The Olympus SP-565 UltraZoom takes the model from Spring 2008, and updates it with a redesigned body that’s a couple of millimeters less wide, almost a millimeter shorter, and about seven millimeters less deep. It’s also about 72 grams lighter, an appreciable difference. The reduction in size has been achieved while retaining the earlier model’s 1/2.33″ CCD imager with a resolution of ten megapixels, as well as its Olympus ED-branded 20x (!!) optical zoom lens with an extremely useful 26 – 520mm equivalent focal length range and F2.8 – 4.5 maximum aperture. Also kept over for the new model are sensor-shift type mechanical image stabilization, and an electronic viewfinder with diopter correction (precise specifications unknown).
Something invariably had to be pared away from the specification to get the size down, though, and for the Olympus SP-565UZ it was the LCD display. Where the previous model had a 2.7″ LCD display, the SP-565 has a slightly smaller 2.5″ display. The dot resolution of the display is unchanged, at 230,000 approximately. On the plus side, available memory increases just a few megabytes to 48MB total, supplementing the xD-Picture Card slot which is retained from the original design. There’s also an update to the camera’s Face Detection system which can now detect 16 faces simultaneously. There’s also a new “bird watching” scene mode, and one other slight change is the inclusion of an MASD-1 microSD to xD-Picture Card adapter in the product bundle, allowing the use of the tiny microSD cards in the Olympus SP565UZ.
Most other features are similar to the previous SP570UZ model. Autofocus is via contrast detection, and as you’d expect Olympus has included AE / AF-linked face detection technology. The Olympus SP565UZ can also be focused manually. ISO sensitivity ranges from 50 to 6400 equivalent controlled automatically or manually. By default, exposures are determined with Olympus’ Digital ESP multi-pattern metering, with options available for spot, center-weighted, or face detection-linked metering as well. Users can tweak their exposure with +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 15 seconds to 1/2000 second and both aperture and shutter speed can be controlled manually – either separately or together. The Olympus SP-565 UZ offers automatic or preset white balance control courtesy of six presets, plus a custom white balance mode. The Olympus SP565 also includes an eight mode internal flash good to a distance of 21 feet at wide angle, plus a hot shoe for external flash strobes.
As well as still images, the Olympus SP-565 UZ can capture movies at VGA or lower resolution, at a rate of 30 frames per second. The Olympus 565UZ also has a twelve second self-timer to let you get into your own pictures. The camera offers both NTSC / PAL video and USB 2.0 High Speed computer connectivity. Power comes from four standard AA batteries. The Olympus SP-565 UZ ships from October 2008 in the USA, priced at $400 – fully $100 less than the previous camera’s initial price.