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Olympus SP-100

16-megapixel digital camera with 50X optical zoom

6 Reviews | 2 questions - 2 answers

Item # 279SP100

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Our take on the Olympus SP-100

The Olympus SP-100 is the first consumer digital camera to include a built-in red dot sight. When you're tracking a moving subject at full zoom, it can be difficult to keep track of the big picture. When you use the sight, a red light is projected onto a glass panel under the flash to help you zero in on exactly where your lens is pointing while your digital viewfinder zooms in on the details. It's ideal for shooting challenging, fast-moving subjects like sports or wildlife. It's a fairly simple innovation that can help take your photography to the next level.

Olympus SP-100 with red dot sight

The SP-100's red-dot sight helps quickly and accurately position the camera at full zoom.

The red dot marks the spot

The Olympus SP-100 is the first consumer digital camera to include a built-in red dot sight. When you're tracking a moving subject at full zoom, it can be difficult to keep track of the big picture. When you use the sight, a red light is projected onto a glass panel under the flash to help you zero in on exactly where your lens is pointing while your digital viewfinder zooms in on the details. It's ideal for shooting challenging, fast-moving subjects like sports or wildlife. It's a fairly simple innovation that can help take your photography to the next level.

50X zoom gets you close to the action

The SP-100's ability to zoom in at high magnification makes the red dot sight invaluable. Being able to track a moving subject quickly, even when it's far away from your physical location is a pretty important ability when you're at 50X zoom. Once you've homed in on the exact person or animal you want to photograph, the camera can capture every moment in sharp detail with fast shutter speeds and up to 7 frames per second in burst mode.

Fast and smart

The SP-100 uses a high-quality TruePic VII™ image processor and large CMOS sensor to deliver blazing fast autofocus, superb low-light performance and quick start-up time. Olympus calls it iHS — Intelligent, High Sensitivity, High Speed — and it translates to sharp, detailed image quality. The camera shoots high-definition video as well, so you can record your subject in full motion.


    • 16-megapixel effective recording
    • 50X optical zoom (4X digital zoom)
    • red dot sight helps track moving subjects at full zoom
    • 3" LCD screen (460,000 dots)
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 24-1200mm
    • high-res (920,000-dot) electronic viewfinder
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • lens-shift image stabilization for blur-free photos
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
    • 11 creative effects for still images and movies include Fisheye, Pop Art and Soft Focus
    • 17 scene modes including Night+Portrait, Sports, and Indoor
    • panorama mode seamlessly stitches multiple shots into one
    • burst mode for shooting 7 frames per second for up to 6 shots at full resolution
    • automatic red-eye reduction
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • micro HDMI output for connecting the camera to a compatible HDTV (cable not included)
    • USB port
    • 4-13/16"W x 3-5/8"H x 5-1/4"D
    • weight: 17.11 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • USB cable
    • strap
    • lens cap and string
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camera (black)
    • Lens cap
    • Lens cap string
    • LI-92B Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (3.6V 1350mAh)
    • Neck strap
    • 27" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on the other end)
    • F-2AC-1B AC adapter (5V 500mA)
    • Olympus Setup CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty card

    Good camera. East to use. Amazing zoom.

    Cathy, Missoula, MT


    Olympus SP-100 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (6 Reviews)

    Excellent camera

    Cathy from Missoula, MT on 4/23/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Good camera. East to use. Amazing zoom.


    Cons: No manual focus option.

    Affordable High Quality

    Mike from Wisconsin on 6/24/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Light, able to find subject rapidly at full zoom, has many settings for great all around photography!



    olympus camera

    norm from Oregon on 4/12/2015

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I think this will be a good camera. I need to contact tech support on a couple of questions. I would like to see clearer photos with more detail. Perhaps I am not using the proper shooting mode. I like low light capabilities of this camera. Movie function is nice, also.



    Beginner Strikes Gold with Olympus SP-100!

