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Olympus SP-820UZ iHS

14-megapixel digital camera with 40X optical zoom (Black)

4 Reviews

Item # 279SP820K

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Olympus SP-820UZ iHS

Don't be left thinking, “If only I could have gotten a little closer.” The Olympus SP-820UZ iHS delivers detailed shots of distant subjects thanks to its incredible 40X optical zoom. You'll get closer than you ever imagined with a compact digital camera. Wish you could get on the field for your child's soccer game? The SP-820UZ can put you there, even when you're stuck on the sideline. Great photos don't require a front-row seat with this impressive camera.

Get ready for your close-up

Don't be left thinking, “If only I could have gotten a little closer.” The Olympus SP-820UZ iHS delivers detailed shots of distant subjects thanks to its incredible 40X optical zoom. You'll get closer than you ever imagined with a compact digital camera. Wish you could get on the field for your child's soccer game? The SP-820UZ can put you there, even when you're stuck on the sideline. Great photos don't require a front-row seat with this impressive camera.

HD video with some cool extras

The SP-820UZ is more than just a still camera. Shoot stunning high-def video for playback on your HDTV right out of the camera with an optional HDMI cable. You can even record video at high speed, perfect for playing back smooth slow-motion videos of a golf swing, a touchdown catch, or a leap off a diving board. Another unique feature of the SP-820UZ is Photo with Video Clip mode. This shoots a few seconds of video before and after the snap of a still photo, fun for watching what went on immediately before and after the picture was taken.

Easy-to-use features with artistic flair

Just because the SP-820UZ is powerful doesn't mean it's complicated to operate. Set it to Intelligent Auto mode to let the camera handle all the settings for you. Or try one of 15 different scene modes, like Night+Portrait or Sports, to get just the right exposure for your setting and subject. Portraits will look better than ever thanks to Beauty and Make-Up modes which can do everything from smoothing wrinkles to whitening teeth. You can also add creative effects to photos and video for interesting fisheye or soft focus shots, among others.


    • 14-megapixel effective recording
    • 40X optical zoom (4X digital zoom)
    • 3" LCD screen (460,000 dots)
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 22.4-896mm
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • sensor shift image stabilization for blur-free photos
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
    • beauty and make-up modes soften shadows, smooth wrinkles and blemishes and whiten teeth for improved portraits
    • 12 creative effects for still images and movies include Fisheye, Watercolor and Soft Focus
    • 15 scene modes including Night+Portrait, Sports, and Indoor
    • Photo with Video Clip mode captures a short video before and after a still image is snapped
    • panorama mode stitches together up to 10 shots
    • high-speed video recording for slow-motion playback
    • burst mode for shooting 3 frames per second for up to 3 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
    • 4-5/8"W x 3-1/16"H x 3-3/4"D
    • weight: 17.11 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • 4 "AA" batteries
    • USB cable
    • strap
    • lens cap and string
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camera (black)
    • Lens cap
    • Lens cap string
    • 4 "AA" batteries
    • Neck strap
    • 54" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on the other end)
    • Olympus Setup CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty card

    This is my second Olympus. Feels good when holding. LCD is clear. Position of controls work well with my thumb. Must get used to NO view finder.



    Olympus SP-820UZ iHS Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (4 Reviews)

    FANTASTIC Optical Zoom & Stabilization

    JonW from Kentucky on 9/17/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Fantastic Camera! I bought this camera for an Antarctic trip last Christmas with the goal of capturing pictures of penguins "porpoising" through the water. I searched for cameras with a large optical zoom, good image stabilization, burst mode, plenty of pixels and standard AA batteries that I can buy locally when on a trip. The porpoising penguin photos were fantastic. I got them while seated in a moving Zodiac with the penguins following the Zodiac. The only people who took better photos on the trip had very expensive foot long Nikon lenses and could not change magnification quickly when needed. I recently took this same camera on a square rigged ship cruise getting pictures from deck of others in the rigging with similar fantastic results. From on deck I got great face photos with individual whiskers clearly standing out from 60 ft away. WOW! I took this camera up into the rigging for great photos and that's something you would not want to do with a foot long lens. I have had no problems with battery life or memory card size. I was an Eagle Scout, so I keep a spare 32 GB memory card and 2 sets of spare lithium batteries with me, inside my coat to keep them warm. I think I used 2 sets of batteries over a 2 week trip. Although I did not think I would like it, the panorama mode stitched images together from almost a 180 degree sweep into great images that could not be captured with a normal camera. I took it into mist from Iguazu Falls knowing that water was not good for any electronics. After awhile it stopped working, so I immediately removed the batteries and memory card, then let it set open for several weeks to dry out before powering it back up. It works fine, but water is not recommended.

