Olympus presents 6 megapixel SP-500UZ

Posted on Tuesday, August 30 2005 @ 1:58 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Get to the heart of the action. Even when standing from afar the Olympus SP-500UZ brings distant subjects in close. It offers photographers the power and flexibility of a precision 10x zoom lens system (equivalent to 38-380mm), which at 1:2.8-3.7 is superbly bright across the entire focal range. Matched with 6.0 million pixels, the camera assures high-definition compositions that make a lasting impression. On top of 21 scene modes, auto exposure and full manual control, Aperture and Shutter Priority are also available to give photographers ample room for creativity and experimentation.

Exposure distribution information can be checked on the extra-large 6.4cm LCD either during playback or in real time while framing thanks to the histogram function. And to guarantee sharpness in just about any situation, the SP-500UZ incorporates a precision autofocus system as well as spot AF and multi-spot AF – selectable from 143 points – plus predictive AF measurements for back or forward moving subjects. Great movies with sound can be captured too – in up to VGA size at 30fps. Its ergonomic, professionally-formed body together with a large range of advanced features makes this model ideal for taking along to sporting events, nature hikes or while travelling.

Boasting a bright (1:2.8-3.7) 10x optical zoom that covers a 38-380mm focal range (35mm camera equivalent), the SP-500UZ is geared for extreme shooting flexibility. It allows subjects – like a player on the far end of a football field – to be picked out and captured in full-format compositions. Even greater zoom power is available by using the optional TCON-17* tele converter, which extends magnification by a factor of 1.7x for an incredible maximum focal length of 646mm (35mm camera equivalent). The camera’s wide angle capabilities can be boosted too with the WCON-07[*] to enable stunning 27mm views (35mm equivalent). Photographers can also shoot from extremely close in Super Macro mode which allows photos from a distance of merely 3cm. Furthermore, the TruePic TURBO processor ensures all image data is rapidly and optimally processed for striking pictures each time.

Helping to keep the scene and photographic parameters fully in sight, this model features an extra-large 6.4cm LCD for framing shots, and naturally, also to enjoy comfortable viewing of the results. Additionally, an electronic viewfinder with 201,600 pixels is available.

On the one hand the SP-500UZ satisfies demands for easy, comfortable shooting with the minimum of effort: A range of 21 scene modes that cover the majority of shooting situations like portraits, sports action or sunsets are included. On the other hand, ambitious users require flexibility to support their creativity. That’s why this model not only offers Aperture and Shutter Priority shooting but also the alternative for full manual exposure control. Light distribution can be checked by using the histogram function – accessible in both shooting and playback modes. And for automatically ensuring pictures have the best exposure values, Auto Bracketing takes a series of up to five shots in ±1/3EV increments from which the best image may then be selected.

Various focusing options also exist: From iESP autofocus through to spot and multi-spot AF with a selectable AF area offering 143 points and, of course, manual focus – photographers dictate the level of control they require. Moreover, as with the EISA Award-winning Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom, the SP-500UZ incorporates a Predictive AF system. It detects the distance of back or forward moving subjects and then calculates their predictive location at the moment of shutter release. This is especially useful when photographing playing children or wildlife, for example.

With the sequence shooting function, a series of movement is captured at 2.5 frames per second. And for depicting all the action in more smooth, fluid motion, this model also permits movie recording with sound. The footage is recorded in up to VGA quality at 30fps, and the length is only limited by the amount of memory available.

Getting photos and movies from the camera to the PC or printer is fast and simple. Thanks to USB AutoConnect, and due to PictBridge support, the SP-500UZ can be connected directly to any printer supporting this standard – such as the Olympus P-11, which produces 10x15cm borderless prints in just 33 seconds.

The option exists to not only record pictures as JPEGs, but also in RAW format – which keeps image data exactly as it was captured without further processing, providing users total control during any subsequent editing. Photos are saved on either the internal memory (10MB) or removable xD-Picture Cards.

Combining numerous advanced photographic features with 10x ultra-zoom versatility and the power of 6.0 million pixels, the compact and ergonomic Olympus SP-500UZ provides ambitious users with a potent tool to fulfil their creative impulses. It comes with the Olympus Master software and will be available from autumn 2005.

Main features:
  • 6.0 million pixels
  • Bright 10x zoom lens (equiv. to 38-380mm) 1:2.8-3.7,
    plus 5x digital zoom
  • Electronic viewfinder with 201,600 pixels
  • 6.4cm/2.5” LCD
  • Auto, Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter priority and manual exposure and 21 scene modes (e.g. Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Sunset)
  • Focusing options: iESP autofocus and Spot incl. option for selectable AF area with 143 points, plus Predictive AF for back or forward moving subjects
  • Super Macro mode up to 3cm
  • Histogram function in shooting mode and playback
  • Auto Bracketing for up to 5 frames
  • Sequence shooting with 2.5 shots per second up to 3 images
  • Recording in JPEG or RAW format
  • Movie recording with sound up to VGA size at 30fps (recording up to the capacity of the memory)
  • 10MB internal memory plus xD-Picture Card slot
  • TruePic TURBO image processor
  • USB AutoConnect
  • PictBridge compatible
  • SDK support
  • Optional macro, tele and wide converters can be attached

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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