Olympus has today announced a new range in its lineup with the six megapixel, 10x zoom SP-500 Ultra-Zoom. The solid looking camera offers full manual control as well as RAW capture, an electronic viewfinder, 21 scene modes and 143-area AF. It also borrows the predictive AF function found on the C-7070 WZ, which predicts the location of a moving subject at the moment the shutter closes. It also boasts a 2.5-inch LCD and 3cm macro mode. The SP-500 Ultra-Zoom will be available from October priced $399.99 (£300).

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Press Release:

Olympus SP-500UZ

Capture the action with the Olympus SP-500UZ

London, 29 August 2005 - Get to the heart of the action with the new Olympus
SP-500UZ digital camera. With its user friendly, professionally formed body combined with a large range of advanced features, this is the perfect camera to take on action packed holidays or for use at live sporting events.

The SP-500UZ offers photographers the power and flexibility of a precision 10x optical zoom lens system for taking quality shots from a distance. This combined with the 5x digital zoom allows for 50x magnification. Matched with 6.0 million pixels, the camera guarantees high-definition images every time.

For more ambitious photographers, this camera offers Aperture and Shutter priority shooting as well as the option of full manual exposure control. Light distribution can also be checked by using the histogram function – accessible in both shooting and playback modes, giving photographers ample room for creativity and experimentation.

The SP-500UZ is available from October priced around £300.

The Olympus SP-500UZ – main features:

  • 6.0 million pixels
  • 50x total zoom - 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
  • Focusing options: iESP auto focus 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 lens converters can be attached

Get close to the subject
With its bright (1:2.8-3.7) 10x optical zoom that covers a 38-380mm focal range (35mm camera equivalent), the SP-500UZ allows subjects to be picked out and captured up close. Even greater zoom power is available with the built in 5x digital zoom. To go even further the optional TCON-17* tele converter extends magnification by a factor of 1.7x for a maximum focal length of 646mm (35mm camera equivalent). The camera’s wide angle capabilities can also be boosted with the WCON-07* enabling stunning 27mm views (35mm equivalent). For extreme close-ups photographers can shoot in Super Macro mode from as little as 3cm away.

The freedom to be creative
A variety of focusing options, from iESP autofocus through to spot and multi-spot AF and manual focus, allow photographers to dictate the level of control they require. As with the EISA Award-winning Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom, the SP-500UZ incorporates a Predictive AF system, which predicts the location of a moving subject at the moment the shutter closes. This is especially useful when photographing subjects such as wildlife. All results can be recorded in both JPEG and RAW formats.

The compact Olympus SP-500UZ is the perfect choice for the more ambitious photographer.

For more information and where to buy Olympus products please click here or call free on 0800 072 0070 (UK only).

Olympus SP-500 Ultra-Zoom specifications


• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 6.4 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2816 x 2112
• 2816 x 1877 ( 3:2 )
• 2592 x 1944
• 2288 x 1712
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 320 x 240 @ 15/30 fps
• With sound and up to the capacity of the memory card
File formats

• Still: JPEG, RAW
• Movie: QuickTime Motion JPEG
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 38 - 380 mm (35 mm equiv) 10x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 3.7
Conversion lenses • TCON-17 tele converter
• WCON-07 wide converter
Digital zoom Up to 5x
Focus TTL auto focus with contrast detection
AF area modes • Spot
• iESP auto focus
• Predictive AF
• AF area is selectable from 143 points
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 0.6 m (wide)/ 2m tele
• Macro: Up to 7 cm (wide) / 120cm (tele)
• Super macro: 3cm (wide)
Metering • Digital ESP
• Center-weighted
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing Up to 5 frames in 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed 15 - 1/1000th sec
Modes • Program
• Aperture priority
• Shutter priority
• Manual
Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Landscape and Portrait
• Night Scene
• Night & Portrait
• Sports
• Indoor
• Candle
• Self Portrait
• Available Light Portrait
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• Museum
• Cuisine
• Behind Glass
• Documents
• Auction
• Beach
• Snow
• Shot & Select 1
• Shot & Select 2
• 4 My Modes
White balance

• Full-auto TTL ESP
• Overcast
• Sunlight
• Evening Sun
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent1, 2, 3

White balance fine tune (red ) -7 – (blue ) +7
Continuous shooting 2.5 shots per second up to 3 images ( High speed mode)
Image parameters • Brightness ± 5
• Saturation ± 5
• Contrast ± 5
• RAW data edit
• Red-eye fix
• Sepia
• Black and white
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, red-eye reduction, fill-in, off, fill in and red-eye reduction
• Range: 0.3 m - 4.5 m (wide) or 1.2 - 3.4 m (tele)
• Guide number: 8
• Flash compensation: +/-2EV
• Salve function for studio flash available
Viewfinder • Electronic viewfinder
• 201,600 pixels
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• DC in
• AV out
Print compliance • PictBridge
Storage • xD-Picture Card
• 10 MB internal memory
Power • 4x AA (NiMH, NiCd, alkaline, lithium) batteries
• Optional adapter
Weight (no batt) 285 g (10.1 oz)
Dimensions 106 x 75 x 71 mm (4.1 x 2.9 x 2.8 in)