The Olympus SP-560 UZ sports a big, beefy 28-to-486mm-equivalent, 18x optical zoom lens. Between its generous wide-angle shot and powerful zoom, it can get both close-up shots from far away and wide shots from close-up.
The SP-560 UZ's 18x lens features a 28mm-equivalent wide angle, much wider than most compact digital cameras. The photo of the Manhattan skyline was taken from Hoboken, N.J., across the Hudson River.
Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.0, ISO 50, 28mm equivalent
Less than a third of the way down its lens' zoom range, the SP-560 UZ still gets a closer shot than cameras with 3x lenses. This shot was taken from the same spot in Hoboken, N.J., as the previous shot.
Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.2, ISO 50, 141mm equivalent (approximate)
The full 18x zoom factor is almost useless when shooting close-up objects, but you can take advantage of its power starting about 20 feet away. Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.5, ISO 100, 486mm equivalent
This is the previous photo, expanded to 100 percent. Unfortunately, at 18x zoom, the lens' wider aperture can make getting a sharp focus more difficult. Blowing up the picture to full size also shows some other flaws, such as fringing along contrasting edges like the bird's head.
Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.5, ISO 100, 486mm equivalent
Sluggish performance makes the already difficult act of shooting a far-off, moving subject even harder. Even with the electronic viewfinder, it can be difficult to frame birds and planes in motion.
Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.5, ISO 50, 486mm equivalent
The previous photo, blown up to 100 percent. A fast shutter speed and extreme contrast against the background makes this helicopter appear significantly sharper than the bird. It's not a perfect shot, though; this picture suffers from the same fringing problems as the previous one. Shot details: 1/800 second, f/4.5, ISO 50, 486mm equivalent