Olympus SP-590 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera

2009 CES Events News Olympus

Olympus SP-590 Ultra ZoomOlympus has announced the “World’s Most Powerful” Ultra Zoom, the SP-590 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera. The SP-590 UZ features 12 Megapixels, 26x Optical Wide-Angle Zoom, Dual Image Stabilization and Ultra High-Speed Sequential Shooting. Its has a versatile zoom lens that can capture images at virtually any distance, a delicate flower close up to wide-angle photographs of friends posing at the Grand Canyon, and even images shot from the back row of the stadium that look like they were taken courtside.

The SP-590UZ will be available in March 2009 for $449.99.

Olympus SP-590 Ultra Zoom Digital Camera Press Release

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  • Patia says:

    26x zoom?!? Holy cow.

  • Richard says:

    Is this a trend in digital cameras: wide angle and very long zooms ? what is the downside ??? There has to be a tradeoff somewhere ???
    olympus with 26 x
    panasonic with 18 x
    sony with 15 x
    Where does it stop ???

  • Photo-John says:

    I don’t know if this is a trend. But superzoom compact digital cameras like this have been around for a while. The difference is that 10x used to be long. In the past year we’ve seen some huge leaps in the zoom ratios. I haven’t used the new Olympus. But in general, the downside to really long zoom lenses is some optical compromise. Really long zooms often have significant distortion and noticeable chromatic abberation. That may be a fair trade for some people who just want the covenience and power of really long zooms. But if you’re looking for ultimate quality, shorter zooms are the better bet. And a digital SLR is always going to deliver better quality than a superzoom compact because the DSLR has a larger sensor with bigger pixels. These supzerzoom cameras may have attractive lenses and features. But don’t think they are digital SLR competitors – they’re not. The image quality isn’t even close and they speed isn’t either. But if you do want a compact camera with tons of reach and features, they are pretty cool.

  • Cynthia says:

    what is the verdict on using AA batteries. I’ve found that to be a frustrating part of other digital cameras and have traded out for ones with a lithium battery with longer more predictable life. Any reviews or experience with this one? I know it’s just coming out…

  • Photo-John says:

    This camera won’t be available until March. We’ll get our hands on it for the first time at the PMA tradeshow in March. But take a look at our pro review for the 8-megapixel Olympus SP-560, with 18x zoom lens. It’s the same platform and should give you an idea of what to expect from the SP-590.

    My experience with AA batteries has been pretty good. My SLR flashes use them and I switched to all NiMH rechargables a few years ago. They’re very predictable and if you keep a backup set and charge them regularly, I don’t think there’s any reason for concern. If you let your camera sit for weeks and then pick it up and run out without charging your batteries, you may have problems. So having a good system in place is the key. If I know I have an important event or I’m going to go out and shoot the next day, I always charge all batteries the night before.

  • jakob says:

    Using the old 18x 560 i get 500 pictures (>100flash + a lot of zoom action) from cheap AA sanyo 2750mAh batteries. Having 4 ready as a backup i never run out. As an emergency you can always buy some Duracells which will last you just as long, try doing that with a custom Sony battery. They dont sell those in the gift shop at Niagara Falls or Tanzania wildlife park. But i guarantee you that they will have Duracells. There are some autofocus issues even in broad daylight with max zoom, e.g. focusing on a small aircraft far away (actually that is not just an example it is the example since it is the only time it has failed me, +15000 pictures) But maybe they have fixed this in this in the 590. The layout of the camera buttons is perfect, you will be able to handle all primary functions by touch and feel in hours. A great thing that they have not changed that.

  • john sz says:

    I would love to see a comparison between the Olympus sp-590uz and the new Nikon P90

  • George Zimmerman says:

    I cannot relate directly to the E500 series, but I will make comment about the use of AA batteries, I have a C5050 Olympus and it “burned” through a set of AA batteries (Standard or Rechargable) in a very short time. Having to lug around an extra bag just to hold the batteries needed for a full days shooting was a real “pain”. When I switched to the E-300 as my primary camera, the BLS-1 lithium battery was like the difference between heaven and hell. I can shoot all day long (leaving the camera turned-on) and the battery will still have a charge left when I am done. I have given relatives the FE series Olympus snap-shot cameras as gifts and the chief complaint I got was the AA battery consumption… AA’s are not a good idea for camera use.

  • Patia says:

    I prefer the lithiums, too. They’re smaller, lighter and seem to hold a charge longer. But I think it’s worth investing in a second one, so you always have a backup.

  • observa says:

    Cynthia asks- what is the verdict on using AA batteries? The answer is to use ‘precharged’ rechargeables like Sanyo Eneloop batteries in AA and AAA sizes. So many users don’t understand that nickel based rechargeables will lose 1% of their charge capacity per day sitting and what does that leave after 90 days sitting idle in your camera? OTOH Sanyo Eneloops will retain 90% of their charge after 6 months and 85% after 12 months and like all nickel based batteries will take around 1000 charges and last for many years if you charge them up and run them down (ie you need 2 sets) Li-Ion batteries can be topped up as much as you like but they will be destroyed by excessive heat (car dash or seat) and in any case have a 3 yr maxm life the moment they roll off the production line. Besides you need 2 batteries too if you don’t want to run out anytime on a trip. Another tip is to use a smart charger (like MAHA ones) that have a rejuvenation function for nickel based batteries to keep them in top condition every 30 charges or so. Tradey’s professional cordless power tool chargers have this function for obvious reasons. Nickel based batteries are still the best bang for buck going around but don’t believe me believe the expert at batteryuniversity.com

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