Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Olympus SP-560 vs SP-550; 18x SLR-like with E410’ processor and 826mm Tele converter

Some pros of big zoomOlympus was the first manufacturer who gave birth to 18x zoom SLR-like camera. It was Olympus SP-550 with some new features: a handy body but a small and noisy 1/2.5” sensor. I don’t know if it sells successfully but some mfrs followed Olympus SP-550’s example. As a result we can see the appearance of new ultra-zoom cameras such as: Panasonic FZ18, Fujifilm S8000 and again Olympus with SP-560. Let’s look through this model and designate how good this upgrade is. As for Fujifilm S8000 and Panasonic FZ18, look through my previous posts: Compare Fujifilm S8000, Olympus SP550, Panasonic FZ18 - nothing to S9100 and Panasonic FZ18 vs. Fujifilm S8000 or Olympus SP-550; Compare 18x SLR-likes.
I’m in search of any users information about this 18x SLR-like -- the SP-560 UZ just after it has appeared but I’m disappointed with only few replies in the Net. As for salesmen, they can’t distinctly explain what the difference between SP-550 and SP-560 is. They say only what I already know from reviews: the new Olympus SP-560 keeps its predecessor's 28 to 504mm-equivalent 18x lens and mechanical image stabilizer, but includes a new sensor, a new image processor, and offers some new features over the SP-550.
Some Olympus SP-560 user’s cons in comparison with SP-550:
- The Auto Focus is hardly noticeable to a tad faster. If not for the SP550 that was beside it to try immediately, would have thought there wasn't any difference there. In any case the AF of the SP5xx still can't compare to the faster competition.
- The RAW file speed still takes a few seconds to write.

- VR/anti-shake has a hard time getting sharp shots at full zoom beside it. Maybe it’s a problem with the VR on this particular SP560 show copy.

- General speed is not anything noticeable over SP550.

For more SP-550' details look at: Choosing SLR-likes compare Panasonic DMC-FZ8, Olympus SP-550 and Fujifilm IS-1/S9600. Good, expensive and very expensive.
Olympus-SP 560 vs SP-550Olympus SP-550 vs SP-560The good and some funny features
I think that it is a little disappointed opinion about this upgrade. As for cool new features such as Shadow Adjustment Technology which "compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail", Face Detection Technology, Dual Image Stabilization etc., modern electronic and (what is more important) modern marketing can do anything. Unfortunately, these features can’t take great pictures instead they can force us to forget how to shoot. And so don’t pay attention to this rubbish and let’s look at some really interesting news.
There are two things which make me glad. First of all it’s a new 8 mega pixels 1/2.3 inch sensor. It’s not a secret that a great many pixels is not such important for image quality as a sensor size. But some mfrs preferred get around this fact. As a result we have as a rule 1/2.5” sensor instead of old-fashioned 1/1.8” (look through Olympus C-8080 with 2/3”, Nikon 8700 with 1/1.8” or Canon Pro1 with 2/3” at The summary table of the best SLR-like camera specifications). Of course it’s cheaper to make a SLR-like camera with a small sensor but rich of electronic features. Therefore it’s a great sign that Olympus used a large sensor for SP-550 upgrade.
New Olympus 826mm Tele: looking for moonlight
The next thing which makes me happy is the TruePic III image processor which is put in the latest Olympus SLRs such as Evolt E410 and E510: Olympus SLRs: E330, E400, E410, E500 and E510. Of course this is nothing but an electronic device. On the other hand it is a SLR’s processor which is able to work with big size images.
Instead the appearing of ‘a new kind of photographic freedom’-- the teleconverter lens TCON-017 and the adapter ring CLA-10 for Olympus SP-560 / SP-550 give a rise to doubts. What the hell, the Olympus makes an astoundingSome 18x zoom's pros 826mm Tele converter after two 18x ultra-zoom SLR-like cameras? It’s much better (and easier) to make a 6-10x zoom lens free from artifact and aberration, after all. Apropos I have already told about this easy way for making a great SLR-like camera in my previous post.
As for weight and dimensions, SP-560 has 365 g (12.9 oz) instead of SP-550’ 460 g (16.2 oz) and 116 x 78.5 x 78 mm (4.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 in) instead of 116 x 79 x 78 mm (4.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 in). In my opinion, the new Olympus SP 560 has more handy body but it’s very individual. It is much better to visit a store and to hold cameras yourself. For a pleasure of having a pro-processor and a larger sensor you have to pay extra $100, while a moonlight costs much more.
Conclusion
The Olympus tends to turn to the right way which makes SP-560 more preferable for customers than Panasonic FZ18 and Olympus SP-550 and puts it on the same level with Fujifilm S8000. But in my opinion designing the Tele Converter for SLR-like will help to produce good cameras without groovy 18x zoom but astronomers will be able to shoot their favorite Moon craters. To tell the truth, Canon G9’s way with using Tele and Wide-angle converters for digital compacts is a little expencive (look at Canon Powershot G9, SD950 and A650: can 12MP make SLR from compact). However, nothing is perfect.
I collect info about all digital cameras. Tell me what you need and we will find the one together. Feel at ease at Comments directory.

