Yesterday, my new camera, an Olympus SP800 UZ came via UPS. My 'old' camera, a Sony DSC-H2 is still working fine but I wanted newer and with bigger, fancier features. After much deliberation I choose the 800. I was drawn to it primarily because of the 30:1 zoom lens and higher megapixels (14).
There are other features I like also. Mainly the ability to shoot a slave flash wirelessly and a wireless remote shutter release. A downside, for me, is lack of an eye level viewfinder. However, the LCD screen is very large, bright and clear. I'm sure I will learn to live with it, even with bi-focal glasses.
The 30:1 zoom is a killer. At full zoom it is the equivalent of about 840mm with a 35mm film camera. That coupled with the 14mp and a dual-stabilization feature, sharp pics are possible even hand held. (see my test pics)
The camera seems stoutly built and is heavier than my Sony, which is larger. A downside is that there is no where to really hold it. Gripping the body would prevent the built-in flash from opening. I will get, or make, a flash bracket for the remote wireless slave flash I have ordered. That will be my grip.
Note the pictures. The first is full wide angle. In the very center in the distance is a martin house on a pole, barely visible. At the base of the pole to the left are some yellow flowers. The second shot are the flowers, full frame at full zoom. This was taken hand held. The third is a 67% enlargement of just the flowers. At this enlargement the pic was getting just a little fuzzy but not yet breaking up in pixels. The camera was $349.00 from Amazon. The extras (flash, remote release) ran the price up some. It was all paid for from sales of pens and other items.