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Olympus Stylus 770 SW digital camera

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The Olympus Stylus 770 SW is rugged and reasonably good looking. And that’s pretty much where the praise runs out.

The 7.1-megapixel camera is designed for rough outdoor use, with a sealed housing that’s shockproof, freeze-proof, and crush-proof, and waterproof to depths of 33 feet to boot. It even has a manometer, which records the depth or altitude at which a photo was shot. The waterproof part is no gimmick, as the camera shrugged off repeated dunkings in salt water on a couple of kayak expeditions. If we had the time to go to Alaska, it no doubt also would have laughed at repeated drops onto the frozen tundra.

Downsides? In Macworld jury tests, the camera did receive Good ratings across the board, but many shots came out soft and overexposed, and there’s little room to override the camera’s decisions. With no mode dial, getting to the setting you want is a bit of a challenge. Zoom is a less-than-impressive 3x. And storage is limited to relatively expensive and slow xD cards. Battery life was average, achieving around 700 shots per charge in our testing.

Macworld’s buying advice

If you plan to do most of your shooting on outdoor adventures and don’t want to schlep around high-end gear, the Olympus Stylus 770 SW will produce adequate snapshots and withstand all kinds of abuse. But if thrill-seeking is only a minor part of your lifestyle, you may want to buy a more capable point-and-shoot camera and encase it in a waterproof housing for the occasional walk on the wild side.


Image quality Good
Color quality Good
Flash quality Good
Battery life 693 shots on a single charge

Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.

How we tested: The image-quality rating of the camera is based upon a panel of judges’ opinions in five categories: exposure, color, sharpness, distortion, and overall. Battery life testers follow a precise script, including shots with and without flash, until the battery dies.


Resolution 7.1 megapixels
Zoom/focal length (35mm equivalent) 3x/38mm-114mm
Battery type Lithium ion
Media slots xD
Size (width x height x depth, in inches) 3.6 x 2.33 x 0.8
Weight (in ounces) 5.5

[ David Becker is a writer and photographer based in San Francisco who regularly writes about personal technology, gadgets, and travel. ]

Olympus Stylus 770 SW
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