylus 850 SW conforms to Exif Print, a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it's captured. Printers compatible with Exif Print are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in prints that can be even better than the originals.

Print Reservation: Applying Print Reservation to your pictures allows you to take the xD-Picture Card to a DPOF-compatible photo lab for printing, or print them on a DPOF-compatible printer at home, without using a computer. DPOF is the Digital Print Order Format and allows you to add information to your picture files such as which pictures to print, the number of prints desired, add the date and time to each image, etc.

Supplied Software

Olympus Master 2 Software: This camera is supplied with Olympus Master 2 software which offers several functions:

  • Transfer images from the camera to a computer hard drive
  • View still images and video
  • Manage images in an album or folder
  • Edit images; trim, rotate, change size, filter, etc
  • Print images
  • Stitch panoramic pictures together
  • Update your camera's software version

Windows System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 2000 Professional, XP Home or Professional, or Vista
  • CPU: Pentium III 500 MHz or later
  • RAM: 256 MB or greater
  • Minimum Free Hard Disk Space: 500 MB
  • Monitor: 1024 x 768 pixels or more/65,536 colors or more (16.77 million colors or more recommended)
  • Interface: USB Port or IEEE 1394 Port
  • Other:
    • Internet Explorer 6 or later
    • QuickTime 7 or later recommended
    • DirectX 9 or later recommended

Macintosh System Requirements:

  • Operating System: OS X v10.3 or later
  • CPU: Power PC G3 500 MHz or later/Intel Core Solo/Duo 1.5 GHz or later
  • RAM: 256 MB or more
  • Minimum Free Hard Disk Space: 500 MB or more
  • Monitor: 1024 x 768 pixels or more/32,000 colors or more (16.77 million colors or more recommended)
  • Interface: USB Port or IEEE 1394 Port
  • Other:
    • Safari 1.0 or later (1.3 or later recommended)
    • QuickTime 6 or later

Memory Capacity

Still Images:

Image Size Compression Number of Still Pictures
Internal Memory (14.8 MB) 1 GB xD card
With Sound Without Sound With Sound Without Sound
8M: 3264 x 2448 Fine 3 3 253 255
Normal 7 7 492 499
5M: 2560 x 1920 Fine 5 6 404 410
Normal 12 12 820 841
3M: 2048 x 1536 Fine 9 9 615 627
Normal 18 19 1254 1305
2M: 1600 x 1200 Fine 15 15 1031 1066
Normal 29 31 1938 2063
1M: 1280 x 960 Fine 23 24 1560 1640
Normal 43 47 2907 3198
VGA: 640 x 480 Fine 75 90 4920 5815
Normal 122 164 7996 10661
16:9: 1920 x 1080 Fine 14 14 954 984
Normal 27 28 1827 1938


Image Size Frame Rate Continuous Recording Length
Internal Memory (14.8 MB) 1GB xD Card
640 x 480 30 fps 8 seconds 10 seconds
15 fps 16 seconds 18min 37 sec
320 x 240 30 fps 19 seconds 22 min 3 sec
15 fps 38 seconds 29 minutes

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