- Huge zoom, good detail in dark areas, face detect, nice build
- Noise may be a problem for big enlargements, slow burst mode, some exposure issues
While not a perfect camera, Olympus' SP-560UZ is an excellent choice for users after an ultra-zoom. It combines good pictures with a robust feature set and a fantastic design.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
We can here what you're thinking about this review already. "But GoodGearGuide, you've already written up this model, haven't you?" But fear not loyal readers, no mistake has been made. While Olympus' SP-560UZ does bear a striking resemblance to its little sister the SP-550UZ, there are a few minor improvements, including a small megapixel increase and the addition of face detect and shadow adjustment. Aside from these refinements this camera is largely unchanged and as such still provides a great option for users looking to delve into the ultra-zoom category.
Packing in a massive 18x optical zoom this offers what is currently the largest zoom lens in a non-SLR camera. Backed up by two layers of image stabilisation (sensor shift and a digital ISO adjustment option), you can take some pretty impressive hand-held shots with minimal blurring.
Image quality on the whole was impressive. Our shots came out detailed and crisp. They were perhaps a tiny bit towards the soft side, but not in a negative way and this can easily be tweaked in post-processing. There was no corner softening to speak of although purple fringing and haloing did rear their heads in some of our outdoor shots.
Noise performance was quite good, with most sensitivities up to ISO 800 usable for small prints. ISO 100 and 200 did produce more noise than anticipated, but it was fine and white and barely noticeable. ISO 400 produced some slightly colourful noise, but again it won't show up unless you make sizeable enlargements.
Colours were rendered very strongly, with a vibrant and slightly oversaturated look mostly evident in primary colours. Some users may wish to tone them down a little but many appreciate the rich, colourful look. That said, we experienced some exposure problems, particularly when shooting outdoors. Everything was a stop or two overexposed so we'd definitely recommend tweaking the exposure before shooting.
One thing we were very interested to test was the shadow adjustment mode and thankfully it didn't let us down. Shots taken while it was activated exhibited noticeably more detail in dark areas. Many models struggle to achieve clarity in high contrast scenarios so this will be a big boon for some users.
The rest of the features are fairly standard for an Olympus advanced camera, although the inclusion of face detect is a nice touch. Unfortunately, the burst mode hasn't been improved and as such it only operates at 1.8 frames per second at full resolution (although much faster if you're happy to take a quality hit). All the usual manual modes are available along with ISO sensitivities up to a massive ISO 6400, and a custom white balance setting is also included.
In our speed tests, the SP-560UZ was a little disappointing but this wasn't surprising. The three second startup time can be attributed to waiting for the massive lens to extend but it still may prove troublesome. On the other hand the shutter lag was a very low 0.05 seconds and shot-to-shot time came in at 2.1 seconds.
Aesthetically, the SP-560UZ resembles the SP-550UZ almost exactly, and that is a great thing. It is solidly constructed, sits perfectly in the hand and looks fantastic. Typically ultra-zooms are not known for their style and good looks but this model certainly bucks the trend.
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Apple iPhone X
cloudandco Smart Cane
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Lego Mindstorms EV3
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
- Panasonic announce still-shooter flagship G9
- Sony Announces Development of New G Master Super-Telephoto Full-Frame E-Mount Lens
- Sony Expands Full-frame E-mount lens lineup
- Sony’s New Full-Frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera promises to delivers both resolution and speed
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCCommunication and Change ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork Data EngineerWA
- FTDrupal DeveloperACT
- CCWintel Team LeadWA
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTSenior Analyst ProgrammerOther
- FTSERVICE DESK - ENTRY LEVELSA
- FTSenior Network ArchitectVIC
- CCJunior to Mid Level Tester - BankingQLD
- CCSCCM Deployment TechnicianACT
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerACT
- FTICT Business AnalystACT
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Wealth & AgileOther
- FTMid-level Drupal Developer - BrisbaneSA
- FTDesktop EngineerOther
- TPData AnalystVIC
- CCLinux Infrastructure Engineer - Telco industryVIC
- CCDesktop Support EngineerNSW
- FTMS Dynamics CRM DeveloperACT
- CCJava Developer - BrisbaneWA
- FTInfrastructure Design Engineer, DC Power, CommunicationsOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTLevel 2 Desktop Support EngineerOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW