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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus SP-560 UZ


Olympus SP-560 UZ Review

Review Date: Dec 3, 2007

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Olympus SP-560 UZ


This Olympus SP-560 UZ Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.


The Olympus SP-560 UZ provides a full-featured ultra zoom with a 27mm wide-angle for large group and wide landscape shots and a 486mm tele to bring far scenes up close. Sensor-shift image stabilization helps eliminate camera shake when using long focal lengths.

This camera is packed with features that should appeal to the serious amateur photographer. It is now in an (almost) all-black body with a DSLR-look, has excellent build and construction, and very good handling.

A large 2.5 in. LCD has a high 230K resolution and "gains up" very well in low-light.

Image quality is very good at ISO 50. As with most compact digital cameras, higher ISOs tend to suffer from noise and image detail loss. The custom White Balance which was a bit finicky on the previous SP-550 UZ model is now fixed.

Performance is average. AF is fast at wide-angle focal lengths and average at full tele. It can be a bit slow locking AF in low light.

Scene Modes and an on-screen GUIDE help steer beginner photographers. Full exposure flexibility allows the more advanced photographer to make the most of this camera.

The Olympus SP-560 UZ has many advanced features and should prove attractive to beginners as well as more advanced photographers.

What I like about the Olympus SP-560 UZ:

  • Very good image quality at low ISOs (ISO 50, 100)
  • Wide-angle 18x optical zoom lens (27-486mm, 35mm equivalent)
  • Effective CCD-shift image stabilization
  • Very good handling and build
  • Full exposure flexibility
  • Excellent metering
  • Area AF with 123 positions for easy off-center focus
  • 2 Live Histograms
  • Accurate AF even in low-light, though a bit slow
  • Very good EVF
  • Very good battery life
  • Availability of optional Tele Conversion Lens TCON-17 (1.7X, 35mm equivalent 856.8mm); Lens Adapter Tube (CLA-10) required

Improvements wish list:

  • Reduce startup time
  • Improve slow file writing
  • Improve AF speed
  • Better high speed continuous mode at full resolution
  • Improve AF at macro setting
  • USB 2.0 High Speed
  • Provide an easy Infinity focus mode
  • A tilting LCD for close-to-the-ground shooting.

See if you fit the Olympus SP-560 User Profile below:

Olympus SP-560 UZ
User Profile
Desire a 8.0MP resolution digital camera with very good image to excellent quality (at low ISOs).
Desire effective image stabilization.
Want a long zoom. Want a long zoom. Want a long zoom.
Want a full-featured digital camera.
Want eveything a beginner or serious amateur photographer needs to learn, experiment and grow in digital photography.
Want more exposure flexibility than provided by a point-and-shoot digital camera.
Want pro-level features, such as RAW, manual WB, Histogram, Area AF.


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