16 comments:

teeny said...

I am going to keep my eyes on any not expensive SLR cameras such as: Olympus E410 / E510, Sony A100 or Nikon D40x. But maybe it’s better to keep my eyes on Olympus SP-560.
I want to buy a new SLR-like camera and I don't need an 18x zoom. I'm going to keep my eye on Canon S5 IS or Sony DSC-H9. Which one is better: Canon or Sony?

fototramp said...

First of all you must to clarify youself what you need, SLR or SLR-like. For more details look through my posts. There are a lot of information about all of these cameras. As for me, I kept my eyes on Sony A100. What for SLR-likes, Canon S5 IS and Sony DSC-H9 are the same good gadgets. In my opinion it's better to look towards Fujifilm S9100 / 9600.

Kirill said...

Do you think that Fuji S9100 is really better than Sony H9 / H5?

fototramp said...

What is 'better'? The Fujifilm S9100 has a larger sensor with lower noise but the Sony H9 has some useful features.

box-man said...

The main difference I can see between the Panasonic FZ18 and the Olympus SP-560 UZ is that the FZ18 has RAW format. As for 18-x zoom, do you forget about noisy images at high ISO?

Anonymous said...

Hey Box-man: SP-560 UZ *does* have RAW image capability. Try again.

Anonymous said...

hi...im confused between olympus sp560 n nikon d80...mae i noe which wud b a better choice?tanx :)

fototramp said...

To anonymous
It is so hard to compare an excellent SLR as the Nikon D80 and the Olympus SP560. This is like to compare the BMW X5 with the Opel Corsa. Corsa is going too, but it is a great pleasure to drive the X5. Only Nikon!

fototramp said...

Sorry, for Box-man but Anonymous is right. SP 560 have a RAW format.

Anonymous said...

oh...tanx fototramp..tt means either 1 is as gd ryte?so there's no different in quality if i were to use nikon d80 or olympus sp560?

fototramp said...

It’s hard to compare SP 560 even with any old Nikon’s model as 8700. As for D80, it’s a SLR camera and it’s a great SLR. You can say about these two “there's no different in quality” only if you use D80 with dirty and cheap Kit lens, although if you do one's utmost…may be. It’s a different camera type.

Anonymous said...

oh...now i haf a clearer pic...tanx :D

fototramp said...

To anonymous
I should be glad to see your photos. If you really have chosen the Nikon D80, look at the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. There is a great lens.
Regards

Leandro said...

Hi, I'm trying to buy a good digital camera.
Do you recommend the SP-570 or something else in the smae price range?
I want one with manual zoom

fototramp said...

To Leandro
If you are looking for some manual settings, it's better to think about not expensive SLR such as Olympus E-330, E-400, and E-500. As for prices ($300-400), there are the same as SLR-likes.

fototramp said...

To Leandro
For more details about Olympus SLRs look through this article.