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Compared to... Olympus SP-550UZ

Although most consumers will compare the SP-560UZ with the 18X zoom cameras offered by Panasonic and Fuji, we thought it'd be interesting to also compare it to its predecessor, the SP-550UZ.

The SP-560UZ offers another million pixels over its predecessor but also has a larger sensor, so we'd expect the differences between the two to be pretty subtle.

Studio scene comparison (both cameras @ ISO 50)

  • Olympus SP-560UZ: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Olympus SP-550UZ: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Olympus SP-560UZ
Olympus SP-550UZ
ISO 50, 1/30 sec, F5
ISO 50, 1/25 sec, F5
2,749 KB JPEG
3,712 KB JPEG

At the starting pistol, both contenders are looking pretty competitive. The Olympus SP-550UZ was a groundbreaking camera in the sense that it was the first to include an 18X zoom. By comparing the SP-550UZ with the SP-560UZ, we can be sure than any differences between the two are down to the change in sensor, not the compromises induced by the absurdly long zoom.

At their base ISO settings, the cameras produce consistently pleasant images with details rendered well. There's little to choose between them, but the very slightly greater contrast and small resolution advantage in the SP-560UZ gets it off to a flying start.

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