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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Olympus SP-500 UZ

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Olympus SP-500 UZ Review

Review Date: Jan 23, 2006

Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Duck: 1/320 sec., F3.7, ISO 80
380mm, Program Auto, ESP, 1/320 sec., F3.7 and ISO 80

Olympus introduces a new SP series digital camera which is both compact and packed full of features. The Olympus SP-500 features 6MP resolution, 10x optical zoom and an extra large 2.5 in. LCD monitor.

The Olympus SP-500 has full exposure flexibility with Program, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority and Manual modes, plus 21 Scene Modes to automate the most common picture-taking situations. You can display a histogram or grid lines. Movies are recorded with sound at 320x240 at 30fps.

It comes with 10MB of internal memory and runs on 4 AA batteries. A nod to serious amateur photographers: you can save images in the RAW file format (or RAW+JPEG), and there is a Bulb shutter speed. There is no optical viewfinder, but an electronic one (EVF).

Optional accessories include Wide (0.7x) WCON-07 and Tele (1.7x) TCON-17 Conversion Lenses (Lens Adapter Tube CLA-4 required).

The Olympus SP-500 should appeal to serious amateur photographers who desire an ultra zoom with a high degree of control.

Read our Olympus SP-500 review...
Olympus SP-500 UZ
QuickFact™ Sheet
Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom
Image Sensor 6 megapixel effective, 6.37 megapixel gross, 1/2.5” CCD
Lens 6.3 - 63 mm (38-380mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 11 lenses in 7 groups, 2 aspherical lens
Optical Zoom 10x
Digital Zoom 5x
Aperture Range f2.8- f3.7 (adjustable in 1/3 EV step)
LCD 2.5" color LCD, approx. 115,000 pixels
Viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
Focus System CCD Contrast detection
Focus Range Normal: (W) 0.6m (23.62 inches) - infinity, (T) 2m (78.74 inches)- infinity
Macro mode: (W) 0.07m(2.76 inches) - 0.6m (23.62 inches), (T) 1.2m (47.24 inches) - 2m (78.74 inches)
Super Macro Mode: up to 3cm (at 11.12mm focal length) (1.18")
Focus Mode iESP auto, Spot AF, Selective AF target, Manual
Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec –15 sec., Bulb
ISO Auto/80/100/200/400
Metering Mode Digital iESP multi-pattern auto TTL, Spot metering, Center Weighted metering
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV steps in 1/3 EV steps
White Balance iESP2 multi-pattern auto TTL, Pre-set, (One-touch, Overcast, Sunlight, Evening sun, Tungsten,(3) Fluorescents) WB compensation +/–7
Recording Modes DCF Exif 2.21, JPEG , PIM 3
Adjustment Resolutions RAW 2816 x 2112
SHQ 2816 x 2112
SHQ (3:2) 2816 x 1880
HQ 2816 x 1880
HQ (3:2) 2816 x 1880
SQ1 2592 x 1944 high, normal
2288 x 1712 high, normal
2048 x 1536 high, normal
1600 x 1200 high, normal
SQ2 1280 x 960 high, normal
1024 x 768 high, normal
640 x 480 high, normal
Shooting Modes 27 shooting modes
AUTO, Program Auto, A, S, M, MY, Scene Preset (Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Sport, Night + Portrait, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Museum, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach, Snow)
Panorama Modes Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with Olympus Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture card
Custom Settings 4 My Mode
Sequential Shooting High speed; 2.5 frames per second up to 3 frames
Normal speed; 1.5 frames per second up to 11 frames in HQ mode
Shooting Assist Functions Histogram, Frame assist
Selftimer 12 seconds
Shooting Edit Effects N/A
Image Quality Adjustment (Adj. ±5) sharpness, contrast, saturation
Movie Mode QuickTime Movie with Sound, JPEG, HQ 320 x 240 30fps/ SQ 320 x 240 15fps
Image Processing TruePic TURBO Image Processor
Pixel Mapping Pixel Mapping via menu setting
Noise Reduction Set automatically at shutter speeds of 0.5 seconds or longer
Image Playback Single/ Index/ Enlargement/ Slide show/ Calendar/ Album
For Movie: Normal, Still (frame by frame), FF/Reverse, Index jump, playback zoom
Playback Edit Effects Still Image; Black & white, sepia, resize, crop, raw data edit, compose, red eye reduction, brightness, saturation
For Movie: still image edit, index
Direct Printing Options PictBridge EASYPRINT and DPOF
Flash Built in Pop-up
Hot Shoe No
Flash Modes Auto (for low light and back lit conditions), Red-eye Reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in + red eye, Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 0.3~ 4.5m Tele: 1.2 ~ 3.4m
Setting Memorization On/Off (hold changes/Reset to default settings)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image data, Automatic up to 2099
Memory 10MB internal memory
Removable Media Card xD-Picture Card (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB or 1GB)
Outer Connectors Multi-connector for USB and A/V, DC input
Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full Speed
Weatherproof N/A
System Requirements Windows 98SE/2000PRO/ME/XP, Mac 10.1 and higher
Operating Environment Operation: 32° - 104°F (0° - 40°C), 30 - 90% humidity
Storage: -4° - 140°F (-20° - 60°C), 10 - 90% humidity
Power Supply 4 AA batteries
Included Accessories - 4 AA Alkaline Batteries
- Strap
- Multi-connector for USB and A/V
- Manuals: Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual
- CD: OLYMPUS Master Software and Advanced Manual
Size (W x H x D) 105.5 x 74.5 x 71 mm /
4.15 x 2.93 x 2.8 in.
Weight (camera body only) 285g / 10.05 oz. without battery and media card
MSRP US$379.99

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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