Olympus SP-500UZ Review
Aside from the default auto setting there are seven white balance presets (tungsten, fluorescent 1,2 and 3, cloudy, evening sunlight and daylight) and a custom (manual) mode, plus an unusual white balance 'fine tune'. The auto white balance (AWB) system did a perfectly good job in daylight and fluorescent lighting, and incandescent lights only produced a fairly mild cast. We did find that the custom white balance (even using a gray card) was prone to producing images with a slight color cast, but nothing that couldn't be fixed in seconds using either the WB fine tune, or in post-processing.
Outdoor - Auto WB
Fluorescent - Auto WB
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 3.6%, Blue -3.4%
Overall flash performance is pretty good, with exposures very accurate even if you get too close. The pre-burst red eye reduction system works well too (and if it doesn't there's a crude, but effective automatic red-eye removal option in the playback menu). Range is pretty average for a camera in this class - up to 4.5m at the wide end of the zoom using auto ISO.
In fact our only complaint is the long recycle time when using red-eye reduction, which averages at around 5 seconds. The pre-flash itself is so long that most subjects have blinked - or moved - by the time the picture is taken, so I'd recommend turning it off.
Excellent color and exposure
Good color (slightly warm) and exposure
The SP-500UZ has two macro modes; standard macro and 'super macro'. The normal macro mode is nothing special, getting you as close as 7cm (W) / 120cm (T). At the wide end this allows you to capture an area just over 8cm across (with a fair bit of distortion, fairly strong chromatic aberration and noticeably soft corners). At the tele (380mm equiv.) end of the zoom things are little better; you can get close enough to capture an area under 14cm across (and there's less distortion, but almost as much corner softness). The Super Macro mode fixes the zoom position at around 65mm equiv., but lets you get a lot closer (3cm), capturing an area around 3.6cm (1.4 inch) across with remarkably little distortion.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Distortion at the wide end of the zoom (around 0.7%) is on the low side for a lens of this type, and isn't going to cause significant issues for most everyday photography. There is only the slightest measurable (0.1%) pincushion distortion at the long (380 equiv.) end of the zoom range, which is admirable for such a long lens range. There is a little corner softness at both ends of the zoom, but unless you're likely to be shooting a lot of flat things you're unlikely to find it marring your everyday shots.
|Barrel distortion - 0.7% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 38 mm
|Pincushion distortion - 0.1% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 380 mm
Specific Image Quality Issues
The main problems with the SP-500UZ show themselves only when shooting at the long end of the zoom, when the lack of image stabilization means camera shake is an ever-present danger, but missed focus is also far too common for our liking. The corners at the wide end of the lens are also pretty soft, and we found evidence of purple fringing and mild chromatic aberration at the edges of areas of extreme over exposure and in the corners in macro mode. On the upside color and white balance are generally excellent, and we saw far fewer problems with clipped highlights than we do with most of the SP-500UZ's 5MP competitors.
|Llyod's Building Elevators by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Your City - Elevators
|Fire Lake by bbadgett|
|Tail Fins...1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille by J Warren|
from Car Shows 2018
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
LumaPod is a a new tripod being funded on Kickstarter that takes just four seconds to set up and uses patented tension technology to keep your shots steady in a compact design.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.
ExperimentalOptics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund its second lens design, a 35mm F2.7 lens it claims is the world's 'smallest fastest pancake lens.'
The new XF 8-16mm F2.8 R LM WR and XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR are aimed at enthusiasts and professionals, and add considerable versatility to Fujifilm's growing XF lens lineup. We've been taking a look.
The Getty family is working to regain control of stock photo agency Getty Images, according to multiple reports published late last week.
The Phoneslinger line, a modular bag system for mobile photographers, has been launched on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform.
CamRanger has announced the impending arrival of its CamRanger 2 wireless tethering and trigger system, complete with redesigned apps, updated wireless features, and support for select Sony and Fujifilm systems.
As well as high-resolution stills, the new Nikon Z7 also shoots 4K video and 120p HD video. We recently spent two days with director Chris Hershman, shooting a music video on the Z7 for pop artist Emily Blue.