Cameras

Olympus's New 570 UZ Tops Ultra-zoom Market

The 10-megapixel SP-570 UZ is the first compact camera to offer a 20x optical zoom lens. With a 35mm equivalent range of 26-520mm, it is also one of the widest lenses currently available on a non-SLR. Its core features include dual image stabilization, ma

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Jan. 22, 2008 - The 10-megapixel SP-570 UZ is the first compact camera to offer a 20x optical zoom lens. With a 35mm equivalent range of 26-520mm, it is also one of the widest lenses currently available on a

non-SLR. Its core features include dual image stabilization, manual controls, and face detection. It will sell for $499.99 when it's available in March.

The 570 follows the SP-560 UZ, which was one of a handful of compact cameras with 18x optical zoom lenses on the market last year. Of last year's models, the 560 UZ and Fujifilm Finepix S8000*fd* had the widest lens at 27mm. The 570 UZ widens the range to 26mm. A zoom ring has also been added to the lens, allowing users to zoom like they would with a SLR zoom lens. The lens is constructed of 14 lenses in 11 groups and has a f/2.8-4.5 aperture range. Sensor-shift image stabilization is coupled with high ISO sensitivities to combat blur caused by camera shake.

Other notable components included a 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD monitor (larger than the SP560 UZ's 2.5-inch screen) with a 176-degree viewing angle, so users can compose and share images with the camera held at various angles. The 570 UZ adds a hot shoe for external flashes and supports wireless flashes.

Automatic and manual modes combine to appeal to a wide range of users. The 570 UZ features Program, Aperture priority,Shutter priority and full Manual modes, allowing users full control over the camera, and can capture RAW files. For automatic shooting, there are 31 shooting modes that lock in ideal settings for a scene, such as fireworks. The 560 UZ has 25 Scene modes, while the the 570 UZ has 23. The new camera excludes a couple of Underwater modes and adds Multi-Firework, which, according to an Olympus press release, takes and combines multiple exposures of fireworks.

Like its predecessor, the 570 UZ includes face detection technology that focuses on and sets the optimal exposure for portrait photos. Perfect Shot Preview helps users select ideal settings before snapping a photo by showing a preview on the LCD monitor.

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The 570 UZ retains the TruePic III image processor from its predecessor. It also has the same ISO 50-6400 sensitivity range. At full resolution the camera can snap 1.2 fps for 7 frames. It can shoot 3-megapixel files at 13.5 fps for up to 30 frames.

Olympus's Shadow Adjustment Technology and Perfect Fix work to maintain details in shadows and make in-camera edits, respectively. The latter includes Lighting Fix and red-eye reduction, as well as resizing and picture effects.

The 570 UZ accepts AA batteries (both disposable and rechargeable types), has 45MB of internal memory, and accepts 1 and 2GB xD-Picture Cards.

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