Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom
Background: The Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 is a decent camera. It's also a camera whose existence we can thank to features creep. Olympus knew they had a hit on their hands with the simple and very capable Olympus Stylus. It was such a hit they felt they could add a zoom lens, beacuse it is sometimes needed, and sell a bunch more cameras. While the original stylus is one of my favorite cameras the Epic Zoom is serviceable option if you can get a deal on it.
The original Epics had really fast operation due to a simple fixed range lens. I never really used the zoom on the Epic Zoom and handled it similarly to a fixed length camera. The slightly wider 38 mm lens is practically the same as 35mm and gives you a great open view of your scene. The handling of the camera didn't feel any slower than the original epic either. The major downside of this camera is the additional buttons on the top of the camera, one for zoom and another for the shutter. It's a little less clean and straightforward than I prefer.
If you can get this camera for $15 or less I would go for it. It's tough for a zoom lens to excel at sharpness and focus throughout the entire range even with todays technology and this camera is nearing 20 years old. The Epic Zoom is still a good camera and going to be able to make clean images.
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