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Olympus SP-570 UZ - Olympus SP-570 UZ

By Jamie Harrison

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

This DSLR-like quality is enhanced by the comfortable grip (which, incidentally, houses 4xAA batteries) and the hotshoe, which accepts Olympus external flash units. It also has wireless flash capabilities, making the camera stand out amongst its competitors.

The camera buttons are generally well positioned, and easy enough to operate, though the power switch is a little cramped and could be improved, but that's a minor flaw. More importantly it took me a long while to work out how to focus manually - the quick guide has no clues and the full manual is a PDF on disc. This is a pet peeve, I don't want to carry a laptop with me to check camera instructions.

Olympus is really hitting its optical limits with the SP-570 UZ. The lens struggles to perform well and there are countless instances of chromatic aberration, or purple fringing, throughout the pictures. Similarly the AF and image stabilisation struggled at the far reaches of the telephoto end and I had several out of focus/ blurred shots. Considering the quality of other similar lenses on recent models this was a disappointment. Colour is pretty good on the whole, though in natural mode a little muted - vivid mode provides more saturation and punch. This isn't helped by the camera's tendency to slightly over expose, leading to several wishy-washy images.

Noise is very well controlled up to ISO 200, from ISO 400 it becomes visible and goes downhill from there. The noise reduction can help in the mid range of the sensitivity but becomes too soft for higher ISO settings. Incidentally the top two settings of ISO 3200 and 6400 record at 5MP.

Verdict

The Olympus SP-570 UZ is a pleasant camera to use, with some nice handling features such as a decent EVF, good zoom ring and plenty of control. It's Raw capabilities are interesting, but it lacks the finesse of some competitors, particularly when it comes to the images, Apart from exposure, which is easily remedied, the fringing from the lens is appalling, while the noise is average. You may be buying the longest super-zoom available but it's hardly the best.

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 :-)

Itrustmyviews

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..

Zas

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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