Olympus D-550 Zoom Review

Steve's Digicams

Full Review Posted 6/20/2002

Click to take 360-degree QTVR tour of the Olympus Camedia D-550
Click to take a 360-degree QTVR tour of the D-550

Olympus America's CAMEDIA D-550 ZOOM offers --a high resolution 3 Megapixel CCD; 2.8X optical zoom with a totally seamless 10X zoom (2.8X optical & 3.6X digital); 5 Scene Program modes with the Virtual Mode Dial; an improved easy menu navigation system; large 1.8" LCD; and high-end imaging features in a comfortable, compact and easy-to-use stylish clamshell body for only $399.

The D-550 ZOOM is the smart choice for all kinds of photographers, from the first time buyer who wants a higher resolution digital camera with optical zoom to previous digital camera owners who want to move up to resolution at an affordable price.

The Olympus D-550 ZOOM uses a newly designed 3 Megapixel CCD and offers sophisticated image quality features normally found on more advanced Olympus digital cameras. Olympus' high- quality 2 aspherical glass element 2.8x, 5.8-16.2mm zoom lens (36-100mm equivalent in 35mm photography) is matched to the CCD and designed for digital photography producing superior image quality. Advanced color management settings in the 5-Scene Program modes--Portrait, Landscape, Landscape+Portrait, Night Scene and Self Portrait mode--always give users optimum color and picture result. Additionally, the D-550 ZOOM features Automatic Noise Reduction technology for crisp, clean colors and sharp detail even when shooting long exposures in low light of one second and longer in the Night Scene mode. Olympus's exclusive TruePic™ technology optimizes the image quality for picture sharpness, contrast, true colors and gradation in all picture resolutions, along with Automatic Pixel Mapping, which analyzes the CCD, re-mapping it for maximum CCD performance.

The new 3:2 Recording Mode in the D-550 ZOOM allows users to create perfectly sized 4 x 6 prints along with a variety of other popular print sizes. The 3:2 aspect ratio is the standard image ratio for conventional 35mm film cameras, and the most requested print aspect ratio for photographic framing. The exclusive Virtual Mode Dial with the 5-Scene Program Modes lets anyone easily adjust the mode with a visually supported control circle menu displayed on the LCD for maximum ease of use and "the perfect shots."

The D-550 ZOOM offers easy to use USB(1.1) Auto-Connect, hassle-free for PC connectivity and downloading with most of the latest operating systems such as Windows XP and Mac OSX. Simply plug the camera into the USB port and you're ready to go.

Battery life is one of the most critically important features in a digital camera, and the D-550 ZOOM has long battery life allowing literally hundreds of shots in normal operation with four AA alkaline batteries (while using the LCD display and flash 50% of the time).

Camedia D-550 Zoom Features:

  • 3.0 megapixel CCD (effective) allows for high-quality prints of 8" x 10" and beyond.
  • Compact design makes the D-550 Zoom easy to handle and carry.
  • A 2.8x optical and 3.6x digital zoom combine for a seamless 10x zoom for outstanding range.
  • Auto-Connect USB(1.1).
  • 5 Scene Program Modes: Self-Portrait; Portrait; Night Scene; Landscape; and Landscape + Portrait.
  • Variety of resolution selections including the new 3:2 aspect mode for perfect size for framing prints.
  • Olympus's TruePictechnology optimizes the image. quality for picture sharpness, contrast, true colors and gradation in all picture resolutions.
  • Automatic Noise Reduction technology when shooting long exposures in low light in Night Scene mode.
  • Automatic Pixel Mapping checks the CCD and re-maps it for maximum CCD performance.
  • 1.8" LCD
  • Virtual Mode Dial seven shooting modes
  • New menu design
  • QuickTime® movie.
  • Built-in flash automatically pops up.

The D-550 ZOOM's availability is June, 2002 for $399. It comes with a 16MB SmartMedia card, USB cable, video cable, carrying strap, 4 AA alkaline batteries, CAMEDIA Master 4.0 software, manual, Quick Start Guide, and warranty card.

Physical Views

Olympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

Olympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

Olympus Camedia D-550 ZoomOlympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

Olympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

Olympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

Olympus Camedia D-550 Zoom

The D-550 Zoom compared in size to a CD.

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D-550 Zoom Specifications

CCD Imager 3.0 Megapixel Effective
3.3 Megapixel Gross
Size 1 /2.5" (0.4") CCD
Lens Olympus multivariator 2 aspherical glass 2.8x zoom lens 5.8-16.2 mm(36-100mm equivalent in 35mm photography)
Seamless Digital Zoom 10x (2.8x optical and 3.6x digital combined)
Aperture Range F2.9-5.6 (W) / F4.4-8.6 (T)
Shutter Speeds Program Auto: 1/1,000 sec. - 1/2 sec. / Night Scene Mode: 2 sec.
ISO Auto: 100-400 / Manual: 100, 200, 400 (equivalent)
Recording Mode(s) Still image: EXIF TIFF (non-compressed), EXIF JPEG, DCF (design rule for Camera File system), QuickTime® Motion JPEG (Movie Mode)
Adjustable Resolutions 1,984 x 1,312 (3:2) TIFF, JPEG-High/Normal
1,984 x 1,488 TIFF, SHQ/HQ JPEG
1,600 x 1,200 TIFF, SQ JPEG-High/Normal
1,280 x 960 TIFF, SQ JPEG-High/Normal
1,024 x 768 TIFF, SQ JPEG-High/Normal
640 x 480 TIFF, SQ JPEG-High/Normal
320 x 240 @15fps QuickTime® Motion JPEG
160 x 120 @15fps QuickTime® Motion JPEG
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Print Reservation (Single, Multiple, All, Number of copy), Date/Time, Cropping
Optical Image Enlargement N/A
Image Adjustment Modes Sharpness: Hard/Normal/Soft; Contrast: High/Standard/Low
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 EV in 1/2 EV steps
Image Effects Noise Reduction: available at Shutter speeds of 1 second or longer in Night Scene Mode
Panorama Up to 10 frames stitchable automatically with CAMEDIA Master software when using Olympus brand SmartMediaTM
Sequence 1.2 frames per second burst up to 11 frames in HQ mode
Viewfinder Optical real-image viewfinder with Diopter Adjustment and Autofocus /backlight LED
LCD 1.8" (4.5cm) Color TFT LCD (61,000 pixels)
Focusing System iESP Multi-Pattern AF (autofocus) TTL system (contrast detection), Spot AF, Full Time AF (Movie Mode)
Focusing Ranges Macro Mode 8" - 31"(0.2m-0.8m)
Standard AF 31" - Infinity (0.8m - Infinity)
One Touch Focus (Infinity)
Exposure Control Program Auto (f 2.9/4.4 - 8.6, 1/1,000 sec. - 1/2 sec.)
5 Auto Creative Scene Mode: Self Portrait/Portrait/Night Scene/Landscape/Landscape+Portrait
Metering System Digital ESP Multi-Pattern Meter, Spot
White Balance System iESP Multi-pattern auto TTL
4 Pre-set manual (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten and Fluorescent)
Flash Built-in Automatic Pop Up Flash
Flash Modes Auto Flash for low and backlight
"Red-eye" Reduction Flash
Fill-in Flash
Flash Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 7.9" - 11.2' (0.2m - 3.4m) @ ISO 100
Tele: 31" - 7.6' (0.8m - 2.3m) @ISO 100
Flash Charging Time Less than 8 seconds (at normal temperature with new batteries)
Removable Media Card 3V (3.3V) SmartMediaTM card (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 MB)
Selftimer/Remote 12 second delay Self-timer
Setting Memorization On, Default
Outer Connectors USB connector (USB Auto-Connect), NTSC Video Out, DC input
Auto-connect USB Compatible with Windows 98 rev2/ME/2000 Pro/XP-MacOS 8.6-9.01/OSX (10.1)
Image Playback Still: Index display (4/9/16), 1.5x - 4x enlargement by 0.5x steps, Slide-show, Scene rotation
Movie: Normal Playback, Reverse Playback, Frame by Frame
Operating Environment Operation: 32° F -104°F (0°C - 40°C) 30-90% Humidity
Storage: -4°F - 140°F (-20°C - 60°C) 10-90% Humidity
Power Supply Main Power Source: 2 x LB-01 (CR-3V) Lithium batteries
4 x AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries
4 x AA Lithium batteries
4 x AA NiCd rechargeable batteries
4 x AA Alkaline batteries
(Manganese batteries cannot be used)
AC Power: C-7AU AC adapter (optional)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image date
Calendar Automatic up to the year 2031
Size 4.6" W x 2.6" H x 1.9" D (117.5m W x 66mm H x 49.5mm D)
Weight 8.5 Oz./ 240 g without batteries and SmartMediaTM
Number of Storable Photos
(when the supplied 16MB card is used)
TIFF: 1984 x 1488 :1 frame
TIFF: 1600 x 1200 :2 frames
TIFF: 1280 x 960 :4 frames
TIFF: 1024 x 768 :6 frames
TIFF: 640 x 480 :16 frames
3:2 TIFF: 1984 x 1312 :2 frames
3:2 SHQ: 1984 x 1312 :8 frames
3:2 HQ: 1984 x 1312 :24 frames
SHQ: 1984 x 1488 :7 frames
HQ: 1984 x 1488 :21 frames
SQ High: 1600 x 1200 :11 frames
SQ Normal: 1600 x 1200 :32 frames
SQ High: 1280 x 960 :18 frames
SQ Normal: 1280 x 960 :49 frames
SQ High: 1024 x 768 :27 frames
SQ Normal: 1024 x 768 :76 frames
SQ High: 640 x 480 :66 frames
SQ Normal: 640 x 480 :165 frames
HQ: 320 x 240 15 fps movie :48 seconds (33 sec. max. per movie)
SQ: 160 x 120 15 fps movie :211 seconds (148 sec. max. per movie)
NOTE: These Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

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