    CarolynD. from Buckingham, VA on 9/3/2014

    This is a personal experience opinion not a technical critique. I learned with my first digital camera (not Olympus) & wanted more versatility. This beginner struck Gold with the Olympus SP-100! It does exactly what I want! The form: feel, weight, & arrangement of controls makes this simple to use with my hand difficulties. The helpful store rep. saw how this beginner showed ease of use at first try. In only a month, I am surprised how much more often & easily I use this for quick snap shots or composed photos. The stability control counteracts my shaky hands & is a real blessing. Nice finger tip zoom. The Bulls eye red dot easily centers & captures what I want like I want. I'm looking forward to but haven't yet tried video, etc. & believe they will be as easy & comfortable to use. My Marksman RET CSM husband enjoys the rifle-like red bulls eye. He often compliments my photos saying I made an excellent choice buying the Olympus SP-100 and uses it when he can. I foresee buying a second Olympus SP-100 for him. I looked at other Olympus models there but feel it is well worth the money to upgrade to the SP-100. The quality and ease of my photos makes this beginner very happy. Better than 5 Stars.

    Pros: Weight feels sturdy not bulky, arrangement of buttons easy to access, simply feels right in my hands. Stability assistance is a blessing for my shaky hands. The quality of the photos is beautiful! Zoom quick and easy for amazing photos. Easy one finger pop up, the Red Bulls Eye target helps me get more of what I want, just like I want. I look forward to using the other capabilities. What a joy to use!

    Cons: Size of power button is much too small requiring I crook a finger for finger-nail tip use slowing down use. I prefer a larger button for quick on & off ease to get those unexpected shots. The one finger zoom buttons are simple and I suppose I'll get used to 2 buttons (still confusing them) but ideally would like smoother easier-to-move buttons, probably due to my hand difficulties rather than an actual deficiency.

    Olympus SP-100EE

    MikeE from Charlottesville on 7/2/2014

    My first digital camera was an Olympus C-2100 Ultra Zoom. I wanted to replace the C-2100 with a larger zoom and better resolution. The SP-100 fit the bill. The image quality is excellent, The dot sight is a nice feature but I haven't mastered it yet.

    Pros: 50X zoom, 1080P video, excellent quality images.

    Cons: Small power button is a little cumbersome. No threads on lens to accept filters.

    Eagle Eye Zoom Olympus SP-100 Well Worth The Wait

    WesL from Pleasanton, CA on 5/14/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Olympus has been a pioneer in the bridge camera long zoom lens digicam segment and their experience is evident in the Olympus SP100 EE 50X optical zoom digital camera. The laser (eagle eye) zoom aid is nothing short of phenomenal in it's implementation and usefulness. Designed mostly for outdoor use when you are zooming beyond the 20X range, you fill find it much easier in capturing action photos and will eliminate the need to zoom wide to find the object you are tracking. It works just like a rifle laser sight and can even be adjusted for fine calibration with an adjustment knob next to the eye cup. The camera is very well built, lightweight and constructed of high quality plastics with a carbon fiber look and feel. The Controls are solid and the assignable function button and selection wheel allow you to customize the camera for your own personal shooting preference. I owned a Canon SX50 and can compare the image quality of photos taken against the Olympus SP100. The Olympus images are very sharp and clear and noise is kept under control up to 800 iso. Color rendition and white balance are accurate with vibrant colors throughout. Have not tested video and macro capabilities yet but will update in a later review. The camera is easy to grip and hold with plenty of grip texture and having the additional zoom control on the side of the lens barrel is also a nice feature. Olympus has clear winner on their hands in the ultra competitive long zoom digicam segment.

    Pros: 50X Optical Zoom Excellent Low Light Performance Low Noise up to 800 ISO Fast Performance - Low Shutter Lag Light Weight Strong Build Quality EE Laser Light Focus Zoom Aid Technology Extremely Useful Custom FN button and controller Wheel Assignment

    Cons: No external Flash Shoe No RAW Support Battery Life (Capacity)


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size 3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof No
    GPS-enabled No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 24-1200mm
    Optical Zoom 50x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Manual Exposure Yes
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Micro
    Internal Memory 37 MB
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" BSI CMOS
    Megapixels 16
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
    Width (inches) 4-13/16
    Height (inches) 3-5/8
    Depth (inches) 5-5/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 20.8
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Recording Images

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Supplied Software


    Optics: The Olympus Stylus SP-100EE is equipped with a powerful 50x optical zoom lens. The lens has a focal length of 4.3-215mm (equivalent to 24-1200mm in 35mm photography). The 50x optical zoom lets you get close to the action, while the 24mm wide angle lens allows you to capture wide landscapes and group pictures.