    Pros: 40X Optical Zoom, Great Image Stabilization, Burst Mode 34 shots at 10 frames per sec, 14M pixel, standard AA batteries, Panorama mode, reasonable price



    VERNE from SILVER SPRING, MD on 9/5/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is my second Olympus. Feels good when holding. LCD is clear. Position of controls work well with my thumb. Must get used to NO view finder.



    Super-Duper Zoom

    NeilB from Danbury, CT on 4/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    40x zoom was the highest we found in any of the cameras in this class. Great to have two choices black/silver. Full selection of top end features.

    Pros: Everything you'd want and more in a point and shoot camera for a price that was reasonable and Crutchfield had the best price we could find for this model

    Cons: The only drawback we found was that getting all of that optical zoom comes at the price of a bigger body than the 20x and 30x competitors but its worth it for the greater zoom!

    Great photos. Easy to use. BUT...

    Africa Adventurer from Los Angeles, CA on 2/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this camera on a recommendation from a friend who thoroughly researched my need for an easy-to-use camera that would take great pictures of my trip to East Africa. While I loved the ease of use and had fun with the special features it offers (the "dramatic" filter created some fantastic photos!), I have issues with the battery life on this camera. On more than one occasion, after I'd loaded four fresh batteries that very morning, the batteries ran out of power in the middle of a game drive -- literally just a couple hours into the day!! On top of the frustration of dealing with dead batteries, I ended up spending another $ in batteries on the trip! This is really unacceptable for a brand new camera.




    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 22.4 - 896mm
    Optical Zoom 40x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing No
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Micro
    Internal Memory Yes
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
    Megapixels 14
    Image Stabilization Sensor Shift
    Highest Resolution 4288 x 3216
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
    Width (inches) 4-5/8
    Height (inches) 3-1/16
    Depth (inches) 3-3/4
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 17.11
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Recording Images

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Supplied Software


    Optics: The Olympus SP-820UZ iHS is equipped with a powerful 40x F3.4-5.7 zoom lens. The lens has a focal length of 4.0-160mm (equivalent to 22.4-896mm in 35mm photography). The 40x optical zoom lets you get close to the action, while the 22.4mm wide angle lens allows you to capture wide landscapes and group pictures. The 2x Super Resolution Zoom doubles the zoom power without degrading the image. Combined with the 4x digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 160x.

    LCD Monitor: The camera is equipped with a 3.0" LCD monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. The SP-820UZ offers a 5-level monitor brightness adjustment in the menu. There is no separate viewfinder.

    iHS: iHS technology is a combination of the high-sensitivity, high-speed 1/2.3" 14MP backlit CMOS sensor and the exceptionally fast TruePic V image processor. The result is fast auto focusing, an enhanced iAuto shooting mode that recognizes multiple scenes and subjects, and 2x Super Resolution Zoom that lets you zoom in farther than the optical zoom without degrading the image.

    Recording Media: The SP-820UZ records still images or movies onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory Cards. For test images, or when the memory card becomes full, you can shoot a small number of images onto the camera's internal memory. Still images are recorded in JPEG format. Movies are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with sound.

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

    Multi-Motion Movie IS: You can activate a special IS Movie Mode to reduce the blur caused by camera shake while shooting movies.

    Focusing Range: The focus range for the normal and macro shooting modes is 3.9" to infinity for wide angle and 9.8' to infinity in telephoto. Super Macro mode allows you to take shots as close as 0.4"

    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 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.

    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.

    Power Requirements: The SP-820UZ operates on 4 "AA" batteries. You can use alkaline or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Four alkaline batteries are included with the camera.

