|Olympus SP-500 Megazoom digital camera
The Olympus SP-500 UZ is a digital Megazoom camera that a creative photographer can really work with. The camera’s multitude of possibilities means that you can capture a variety of subjects in practically any way imaginable. The camera is multifaceted and gives beginning photographers all the tools they need to discover the many facets of photography in a user friendly way. You would think that I was describing the perfect camera here, but there are still improvements to be made.
Olympus SP500 - No optical image stabiliser
The large zoom range of the Olympus SP500 UZ Mega zoom camera is fantastic. However, you will need more that that to capture your share of the market in a competitive segment like the Megazoom digital camera segment. As well as different manufacturers all offering their own version, the Megazoom is facing increasing completion from digital reflex cameras, which are getting cheaper all the time. You need to have a lot going for you nowadays to stand out from the crowd. One important feature is the optical image stabiliser but the Olympus SP-500 UZ distinguishes itself by not having one. This is an important point where Olympus lags behind the competition. The optical image stabiliser is an essential part of a Megazoom camera and Olympus will have to include this in any new generation of cameras.
Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom - Noise ratio is fine
The optical zoom lens works very well indeed. There is only a very light degree of distortion, but in general it performed well above average. The focussing also works well and the camera aims accurately thanks to the presence of an AF assistance illuminator. The colour reproduction is true to life and the automatic white balance works like a dream; it really is excellent. The noise ratio is fine throughout the entire ISO series and is great for high quality prints. Being able to save pictures in the RAW format gives the user the best materials for processing the picture to get it just right.
Olympus SP-500 - Not for action photographers
Despite its multi facetted character, the Olympus SP-500 UZ digital camera is no camera for an action photographer. It is just that little bit too slow. The image processing is excellent, but it is just not fast enough. Starting up, zooming in, saving the pictures and emptying the buffer are all slower than average and sometimes this really tries your patience. The competition shows that all this can be done quicker. Olympus knows what it must do when designing the next generation.
Olympus SP500 Ultra Zoom - 2,5 inch LCD screen
The 2.5 inch format screen on the rear is large enough to be able to replace the viewfinder. The pictures are reproduced clearly, only the resolution lags behind slightly. The electronic viewfinder did not convince me and had difficulties reproducing a balanced colour reproduction. A higher resolution 2.5 inch LCD monitor gives a sharper image that enables users to assess the pictures properly. The Olympus SP-500 UZ also gives you the possibility to process pictures in RAW so that users can really use the screen more intensively.
Olympus SP-500 digital camera - For experienced photographers
By the end of the trial period, the Olympus SP-500 UZ had made a mixed impression on me. The image quality and functionality was convincing enough, but it is just a fact that the specifications of contemporary Megazoom cameras are more extensive than ever. The Olympus SP-500 UZ misses several features found elsewhere, the worst being the lack of an optical image stabiliser. For the time being, the Olympus SP-500 UZ is an all-round digital camera, and if it is priced considerably lower that its competitors, it will be a perfect find for an experienced photographer in search of a second camera or a compact version of their digital reflex camera. Starters will be less convinced and will probably look around to see what the competition has to offer.