CES 2009: Olympus has announced the SP-590UZ ultra-zoom digital camera. Trumping Kodak's 24X zoom, the SP-590UZ features a 26X zoom lens that covers a 26-676mm equivalent focal length range. Thankfully there's image stabilization to help prevent camera shake at the long end of the zoom. Like previous recent Olympus UZ cameras, the SP-590UZ can record RAW files.

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Press Release:

Don’t miss a trick with the Olympus SP-590UZ

26x optical zoom, plus 10 shots per second

London, 7 January 2009 – With a 26x optical zoom lens covering a remarkable 26-676mm* focal length range, 10fps sequential shooting, and a 12 Megapixel CCD, nothing can escape the scrutiny of the SP-590UZ. Photographers using the latest Olympus Ultra Zoom can further increase the power of its lens to 130x using the optional TCON-17N Teleconverter. Luckily, Dual Image Stabilisation is on hand to protect photos from blur caused by camera shake, and Shadow Adjustment Technology has been included to bring out details hidden in darker areas of the picture. So when photographers view their results on the camera’s 6.9cm/2.7” HyperCrystal II LCD, they know that they’ll be picture perfect. The SP-590UZ will be in shops from March 2009.

Whether stalking wildlife on the moors, or photographing portraits on location, the last thing that a photographer needs is to be weighed down with heavy camera equipment. But with the Olympus SP-590UZ they have every focal length they need, built into one neat 26x optical zoom. That’s the freedom to choose from a 26mm* wide-angle lens, a 676mm* super telephoto, and everything between. And, should even this impressive range not be enough, the optional TCON-17N Teleconverter can be attached using the CLA-11 Adaptor Ring to give an unparalleled focal length equivalent to 1149mm*. Alternatively, the 5x digital zoom can be used to give a total magnification of 130x, that’s equivalent to 3380mm*!

For situations when working fast is a must, photographers can choose from 18 built-in shooting modes. And when more exposure control is required, full Manual, Aperture Priority, or Shutter Priority can be selected. So that photographers can be certain of the results they’ll get, Perfect Shot Preview allows the different effects of a particular setting, White Balance for example, to be compared next to each other on screen before the photo is taken.

Portrait photographers – and their models – will be delighted with the SP-590UZ. Advanced Face Detection Technology can identify up to 16 human subjects in a photo and expose and focus for them automatically. And even more remarkable, Beauty Mode will actually touch up the appearance of subjects as the photo is being taken, making their skin appear smoother, brighter and more youthful!  

Creative photographers can focus as close as 1cm for dramatic natural history shots, control the optional Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless flash units remotely for special lighting effects, and even superimpose one image on top of another using Multiple Exposure.

Image quality is paramount with the SP590UZ. Dual Image Stabilisation has been included to prevent blur caused by camera shake – very useful with such a powerful zoom – and Shadow Adjustment Technology brings out details that would otherwise be lost in shadows. And, of course, the camera’s 12 Megapixel picture resolution means that even giant display prints can be produced with ease.

The new Olympus SP-590UZ is compatibility with both xD-Picture Card and microSD Card*** and will go on sale from March 2009.

The Olympus SP-590UZ – main features:

  • Most powerful optical performance in minimum size: 26x wide optical zoom (26-676mm*) – from extreme close-ups to the action as well as landscapes, 130x incl. digital zoom
  • Avoids camera shake and blurry images thanks to Dual Image Stabilisation (combines mechanical and digital image stabilisation)
  • Don’t miss the moment with high-speed 10fps sequence shooting**
  • P/A/S/M exposure modes for creative freedom
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI™) technology incorporated for viewing images in high definition on HDMI TVs
  • 12 Megapixels to make prints up to poster-size
  • Advanced Face Detection of up to 16 persons for perfectly focused and exposed faces. In combination with Shadow Adjustment Technology other main parts of the picture are also correctly exposed.
  • 6.9cm/2.7” HyperCrystal II LCD with a bright display even in brilliant sunlight and at extreme angles (230,000 dots)
  • Built-in flash and wireless flash control directly from the camera body
  • Liven up your memories with movie recording with sound (up to VGA resolution at 30fps)
  • xD-Picture Card and microSD Card*** compatible

*35mm camera equivalent
**in 3.0 Megapixel mode
***microSD is a trademark of SD Card Association

Olympus SP-590UZ Specifications


• 1/2.33" Type CCD
• 12 million effective pixels
• Primary colour filter (RGB)

Image sizes • 12M 3968 x 2976
• 5M 2560 x 1920
• 3M 2048 x 1536
• 2M 1600 x 1200
• 1M 1280 x 960
• VGA 640 x 480
• 16:9 1920 x 1080
Movie clips • 640 x 480 / 30 fps Recording time: Up to card capacity
(10s with 30fps when xD standard type or MASD-1 is used)
• 640 x 480 / 15 fps Recording time: Up to card capacity
• 320 x 240 / 30 fps Recording time: Up to card capacity
File formats

• EXIF 2.21
• DPS PictBridge
• AVI Motion JPEG
• WAV audio

Lens • 26x
• 14 lenses / 11 groups
• 55 mm Use CLA-11 to attach conversion lens.
• Focal length (equiv. 35mm) 26 - 676 mm
• Aperture 2.8 - 5.0
Image stabilization Yes
Conversion lenses Yes
Digital zoom Yes 5 x / 130 x

• TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection
• Face Detection AF
• Spot
• Standard
• Macro
• Super-Macro
• Predective
• Single AF

AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Standard mode 0.1m (wide) / 1.7m (tele)
• Macro mode 0.1m - (wide) / 1.7m (tele)
• Super Macro mode Closest focusing distance: 1 cm

• ESP light metering
• Spot
• Centre weighted metering
• Histogram in shooting mode

ISO sensitivity • Auto / High Auto Automatically selected
• Manual ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Exposure compensation • +/- 2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shuttter speed 1/2 - 1/2000 s / < 8min (Bulb mode) / < 4 s
Aperture f2.8 - f5.0
Shooting modes

• Auto
• Programme automatic,
• My mode
• Beauty
• Aperture priority
• Shutter priority
• 19 Scene Modes

White balance • White Balance iESP II
• Auto
• Preset
Drive • 6 fps / 25 frames (in 5MP mode)
• High speed: 10 fps / 25 frames (in 3MP mode)
Self timer Yes
Flash • Auto
• Red-eye reduction
• Fill-in
• Off
LCD monitor • 2.7" / 6.4 cm LCD
• 230,000 dots
Connectivity • HDMI
• DC input
• Combined A/V & USB output
• USB 2.0 compatible
Storage • DCF
• EXIF 2.2
• PictBridge
Power • 4 x AA batteries

Additional images