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Olympus D-560 Zoom 3 Megapixels and Smaller
Submitted by Dave S. a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: June 4, 2004
Strengths: Very clean, colorful photos and they need no sharpening. Post processing with the included software can do wonders-if needed. Full auto mode with flash works well indoors and out.
Large 1.8 inch lcd.
Weaknesses: Somewhat "contrasty" under harsh lighting. Night scenes are limited, unless using flash. Only a "handful" of manual controls.
The Olympus D-560Z is a great point and shoot camera. Read the manual, buy a charger and batteries and get out into the day and start shooting! I must have an especially good camera because my shots rival some of the best I've seen on the net. Use a little zoom (no pincussion at telephoto) maybe a +.5 exposure if you want a brighter picture and the sunny setting for outdoors for the most accurate WB and be amazed at what you see on the computer screen. It may help to have a mac and an Epson printer in which case that 8x10 will be framed and on your wall! The camera is very handy, uses two AA batteries, travels well and is "quick on the draw".
Similar Products Used: Only film cameras.
Submitted by Yev Leo a Expert from Colorado
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2003
Strengths: relatively compact
Weaknesses: lack of features
demands some effort to get good pictures
It’s an update to my previous review. I still have the camera and it still works fine. Colors are bright and picture quality is still impressive. I printed over 100 pictures, including many 5X7. Somehow enlargements look better than regular size pictures. I noticed that the camera is very shake-sensitive. You have to keep it stable for a while to get good pictures (you have to remember that camera has 1-2 sec shatter delay). Some people tend to jerk the camera when pressing the shutter release button. I think that reviewer Joey might have this problem because his sampled cats look pretty bad. I also noticed that under some conditions this camera does better than many other cameras, while sometimes it does worse. Knowing camera’s advantages helps take outstanding pictures. For example, I noticed that using landscape mode made landscape shots appear sharp rather than soft.
After my last review a whole bunch of $300 cameras appeared. Prices went down and now Canon A-70 and Kodak DX6340 cost as much as D-560. Olympus is still $300 despite the complete lack of extras. I guess most consumers don’t need many fancy features, but sport mode would be very useful to capture fast action. I still don’t understand why Olympus skipped this mode, especially since it doesn’t have shatter priority mode.
With this in mind, I decided to lower camera’s value rating. I got it for under $250 (including tax), so it made sense for me, but otherwise it is definitely not worth $300. I still give good overall rating because pictures look pretty good. I definitely disagree with AK Photographer’s 2 star rating. See my samples to realize that picture quality is not bad at all
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $250.00
Purchased At: Wal-Mart
Submitted by Joey M a Beginner from Los Angeles, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2003
Strengths: small compact design
batteries last a long time
clear clean looking pics
Weaknesses: 1-2 second delay after taking pic
not many manual controls
Unable to print photo quality at 5 x 7 or 8 x 10
I really needed a camera I could afford that could boast 3.2 mp. Well I searched around, read reviews, and finally picked the D-560. I have not experimented with many other digi cams but I can say this does the job. It takes crisp clear pictures most of the time and with the auto exposure function on there is no need to fuss around with manual controls. Serious photographers might want to go for one with more bells and whistles, understandable, but for under 300 this camera takes great pictures and 4 x 6 prints from walmart came out better than film quality. Of course it would have been nice to have battery indicators, a faster shutter speed, and less of a delay when taking a pic, but all in all i'm satisfied.
Duration Product Used: 0-1 years
Price Paid: $299.00
Purchased At: circuit city
Similar Products Used: none
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Ak Photographer a Casual from Juneau Alaska
Date Reviewed: June 25, 2003
Strengths: Smaller size. Quick View button.
Weaknesses: No status window. Poor flash control. Cheap port doors/plugs.
I had high hopes for this camera when it was purchased by my company for work use since I have been very satisfied with my older Olympus digital. Overall this camera is a dissapointment compared to the Olympus I own for personal use.