    Dot-Sight: The SP-100EE features a built-in dot-sight which helps you easily keep track of fast moving objects and keep them in the frame as you shoot. It also helps you locate small distant items when you are zoomed in. The dot-sight is located on the top of the camera above the viewfinder. It features a semi-transparent mirror with a red "target". You can adjust the height of the target within the frame by turning a dial to the right of the viewfinder.

    3" LCD Monitor: The camera is equipped with a 3.0" color LCD monitor (4:3) with approximately 460,000 dots and a 5-level monitor brightness adjustment.

    Viewfinder: In addition to the LCD monitor, the Stylus SP-100EE offers an eye-level electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 920,000 dots and 100% field of view. The diopter allows you to adjust the viewfinder to your personal eyesight. Like the LCD monitor, the viewfinder has a 5-level brightness control. You can switch between the viewfinder and the LCD monitor via a switch on the rear panel.

    Image Sensor: The Olympus Stylus SP-100EE features a 1/2.3" BSI CMOS image sensor with approximately 16-million effective pixels.

    Recording Media: The Stylus SP-100EE records still images or movies onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory Cards, including Ultra High Speed UHS-1 cards. It will also accept Eye-Fi and FlashAir cards which have built-in wireless LAN functionality. The camera also has a 37 MB internal memory for temporary storage and taking a few test shots.

    Image Stabilization: When shooting in low light situations or with high magnification, the Image Stabilizer can help reduce camera shake and eliminate blurred images. The Stylus SP-100EE utilizes a lens shift image stabilization system.

    Focusing Range: The focus range for the normal shooting mode is 2.4" to infinity for wide angle and 11.5' to infinity in telephoto. In the Super Macro mode, the range is 0.36" to infinity.

    Zoom: The camera has an optical zoom of 50x. In addition, you can zoom in further with the Super-Res Zoom (available only when the image size is 16M) or the 4x digital zoom. The Super-Res Zoom lets you enlarge the subject without degrading the image.

    AF Illuminator: The camera has a built-in LED illuminator that assists in Auto Focusing, or illuminates a subject in shadows. It can be set to automatically illuminate when the shutter button is pressed halfway.

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

    • Auto Flash: 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.

    Self-Timer: You can take pictures of yourself using the 12-second built-in self timer. The 2-second self-timer also aids in preventing camera shake. You can also customize the self-timer by setting the number of frames, the delay time, and the interval time between shots.

    Power Requirements: The Stylus SP-100EE operates on the LI-92 rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (3.6 Volts, 1350 mAh). The supplied F-2AC-1B AC adapter and USB cable let you charge the battery in the camera in approximately 5 hours. A fully charged battery can provide enough power for approximately 330 shots or 120 minutes of continuous video shooting.

    Recording Images

    Still Images: The Stylus SP-100EE can record still images in JPEG format. Images can be recorded in four sizes in four aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1) at Fine or Normal compression. Images can be recorded at the following resolutions:

    4:3 16:9 3:2 1:1
    4608 x 3456 4608 x 2592 4608 x 3072 3456 x 3456
    3200 x 2400 3200 x 1800 3216 x 2144 2400 x 2400
    1920 x 1440 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1280 1440 x 1440
    640 x 480 640 x 360 624 x 416 480 x 480

    Movies: Normal and High-Speed movies are recorded in MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video, Linear PCM sound). The maximum length is 29 minutes for Full HD and HD movies, and 20 seconds for High Speed movies. Individual files can be up to 4 GB in size. Movies are recorded in the following sizes/frame rates:

    Record Mode Pixel Count Frame Rate
    Full HD 1920 x 1080 60 fps
    Full HD 1920 x 1080 30 fps
    HD 1280 x 720 30 fps
    VGA 640 x 480 30 fps
    HS 120 640 x 480 120 fps
    HS 240 432 x 324 240 fps

    Shooting Modes: The camera lets you choose between several shooting modes:

