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Compared to... Olympus SP-550UZ

These are the studio shots taken with the 8MP, 18X zoom SP-560UZ, compared to its predecessor, the 7MP, 18X zoom SP-550UZ.

Studio scene comparison ( @ ISO 400)

  • Olympus SP-560UZ: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.7 EV compensation

  • Olympus SP-550UZ: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 400, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
     
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Olympus SP-560UZ
Olympus SP-550UZ
ISO 400, 1/250 sec, F5
ISO 400, 1/160 sec, F5
2,533 KB JPEG
3,833 KB JPEG

Having started so well, the SP-560UZ very quickly finds it has over-exerted itself and has been caught up by its predecessor. Although it does a better job of reining-in chroma noise than the SP-550UZ, it would be impossible to conclude that the overall results are an improvement. The grubby fingerprints of noise reduction are starting to become apparent all over the image, with the fine details being blurred away in order to keep noise at bay. This level of degradation will be fine for standard sized prints but if you want to manipulate images in Photoshop or crop in to show detail, you'll be disappointed.

At anything over base ISO any resolution advantage offered by the SP-560 UZ has been lost to the effects of noise and noise reduction (and in fact at 100% the results are a lot softer than its predecessor).

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