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Olympus 20x zoom camera for the vox paparazzi

The Olympus SP-560 UZ enters the megazoom territory beloved by sports fans and stalkers.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
Olympus SP-570 UZ
Olympus SP-570 UZ Olympus America

From its inception, Olympus' Ultra Zoom series--simply referred to as "UZ" in recent years--has always led the telephoto field for sheer reach. Once again, the company jumps ahead of the paused-at-18x pack with its 20x lens-equipped SP-570 UZ.

Olympus SP-570 UZ (top)
Olympus SP-570 UZ (top) Olympus America

Size matters most in this update to the SP-560 UZ: it's got a higher-resolution CCD, longer (and slightly wider-angle) lens, and slightly larger LCD display. In a nice design tweak, the lens now has a manual zoom ring; on the preproduction unit we toyed with briefly, it still had that odd servo feel that similar controls on camcorders have, but it did give a bit more control than with the zoom switches common on digital point-and-shoot cameras. The new model also supplies a hot shoe for use with external flashes and a built-in wireless flash controller (a capability that was enabled in the SP-560 UZ via a firmware upgrade).

Olympus SP-570 UZ (back)
Olympus SP-570 UZ (back) Olympus America

Key features:

  • f/2.8-4.5 26mm-520mm-equivalent (20X) lens
  • 10-megapixel CCD (1/2.33-inch)
  • ISO 50 - ISO 6400
  • Mechanical stabilization (sensor shift)
  • TruePic III image processor
  • 1.2 fps/7-frame continuous shooting (full resolution, best quality available)
  • LCD size: 2.7 inches/230,000 pixels, 140-degree viewing angle

The SP-570 UZ is slated to ship in March for $499.99