Olympus SP-590UZ digital camera
The Olympus SP-590UZ is equipped with a massive 26x zoom
- Incredible 26x zoom is versatile, good macro and super-macro modes
- Lens has some imperfections, shots at ISO 800 and above suffer from noise
Olympus’s SP-590UZ does a good job of delivering some of the advantages of a larger SLR camera without an interchangeable lens system. Shots taken with the massive 26x zoom lens are almost always crisp and clear, and it comes equipped with a 12-megapixel sensor.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The Olympus SP-590UZ is an advanced compact digital camera with a 12-megapixel sensor and a 26x zoom lens — the largest of any compact camera on the market. A 26mm wide-angle means it’s good for landscape and party shots, although the lens is not consistently sharp and clear. Higher ISO ranges are also practically unusable.
You can tell the Olympus SP-590UZ digital camera means business at first glance. The rugged plastic body with a rubberised grip is chunky and solid, weighing 460g without its batteries. It’s well suited to wearing on a strap around your neck, but it won't fit in your pocket. The camera uses xD media cards rather than the more common SD/SDHC format.
The controls are intuitive, with the regular complement of compact digital camera buttons and dials. The shutter button and zoom rocker stand out in terms of quality, being well weighted and feeling great. The menu system has a complicated and unintuitive interface. Plenty of settings are there for avid photographers, making the Olympus SP-590UZ a good choice if you want to get the best custom shots possible.
The My Mode memory bank stores groups of settings, while the standard program, aperture, manual, shutter and scene modes on the camera’s dial make shooting an easy task. A novel Beauty Mode smooths wrinkles and blemishes in your portraits, cutting out the need to use Photoshop on your burst-mode MySpace shots.
Like the older Olympus SP-570UZ, the Olympus SP-590UZ takes shots that are acceptable for printing at A3 or below. Our shots were sharp throughout most of the zoom range, though a maximum aperture of f/5.0 at full zoom means it’s near-impossible to capture a blur-free image when holding the camera. Image stabilisation helps shaky users, speeding up the lens’ response by two full aperture stops.
We were able to notice a higher than average amount of chromatic aberration in our sample photographs, with minor haloing and purple fringing visible in high-contrast areas. This is standard fare for ultra-zoom cameras though, so don’t be discouraged.
Up to ISO 400 produced shots that were fine at all magnification levels, but ISO 800 and above introduced significant graininess. This camera is great for shots if you’ve got a steady hand, but in low light you may find it less than perfect. We found shots at ISO 800 on a gloomy day acceptable for A4 prints.
Colour performance was quite accurate, with reds and greens as vibrant as we expected. Blues were slightly undersaturated for our liking, but overall pictures look natural and well balanced.
The camera’s zoom is quiet but it was slightly slow. Operation is on par with other advanced compact cameras we’ve tested, with shots taken quickly and an impressive 10 frames per second in the continuous shot mode in our testing. Interestingly, we did notice a faint but constant rhythmic ticking sound while the Olympus SP-590UZ was on — thankfully the camera didn’t explode.
The Olympus SP-590UZ is a capable advanced compact digital camera with a big zoom. The massive zoom means it’s equally good for party shots or bird watching, while the 12-megapixel sensor captures detailed shots for producing prints up to A3 size.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 3 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 4 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCChange Manager l Port Macquarie NSWQLD
- CCDigital Business Analyst l SalesforceNSW
- CCSenior PMO Analyst - ReportingNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Finance & LendingQLD
- FTSalesforce Technical Business AnalystQLD
- FTLinux Systems EngineerQLD
- TPIT Security AdvisorACT
- FTOffice365 Solution SpecialistSA
- CCVirtualization ArchitectACT
- FTITCM EngineerNSW
- CCData Modeller and Business Analyst - Integration ProjectQLD
- CCICT Strategy ConsultantNSW
- FTFront End DeveloperVIC
- TPSQL Server DeveloperNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantVIC
- FTChief Information Security OfficerNSW
- FTSystems AdministratorVIC
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- CCJunior BI / Data Analytics Analyst - contract - SydneyNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTService Delivery Manager - EnterpriseACT
- FTEnterprise Sales ManagerVIC
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT