|Olympus SP500 UZ - Large format optical zoom lens
When you look at the front of the Olympus SP-500 UZ you immediately notice the large format optical zoom lens. The 10x optical zoom lens is not completely concealed within its casing, but juts out slightly, even after the camera has been turned off. A loose lens hood provides the necessary protection and is attached to the casing via a strap belt so that it does not get lost. The zoom lens has a brightness of f/2.8 - f/3.7 and a range of 38 - 380 mm (equivalent of a 35 mm camera). To the above right of the lens is the built-in flash that can be folded up by means of a button in the rear. To the above left of the lens is a small microphone with underneath a LED for the AF assistance illuminator and the indicator for the self timer. The hand grip is fairly close to the zoom lens so that large hands get easily squashed against the zoom lens.
Olympus SP500 Ultra Zoom - TCON-17 tele converter lens
The large optical zoom range will please most photographers but Olympus is offering even more range. The zoom possibilities can be enlarged even further with the help of the optional Olympus TCON-17 tele converter lens that enlarges the focal point distance with a factor of 1,7x and so can support a maximum focal point distance of 646 mm (equivalent of a 35 mm camera). Whoever wants more wide-angle can achieve a wide-angle of approximately 27 mm with the optional Olympus WCON-07. A combination of camera and 2 converter lenses resulting in a range of 27 - 646 mm - now that’s impressive!
Olympus SP-500 UZ - Battery compartment
On the side of the camera there is a small microphone above which is an eyelet for attaching the camera strap. A small rubber lid seals off the USB and A/V interface. On the opposite side there is a connection for the mains supply sealed with a rubber lid beside which is an eyelet for the camera strap. There is also a memory compartment included in the hand grip. Underneath the hand grip there is a compartment for the 4x AA format batteries.
|It is sealed off by a large lid that must be moved by moving a safety lock. It is not a supple movement, especially after the batteries have been placed. Also, you must not forget to move the safety lock back in place. For the rest, there is a universal tripod connection underneath the camera that has been placed rather close to the battery compartment. It is not possible to change the batteries if the camera is mounted on a tripod.
Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom - Command dial
On the top of the Olympus SP 500UZ digital camera there is a command dial with the main programmes. The dial has been handily placed on a corner and so can easily be operated with your thumb. The shutter release which is surrounded by a ring with which you can operate the zoom is half slanted on the top and hand grip. The on/off switch with an extra button beside it for exposure completes the collection of buttons. Functions in the playback setting are indicated in green.
Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom - 2,5 inch LCD screen
The SP-500 UZ is equipped with a 2.5 inch format LCD screen. The large format is ideal for assessing pictures as well as being able to determine the composition easily. The screen’s resolution lags behind somewhat with 115.000 pixels. Above the screen there is an electronic viewfinder. This has a resolution of 210.000 pixels. I find that most electronic viewfinders are annoying to use and the Olympus SP-500 UZ’s viewfinder is no exception to this. The sharpness is good and the format is fine, but the image quickly becomes jittery. Beside the electronic viewfinder is a button with which you can unfold the built-in flash. The button to the right of this is used to switch between the screen and viewfinder as it is not possible to use both simultaneously. In addition, there is no dioptre setting, something that many users will consider a disadvantage. For the rest, there is the familiar multi-control button located underneath three buttons for various mode functions.