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Olympus SP-570 UZ review: Olympus SP-570 UZ

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Photo samples from the Olympus SP-570 UZ

On one hand, Olympus deserves some points for the f2.8-f4 26-520mm-equivalent lens, clearly one of the main attractions of this camera. It's got the view you need for most any scene you'd like to shoot, from a broad wilderness wide angle to a single bird in flight above. The tradeoff for that single-lens flexibility is generally sharpness, distortion, and fringing, and in that respect the SP-570 UZ, like most of its peers, unfortunately doesn't disappoint. Most photos are softer than we'd like, and there's notable barrel and pincushion distortion over the extremes of the focal range. I can't seem to figure out how serious the fringing problem is, though. On one hand, when it's bad, it's very, very bad, with thick, noticeable halos around edges, and not just high-contrast ones. But it doesn't appear very frequently, even in some instances where I expected to see it. Nor is there any noticeable vignetting (darkening at the corners).

In other respects, the photo quality is solid, but not great. The camera renders most colors pretty accurately, though even with colors set to Natural, some colors (most notably of manmade objects like clothing) seem to get boosted a little too much. Exposures look even and accurate, and the metering performs as expected--no surprises. Its noise profile looks pretty typical for its class as well; photos are relatively free of noise and noise-processing related artifacts until about ISO 200, but then detail visibly begins to degrade. (For more on the photo quality and image samples, .)

Though it stands out in the features department, the Olympus SP-570 UZ's slow performance seriously undercuts many of the potential uses to which you might put those capabilities, and for some, the zoom ring implementation will put a damper on the rest of the shooting experience.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Smaller bars indicate better performance)
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Time to first shot  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
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Olympus SP-560 UZ
Olympus SP-570 UZ

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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