Deliberately a little underexposed, we captured this shot of a fruit stand at 1/30 second, f/5.6, ISO 400, with the lens zoomed to an equivalent of 128mm. The SP-550UZ's mechanical image stabilization kept the image relatively sharp, despite the fact that our shutter speed was two stops slower than the 1/125-second lower limit we'd normally use. The 100-percent-view crop (inset) can give you a sense for the noise that you'll encounter at ISO 400.
This casual vertical shot of two bicycles chained up near Madison Square Garden looks great when viewed small, but the 100-percent-view crop (at right) shows the slight softness we encountered with all our images. Shot details: 1/200 second, f/7.1, ISO 100, approximately 42mm (equivalent).
Macro mode lets you get up close for small detail shots, such as this one of the back of a fire alarm box on 181st St. in Manhattan. Shot details: 1/60 second, f/5.6, ISO 200, approximately 58mm (equivalent), exposure tweaked in Photoshop CS2.
Most superzooms start their zoom range at an equivalent of 35mm, but the SP-550UZ starts at an equivalent of 28mm. That means your wide-angle shots can be wider. For example, most superzooms won't let you capture the curve of the Henry Hudson Parkway and both of the George Washington Bridge's towers in the same frame when shot from the overlook at the western end of 181st St. Shot details: 1/125 second, f/5.6, ISO 100, 28mm (equivalent), exposure slightly tweaked in Photoshop CS2.
Shot from the same position as the previous slide, this shows the power of the SP-550UZ's 18x optical zoom lens. Shot details: 1/50 second, f/5.6, ISO 100, 504mm (equivalent), exposure slightly tweaked in Photoshop CS2 to compensate for horribly hazy conditions.