The Olympus SP-600UZ is based around a 1/2.3″-type CCD image sensor with an effective resolution of twelve megapixels, coupled to a 15x optical zoom lens. Images have dimensions of 3,968 x 2,976 pixels or below. The SP600UZ’s lens offers actual focal lengths ranging from 5.0 to 75.0mm, equivalent to a useful 28mm wide angle thru a powerful 420mm telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.5 to f/5.4 across the zoom range. Importantly, given the reach of the zoom lens, the SP600 does include mechanical image stabilization – specifically, a sensor shift system. There’s no optical or electronic viewfinder, with all interaction taking place courtesy of a 2.7″ LCD display with 230,000 dots of resolution.
The SP-600UZ uses a iESP Auto contrast detection autofocusing by default, with the ability to switch to spot AF if desired. Both AF tracking and face detection functions are also included. Sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 100 to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent. Exposures are metered with Digital ESP metering by default, and both spot and face detection metering modes are also available. 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 to four seconds. Seven white balance settings are provided, including automatic and six presets. Manual white balance isn’t possible with the SP-600. As well as Intelligent Auto and Program modes, the Olympus SP-600 offers a selection of thirteen scene modes that provide a modicum of control over the look of images.
The Olympus SP600UZ stores images in JPEG format, and is also able to record movies at high-definition 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) resolution or below, using MPEG-4 compression. Burst shooting is possible at 1.1 frames per second for nine images at full resolution, and 11.8 frames per second for 24 images at three megapixels or below. Images and movie are stored on SD or SDHC cards, or in a very generous one gigabyte of built-in memory. Connectivity options include both USB 2.0 High Speed data, and standard definition video output. Power comes courtesy of four AA batteries, rated as good for 340 shots using alkaline disposables.
The Olympus SP-600UZ will ship in the USA from March 2010 with pricing of about $250.