World's largest Optical Zoom (18x) Digital Camera - Olympus SP-550 UZ - HotUKDeals
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World's largest Optical Zoom (18x) Digital Camera - Olympus SP-550 UZ £285.00

£285.00 @ Amazon
Get the World's largest Optical Zoom (18x) digital camera for only £285 (RRP £350). Cheapest is Amazon so make sure you order via Nectar e-Shop where you will receive 6 Nectar points for every £1, …
kbeattie Avatar
9y, 11m agoFound 9 years, 11 months ago
Get the World's largest Optical Zoom (18x) digital camera for only £285 (RRP £350).

Cheapest is Amazon so make sure you order via Nectar e-Shop where you will receive 6 Nectar points for every £1, until end of March.

Product Features

Autofocus: Yes
Battery Model: AA, LR6, MN1500, KAA, LR6/M,AM-3, 4006, MIGNON/AM3
Bluetooth: No
Built-in Flash: Yes
CD-R / CD-RW: No
Camera Resolution Heigth in Pixel: 2304
Camera Resolution Width in Pixel: 3072
Changeable Lens: No
Chip Type: CCD
Compact Flash Card: No
Digital Zoom (Ratio): 6
Effective Pixel (in Megapixel): 7.1
Highest Focal Length in mm: 504
Image Stabiliser: Yes
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel: 230000
LCD Monitor Size in Inch: 2.5
Longest Shutter Speed: 4s
Lowest Focal Length in mm: 28
MP3 Playback: No
Maximum Aperture Tele: 4.5
Maximum Aperture Wide: 2.8
Maximum Pixel (in Megapixel): 7.4
Maximum Video Resolution Heigth: 480
Maximum Video Resolution Width: 640
Memory Stick / Memory Stick Pro: No
Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro: No
Memory Type: Internal + External
Micro Drive: No
Mini Secure Digital Card: No
Movie / Voice Recording: Movie + Voice
Multimedia Card: No
Number of Batteries: 4
Optical Zoom (Ratio): 18
PC Card: No
PictBridge: Yes
RAW Format: Yes
Range Finder Type: Optical / Electronic Viewfinder + LCD
Reduced Size Multimedia Card: No
SLR / Compact: Compact
Secure Digital Card: No
Secure Digital High Capacity Card (SDHC): No
Sensor Size: 1/2,5'' (5,2 x 3,9 mm)
Serial Shot Mode: Yes
Shortest Shutter Speed: 1/2000s
Size of Internal Memory in MB: 20
Smart Media Card: No
Weight in Grams: 365
WiFi Connectivity: No
XD Card: Yes
Zoom Type: Optical + Digital
microSD/ TransFlash Card: No
Technical Details

Image Sensor:Effective Pixels:7.1 Megapixels
Filter array:Primary colour filter (RGB)
Full Resolution:1/2.3" CCD sensor
Lens:Optical Zoom: Wide 18x
Aspherical Glass Elements:4
Filter Diameter:48.4mm Use CLA-10 to attach conversion lens
Focal Length:4.7-84.2mm
Focal Length (equiv.35mm):28-504mm
Structure:14 Lenses/11 groups
Maximum Aperture:2.8-4.5
Digital Zoom:Enlargement Factor:5.6x/100x combined with optical zoom
LCD:LCD Type:LCD
Pixel Number:230000 pixels
Monitor Size:6.4cm/2.5"
Viewfinder:Electronical viewfinder
Focusing System:Method:TTL iESP autofocus with contrast detection
Spot Focusing:Yes, 143 AF areas selectable
Predictive AF:Yes
Manual Focus:Yes
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kbeattie Avatar
9y, 11m agoFound 9 years, 11 months ago
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All Comments

(25) Jump to unreadPost a comment
Comments/page:
#1
If you buy the optional 1.7 Telephoto lens & Adapter for about £110-00 you will get almost double those figures with I believe the same camera settings.
#2
is this a 'good' camera? I am a home user, mainly kids pics, but like to have a play around editing on my pc, cropping zooming into people in background etc, and have got some good shots, but only use a basic HP photosmart - would this be a vast improvement? Would appreciate some comments and advice if this is good..... my sister has a minolta dimage 8 mage pixel ( i think) ?
#3
to be honest, I'd rather buy a used dSLR with a proper tele lens - should cost about the same, but the quality will be amazingly much better
#4
kemot1984
to be honest, I'd rather buy a used dSLR with a proper tele lens - should cost about the same, but the quality will be amazingly much better


