Olympus SP-570 UZ Review

Digital Cameras with Extended Zoom Lenses

Picture
Olympus SP-570 UZ Ease of Use 8
Features 9
Movie Mode 9
Build Quality8
Colours 8
Photo Quality 8
Style 9
Lowlight 9
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
20x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
118.5 x 84 x 87.5 mm
445g

Overview

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.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
20x
2.7 inches
118.5 x 84 x 87.5 mm
445g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

1cm
No
Yes
AA
xD

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.

Portraits

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.

Summary

Overall I'm pretty happy. Picture quality impressed me in most situations.

See sample images link arrow

Style

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

Shutter Lag Rating Slow

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.52 seconds
12.23 seconds
1.35 seconds
14.59 seconds
3.05 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par 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

Verdict

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.

Product Shots

Front View

Olympus SP-570 UZ Front View

Back View

Olympus SP-570 UZ Back View

Top View

Olympus SP-570 UZ Top View

Sample Menus

menu menu 1

menu 2 menu 3

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Panasonic DMC FZ48 Rating 87/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ48 is very hard to beat. It is up against some stiff competition, but the combination of features, image quality and pricing makes it the outstanding model in its category. When it comes to picture quality it has few weaknesses and its length of lens means it can cope with more or less any photo opportunity.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FZ48 Review

Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Rating 86/100

The Fuji Finepix HS30EXR does offer a number of differences to rival Super Zoom or Bridge digital cameras. The main difference is the twisting lens barrel, but there are other handling aspects that make it that bit closer to a Digital SLR experience. In terms of features Fuji have packed in just about everything they can think of. Picture quality compares well against rival cameras and shutter response times are also impressive. This makes this camera a very attractive proposition if you are looking for a fully featured camera with a great deal of zoom power.

Read Review: Fuji Finepix HS30EXR Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Rating 79/100

The Nikon Coolpix L810 offers something different as it gives you the power of an extra long lens, but with the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera. This helps to make it somewhat cheaper than the more fully featured models with similar zoom power. Picture quality does not match up to the more expensive models in this category, but it is only if you are planning to make extra large prints that you are likely to see much difference between photos taken with this camera and those that give you that bit of extra quality. This camera is a good choice if you are looking for simple operation and a powerful lens.

Read Review: Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

Related Pages

Olympus SP-570 UZ Review Olympus SP-570 UZ Specification Olympus SP-570 UZ Sample Images Olympus SP-570 UZ Features Olympus Digital Cameras

Review Date

July 2008

Best Deals



Read a Review



Photography Courses

photography courses

Search By Price

Digital Cameras Under £50
Digital Cameras £50 - £100
Digital Cameras £100 - £150
Digital Cameras £150 - £200
Digital Cameras £200 - £300
Digital Cameras £300 - £500
Digital Cameras £500 - £1000
Digital Cameras Over £1000

Search By Camera Type

Simple and Easy Digital Cameras
Pocket Sized Digital Cameras
Extra Zoom Digital Cameras
Super Zoom Digital Cameras
Advanced Digital Cameras
Waterproof Digital Cameras
Compact System Cameras
Digital SLRs

Search By Camera Brand

Canon Digital Cameras
Fuji Digital Cameras
Nikon Digital Cameras
Olympus Digital Cameras
Panasonic Digital Cameras
Sony Digital Cameras

Buyers Guides

Digital Cameras
Memory Cards
Digital SLRs
Major Features
Shutter Times
Batteries
Where to Buy

More Guides

Local Guides

All Local Guides
England
English Counties
London Locations
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales

News Feeds

XML RSS My MSN My Yahoo