Olympus Stylus 850SW

21 10 2009
Olympus Stylus 850SW

Olympus Stylus 850SW

I’ve been using an Olympus Stylus 850SW for much of my sports photography since I got it last Dec for my Baja trip.  For the most part it’s been a good camera for me.  It doesn’t take the best photos, but the fact it’s waterproof and shockproof make that a fair trade for not having worry about it when I’m out and about.

I took it to the SUP demo this weekend and had it in my pocket while in the water.  It took a dozen photos for me and then the LCD stopped working.  The camera still powered on, but there was no life on the screen.  I put the camera away and when I opened it the next day there was water in the battery/memory card compartment.  I took out both items and left the camera sit open on my desk.  I eventually got around to trying it again and the LCD was working again.

Doing some research it seems that I’m not the first person to have issues with the camera’s waterproofing.  I checked the seals and they were clean and secure so I think I’ve got a leak somewhere else.  Since the camera is still under warranty I’m going to send it off and hope I get service from Olympus that is as good as the service I’ve received from Canon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

It would also be nice to get the camera back before I leave for Baja in November, but that seems unlikely.  I’ll settle for having a waterproof camera when I get back in Jan 2010.

As a note Olympus has replaced this model with a newer version that may perform better underwater.


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7 responses

21 10 2009
Grendel

1) You stole my camera, dammit!
2) I’m surprised you had waterproofing issues. Last September I was using my 850SW to document my move from MD to NC. I left the camera in the lower cargo pocket of my shorts. I washed said shorts. I didn’t find said shorts and camera until this past Spring when shorts weather returned. Once I got a charge on the battery, the camera was fine except all the graphics on the setting wheel are gone.
3) Have to agree on the image quality though. I get better pictures with my Fuji Finepix S510 (a 4MP camera) than with the Olympus. At least I can swap memory cards.

21 10 2009
vik

If you look at the link I posted you’ll see lots of people have had waterproofing issues with this camera. I came across dozens of complaints without trying hard. I’m glad your camera is working well in that regard. As a sports/outdoor camera I like it well enough so I hope they can fix it. Even if they can’t do anything I think it will be fine for anything, but submersion so I can use it in the rain and snow. Not ideal, but still fine for bike touring, traveling and snowboarding.

21 10 2009
Doug D

I got one for my son and it has been underwater a lot (we take it to the pool/beach/river more than once per week). I had an issue with a broken lcd but no water issues so far.
I have heard that Olympus’ service used to refuse just about all warranty repairs but lately they have been much more reasonable. Certainly they came through for me. My turn around was about 2.5 weeks.

21 10 2009
Vik

Olympus just sent me an email that they rec’d my camera so *fingers crossed* they sort out my problem under warranty.

23 10 2009
thelazyrando

Just got word Olympus is shipping my camera back to me. No idea what if anything they did to it, but I guess I’ll have it for my Baja trip now one way or the other.

27 10 2009
Olympus Stylus 850SW Update « The Lazy Randonneur

[…] just received my Stylus 850SW back from Olympus Canada. The LCD screen has been replaced for sure.  I’m not sure what other work may have been done […]

29 10 2009
JC

It might just be bad luck – I use a 850SW for photo taking while backpacking and packrafting and get it really wet (completely submerged) for fairly long periods of time and have not had any problems. Its pretty dinged up now, with a number of small nicks but still works fine and has no leaking issues.

The picture quality is not too good though.

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