Olympus SP-570 UZ: Ginormous 20x superzoom

Olympus has announced the longest superzoom going, the 20x SP-570 UZ with pre-capture mode, 15fps burst mode and a gobsmacking 26-520mm 35mm equivalent

Crave was musing only the other day that the number 20 is a very interesting figure. Not only is it the atomic number of calcium and the third magic number, it's also a tetrahedral and a primitive semiperfect. But hey, aren't we all? Incidentally, 20x is also the size of the ginormous zoom Olympus has slapped on the new SP-570 UZ.

The 10-megapixel SP-570 thus becomes the longest superzoom on the market, with a whopping 35mm equivalent range of 26-520mm. Note the 26mm wide angle, which makes it wider than the average compact, with their meagre 3x zooms and 35mm lenses. The SP-570m also sports a large 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screen, and we can't wait to get our hands on this one for a game of 20 questions.

The SP-570 features pre-capture mode, which continually records whatever the camera is pointing at, holding frames in the memory for a limited period and then discarding them -- until you press the shutter, in which case the previous five frames are stored. This allows you to capture a particular action even if you're a tad slow in the finger-twitchin' reactions department.

We like superzooms as they are, in many ways, the next best thing to SLRs. Continuing that theme, the SP-570 boasts SLR-like features such as a viewfinder, hotshoe, full manual mode as well as aperture and shutter priority, and the ability to adjust focus and zoom levels by turning the lens rings. Olympus also claims a 15 frames per second burst rate, but be warned that's at a paltry 1.2-megapixel resolution.

As well as seeing things that are way the heck away, you can also photograph things that are way the heck nearby, thanks to a 1cm super macro mode. Apparently this is "perfect for unlocking nature's secrets", for all you fans of press-release nonsense.

The Olympus SP-570 UZ will be unlocking nature's secrets from March 2008 for about £390. -Rich Trenholm

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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