Wait – this camera has a laser sight?
No, not exactly. The Olympus SP-100EE - 'EE' stands for Eagle Eye, rather dramatically - has a pop-up red dot sight, which you can quickly look through to see exactly what it’s pointing at and therefore exactly what you’re shooting. It’s a lot like the sights attached to military weapons.
Why can’t I just look through the viewfinder?
Well, there’s one of those too, and doubtless you’ll find yourself using it a lot, but the red dot sight is designed for the shooting situations where an electronic viewfinder isn’t much cop: fast-moving or distant subjects. And because you don’t need to clamp your eye right up next to it, the dot sight means you can see the whole scene in front of you while shooting.
More after the break...
Quite the lens on that thing…
Oh yeah. In fact Olympus describes the camera not as a superzoom but an “ultrazoom”. There 50x optical zoom, equivalent to 24-1200mm on a full-frame camera. That makes it ideal for snapping planes, wildlife and other far-off stuff – but it can also photograph subjects as near as 1cm to from the lens, thanks to its Super Macro mode. Can you say “extreme close-up”?
Anything else I should know?
Well, there’s a 16MP sensor - not a huge one, mind you, as the laws of optics mean it's necessarily compromised by that insane zoom - 1080p full HD movie capture, optical image stabilisation, a 3in screen and a 920,000-dot electronic viewfinder. Oh, and the SP-100EE will be available in March, priced at €400 (which will probably translate to around £350 here in the UK).