Olympus SP-570UZ First Impressions Review

The megapixel war may be raging onward elsewhere, but the Olympus SP-570UZ is claiming a victory among the competition in the ultra-zoom digital camera market. Its 20x optical zoom lens is the longest on a compact digital camera. The resolution isn’t a

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Physical Tour

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Front**The front of the SP-570UZ shows a new design from what is familiar to older Olympus ultra-zoom models. The new camera looks more like a DSLR than its predecessors. It has a more prominent and less curvaceous hand grip. The lens on the right side has a wide girth and extends dramatically with its 20x optical zoom power. To the upper right of the lens is a microphone grill. To the upper left of the lens is an auto focus assist lamp. Directly above the lens is an Olympus logo on the front of the pop-up flash unit. At the top of the hand grip, the large shutter release button can be seen, with an exposure compensation button in the same neighborhood.  

OlympusSP570UZfront.jpg
 **Back**The back of this digital camera looks especially like a DSLR, with its column of buttons to the left of the LCD and curves near the right side to make for better handling. The LCD takes up most of the back and is located just left of center. To its left are four buttons in a column: playback/print, shadow adjustment/delete, menu, and info/display. Above the LCD is the electronic viewfinder with its plastic, rectangular eyecup. To the left of the viewfinder is a small diopter adjustment dial. The brackets of the hot shoe can be seen above the viewfinder. Inside the LCD’s glass is an Olympus logo, along with text flaunting the HyperCrystal LCD in the bottom of the screen. To the upper right of the LCD are two buttons: one to shift the display from the viewfinder to the LCD, and one to "expand" burst folders and lock the auto exposure and autofocus. In the upper right corner of the camera is a thumb grip that has a nice, comfortable curve to it. The multi-selector is beneath this. It has a central OK/Func button and four separate buttons around it to navigate in four directions. Each button has an icon on it to show its function when it isn’t in the menu system. The top button jumps through images, the right side changes flash modes, the bottom turns on the self-timer, and the left side activates the Macro focus mode. 
OlySP570back.jpg
 **Left Side The left side has a tough rubber door that must be pried open to reveal the two jacks under it. The top one is for the optional power adapter, while the bottom one serves as a USB and AV (Audio/Video) port. Near the top of this side, on the shoulder, is a chrome eyelet for the neck strap to be attached. On the left side of the flash is a button that pops up the built-in flash. The large lens can also be seen from the left side, complete with a grooved manual zoom ring and two extending segments. There are two buttons on the left side of the lens that contribute to its SLR-like look: there is a drive button at the top and a switch on the bottom that flips from AF to MF. 
OlySP570leftside.jpg
 
Right Side The right side of the Olympus SP-570UZ is a sizeable grip. This thick side has a smooth but grippable rubber front, rather than the faux-leather material used by other manufacturers. The back edge of this side has a plastic door that opens to a memory card slot. Above the door is a chrome eyelet for the neck strap. 
OlySP570rightside.jpg
 
Top The chunky SLR-like shape can be seen from here. The neck strap eyelets sit at the flanks while the zoom lens protrudes from the left side. Above the lens is the built-in flash unit. There is also a hot shoe behind the built-in flash. There is a mode dial to the right of the viewfinder hump; it is a steely chrome color and is surrounded by a power switch that is also reminiscent of DSLRs. Another move toward DSLR-like control is the function dial to the right of the mode dial. Toward the tip of the hand grip are two buttons: a large shutter release button and a smaller exposure compensation button. 
OlySP570top.jpg
 ****Bottom**The bottom of the camera shows just how large the lens is, dominating the rest of the camera body. The hand grip looks dwarfed from this angle, although it doesn’t seem that way sitting upright. The battery compartment is under the hand grip and has a plastic lock to keep the door jammed shut. In the center of the bottom is the metal tripod socket. 
OlySP570bottom.jpg
 

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Sections

  1. Physical Tour
  2. Components
  3. Design / Layout
  4. Modes
  5. Control Options
  6. Image Parameters
  7. Connectivity / Extras
  8. Overall Impressions
  9. Conclusion

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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