    Recording Images

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

    • Still Pictures:
      • Image Size: 14M--4288 x 3216, 8M--3264 x 2448, 5M--2560 x 1920, 3M--2048 x 1536, 2M--1600 x 1200, 1M--1280 x 960, VGA--640 x 480, 16:9L--4288 x 2416, 16:9S--1920 x 1080
      • Compression: Fine or Normal
      • Audio: With sound or Without Sound
    • Video:
      • Normal: 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 480
      • High Speed: 1280 x 720 (60 fps), 640 x 480 (120 fps), 320 x 240 (240 fps)
      • Audio: Normal: With sound or Without Sound, High Speed: Without Sound
      • Maximum Recording Length: Normal: 29 min, High Speed: 20 sec

    Shooting Modes: The top-mounted mode dial lets you choose between several shooting modes:

    • Program: The camera automatically sets shutter speed and aperture, but allows you to make changes to a wide range of other settings, such as exposure compensation, white balance, etc.
    • iAuto: The camera automatically selects the optimal shooting mode for the scene.
    • Beauty: The camera lets you retouch the photo after taking it, but before it is saved. You can soften shadows, smooth wrinkles and blemishes on your subjects face in the Beauty Mode, or digitally apply eye shadow, whiten teeth, and lift cheek bones with the Beauty Makeup mode.
    • Scene: Lets you select from the following pre-programmed settings: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet Mode-Cat, Pet Mode-Dog, and Backlight HDR.
    • Magic: Lets you add special effects, such as Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Watercolor, Reflection, Miniature, Dramatic, and Fragmented.
    • Panorama: You can connect images with overlapping edges together into a single panoramic image. You can select "Auto" or "Manual" Panorama, which allows you to put up to 3 images together, or "PC" for up to 10 images to be linked together on your computer using the supplied software.
    • Hand-held Starlight: The camera takes night scene pictures with less camera shake without a tripod.
    • Photo with Movie Clip: The camera takes a short movie clip at the same time you shoot a still image. A portion of the clip takes place before the shutter release is pressed, and a portion takes place afterward. You can choose 7, 5, or 3 seconds before, and 3 or 0 seconds after the still image is taken.

    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 fixed when the first frame is shot. Sequential photos can be taken as follows:

    Speed Setting Frames Per Second Maximum # of frames Resolution
    Sequential 1 1.5 fps 200 14M (4288 x 3216)
    Sequential 2 3 fps 3 14M (4288 x 3216)
    Hi 1 10 fps 34 3M (2048 x 1536)
    Hi 2 30 fps 34 3M (2048 x 1536)

    Sensitivity: The higher the ISO value, the greater the camera's light sensitivity and better its ability to shoot in low light. The SP-820UZ iHS 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 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and 6400 equivalents.

    AF Mode: There are three AF (auto focus) modes for selecting the focusing area:

    • Face/iESP: the camera determines the subject, even when not in the center. If a face is detected, the camera focuses on the face when the shutter button is pressed halfway.
    • Spot AF: focus detection based on the subject within the AF target mark
    • AF Tracking: The camera tracks the subject's movement automatically to focus on it continuously.

    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: When activated, 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:

    • Manual Playback: view images manually one-by-one
    • Slide Show: play still images back as a slide show. You can select to include all, or images from a single event, or in a specific collection created with PC software. You can choose from five types of background music and three types of transitions.
    • Index View: For viewing multiple images at once, you can create an index display of 12 or 30 frames.

    Outputs: The SP-820UZ iHS is equipped with an HDMI Micro Connector (Type D) for connecting the camera to an HDMI-equipped HDTV. The output can be set to 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-function jack used as an audio/video output (with the supplied composite video/mono audio cable) or a USB port (with the supplied USB cable).

    Editing Pictures: If a picture you have taken turns out less-than-perfect, you can edit it using one of the following:

    • 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 640 x 480 or 320 x 240.
    • Cropping: You can zoom in using the cropping frame, and create a new image.
    • Adding Sound: You can add up to 4 seconds of audio to an existing image using the built-in microphone.
    • 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.
    • Rotate: You can rotate the image to the proper orientation.

    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.

    Print Reservation: Applying Print Reservation (Print Order) to your pictures allows you to take the memory 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

    Supplied Software: The SP-820UZ iHS comes with Olympus Viewer 2 software on CD-ROM. The disc also includes a full Camera Instruction Manual. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows XP (SP2 or later)
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.4.11-v10.7

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

    • Windows XP Home Edition/Professional (SP1 or later)
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.3 or later

    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.