First, Olympus has omited the small status window on top of the camera that continuously displayed the number of images as well as battery life and other options. They have placed this information on the back display panel instead but it only shows up when you initially turn the camera on. Thats not very helpfull.
Second major beef with this camera is the lack of a mechanical shut off for the flash. On my older Olympus you could turn the flash on and off simply by opening or closing the flash mech. Now you have to do it through the camera settings which are not very intuitive.
The construction of the camera feels solid although it is not as substantial as the older models. The smaller size however is nice. Unfortunatly Olympus omited doors over the USB and video out ports and instead used cheezy rubber plugs that feel like they will break off if you pull on them with any small force.
Lastly, I dont like the images as much as on my older camera. They appear to be over exposed but this might be because I have not fiddled with the settings as much. There might be some settings to remedy this situation as Olympus is always pretty good on picture quality. Also the zoom controll has a delay before actually activating the zoom, which is just a little irritating. Today I noticed another problem that might not be the camera's fault but I dont know. when using windows 2000 with a USB port, the thumbnail images that you see in explorer do not update and show you what images are in the camera. They actually show older images and will not refresh. I have not looked deeply into this problem however so there might be a simple fix.
Overall this camera is fine for the occasional user, new to digital cameras who will not be too hard on it. If you take the time to learn the menus and different settings it would probably produce some respectable results. Overall though, the camera is not very intuitive and is cheaper in construction than I would have expected from Olympus.
Similar Products Used: Older olympus digital and film cameras
Submitted by yev a Expert from Colorado
Date Reviewed: May 17, 2003
Strengths: Takes good pictures most of the time.
Looks very good.
Has exposure control, spot metering.
XD memory is fast.
Weaknesses: No manual aperture/shutter controls.
Could use more features.
Annoying shutter delay.
Needs some effort to get the best picture.
While this camera is not perfect, it is pretty good.
First, despite what some people say, I think that battery life is good. In a dark restaurant I took 170 pictures with flash, all on one set of NiMH rechargeable batteries (they still had some juice left). To save power I had LCD off (when you take a picture, camera displays it on a screen for a second), but I did review taken pictures several times. I say it is good enough.
As to pictures, regular 4X6 size prints come out very good if you know what to do. In fact no one can tell that they are from a digital camera, even if I tell them. My friend has 4MP Minolta S414 and my camera has comparable picture quality (but Minolta has more options). I work in a photo lab and use my lab printer for prints. I also see prints from other digital cameras so I can compare. My pictures are not the best of the best (some prints come from digital SLR cameras), but they look natural, with adequate sharpness and with great colors – better than most. Focus is a bit soft sometimes, but it often adds something to a photo. This camera produces decent pictures even in bad lighting. My restaurant pictures were better than the ones taken with my sister’s film camera. I had less grain noise and my camera focused better in a very, very dim light. The only thing that might need adjusting sometimes is exposure. I can improve pictures a lot by compensating exposure for pictures taken in a bright sunlight or in a dark. I experimented with controls to get to know the camera’s capabilities and limitations.
Anyway, I hear that the old D-550 has better picture quality than this new model, but D-560 looks nicer and is more compact. D-560 has an annoying 1-2 seconds shutter delay, but many cameras have it. Controls could be better, but I learned the menu fast and don’t have problems. I would like to have more options and manual controls like in Canon A-70, but I got Olympus a lot cheaper than Canon, so I can’t complain. Otherwise it makes more sense to buy A-70 for the extra options and presumably better optics.
Overall D-560 is a great substitute for a film camera, especially for people looking for a basic point-and-shoot good-looking camera without tons of options. I was looking for something compact with decent picture quality and basic functions (like exposure control and spot metering) and this is it.
Price Paid: $250.00
Purchased At: Wal-Mart
Similar Products Used: None, but handled many cameras and saw many print samples.