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Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom

alaTest has collected and analyzed 450 reviews from magazines and websites. People are impressed by the image quality and performance. The portability and value for money also get good comments. There are some critical opinions about the low light performance and image stabilizer. There are mixed reviews on the energy efficiency and contrast.

usability, value for money, portability, performance, image quality

responsiveness, focus, viewfinder, stabilizer , low-light

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 85/100 = Very good quality.

See all Olympus Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 450 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 126 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 126 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (286)

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-510 UZ


We test-run Olympus' new budget superzoom.

Looking at its great street price of Rs. 19,000 I think the SP-150 UZ makes a pretty good option as a budget superzoom. Sure it has some negatives, but none that can't be overcome with a little manual setting. If you're going for a superzoom, you...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-510 UltraZoom


The Olympus SP-510 Ultra Zoom offers the highest image resolution of any 10x digital camera on the market, an Olympus ED Zoom Lens, a large 2.5-inch LCD and extra-long battery life (up to 630 shots from standard alkaline batteries). Designed to satisfy...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-510 UZ


Great guide modes help you select appropriate settings and modes. Very good macro mode. Can shoot in RAW. Conveniently uses AA batteries.

Mediocre performance. Poor burst mode. Special xD cards required for highest video performance. A bit of shutter lag is noticeable.

The latest superzoom from Olympus provides welcome guidance in the field but needs buttressing in terms of quality and performance.


Expert review by:

Olympus SP-510 UZ


The menus are intuitive and use a nifty graphical interface to shift between setup, image quality, and camera menus, the last of which includes functions that you can also access through the OK/function button on the keypad, such as white balance, ISO,...

Great body design; high-quality, fast lens; manual exposure controls.

No optical image stabilization; high noise at ISO 400 and above; lens not wide enough.

The Olympus SP-510UZ is packed with cool features, but a not-so-wide lens, sluggish performance, and noisy images steal its fire.

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-500 UZ


The SP-500 UZ makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations with 21 pre-programmed scene modes, such as Night Scene, Indoor Portrait or Cuisine Mode. The Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes gives users versatility...

Olympus' TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor enhances image quality and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO enables the SP-500 UZ to capture information from all 6.0 million pixels with...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-500 UZ


Five and a half years ago, long before Panasonic launched the FZ series, before Canon, Kodak, Minolta - or anyone else for that matter - had joined the 'big zoom' party there was the Olympus C-2100UZ. With its image-stabilized 10x zoom, electronic...

Decent results with good detail and natural color ; Low noise at low ISO settings, still fairly low at ISO 400 ; Comprehensive photographic controls ; Rugged, lightweight construction and excellent handling ; Lots of scene/subject modes ; Huge range of...

JPEG images look soft compared to much of the competition ; Mild exposure problems in high contrast / bright scenes ; Writing to xD picture card slow (much better with newer high speed cards) ; Raw mode slow (much better with newer high speed cards) ;...

Taken on its own merits the SP-500UZ is a more than capable camera with a huge feature set, great handling and perfectly good results - at a very competitive price point. But the 'super zoom' sector is one of the most fiercely competitive markets in...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-500 Ultra Zoom


Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

High image quality ; Powerful zoom

No image stabilization

The low-priced SP-500 delivers high image quality, long battery life, and a powerful zoom. But it lacks image stabilization.


Expert review by:

Olympus SP-500


Olympus is struggling mightily to keep with the digicam leaders (Kodak, Canon and Sony). Sometimes they win with models like Stylus 800 and E-500 D-SLR while in other instances they fail miserably with IR-500 and M:Robe. Yet you can't blame them for...

Compact 6MP 10x optical zoom digicam

Uneven focusing ; OK picture quality

The 10x Olympus SP-500UZ is in the thick of a tough fight with Canon, Kodak, Konica-Minolta and Sony.

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-510 UltraZoom Digital Camera - Express Review


There was a time when Olympus had the longest ultra zoomers in town, but that's all changed as more and more competing manufacturers have jumped into the ring with their own all-in-one cameras with extra long focal ranges. While you'd think these...

Sleek, silvery design is futuristic but functional., Comfortable handgrip, Great color, good dynamic range, and decent sharpness in images shot in adequately lit conditions

Excessive noise in images shot above ISO 400, Inadequate resolution for 2.5-inch LCD, Sluggish overall performance and during picture-taking and general operations, Outdated menu system, No paper manual for advanced instruction, only CD, Only digital...

The latest camera in Olympus' ultra-zoom arsenal is the 7.1 megapixel Olympus SP-510 UZ. The Olympus SP-510 features a 10x optical zoom lens that's equivalent to 38-380mm in 35mm format. The Olympus SP-510 features the company's BrightCapture...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-500 UZ


The 500UZ's long zoom reaches from 38-380mm, a full 10x. That used to be a lot more impressive, but these days there are quite a few competitors with similar specs, and most of those cameras have something the SP-500UZ doesn't: image stabilization....

Product Specifications

The tent's light weight and easy to set up table top design, the soft light box utilizes a specially woven, heat resistant, 100% velour fabric, which delivers uniform illumination while eliminating harsh shadows and reflective glare. Folds up are for convenient storage and travel. The tents are of the highest quality. Square Perfect has included a 30" x 30" x 30" size and 12" x 12" x 12" with large front openings which makes taking multiple studio shots a snap. Also included are extra front coverings with a lens/camera slit for completely surrounding your subject. Square Perfect has decided to supply you with 3 extra large colored sheets for internal modeling at no extra charge. The Velcro fastening system and spring-like frame enables the unit to be folded down and stored in the included zip case for very easy transport and storage.

Audio Input



Battery Form Factor:Standard form factor
Supported Battery Form Factor:AA

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:xD-Picture Card / xD-Picture Card Type H / xD-Picture Card Type M

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Auction / Available light portrait / Beach / Behind glass / Candle / Cuisine / Document / Fireworks / Indoor / Landscape / Landscape-portrait / Museum / Night portrait / Night scene / Portrait mode / Self-portrait / Snow / Sports mode / Sunset


Head Qty:2
Lamp Qty:1


Manufacturer:Olympus/Square Perfect
Model:SP-500 UltraZoom/SP-500 UZ/SP500 Platinum Photo Studio
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus/Square Perfect

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-3.7
Max Focal Length:63mm
Min Focal Length:6.3mm
Optical Zoom:10
Type:Zoom lens

Lighting System

Continuous Light Source:Fluorescent
Device Type:Continuous light kit

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.5"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):10.2 mm ( 1/2.5 ) / 10.2 mm ( 1/2.5" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:6Megapixel

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:QuickTime
Digital Zoom:5
ISO (Max):400
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 80 / ISO auto
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Contrast compensation / Frames / Saturation / Sepia
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Color Support:Color
Viewfinder Type:Electronic