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Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

Features & Controls

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

The SP-550 features the world's most powerful zoom lens and offers maximum shooting versatility for travel, sports and day-to-day use. The compact 18x super telephoto zoom lens combines high-refractive, aspherical and two extra-dispersion (ED) lens elements for edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. The bright, f/2.8-4.5 lens provides the wide angle equivalent of 28mm to 504mm super telephoto focal length.

Dual Image Stabilization combines the benefits of mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization to ensure beautiful, blur-free images in any situation and at lower shutter speeds than non-stabilized lens cameras.

Equipped with a low-light AF-assist lamp, the contrast detection autofocus system has selectable iESP auto, Spot AF, Selective AF target modes and a working range of:

  • Normal/Macro: Wide 3.94 infinity (0.1m infinity), Telephoto 47.24 infinity (1.2m infinity)
  • Super Macro mode: 0.39 infinity (0.01m infinity)

The optional Lens Adapter Tube allows for the use of 55mm filters and enables the attachment of add-on wide angle or telephoto conversion lenses. Compatible accessory lenses include the WCON-07 wide angle lens and the TCON-17 telephoto conversion lens.

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

The manual popup speedlight has modes for Auto (for low light and back lit conditions), Red- eye Reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in + red eye, Slow Sync, and Off. The working flash range is 14.8 ft. (4.5m) Wide, 9.2 ft. (2.8m) Telephoto at ISO 200.

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

The SP-550 employs a color electronic viewfinder (EVF) as the eyelevel viewfinder, it has full dioptric adjustment. The EVF can display the same data as the large LCD, with the exception of the Main menu (shown on the LCD only.) Simply press the MONITOR button to toggle the active display.

The high resolution 2.5-inch color LCD has 230,000 pixels and can be used for preview, review and accessing the camera's menu system. The LCD or EVF can display a realtime histogram when desired.

Controls on the back: The MONITOR button toggles the display between EVF and LCD. The Menu button calls up and dismisses the main menu options. The arrow button puts the camera in playback mode. The 4-way controller is for navigating menus, changing settings and selecting playback images. The OK/FUNCtion button accepts menu selections and calls up the FUNCtion shortcut menu. Pressing the 4-way controller "Up" toggles exposure compensation, "Right" selects the flash mode, "Down" enters selftimer mode, and "Left" enables Macro focus. The DISP/GUIDE button toggles the overlay information on the EVF/LCD image and enables the histogram. When viewing menu screens, select a menu item and press the DISP/GUIDE button to display an explanation of its function.

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

Top controls: The shutter release/zoom lens control (functions as the index and zoomed playback in review mode.) The "waving hand" button enables the image stabilizer. The Mode Dial with positions for: AUTO, Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority AE, Manual, MyMODE, Guide, Scene, Movie and Playback.

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

On the side is a single I/O port which handles both the A/V output, video is NTSC or PAL, audio is monaural and the USB 2.0 (full speed, not high speed) data. The SP-550 is Pictbridge compatible and may be connected directly to any Pictbridge enabled photo printer without the need of a computer.

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

The SP-550 stores its data on 21MB of built-in memory or on optional xD-Picture Cards. xD cards are currently available up to 2GB in capacity. Olympus brand xD cards are required if using the camera's built-in Panorama function. The Type H (high speed) xD card is required for SHQ movie recording.

Approx. Still Image Capacity

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

Approx. Movie Capacity

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

Olympus SP-550 UltraZoom

The SP-550 is powered by four standard AA batteries, alkaline or NiMH type rechargeables. Olympus claims you can capture up to 630 shots from standard alkaline batteries. Both Olympus and myself recommend the use of high-capacity NiMH batteries, they last much longer and they'll save you a lot of money.

Check out our Rechargeable Battery Page for info and prices on various brands of NiMH AA cells and chargers.

Continue on to
Record Features

US visitors SP-550 UZ Black Digital Camera (7.1MP, 3072x2304, 18x Opt, 20MB Internal, xD-Picture Card Slot)

$ 270.00 at TriStateCamera.com

UK visitors Olympus PT-037 Underwater Housing for SP550/560

295.00 at Jessops

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