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Olympus SP 500 UZ | Digital Camera Review | Storage and Energy
It has been a while since Olympus and Fujifilm stepped over to the ultra small xD Picture Card. When the xD Picture memory card was launched, the reaction was fairly unanimous; what do we want with yet another new memory card? We didn’t know then that this was just the beginning of what was to become an inundation of memory cards in all sorts, speeds and storage capacities. A few years further on and we now have a series of xD Picture cards with a maximum storage capacity of 1GB in different speeds. The Olympus SP-500 UZ camera supports each type of xD Picture card from standard to fast.
Olympus SP 500 UZ | Digital Camera Olympus SP 500 UZ | Digital Camera
Olympus xD Picture card
As well as the choice in speeds and storage capacity Olympus also gives you an extra option; panorama pictures. In combination with the accompanying Olympus Master software and an Olympus xD Picture card, it is possible to make a panorama picture, but other brands are not supported. This is a particularly unfriendly way to go about customer relations management. The Olympus SP-500 UZ comes with approximately 10MB internal memory. In practice this capacity is not very useful. You can make 2 pictures in the highest JPEG quality and only 1 in RAW format. It would be advisable to buy a large storage capacity xD Picture flash memory card straight away. You should consider 512MB or 1GB storage capacity. A 1GB card will give you approximately 112 pictures using RAW format and 248 pictures with JPEG.

Considering a storage capacity of 1GB:
2816x2112 pixels - RAW - without sound - 112 pictures
2816x2112 pixels - RAW - with sound - 112 pictures
2816x2112 pixels - SHQ - JPEG - with sound - 124 pictures
2816x2112 pixels - SHQ - JPEG - without sound - 124 pictures
2816x1880 pixels - SHQ - JPEG - with sound - 128 pictures
2816x1880 pixels - SHQ - JPEG - without sound - 132 pictures
2816x2112 pixels - HQ - JPEG - with sound - 336 pictures
2816x2112 pixels - HQ - JPEG - without sound - 344 pictures
2816x1880 pixels - HQ - JPEG - with sound - 760 pictures
2816x1880 pixels - HQ - JPEG - without sound - 776 pictures
2592x1944 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 272 pictures
2592x1944 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 272 pictures
2592x1944 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 792 pictures
2592x1944 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 816 pictures
2288x1712 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 352 pictures
2288x1712 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 352 pictures
2288x1712 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 1008 pictures
2288x1712 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 1040 pictures
2048x1536 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 432 pictures
2048x1536 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 440 pictures
2048x1536 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 1248 pictures
2048x1536 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 1296 pictures
1600x1200 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 704 pictures
1600x1200 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 720 pictures
1600x1200 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 1928 pictures
1600x1200 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 2056 pictures
1280x960 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 1080 pictures
1280x960 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 1120 pictures
1280x960 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 2896 pictures
1280x960 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 3192 pictures
1024x768 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 1632 pictures
1024x768 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 1720 pictures
1024x768 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 4256 pictures
1024x768 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 4912 pictures
640x480 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - with sound - 3752 pictures
640x480 pixels - SQ1 - High - JPEG - without sound - 4256 pictures
640x480 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - with sound - 7976 pictures
640x480 pixels - SQ1 - Normal - JPEG - without sound - 10640 pictures

Video 320x240 pixels - HQ - 30fps - with sound - 25 min 10 sec
Video 320x240 pixels - HQ - 30fps - without sound - 25 min 44 sec
Video 320x240 pixels - SQ - 15fps - with sound - 50 min
Video 320x240 pixels - SQ - 15fps - without sound - 51 min 28 sec
Olympus SP-500 UZ - Image speed
Contrary to what you would expect from an advanced Mega zoom camera like the Olympus S-500 UZ, this is not really a fast camera. The start-up time (2.5 seconds) is the first clue that we will have to bear in mind that this is not one of the quickest cameras around. It has a relatively large buffer; you can take about 5 pictures in a row in the highest JPEG quality. At approximately 1.5fps the image speed is not particularly fast. The image speed can be increased by choosing for Burst High (approx 2fps), but this restricts the maximum number to 3. After such a series of shots, waiting for the buffer to empty can take up to eight seconds at worst. I have used several versions of xD Picture cards and there are differences, but don’t expect it to be twice as fast. It is also not possible to shoot a series of RAW format pictures.

Olympus SP500 Ultra Zoom - USB interface
Remarkably, there is no fast USB interface. The Olympus SP-500 UZ camera is still using the slow version while the competition is increasingly integrating the fast USB 2.0 Hi-Speed version as a standard feature. This camera also has an audio/video interface which enables you to see photo and video pictures on a large format screen. It goes without saying that both PAL and NTSC are supported.

Olympus SP500 UZ - AA format batteries
The SP-500 UZ digital camera comes with a set of AA format batteries. It supports alkaline and NiMH batteries and you can also connect an optional Olympus C-8AC mains supply to the camera. This latter is a handy accessory if you want to see several pictures on a television via the camera, if you use the Olympus SP500-UZ in a studio environment or if you regularly print pictures straight from the cameras with a printer that supports PictBridge. The advantages of using AA format batteries are obvious. You can buy them on practically every street corner and they are relatively cheap. If you expect to take a lot of photographs, you can always take a set of AA alkaline batteries with you. A set of high capacity NiMH batteries will allow you to shoot 1GB of high JPEG resolution pictures with no problems.
Olympus SP 500 UZ Olympus SP 500 UZ
   
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