Summary: Olympus gets major kudos for offering this awesome combo of a camera that is waterproof enough so you never have to worry about taking it swimming or even snorkeling AND an intelligently case designed for it that extends operation down to a depth of 133 feet, the recommended limit for recreational diving. The camera is so small and light that it easily doubles as a daily shooter even if it is primarily purchased for swimming or diving.
Pros: Use it up to an hour in 10 feet of water, Inherent waterproofing provides peace of mind when handling in/around water, Can survive 5-foot drops, Optional PT-033 underwater case good for 133 feet diving, Sleek and elegant just like a regular digital camera
Cons: Strictly point & shoot, Use of underwater wide-angle modes requires practice, Not many special features, Uses often hard-to-find xD-Picture Card
Conclusion: Waterproof and shockproof, the Olympus Stylus 720SW has 7 megapixels, a large 2.5 inch LCD and an internal 3x lens. The Stylus 720SW is the first digital camera to be shockproof - surviving drops of up to 1.5 m. There are pros and cons of this camera. The LCD resolution is on the low side but visibility (not sharpness) is okay. Being waterproof and shockproof, Olympus had to make some sacrifices by using an internal lens.
Pros: 7 megapixels in a waterproof and shockproof body, Large LCD which is visible outdoors and indoors, Extremely high-speed continuous shooting (though at lower resolutions only), Many scene modes, High ISO capabilities; useable till ISO 400, Good image quality
Cons: No manual controls, LCD resolution is low, Slow (for "normal" continuous shooting) and limited continuous shooting, No optical image stabilization, Not-close 7 cm macro mode, Performance lagging behind competition; could be faster and better, Movies at only 15 FPS, no zoom or focus, Above average color fringing levels
Conclusion: The zoom range on the camera is not the largest on the market be very sufficient and efficient with a quick response for zooming in and out. And considering that the zoom is in-built it is quite remarkable what Olympus have achieved. Having the zoom built internally is not only handy for reducing the chance of bumping the lens but is also protected should the camera slip from the photographers hands and hit the ground.
Excerpt: The Olympus Stylus 720 SW is a super sturdy, compact digital camera designed with the active outdoor photographer in mind. It has a 7.1-megapixel sensor, a 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5-inch LCD display, and it's waterproof and shockproof so you can take it almost anywhere without worrying about dropping or getting it wet.
Summary: Whatever your sports or preferred activities,
the Olympus Stylus 720 SW is built as tough
as it gets and delivers great results. Take it
to the beach, boating, hiking, skiing, traveling
-- wherever your adventurous spirit takes you
-- without undue concern about bumps, knocks,
rain, mud, sand or dust! The body is shock proof,
can withstand a 5 foot fall, is weather and
waterproof to a depth of 3m (10 ft) for up to
Excerpt: Screens crack, buttons fall off, lenses grind to a halt and just a few drops of water can kill one deader than disco. We've seen some toughened cameras in the past, but none have offered more than basic dust- and waterproofing - until now.
Olympus Stylus 720 SW Waterproof/Shockproof Digital Camera Review
Digital Camera Review
15 May 2006
Excerpt: When the first Olympus Stylus was introduced in 1990 it quickly became the 35mm point & shoot camera of choice for a generation of minor celebrities, edgy writers, off the beaten path travelers, slumming pro photographers, and assorted adventure junkies - due in large part to its reputation for rugged reliability and consistently excellent images.