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Olympus SP-565UZ digital camera review - The Olympus SP-565UZ is a super zoom digital camera. At 20x zoom it has the longest zoom currently available on a digital compact camera. The lens is wide angle and this helps for landscape type photos or any other shots where you are trying to squeeze in plenty of width. David Tymon from Cameras.co.uk has reviewed.
Why Buy the Olympus SP-565UZ?
As well as the long zoom the SP-565UZ has an array of advanced features. These include manual exposure modes, bracketing and manual focus. If you reduce the number of megapixels to three the camera is able to shoot at 13.5 frames per second.
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|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
The SP-565UZ does well in terms of sharpness and definition. There is some loss of detail on the boats due to the low sun at the time of year the picture was taken. I can also see some purple fringing. This is where a purple line is added to the edge of objects. This is not something that usually occurs unless the zoom lens is fully extended.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
With the zoom not in use and for a camera with a wide angle lens this distant scene is challenging. The SP-565UZ makes a decent attempt. As in the first shot sharpness and detail are good, but there are signs of purple fringing again. Even though it is more obvious in this photo than with other cameras it is only likely to become an issue with large prints.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
This is my favourite shot so far. With the zoom fully extended the shot remains sharp and I also like the colours in the photo. Again there is some purple fringing, but this is similar to most other super zoom cameras and should not pose a problem unless you are planning to blow up your photos to a large size.
The SP-565UZ comes up with a natural looking shot. There is just the right amount of colour. This camera should be able to take pleasing portrait shots in natural light.
|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
When flash is turned off a much more natural looking shot is produced. The colours look a lot better to me and I like the way this photo looks.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
In darker conditions the SP-565UZ produces a b burst of flash. This creates a number of areas on the face where the light bounces backs into the lens. This suggests you will need to take a bit of extra care when using flash. Other cameras are able to temper the amount of light the flash emits better than this one. The skin tones also look a little pink around the nose and on the cheeks.
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Colours produced by Olympus digital cameras are mid range when compared with other brands. Looking more at my outdoor scenic shots the blue skies work well. There is also plenty of depth to the colours of the foliage of the bushes and trees.
Most of these larger, super zoom digital cameras are able to take a good close up shot. This shows the advantage of working with larger size lenses. The SP-565UZ should be able to produce high standard macro shots.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600 - There is not too much to say about the higher ISO tests. They are roughly inline with other digital cameras. Noise shows at ISO 400, especially in the darker areas of the shot. There is also a small amount of colour bleeding.
Overall - All in all I am happy with my test shots. The only real problem I noticed was purple fringing. This is a common issue with super zoom digital cameras and is only likely to show with larger prints.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times - A single shot recorded 0.52 seconds (a little over standard time) and five shots took 10.28 seconds (standard time). With flash times were one photo: 0.59 seconds (standard time) and five photos: 12.31 seconds (standard time). To turn the SP-565UZ on and take the first picture took 3.93 seconds (slower than standard).
Style - The SP-565UZ is based on a Digital SLR. It has a grip on the front for holding the camera steady when taking a shot.Dimensions - 116 x 83.3 x 80.8mm
Weight - 373g
Batteries - Four AA batteries.
Memory Cards - 48 megabytes of storage have been built into the camera. This is enough for between 20 and 25 photos. The SP-565UZ is also compatible with xD and Micro SD cards.
Ease of Use Rating - This camera has a number of advanced features. Although the camera is well laid out and the menu system makes sense, it will take a while to master all the controls.
Points I Like - Features - Design
Where it Could Improve - Faster turn on time
Alternatives - A very good super zoom digital camera to use as a yardstick is the Panasonic DMC FZ28.
David Tyman's verdict - To be honest I don't think there is a great deal to choose between most super zoom cameras. Unless you are very fussy about picture quality they all do a decent job, so a lot of your decision to buy is likely to be based on features and handling. The Olympus SP-565UZ handles well and has a full range of features. Therefore it is worth adding to any shortlist.
David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk