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)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
- DS-2500 Digital Recorder Voice Recorder 734.99
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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCProject AdvisorNSW
- FTNetwork Systems LeadVIC
- CCOracle Business Analyst / TrainerSA
- FTProgram Test DirectorNSW
- FTTechnical WriterNSW
- FTProject Manager | Permanent position | NV1 NV2 cleared | Defence | Great cultureACT
- FTJunior Developer | C#, MVC & SQL | Class FinanceNSW
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | $60-90K package | ChatswoodNSW
- CCIteration Manager/ Sprint Manager- PenrithNSW
- CCAngularJS DeveloperNSW
- FTApplications Architect/ Pre-sales (Microsoft Applications)WA
- CCiOS Developer - New AppNSW
- CCMultiple Senior Business Analyst opportunitiesSA
- CCSenior Test AnalystSA
- FTImplementation Consultant, Enterprise SoftwareNSW
- FTFunctional Business Analyst - Commodities and FX DomainNSW
- CCInformation Security ManagerNSW
- CCSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer(Crystal Report/Oracle)160127/AP/vhsAsia
- CCSenior Project Manager - ComplianceVIC
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCSystem AdminVIC
- FTNetwork Engineer | NV1 NV2 clearance | Defence projects | Immediate interviewACT
- FTProject Support OfficerWA