Olympus SP-590 UZ Megazoom digital camera
Mega zoom cameras have been under a lot of pressure for a small period of time, mainly caused by the launch of affordable entry-level DSLR cameras. The manufacturer reckoned on a quicker switch from compact to DSLR, making the mega zoom segment superfluous. However, this turned out differently in practice. A considerably large group of photographers find ease more important than the need to enhance a system camera with all kinds of accessories. The Olympus SP-590 UZ seems a type of camera that has everything at hand, and ease of use could easily reach high scores.
Olympus SP-590UZ not to be confused with an SLR camera
On paper, the Olympus SP-590 UZ looks like it could replace a digital SLR camera. As for its zoom range and functionality, the SP590 certainly does get close. However, in practice we soon discover that this resemblance is not so obvious. Naturally, the zoom range is impressive and the camera can be used for all-round photography, however; things like signal/noise ratio, resolving power and lens quality spoil the fun.
Olympus SP-590UZ field test
As it turned out, the Olympus SP590 is not able to reach the same quality as a DSLR when it comes to high ISO quality, and the camera has to give in even from ISO 200. This fact is clearly a hindrance to actually use the camera all-round without having to depend on light and stabilization. Additionally, the image quality; more so the telephoto pictures, is less than that of the wide angle ones. This is something you will not easily come across in the digital SLR camera segment. If we compare an average DSLR with the SP-590 UZ, we can't but conclude that whereas the DSLR is all-round applicable, the Olympus SP-590UZ should be qualified as a 'nice-weather-camera'.
Olympus SP-590 UZ review conclusion
It is in fact the super mega zoom feature of the Olympus SP-590 UZ that lets us down. It seems Olympus went just one step too far. The specifications are beautiful, 26x zoom and high resolution with many setting options, but in practice the camera does not live up to its expectations. If you expect good quality and all-round photography, you'd better look for a DSLR (for example the Olympus E-450). Although this means you will have to settle for less zoom range, or go through the trouble of taking a second lens along; when it comes to quality, it certainly would be a smarter choice!
Olympus SP-590UZ microSDHC and xD memory
The Olympus SP-590 UZ features an internal memory. It never became entirely clear, but it has an estimated size of approximately 20MB. This is enough to take 3 pictures, however; it may be nicer to store 120 pictures in VGA quality to be able to share your favorite moments with family, friends and colleagues. The card slot of the SP590 UZ supports xD as said, with a maximum storage capacity of 2GB. In addition, microSDHC is officially supported via a special adapter, which comes standard with the camera. This lets you enhance the storage capacity to 16GB. The highest quality JPEG picture is nearly 6MB in size. This means a 2GB storage capacity is advised as minimum size to be able to take and store approximately 350 pictures.
Considering 1BG of storage capacity:
12 Megapixels - 3968x2976 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 174 pictures
12 Megapixels - 3968x2976 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 343 pictures
9 Megapixels - 16:9 - 3968x2232 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 231 pictures
9 Megapixels - 16:9 - 3968x2232 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 453 pictures
5 Megapixels - 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 410 pictures
5 Megapixels - 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 789 pictures
3 Megapixels - 2048x1536 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 627 pictures
3 Megapixels - 2048x1536 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 1184 pictures
2 Megapixels - 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 984 pictures
2 Megapixels - 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 1827 pictures
2 Megapixels - 16:9 - 1920x1080 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 231 pictures
2 Megapixels - 16:9 - 1920x1080 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 453 pictures
1 Megapixels - 1280x960 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 1453 pictures
1 Megapixels - 1280x960 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 2558 pictures
VGA Megapixels - 640x480 pixels - JPEG - Fine - 5814 pictures
VGA Megapixels - 640x480 pixels - JPEG - Normal - 10660 pictures
Video Resolution VGA - 640x480 pixels - 30fps - 9 min 25 sec
Video Resolution VGA - 640x480 pixels - 15fps - 18 min 44 sec
Video Resolution QVGA - 320x240 pixels - 30fps - 25 min 26 sec
Video Resolution QVGA - 320x240 pixels - 15fps - 50 min 7 sec