    • iAuto: The camera automatically selects the optimal shooting mode for the scene.
    • Program: The camera automatically sets shutter speed and aperture, but allows you to make changes to a wide range of other settings. Program shift allows you to choose different combinations of aperture value and shutter speed without altering the exposure.
    • Aperture-Priority: You choose the aperture value and the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed for optimal exposure. Larger apertures decrease depth-of-field, while smaller apertures increase depth-of-field.
    • Shutter-Priority: You choose the shutter speed and the camera automatically adjusts the aperture value for optimal exposure. Faster shutter speeds capture action without blur.
    • Manual: The Manual mode lets you choose both the aperture value and the shutter speed.
    • Panorama: The Panorama mode lets you shoot and combine multiple images to create an image with a wide angle of view. You can shoot 180° or 360° panoramas automatically, or take a manual panorama.
    • Scene: Lets you select from the following pre-programmed settings: Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Interval Shooting, Hand-held Starlight, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Super Macro, and Backlight HDR.
    • Art Filter: Lets you choose from the following filter effects: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, and Dramatic Tone.

    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. During sequential shooting, the focus, exposure, and white balance are locked with the first frame. There are two sequential shooting and two high-speed shooting modes:

    • Sequential 1: Images are taken sequentially for 200 frames at up to about 2.5 frames per second.
    • Sequential 2: Images are taken sequentially for 6 frames at up to about 7 frames per second.
    • High-Speed 1: Images are taken sequentially for 60 frames at up to about 20 frames per second. The image size is limited.
    • High-Speed 2: Images are taken sequentially for 60 frames at up to about 60 frames per second. The image size is limited.

    ISO Sensitivity: The higher the ISO value, the greater the camera's light sensitivity and better its ability to shoot in low light. The Stylus SP-100EE can automatically set the camera's sensitivity according to the conditions around the subject. High ISO Auto sets the sensitivity with priority on minimizing blur caused by a moving subject or camera shake. Manual settings include ISO 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and 6400.

    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.

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Image Playback: Once still images or movies have been captured, the camera gives you several options for playing them back:

    • Manual Playback: View images manually one-by-one
    • Slide Show: Play still images back as a slide show. The interval between pictures is approximately 3 seconds. You can choose from five different types of background music, or no music.
    • Index View: For viewing multiple images at once, you can create an index display of 20 frames.
    • Playback Zoom: In single-frame playback, you can zoom in on the photo up to 10x. Once you are zoomed in, you can move around the picture using the arrow buttons.

    Outputs: The Stylus SP-100EE is equipped with an HDMI Micro Connector (Type D) for connecting the camera to an HDMI-equipped HDTV. The output can be set to 1080p, 1080i, 720p, or 480p. If the connected HDTV is compatible with HDMI Control, you can set the camera to be controlled by the TV's remote control. The camera also has a proprietary multi-connector jack used as an audio/video output (with the optional CB-AVC3 cable) or a USB port (with the supplied USB cable).

    Editing Pictures: You can edit your photos using one of the following:

    • Shadow Adjust: You can brighten areas that are dark due to backlighting of other reasons
    • Redeye Fix: Red-eyes caused by flash shooting can be retouched.
    • Cropping: You can zoom in using the cropping frame, and create a new image.
    • Aspect: Lets you change the aspect ratio of your photo from 4:3 to 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1.
    • Image Size: You can save a high-resolution image as a separate image with a smaller size to use in e-mail attachments or other applications. You can choose 3M or VGA.
    • e-Portrait: Makes skin look smooth and translucent.
    • Adding Sound: You can record up to approximately 4 seconds of audio to add to a still image. When the image is played back, you can play back the attached audio by pressing the OK button.
    • In-Movie Image Capture: You can capture still images from selected frames in a movie.

    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.

    Supplied Software

    Supplied Software: The Stylus SP-100EE comes with Olympus Viewer 3 software on CD-ROM. The disc also includes a full Camera Instruction Manual. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows XP (SP3)
    • Windows Vista (SP2)
    • Windows 7 (SP1)
    • Windows 8/8.1
    • Mac OS X v10.5-v10.9

    Mass Storage Device: When the camera is used as a Mass Storage device, you can connect it to computers with a USB connection, running the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP (SP3)
    • Windows Vista (SP2)
    • Windows 7 (SP1)
    • Windows 8/8.1
    • Mac OS X v10.5-v10.9

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    2 questions already asked

    No. The camera has a little built-in memory, but you will want a card. Love the camera. [ Nina  Mar 30, 2016 ]
    We have not received any answers from other customers on your question. I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They should be able to help answer your question. [ Greg  Jun 11, 2014 ]  Staff