A decent dSLR with a decent tele lens (plus memory card) for less than £285 - where????
#5
Check the reviews and remember that most of them rely on manufacturer support. Previous Olympus long zooms have been fairly cynical attempts to excel on paper rather than to provide a camera that works well in the real world. This will be £100 cheaper in six months and there will be a new marketing initiative that purports to make it obselete. I am not saying that it is a bad camera but the practical application of 18x handheld is almost nil. Image stabilisation and high ISOs are moving the boundaries of usability but for most the stabilised 12x offerings from Kodak and Panasonic (etc.) achieve as much without the price premium paid for a new model.
#6
erics
A decent dSLR with a decent tele lens (plus memory card) for less than £285 - where????


I wrote "used" and the best place to buy used is ebay. Search for Nikon D50 for example...

Anyway, if you want brand new you can get this one:
http://stores.channeladvisor.com/ipodstore/Items/e500doublelenskit?sck=47430563
#7
i have a kodak p850, that has 12x optical. i have a 1.7 telephoto lens so it brings zoom to 20x (circa) optical. Its amazing to take pics of sport, animals, the moon (good quality A4). But if you guys buy this its more or less the same zoom - without buying a telephoto. They let you do so much more than the little 3x zooms.
#8
Being a photographer, I can assure you'll get much better quality photos if you get a camera with shorter lens (smaller zoom), but bigger sensor (bigger in physical size, not necessarily with more pixels) and better quality of glass and then crop it. My longest lens is 400mm, so it's less than this Olympus's 504mm, but the sensor I've got is about 100 times bigger than this one. Then I just take a photo at the full zoom and crop it later in photoshop. I'm still left with a picture big enough for printing A4 prints. And the advantage is that I'm taking pics at 400mm and not 504mm - try to hold the camera steady enough without a tripod at the sort of focal length (even with image stabilisation) and in anything else other than full daylight outdoors.
#9
by the way, I'm not saying this camera is bad, I'm just saying that from the marketing point of view, the only selling point of it is the massive zoom. Other than this, this camera is worse than average.
#10
Not according to the latest issue of Digital Camera Review.
#11
"On the other hand, it also has a number of super-impressive sounding features that come with footnotes and annotations, squirrelly explanations and marketing doublespeak. For example, the promo sticker atop the pop-up flash proudly touts: 15 fps Burst Rate. But nowhere on the camera itself does it mention that this ridiculously fast burst rate is captured at a ridiculously small file size of 1280x960 pixels -- just twice the pixel width and height of VGA video, or a measly 1.2 megapixels per image. Turn it to the "real" burst mode at full resolution and you'll only catch 3 frames in just over two seconds. You call that a burst? Bottom line: You may have the reach and the burst rate to zoom in on Emily's diving catch in the outfield, but you'd be sadly mistaken to think you could print 1.2MP images at 8x10!
Other disputable claims?

• ISO up to 5000! But, again, images shot at ISO 3200 and 5000 are at a pixel-shedding, resolution-dropping 3.2 megapixels each.
• Dual Image Stabilization? The sensor-shift mechanical IS in this camera is impressive, and it works very well, but the other half of this dual IS amounts to little more than ISO boosting and aggressive noise processing.
• Video at up to 30 frames per second at 640x480 pixels per frame! (With the card we used, we were limited to 15 seconds recording time at this highest resolution. However, users can record movies at full resolution and 30 fps longer than 15 seconds -- and actually all the way up to card capacity -- as long as they use a Type H xD card.)
• Zoom while recording video! (Here it gets tricky. You must turn on the "FULLTIME AF" mode in the camera settings menu options before shooting movies to allow the camera to maintain focus on a moving subject or when using the zoom lens. Otherwise, you can zoom without sound, or with sound but all the while locked into that focal length until you pause and re-zoom.)"



Also, have you seen any of the pictures it takes with ISO400 and above? The noise is very significant.




As I said before, if you're after a huge zoom, it will appeal to you. However, some of the other corners have been cut in the process. So if the zoom feature is not that hot for you, you can get a much better camera for your money otherwise.
#12
Digital Camera magazine gave this camera a glowing review.

I took a picture in good light with my Panasonic 10X zoom & my friend took the same shot with his Nikon D200 with an almighty zoom that was the equivalent to 10Xs & my 5 MP picture was better than his 10.2 MP. Cropped mine was still clearer.
1 Like #13
HOTPOT
Digital Camera magazine gave this camera a glowing review.

I took a picture in good light with my Panasonic 10X zoom & my friend took the same shot with his Nikon D200 with an almighty zoom that was the equivalent to 10Xs & my 5 MP picture was better than his 10.2 MP. Cropped mine was still clearer.


To start with, the number of pixels has very little to do with picture quality. You can have a 10 MPix camera with bad quality optics and all you'll get is a big bad picture and you can have a 3 MPix camera with quality lens and you'll have medium size sharp picture.

Now, the reason why your shot appeared to be clearer is that non-dSLR camera take pictures that are nice straight out of the camera, i.e. saturated, sharpened, noise removed, etc. - they are designed for people to take a picture and not to do any processing afterwards. dSLR cameras don't do any of this processesing in the camera since pro photographers prefer to do it themselves in photoshop later. This is why these images are usually very soft (unclear) and not very saturated. I can assure you that a properly adjusted photo from D200 would be much clearer that a straight-out-of-the-camera photo from the Panasonic P&S.
#14
Taken from a review I read only yesterday. Bottom line is SLR's are over hyped except for a very small percentage of pictures. Most people would never need one.


"One word of caution for beginners: if you are currently shooting with a compact or "bridge" camera, dont expect to shoot instantly better pictures with this camera. DSLRs give you more versatility and creativity, plus a bigger sensor for low-light conditions, but in good lightning conditions a compact digicam will yield roughly the same image quality. DSLRs are good for creative shooting, depth-of-field play and they give you access to better lenses. If you don't intend to make use of this added versatility, you probably won't need a DLSR. Even the tiny E-400 is a substantive camera compared to a compact, and there's no way to fit this into your jacket pocket."
#15
Now, the reason why your shot appeared to be clearer is that non-dSLR camera take pictures that are nice straight out of the camera, i.e. saturated, sharpened, noise removed, etc. - they are designed for people to take a picture and not to do any processing afterwards. dSLR cameras don't do any of this processesing in the camera since pro photographers prefer to do it themselves in photoshop later.


kemot1984

Your quote above sums up why most people want to use the likes of the SP550 as opposed to a dSLR. I have bought it and am very happy with it and do not intend to spend evry living minute processing each print. I also do not want to have to keep changing lenses, etc.

You have turned this into a dSLR v Compact issue which it should not be. This camera is aimed at the non dSLR public and we are not trying to convince you that is better than your dSLR.

However, for the money, its features, my personal satisfaction and its glowing reviews, so far, I think I have done fine.
#16
The glass is more important than the camera ask any pro photographer, but yes its a good deal for a beginner.
#17
kemot1984
I wrote "used" and the best place to buy used is ebay. Search for Nikon D50 for example...



New, I know the lens for my dSLR cost a lot more than £285 alone, and you could easily spend over a £1000 for a decent telephoto lens.

:oops: I skipped over the "used" part.

I am currently looking for a compact digital camera as something that is easier to carry around. Something like this seems appealing on the one hand, but I am sure compromises have had to be made in other areas. I think I will go with something that has a little less reach and use my feet to do the zooming!
#18
DSLR - click, click, click.... in the bag

Compact/ Bridge - click, brrrr, boing, shunk, DAMN
#19
kbeattie
kemot1984

You have turned this into a dSLR v Compact issue which it should not be. This camera is aimed at the non dSLR public and we are not trying to convince you that is better than your dSLR.


I don't think you can say a compact is "better" than a dSLR, or a dSLR "better" than a Compact unless you know how a person is going to make that "better" or "worse" comparison.

I have a dSLR and enjoy the control you have over the shot, my wife wouldn't bother to carry a dSLR around and it would be left at home. Excellent image quality is no good if the camera is left at home in the cupboard!

Different cameras for different people for different requirements.
#20
I wish this camera got better reviews or I'd consider it.
#21
kemot1984
To start with, the number of pixels has very little to do with picture quality. You can have a 10 MPix camera with bad quality optics and all you'll get is a big bad picture and you can have a 3 MPix camera with quality lens and you'll have medium size sharp picture.

