Digital Cameras 2013

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Olympus Stylus 720sw
Olympus Stylus 720sw

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Point and Shoot Digital Cameras category.

Olympus Stylus 720sw

Editor's Review

Olympus says they've designed the 720sw to be a rugged, durable camera that can handle anything you can throw at it. You can drop it from a height of five feet or take it 10 feet underwater, and the Olympus Stylus 720sw should keep on ticking. Under these conditions, 7.1 megapixel sensor will capture high-quality images of underwater life or the rapidly approaching floor. You might expect the 720sw to be encased in a bulky, awkward body or some other protective shield, but the 720sw is just as thin and easy to carry around as any other mainstream camera out today. A variety of scene modes (including 'underwater') and 'Digital Image Stabilization Mode' back up the tough exterior with some capable and convenient brains. If you're not totally keen on the rough and tumble persona this camera has, the Olympus Stylus 710 is very comparable, even in the durability category.


  • 7.1 megapixels
  • 3x optical zoom / 5x digital zoom
  • autofocus
  • auto exposure
  • JPEF file format
  • ISO 64-1600
  • lithium ion battery
  • movie mode w/sound
  • 2.5" LCD
  • Release Date: Jan 30, 2006

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Olympus Stylus 720sw Reviews

Olympus Stylus 720sw Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
water proof (deo — 04/26/2008)

This waterproof camera is really fun to used beacause you can take it anywhere you wanted camping, wall climbing.. and most espicially in snorkling but when the time i used under the water 2meters camera broke.. i heard some tik tak noise inside of it i dont know why its only two meters but this day i lost my camera..

  • 2.0 out of 5
not completely shock proof! (s michael — 09/12/2007)

I have had this camera a year and now have to send it back for repairs a second time. Twice while uploading pictures it fell about 3 feet from where I was sitting and the PLASTIC door that covers the usb port snapped off. Why plastic. I have to say I have not been nearly as impressed with the photo quality as I was with my olympus d 550

  • 4.0 out of 5
Does what it should ... (James LaPierre — 09/07/2007)

Sure, this camera doesnt take SLR quality pictures, and while waterproof its not dive proof. But for the outdoors oriented amatuer photographer this camera is perfect. Ive taken it backpacking everywhere from Vermont in January to the rainforests of Costa Rica, and its done exactly what I expected. The cold killed the battery just as quickly as expected, but this little guy has survived me taking pictures of snowfall, rainstorms, crabs underwater, weeks of brutal treatment without me paying any mind to it. And it still works just as well as the day I bought it, despite a few scratches on the viewfinder. Trying to get better wildlife photos has driven me to look into DSLRs now, but for the money, this camera takes a decent shot and will survive just about anything you throw at it. The only negative I have for it is it can be tough to get a decent shot in low light conditions, and the autofocus can infuriatingly insist on focusing on the wrong thing at times. But as I said, it does what it should.

  • 5.0 out of 5
excellent (John — 06/30/2007)

It's Great! I have taken over 8500 photos, printed photos on 8 x 10 paper. Wow! great image quality. Need to learn how to use all settings and do lighting test shots before snapping those great photos. See some of my photos at www.the

  • 5.0 out of 5
Olympus 770sw (Jamie Ferman — 06/30/2007)

This camera is the one you absolutely want to get! I am an avid fisherwoman, I hike, I have been snorkeling and parasailing with this camera. If you like water rides and are outdoorsy or adventurist at all and want to capture these experiences on camera...this is absolutely the one. I owned a digital camera prior to this one and I unfortunately dropped it at a concert when Keith Urban came off the stage and was walking towards where I was standing. In all the excitement, a woman bumped me and I dropped the camera. Not only did I not get the picture, but the camera broke internally and I could not take any more pictures. The camera is not too much more money than other comparable cameras, but you can use it virtually anywhere - no more disposables!!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
incredible camera (Emily — 05/04/2007)

I am in my mid 20's and very active, this camera has been with me through a whole ski season, a summer at the beach, long bike ride camping trips and everything in between! It is brilliant, i cannot fault it! The picture quality is excellent,and the screens a very good size. Ive never had a problem with the camera itself either.. and it has been dropped on concrete, taken to high altitude (over 3000 metres) at very cold temperatures (-15) and also done a very hot summer in Turkey. If you want a nice looking thoroughly durable camera this is the one to get!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Camera (Angie — 04/22/2007)

If you are looking for a easy to use all around camera, this is it. If your plan is to become a professional photographer then go by a professional camera. I have taken pictures of everything with this camera and it's phenomenal. It's compact in size so you can easily put it in your pocket. My only 2 gripes are the lag time in taking pictures. If you focus first then shoot it is faster but sometimes you just miss that "perfect" shot and the fact that it only has a 3X optical zoom is kind of a bummer. The movie mode is great considering you are buying a camera and not a camcorder. I have taken movies at concerts and believe it or not the sound comes through beautifully. If you look at all the perks this camera has over other cameras it's no wonder I gave it 5 stars.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love It (Brent — 03/21/2007)

This is a sweet camera. I used it for my cruise for a week long and the reviews that people are saying in here, I have not had a problem with what they are talking about. Just use the different modes to take the pictures and it shows up clear. Just got the pictures developed and they came out clear. The shake mode is great on it. It makes a big difference, had to use it a few times from the ship rocking and when we did the tours.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Just avoid Olympus (Bret — 02/11/2007)

bought 720 that you can take into water and can handle rough handling. But the first evening I realized I just bough toy for kids. Zoom probably in 3 steps so you never fix the zoom you need. Adds antishake but I never saw any positive effect out of it.Only good pictures it makes in the full sun. Higher iso is just for advertisement but not for use. The software is so user unfriendly that one cannot belive. 2 days after the purchase I realized I bought 4Y back some Olympus camera and managed to return it the next day as I was surprised how bad it could be. I really did not expect that even those days someone can afford to produce so weak products. To be positive you can use it as a toy in on the beach in sun and sea, but not for anything else.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best camera ever owned (Zach Turpen — 01/10/2007)

It does everything a camera novice would want. the pictures are very clear and the camera is easy to work. all the preset settings are very handy and clear also. BUY IT!! ITS HELLA COOL!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
the waterproof stylus 720sw is good! (Ariane K — 12/12/2006)

it's compact, thin, 7.1 megapixels, underwater... the only problem is that it doesnt zoom very far. i know that since it is 7.1 megapixels it doesnt really need to zoom very far, but that makes it annoying to always have to crop it. also i was at a concert and i was really far away, trying to take a video, and you can't zoom very far so the video wasnt that great.. ive focused on the only bad part of this camera because otherwise it is REALLY great, i'm just searching for one with more zoom but still underwater. also the settings are GREAT! (sunset, documents, etc.) everything about it is great, very simple and easy to use, its just the zoom part (even though the 7.1 megapixels makes up for it)

  • 2.0 out of 5
good for underwater but that's it (Cathy — 10/10/2006)

it's fun for underwater, sucks that you have to pay an extra $350 for a housing if you want to use it for diving. Above water, photo quality isn't that great. Colours don't stand out. Flares when facing light, or even slightly facing light due to poor construction. Not worth the price I paid. Sold it for a different camera after 6months of usage.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Bitterly disappointed (fran lockhart — 10/08/2006)

Can't see the screen in bright light.
Seems to focus on anything it likes outside.
I do a little photography for publications and got this camera as a handy point and shoot but its hopeless so resorted back to using the olympus c-4000 which is so trust worthy.

  • 2.0 out of 5
A real letdown (Robert Tunks — 08/21/2006)

We purchased a Stylus 600 to take overseas-it let us down then and still does. Pictures are darker than anticipated and blurry, despite altering settings to compensate. I wonder if the 720sw is any better.

  • 3.0 out of 5
What a waste (alan tay — 08/11/2006)

Read about the camera in a magazine and got all excited.
Perhaps that was the mistake.

While I like the water/shock proofing, I find the camera hard to use.

When I turn it off, it sometimes defaults into movie mode, which I find annoying especially when I need to grab shots.
And on some settings, it is very, very diffiicult to reet the ISO/ASA (although 1600 is good)

I think Oly overdid it with 25 modes.
Is there really such a need?

Would have preferred a fully manual version.

  • 3.0 out of 5
great on the outside, pics not great (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

ok - gotta love the fact you can take this in 10 feet of water and drop it from 5 feet (and yes - i did it), but...problem is what i've seen on multiple reviews of recent olympus releases - they just can't get the photo quality right.

i tried multiple pics - encountered graininess, as well as distortion (took a picture of my kitchen cabinets, and the top had a noticeably curved effect, even though they're straight.

half the stuff i probably wouldn't notice in terms of photo quality if i hadn't been reading so much online - but now that i've got a critical eye, the print quality just wasn't there for the price.

again though - bad ass camera in terms of being water PROOF and shock resistant. color reproduction is good and accurate, and it has a ton of shooting 'modes' (even 4 different underwater modes).

but - i'm at a point where i want to buy a great pocket-size camera and hold on to it for a few years - and the photo quality just wasn't there, even though, again, for many people, it would probably be fine.