Olympus SP-500 UZ Review

By Movable Type Admin


Click for our main menu






Record Screens & Menus




Olympus SP-500UZ

The Auto record mode is a fully automatic mode that allows the camera to choose all settings (shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, white balance, etc.), and lets novice users simply "point-n-shoot."



Olympus SP-500UZ

Program AE mode is much like Auto, but offers manual control over certain aspects of the exposure process like ISO speed, white balance, metering, focus mode, etc. The aperture is F2.8, shutter speed is 1/3 of a second and the "0.0" indicates that there is no exposure compensation. The "[    ]" in the center shows the autofocus area, the ISO is set at 80, and we are using SHQ (2816x2112) quality. There is enough room on the memory card for 100 more shots with the current settings.



Olympus SP-500UZ

In Aperture priority mode you select the desired aperture and the camera automatically sets the correct shutter speed. A small aperture (larger f/number) increases the depth of field (range of focus), where a large aperture (smaller f/number) decreases depth of field.



Olympus SP-500UZ

Shutter-speed priority mode you select the shutter speed and the camera selects the correct aperture. Select a fast shutter speed to freeze fast-moving subjects or use a slower shutter speed to capture flowing water or low-light subjects. Frame-assist grids have been enabled.



Olympus SP-500UZ

In Manual mode you select both shutter speed and aperture value, the exposure value is displayed constantly (the "+1.3" in the upper right) so you can adjust the values to achieve the proper exposure. The "criss-cross" frame-assist has been enabled.



Olympus SP-500UZ

Rotating the mode dial to the "Scene" position gives you access to 21 creative scene modes. Press the 4-way selector to change between the pre- programmed modes (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Sport, Night + Portrait, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Museum, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach, Snow.)



Olympus SP-500UZ

The Shoot & Select scene mode lets you take a series of photos which are then displayed for you to select the ones to keep and deletes the others.



Olympus SP-500UZ

The SP500UZ has impressive Macro capabilities. Normal mode covers 2.76 inches (0.07m) - 23.62 inches (0.6m) at wide angle, and 47.24 inches (1.2m) - 78.74 inches (2m) telephoto. While Super Macro mode allows you to focus on subjects as close as 1.18 inches (3cm.)

The use of a tripod is highly recommended for any macro mode!



Olympus SP-500UZ

Movie mode - The total amount of recording time available is shown by the green "10:13" in the lower right hand corner. This is HQ 320x240 resolution at 30fps, the maximum recording time is limited only by available space on your memory card. SQ mode also records at 320x240, but with a slower frame rate of 15fps. When the image stabilizer is turned on, you'll see a "shaky" hand symbol (shown below.) Audio is recorded with your movies. The optical zoom can be preset before recording but not during.



Olympus SP-500UZ

When you press the Menu button in Movie mode, this Short Cut menu is displayed. Press Left to change the Quality of a movie, Up to enable or disable Digital Zoom, Down to enable or disable the Camera movement compensation (image stabilizer), Right enters the Mode menu.



Olympus SP-500UZ

Pressing the MENU button in any still recording mode brings up this menu screen. Using the Up, Down or Left buttons accesses the Shortcut menus for Self-Timer, Macro focus, and Resolution. You can use these menus to quickly change settings, and you can also set the desired value for these shortcuts with the Shortcut option under the Setup menu. Pressing the Right button takes you to the full Mode Menu (see illustrations below).



Olympus SP-500UZ

CAMERA and PICTURE menu:

    Metering - Choose the mode (ESP, Spot, Multi metering)
    Macro - Closeup focus mode (Off, Macro or Super Macro)
    DRIVE - Single frame, Sequential, High Speed Sequential, AF Sequential or AE Bracketing
    ISO - Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400
    Self-Timer - On/Off
    Flash Intensity - Adjust the flash output -2.0 to +2.0
    Slow Sync - Slow shutter speed flash sync for front or rear curtain
    Flash Control - Internal + external, external only, slave
    Digital Zoom - Enable or disable digital zoom option
    Noise Reduction - Enables/disable noise reduction on long shutter speeds
    AF Mode - iESP, Spot or Area
    Focus Mode - Auto or Manual focus
    Fulltime AF - Enable or disable continuous auto focus
    Panorama - In-camera panorama mode, only available when using Olympus brand xD-Picture cards.
    Sound - Enable or disable sound recording with still images
    Timelapse - Set the number of shots and interval between shots.
    AF Predict - On/Off




Olympus SP-500UZ

SETUP menu:
    Reset - Reset all camera settings to default
    - Select the language for on-screen display
    PW On Setup - Sets the picture/sound displayed at startup
    PW Off Setup - Sets the picture/sound displayed at power down
    Rec View - On/Off, if On shows last image captured for about 3 secs.
    - Adjusts the Beep sound level (Off, Low, High)
    Beep - Choose theme and sound level of button operations
    Shutter Sound - Choose theme and sound level
    My Mode Setup - Set the parameters used in My Mode
    File Name - Continuous file numbering or reset
    Pixel Mapping - Checks the CCD imager for errors
    - Adjust brightness of LCD monitor
    - Set the time and date
    Dual Time - Setup home and away time zones
    m/ft - Set the distance scale at meters or feet
    Video Output - Select NTSC or PAL video format
    AF Illuminator - Turns the AF-assist lamp On or Off
    Short Cut - Change the assignment of the shortcut menus
    - Enable or disable the live histogram displayed on LCD
    Frame Assist - Display onscreen framing guide lines
    Custom Button - Choose properties of the custom button




Continue on to
Playback Features


Return To Our
Reviews Menu









Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.