The Olympus SP-570 is a 10 megapixel digital camera with a 20x optical zoom lens. This is the longest lens currently available on a consumer digital camera.
Why Buy The Olympus SP-570 UZ
I guess I'm stating the obvious when I say the main attraction of the SP-570 is the long zoom lens. This length of zoom usually comes in handy for wildlife and sporting subjects. In addition to the length of the lens the camera also has manual exposure controls. For anyone who is use to handing an SLR camera you may be interested to hear that the lens is zoomed in and out by twisting the lens barrel rather than the more typical method of pushing buttons on the back of the camera.
As you would expect with a lens this size, the SP-570 offers image stabilisation. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 26 - 520mm in 35mm format. This makes the lens wide angle and makes it ideal for shooting wide scenes, such as landscapes. The camera also comes with a set of manual exposure controls. Therefore this camera is a good choice for someone who sees photography as a hobby.
118.5 x 84 x 87.5 mm
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
The SP-570 certainly handles the lighter colours well in this shot with plenty of detail showing in the boats and also in the white wooden slats under the roof of the building.
There is also impressive levels of detail showing in the in some of the more lightly shaded areas. Focusing is sharp with the brickwork of the building standing out well.
Colours have a gentler feel to them than many of the cameras I have tested recently.
This is another fair effort. Sharpness stands up well considering the distance between the camera and the scene. You can also see the benefit of the wide angle lens with plenty of the scene showing in the shot.
With the lens zoomed into to its maximum capacity purple fringing becomes quite evident. This will be more of a problem when taking photos with light coloured objects in the scene, such as the boats in the test shot. As with many cameras offering extreme length of lens focusing loses some of its sharpness when the lens is fully extended.
In this test shot the SP-570 copes well with the scene. As I would expect the picture is sharper and the camera has no problem focusing on the brickwork of the building.
There are no problems with sharpness or colour in this shot. If you find the result is darker in the shadows than you would like then you can try using flash to lighten these areas.
This is another sharply focused effort. The flash is quite powerful and shows quite clearly on areas of the face.
For me this is the most impressive photo out of all my test shots. The SP-570 is able to use the available light to produce a natural looking shot. Brightness and definition are better than the vast majority of cameras are able to manage. This is one of the benefits of working with a camera that has a large sized lens.
Macro, Colours and Noise
This is another shot where I am impressed by the amount of brightness the camera is able to show in the photo. Levels of detail are good without quite being top drawer. A touch of purple fringing also shows where the light catches the edge of the watch.
In most cases the colours produced by the SP-570 are calmer and less vivid than most other brands produce. There are instances where I would like to have seen more punch to the colours, but this is a matter of personal taste.
My test shots at both ISO 400 and ISO 1600 show fairly typical levels of noise. If you push ISO above these levels it really becomes a serious problem.
Overall I'm pretty happy. Picture quality impressed me in most situations.
The SP-570 has as much of an SLR like feel than any other compact digital camera I can remember testing. It has a very solid feel in the hand and looks like a compact SLR. It is available in black.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
To get the most out of the SP-570 you will need to spend plenty of time working with the camera and getting used to all the controls the camera offers. Olympus have done a good job in placing various controls at your finger tips.
Points I Like
Looks good - build quality - handling - picture quality
Where it Could Improve
Shutter delay could be faster
The Olympus SP-570 handles more like a Digital SLR than any other camera I have tested. I like the barrel twisting method of zoom. Add in a hot shoe, RAW mode and various manual controls and you have a very good camera for a photography enthusiast.
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