Olympus X-890 Inverness

With silver lines that break up the matt black body, Olympus X-890 available in Inverness is like a piece of abstract minimalist art. It sounds less pleasant than it looks, though, and makes a high-pitched beep when any button is pressed.

Jack Watson
07756 670 697
22 Swanston Avenue
Inverness
 
Kenneth Findlay Photography
01463 242829
59 Craigton Avenue
Inverness
 
Gordon Gillespie Northsport
01463 223288
17 Miller Gdns
Inverness
 
Jack Watson Photography
07756 670697
6A Green Drive
Inverness
 
Ken Roberts Photography
01463 711220
7 West Heather Rd
Inverness
 
Anderson Photographs
0871 7811154
3 Gordon Terrace
Inverness
 
Mike Davidson Photography
01463 230575
24 Greig St
Inverness
 
John Paul Photography
01463 221682
12 Diriebught Road
Inverness
 
Sandy Fea
01463 731612
55 Bellfield Rd
Inverness
 
Brian Watson Photography
01463 225781
Drumdevan Cott
Inverness
 

Olympus X-890

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The X-890 doesn't slot neatly into Olympus's established Stylish, Easy or Creative ranges of digital compacts, and doesn't even appear on the company's website. It's exclusive to Jessops, and you'll find further details on the retailer's website.

We love the design. With silver lines that break up the matt black body, it's like a piece of abstract minimalist art. It sounds less pleasant than it looks, though, and makes a high-pitched beep when any button is pressed. Thankfully, you can turn this off. At the back there's a 2.7in screen and a basic smattering of controls. Photographic options are limited, with no continuous drive, metering or autofocus options. Flash settings, exposure compensation, ISO speed and white balance presets are available, but only in the Program mode, not iAuto.

The camera uses slow, expensive xD cards, although it comes with a microSD-to-xD adaptor. However, performance was poor even with a fast microSD card. Autofocus was slow and prone to failing in low light, and we measured an average of 4.3 seconds between shots. We suspect that the lack of a continuous mode is due to the fact that it would have been embarrassingly slow.

Image quality was just as disappointing. Even outdoor shots taken in bright sunlight exhibited vague details, blotchy colours in shade and a skewed white balance. We can't remember the last camera we saw that struggled with white balance in sunlight. There was also purple fringing around dark subjects set against a bright background, such as trees against the sky. The camera chose inappropriate ISO speeds in low light, resulting in blurry shots indoors without the flash. We had to change the ISO speed manually or switch to the Stabilisation mode, but this is something that most casual photographers won't think to do.

The X-890 looks smart, but there's no other reason to choose it over Panasonic's cheaper LS85.

System Specifications

10 megapixels (3,648x2,736 pixels), 3x optical zoom (36-108mm), xD slot (19MB internal), rechargeable Li-ion battery, 57x94x21mm, 108g, one-year RTB warranty

Verdict

Stylish design isn't sufficient to compensate for this camera's poor image quality and performance.

Author: Ben Pitt

Olympus X-890