DSLRs are becoming more and more commonplace, and cheaper all the time. But how many of them have a laser sight? That’s pretty much Olympus’ pitch for its new superzoom camera.
Point And Zoom
The SP-500 is, in a lot of ways, your typical point and shoot, although it does have some interest for people more interested in getting a close shot than those interested in swapping out lenses. Optical zooms, which are far preferable to digital zooms, have also substantially improved, to the point where the SP-500 is toting a very good 50x zoom.
However, as anybody who’s tried to do a hand-held shot with a zoom lens can tell you, it’s really hard to get your subject in the frame. Which is where the sniper sight comes into play.
Painting With Lasers
The idea is simple. You pop up the flash, because of course this camera has a pop-up flash, it’s a point-and-shoot, and look right beneath it. Under there is a little crosshair you can use to precisely orient your shot and take the photo.
Admittedly, it’s a “cheat”, and you could just use the LCD screen to center your shot. Or you could wing it, which is often what we do anyway if we’re being honest about how we use cameras. But where’s the fun in that? Much more fun to line up and take the shot.
A Camera For The Sniper In You
True, having a little crosshair to use to take photos is a gimmick. On the other hand, having seen the point-and-shoot market, gimmicks are the only way to sell these cameras. And with a 50x optical zoom, you’re probably going to need that crosshair, especially with long-distance shots.
Also, it’s fun, and you can’t knock anything that make photography fun. It’ll be available later this year for $400.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.