Now, the reason why your shot appeared to be clearer is that non-dSLR camera take pictures that are nice straight out of the camera, i.e. saturated, sharpened, noise removed, etc. - they are designed for people to take a picture and not to do any processing afterwards. dSLR cameras don't do any of this processesing in the camera since pro photographers prefer to do it themselves in photoshop later. This is why these images are usually very soft (unclear) and not very saturated. I can assure you that a properly adjusted photo from D200 would be much clearer that a straight-out-of-the-camera photo from the Panasonic P&S.



you cannot compare this camera to a high end Nikon, I have an Fz7 for holiday snaps with a 16x optical zoom on 3mp setting. Also a D2h, D200 and a 400mm f2.8 and would never dream of taking the panasonic to cover football match.
Its like comparing a Focus ST to a Ferrari - what you pay is what you get,and For £285 it is probably worth ever penny.
#22
If you need a large lens, Sigma have just released this!!! :)
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0703/07030805sigma200500mm.asp
#23
I have to say it bugs me that any time a bridge camera is mentioned on this site people always recommend an SLR instead - they're completely different cameras for different purposes. A good bridge camera is smaller and lighter with a long zoom range which these days is usually image stabilised. Then there's the money aspect, an SLR body with a decent stabilised zoom is going to cost a fair bit of money. Of course image quality is better on an SLR but ultimately it's not always all about image quality - if you don't have a suitable lens for either cost or space requirements then you can be left with a less than ideal setup. Plus bridge cameras tend to be easier to use, when I've lent people an SLR the results are usually mixed but they're usually a lot better with one of my bridge cameras. My current SLR setup has cost me several thousand and the minimum configuration I carry with me is one body, a 14-50 and 50-200mm lens and one flash or 50mm prime. That's all packed into a Slingshot 100 which is a small backpack. While I do like my SLR I can appreciate that it's not the solution for everyone...

In terms of the SP-550UZ, the reviews and user opinions I've been reading on it are mixed - if you're looking at this type of camera it's also worth considering some of the Panasonic FZ range.

John
#24
So where's the free tripod then?

I get weary of manufacturers touting stuff like this to newbies unable to understand that the longer the lens, the greater the degree of camera shake.

Though that said, I also get fed up with the knocking of nonDSLR cameras: I sold my Canon outfit last year for £700 and bought a Minolta A200 on eBay for £260. I'd had dust problems with the Canon and candidly got fed up with lugging lenses around.

The A200's optical (not electronic) image stabilisation was / still is superb (a Canon lens alone with the same stability is almost four times the price I paid for the entire Minolta).

The Canon's glass was better than the Minolta's but not to so great an extent that a quantum difference is readily apparent in the finished print. As for post-processing, yes: I use PhotoShop, always have. The A200, like many another non-dSLR, can be set at zero, i.e., no in-camera processing at all: it's unfair and inaccurate to say that only dSLRs allow "virgin" post processing, because they don't.

Result? A super little camera which both my wife and I use to shoot great quality images (and, yes, even decent video footage that we can view on our TV) and easy, effective post-processing in PhotoShop. The lens is excellent for our needs and enlargements of sections of images up to A4 are perfick (the 200 will do pretty damn good A3 prints, too, but we don't need A3, so that's not of any consequence.)

If the Minolta 200 dies in a couple of years (doubtful: we also have a Minolta A1 and that's four years old and still going strong) we'll have had ample value for money, great ease of use, still image / video capture flexibility. . . and no regrets for our sub-£300 investment.

We won't have spent £100s, if not £1,000s, on DSLR with interchangeable lens and interchangeable sensor dust, and where this particular Olympus offering is concerned, we won't have had a camera with an absurdly long lens which cannot produce an in-focus image at that zoom length unless the user has also lugged along with them a decent (read: £50+) tripod to prevent camera shake.

There are cameras and there are gimmicks. This Olympus is more about the latter than the former. :cry:
#25
An [unfinished] review of this camera on DCResource. Note that DCResource normally tend to look for negative things in cameras as opposite to Steve's Digicams.

As to lens range, there is lind of IS built in but rather than going for proper optical stabilizer, Olympus went for moving CCD.

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