Olympus SP-560 UZ Review

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Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

Features & Controls

The SP-560 features a very powerful 18x optical zoom lens which covers a 35mm equivalent range of 27 - 486mm. The Maximum aperture rage is F2.8 - F4.5, and is comprised of 14 lenses in 11 groups with 4 aspherical lenses and 2 ED (extra-dispersion) lenses. It offers tremendous shooting versatility for travel, sports and day-to-day use.

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 ESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, Full-Time AF, Selective AF Target, AF Lock, Predictive AF, Manual target modes and a working range of:

  • Normal/Macro: Wide 3.9" - infinity (0.1m - infinity), Telephoto 47.2" - infinity (1.2m - infinity)
  • Super Macro mode: 0.39" - infinity (0.01m - infinity)

The optional CLA-10 Conversion 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 TCON-17 telephoto conversion lens.

Olympus SP-560 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 0.98ft (0.3m) - 21ft (6.4m) Wide, 3.9ft (1.2m) - 13.1ft. (4m) Telephoto, using ISO 400.

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

The SP-560 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. The "Backlight Boost" button raises the brightness of the LCD's backlight for help in framing under severe lighting (harsh sunlight, etc.), and also acts as the Delete button in playback mode.

Olympus SP-560 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, SCeNe, Guide, Movie and Playback.

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

On the side is are the I/O ports. The top is the DC IN for an external power supply, while the lower port handles both the A/V output, video is NTSC or PAL, audio is monaural and the USB 2.0 (high-speed) data. The SP-560 is Pictbridge compatible and may be connected directly to any Pictbridge enabled photo printer without the need of a computer.

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

The SP-560 stores its data on 47MB 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.

Approx. Still Image Capacity

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

Approx. Movie Capacity

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

Olympus SP-560 UltraZoom

The SP-560 is powered by four standard AA batteries, alkaline, NiMH type cells as well as CR-V3 battery packs. Olympus does not specify any battery life claims. We 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.

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