Olympus SP-500UZ Review
The SP-500UZ - unlike virtually all its direct competitors - isn't designed to look like a miniature SLR (though it does sport a fairly sizeable grip), but more like a chunky version of a traditional 'compact' camera. The styling is functional and fairly conservative, but it is well built, is fairly compact and seems very well built. The control layout is pretty basic - the SP-500UZ relies on menus fairly heavily, an inevitable consequence of such a large feature set - and the rear of the camera is dominated by the large, bright screen.
In your hand
The SP-500UZ has a solid feel, despite the fact it is virtually all-plastic, and the materials and construction certainly seem to be of a high quality, typically Olympus. Handling is excellent; the four AA batteries give the grip side of the camera the weight to balance the lens, and the position of the zoom / shutter is much better than appearances might suggest, making single-handed operation surprisingly stable.