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Billed as the world's longest zoom, the Olympus SP-570 UZ is a model bound to catch the eye. The 10.1 million pixel model boasts an impressive 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26-520mm, or 20x, beating the 18x range of recently reviewed models from the likes of Nikon and Sony.

The camera continues the Superzoom tradition of offering an alternative to DSLRs with it's inclusion of manual controls, including Aperture and Shutter Priority AE modes and full manual mode. There's also Program AE and full auto as well as an extensive of 23 scene modes. A Guide mode has been added, which lists a set of photographic effects, such as ‘Blurring Background' for example, and then adjusting the relevant settings to achieve that effect. It's essentially scene modes by an alternative approach. The scene modes menu, incidentally, is illustrated with photographic examples of the type of subject, eg fireworks, or beach.

A long lens requires image stabilisation, and the 570 has dual IS using a combination of high ISO and sensor shift to counteract the effects of both camera shake and subject based movement. Speaking of high ISO, the camera covers a range from IS O 64 to 6400, with the option of auto selection and user selected noise reduction (on or off).

Despite the long lens Olympus has managed to provide a maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.5, and the camera offers shutter speeds covering 15sec to 1/2000sec and up to 8 minutes in Bulb mode. Super macro mode meanwhile allows close up shooting down to 1cm.

Amongst its other attributes the camera offers Face recognition AF, alongside Olympus' iESP autofocus, spot and wide focusing and selectable area AF covering 143 AF points. The camera also comes equipped with continuous AF, predictive AF and manual focus.

Similarly the metering comes via Olympus ESP multi zone evaluative system, along with centre weighted and spot metering. There's also a shadow adjustment feature which levels out the contrast to bring out shadow detail at the point of capture (unlike Nikon's D-Lighting for example, which is applied after capture). Exposure compensation and bracketing is also available.

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Fred Bargate

July 31, 2008, 12:02 pm

I have been using this camera with an Olympus 1.7 teleconverter since early April and I am pleased with the results.

Having previously owned an Olypus C2100UZ I personally prefer it's zoom control which allows singlehandaed operation to the zoom ring on the SP570.

Jamie Harrison

August 4, 2008, 3:57 pm

Thanks Beowulff. The zoom still uses electronic stepping and I agree it isn't as responsive as a mechanical optical zoom but I personally found it more accurate and easier to operate than a zoom rocker switch. Horses for courses and all that :-)


September 27, 2008, 6:00 pm

I thank both gentlemn before me for their valued feedbacks as I'm currently in search for a DSLR but in as compact as ever form, size and yet durable with excellent caption. I'm now seriously reviewing both your assessments and opinions and what I found most interesting on this Olympus is the 20x zoom range and would not bother much on the performance of the ring as you both emphatically tried to stress on... I'm going for this after all after reviewing the G9 from Canon, the LX3 from Lumix, the EOS 450 and the D90 from Nikon. Yes, there's the price and level to category factor which I am subjected to and yet, both your feedbacks unscored the key elements in deciding my eventual choice for this SP-570 UZ..


November 19, 2008, 1:02 am

I have considered this camera and have decided my Canon S5IS will not be replaced any time soon. Although featuring an amazing 20xlens, the Olympus does not seem to perform anywhere near as good as my S5, which incidently, has many features that other DSLR's can only dream of. I still like Olympus a lot though for being so brave and pioneering! my old 35mm Olympus compact still gives me great images, but for me, the S5IS is still the best value compact DSLR on the market.

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