Olympus SP-565 UZ Review
By Mike Flacy
Olympus' Press Release
OLYMPUS SHRINKS THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL ULTRA ZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA TO PRODUCE THE COMPACT 20X OPTICAL ZOOM SP-565 UZ
The camera's enhanced Face Detection can now track up to 16 faces within the frame and optimize exposure even when subjects are moving, ensuring that family reunion group portraits will come out well-focused. In addition, the SP-565 UZ ensures sharp, brilliant images with a host of other features:
Dual Image Stabilization combines the benefits of Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization to compensate for both camera shake and moving subjects, helping to create beautiful, virtually blur-free images in any situation; Shadow Adjustment Technology enables users to preview and capture images as the human eye sees them, compensating for difficult lighting situations and maintaining detail in highlights while improving detail in the shadows to produce more balanced photos; and Perfect Shot Preview takes the guesswork out of great photography by allowing users to preview and select various photographic effects live on the LCD screen, before snapping the shot.
'Responding to consumers' needs for lighter and more compact digital cameras that they can take anywhere, Olympus continues to master the art of miniaturization. We did it with the E-420, the world's smallest DSLR, and we've done it again with the SP-565 UZ,' said Nadine Clark, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. 'The new camera offers the same amazing lens found in the SP-570 UZ in a more portable form factor that's as easy to use as any point-and-shoot camera. It's not quite a pocket digital, but it's designed for wearing around the neck for an extended time, and it fits easily in a backpack with room for books or hiking gear.'
Lightening the Lens Load
Lugging a bag full of lenses can slow traveling photographers down, so the SP-565 UZ comes fully equipped with the equivalent of three lenses in one complete camera. The bright, f2.8-4.5 lens provides the equivalent of 26-520mm focal length with 100x total seamless zoom (5x digital zoom). By using the toggle lever with one finger, users can get close to the action with the versatile yet compact 20x super telephoto zoom, while the wide-angle (26mm) lens captures more of the subject in each frame. Its super-macro capabilities capture the subtlest details from as close as one centimeter.
The compact lens construction combines aspherical and extra-dispersion (ED) lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. Whether you're hiking through the mountains or shooting a tennis match, this sturdy compact body with wide-angle and telephoto lenses provide the versatility to get the job done.
Dual Image Stabilization
Dual Image Stabilization enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation - adjusting for camera shake and a moving subject. Olympus' mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the CCD to compensate for camera shake, which often occurs when zooming in on your subject and in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that help to prevent blur caused by a moving subject.
Face Detection tracks up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) quickly for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Now, your subject's face is in focus whether it is in the center of the target area or not.
The Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority modes give users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creative vision - adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion, or just sit back and let the camera do the thinking through the use of the automatic settings.
The SP-565 UZ is capable of capturing images at an incredible 13.5 frames per second (with a reduced image size of 3 megapixels). The inclusion of Pre-Capture technology, which works in conjunction with High-Speed Sequential Shooting, enables users to capture the action before and after fully pressing the shutter button. Pre-Capture begins working as soon as the focus is locked, automatically archiving 10 frames in the camera's buffer memory prior to the shutter release - virtually guaranteeing that none of the action will be missed even if the user's reaction time is slow. Perfect for situations where timing is essential, such as photographing a tennis player serving, children playing or a whale breaching.
Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlight areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The SP-565 UZ addresses this challenge head-on with a new Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With the new technology, users can preview and capture images that have the same contrast as seen with the naked eye.
Perfect Shot Preview
The SP-565 UZ features a Perfect Shot Preview mode that enables users to preview and select various photographic effects (such as zoom, exposure compensation, white balance and metering) on a live, multi-window screen before snapping the shot. Perfect Shot Preview enables users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring users are capturing the exact image they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques.
Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
Olympus' Perfect Fix feature offers quick solutions for unanticipated image quality issues, which may be caused by several adverse conditions. Lighting Fix can be used to adjust any underexposed areas and Red-Eye Fix can be used to reduce the effects of red-eye sometimes caused by a direct flash. Additional in-camera editing functions can be quickly accessed right in the camera by the touch of a button; features available include resizing, trimming, black and white, and sepia.
TruePicTM III Image Processor
Olympus' enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures sharp images at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing image noise or producing grainy photos.
33 Shooting Modes Including Multi-Fireworks
The SP-565 UZ makes it easy to take great photos in a variety of scenarios and lighting situations with 33 shooting modes, including a Multi-Fireworks mode. To capture the most stunning fireworks displays, this multi-exposure feature overlays the fireworks to create the memory of a lifetime. To activate any of the camera's pre-set modes, simply select the desired mode for portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action and more.
All Olympus digital point-and-shoot cameras accept xD-Picture CardTM media. The SP-565 UZ will also come equipped with an adapter, which will enable microSD memory cards to be used when capturing images. The microSD cards are emerging in consumer electronic devices, including mobile phones and PDAs. Users can also easily display photos on their HDTVs.
OLYMPUS Master 2 Software
OLYMPUS Master 2 software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are easily organized by folders or albums and searchable by date in Calendar view. Also, with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or e-mailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates.
The SP-565 UZ will be available in October 2008. It will also include: Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, four AA Batteries, Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM.
SP-565 UZ Estimated Street Price: $399.99 (U.S.)
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