Olympus SP-565 UZ Review

Review Date: January 22nd 2009
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

There is barrel distortion evident when reviewing images taken on the Olympus SP-565 UZ at maximum wideangle particularly noticeable on our white wall test shots but in truth this is no worse than competing zooms in the SP-565 UZs class. As we typically find with Olympus cameras, colours are realistic yet a little flat when shooting JEPG and left at the SP-565 UZs default setting, so the on-board Vivid option can provide a welcome boost. Highlights are occasionally blown in sunny conditions, and pixel fringing is kept pretty well under wraps though evident when zooming into an image on your desktop. Images are reasonably sharp and detailed, though as to be expected occasionally soft when shooting at maximum telephoto and so benefiting from a subtle application of unsharp mask. Still, at least here the lens seems capable of resolving the pixel count provided by the sensor. In terms of ISO performance, noise is kept respectably under control up to and including ISO 800, with detail noticeably softening at ISO 1600. With a resolution drop, noise appears no worse at ISO 3200, though detail has softened further. The top setting of ISO 6400 is best avoided entirely, as the results are beginning to resemble a watercolour rather than a photograph.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Olympus SP-565 UZ. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default setting ideally and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus SP-565 UZ handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review. There's very slight purple fringing between areas of high contrast, but it's only noticeable on really close inspection, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Olympus SP-565 UZ offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

Macro Shot (100% Crop)

Flash

The flash settings on the Olympus SP-565 UZ are Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill in, Off, Red-eye reduction & fill-in, Slow synchronization, and Slow synchronization & Red-eye reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (520mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (520mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Auto setting and the Red-eye reduction modes caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Flash - Red-eye Flash

Flash - Red-eye Flash (100% Crop)

Night Shot

The Olympus SP-565 UZ's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Manual shooting mode and there's also a Bulb mode for exposures up to 8 minutes long, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds, f/2.8 at ISO 200. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   
Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Olympus SP-565 UZ have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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