Olympus SP-560UZ Review
The Olympus isn't the first camera to struggle somewhat under a user interface that probably once worked well but has now had so many features added to it that it needs to be totally re-thought. The camera menu and setup menus that are themselves already one, inexplicably icon-driven, layer into the menus, contain 46 options between them, many of which have further settings and sub-options.
Annoyingly, you can't just press the shutter button to jump back out of the menus, instead having to re-press the menu button to climb back out of the menu level you've delved into. You can still shoot images while viewing menus but the menus then jump back up, preventing you framing or reviewing your image.
|Pressing the menu button gives you the choice of which menu you wish to proceed to. The camera and setup menus have most of the option you might want in them. It's unclear why image quality isn't in the function or camera menu or why silent mode and reset are given such direct access, at the expense of more regularly used features.||The camera menu covers 24 options over five screens. The options stretch from metering and focusing behavior through to time lapse and panorama mode.|
|The setup menu offers another 22 options, including four that define how, when and how loudly the camera beeps and clicks. This is also where you choose from the 15 different functions that can be assigned to the custom button.||Image quality gets its own icon in the top level menu. Yet, with the exception of engaging RAW mode (which we wouldn't bother with on this camera), it's an option we'd rarely use.|
|In playback mode you are also faced with a level of icons before reaching any menus. The distinction between 'edit' options and the 'perfect fix' methods of, er, editing images, is nothing if not subtle.||Edit allows you to tweak the colors of, crop, frame or create calendars with your photos. There's even an option to blur everything but the faces in your shots. Handy.|
|The perfect fix menu allows you to lighten the shadows of your image (Much like the adjust shadow mode) or correct for red-eye. These are presumably for occasions on which you've forgotten to engage these modes before shooting.||...the Setup menu that includes all sorts of other options, including the highlight color used on the menu system. It doesn't let you stop or delay the lens automatically retracting while in playback mode, though.|
|As well as all the scene modes, there's a guide mode that tries to help you achieve particular results. It even lets you jump to the settings its recommending but struggles when there are two settings to change (you end up having to go back through the menus to engage the second change).||One really good feature in the guide mode is the ability to preview the effects of the different white balance modes. It's particularly good for judging which of the three fluorescent settings to use.|
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