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Olympus SP-550 UZ

alaTest has collected and analyzed 884 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the battery and lens. The portability and usability are also appreciated, but views about the focus and responsiveness are different. The storage and energy efficiency get critical views.

image quality, usability, portability, lens, battery

shutter, features, memory, energy, storage

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Olympus SP-550 UZ is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 86/100 = Very good quality.

See all Olympus Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 884 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 175 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 175 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (333)

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Robinson.

One of the longest zoom lenses you can find in a point-and-shoot camera.

Clumsy method to alter aperture and shutter speed.

Olympus did a great job of packing a long zoom range into the SP-550 UZ. The zoom will open up opportunities in your photography that you've never had before.

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


The excellent 7.1-megapixel Olympus SP-550 UZ features the largest optical zoom available on a point-and-shoot camera. Even so, because of a few shortcomings, this fantastic feat of engineering isn't enough to crown it the superzoom king.

Enormous zoom range, which starts with a true wide-angle view. Mechanical and digital image stabilization. Some innovative ISO and burst-mode functions. Helpful guide mode.

Some issues with video capabilities. Some controls could be better designed, especially the zoom level. No articulating LCD. Mediocre boot time. A bit pricey.

With a whopping 18X optical-zoom lens and image stabilization, there's a lot to like about the Olympus SP-550 UZ, but a few features need to be enhanced for it to become king of the superzooms.

Expert review by:

SP-550 UZ


The ultra-zoom portion of the digital camera market is taking off as consumers look beyond the standard 3x zoom, and manufacturers continue to up the ante. The Olympus SP-550UZ's 18x optical zoom surpasses all other compact digital cameras currently on...

Great handling- Best-looking Olympus ; Lengthy 18x lens ; Nice flash ; RAW + JPEG simultaneous shooting- Image stabilization

Gimmicky pre-capture mode ; Slow 1.2 fps burst mode ; AA batteries don't last long ; Confusing menus ; Some scenes reduce resolution- $499 price- Shutter lag- Heavy body ; Adjusting the LCD brightness is a pain- Movies can have audio or zoom, but not...

The 7.1-megapixel Olympus SP-550UZ is a huge improvement upon its predecessor with a sturdier, more attractive body and a longer 18x optical zoom lens. An optical image stabilization system complements the lens, which is currently the longest available...


Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


Featuring a powerful 18x optical zoom lens, the SP-550 UZ offers maximum shooting versatility for travel, sports and day-to-day use. The 18x super telephoto zoom gets you closer to the action than any compact digital camera on the market. At the same...

Dual Image Stabilization technology ensures crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation - adjusting for camera shake and moving subjects. The Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the CCD to compensate for...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


The banner feature for Olympus' new prosumer model is 18x optical zoom-an incredible engineering feat for a point-and-shoot camera. While the freedom to go from

Huge zoom and good wide-angle coverage. RAW mode. Bright, informative optical viewfinder. Effective shake-reduction. Good detail at low ISO. Camera seems to say, “I’m a capable, skilled photographer” not “I'm a photo n00b. Please mug me and take my stuff

xD media only. Auto-focus can get confused on what it should be focusing on. No hot shoe for external flash. Olympus Master software (required to process RAW files) has clunky, obtuse UI

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


Although not a small camera the SP-550UZ is very similar in size and weight to the Canon S3 IS and Panasonic Lumix FZ8 (also the Sony H2/H5, not shown). In fact the only cameras in this class that are significantly different in size are the...

Amazing 18x zoom range ; Truly versatile 28-504mm range, with real wideangle ; Comprehensive and extensive feature set ; Effective Image Stabilization system (good for two stops) ; Decent resolution ; Good, though by no means class-leading results at...

Images lack biting crispness, some loss of fine detail to noise reduction ; Some corner softness at long end of zoom ; Distortion throughout the zoom range ; Focus slow at long end of zoom and in low light ; Occasional focus errors (where the camera...

You have to be careful when reviewing cameras that you take a realistic view of how the typical buyer will actually use it, and what they can realistically expect it to do. I say this because the SP-550UZ gave us one of the most time-consuming,...


Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


We've all heard the jokes and seen the cute ads about how bigger is better. Since this is a decidedly G-rated site, our discussion of the biggest one out there has to do with mega-zoom digital cameras. In this case it's the 7.1-megapixel Olympus...

7.1-megapixel camera with potent 18x optical zoom; Dual Image Stabilization

Very slow response; especially at night

Olympus is to be congratulated for taking the mega zoom category up a level to 18x...

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 Ultra Zoom


With one or two exceptions, superzoom cameras have topped out at 12x optical zoom lenses in recent years. However, Olympus is pushing that boundary with its new 7.1-megapixel SP-550UZ, which sports an 18x optical zoom lens. The camera marks a shift...

Great body design; high-quality, fast, wide, 18x optical zoom lens; sensor-shift image stabilization; manual exposure controls; RAW image capture.

Very slow; high noise above ISO 400; slightly soft images.

Olympus' SP-550UZ has great ergonomics, but disappointingly slow performance and soft, noisy images drag it down.

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550 UZ


Want a big zoom and lots of manual control without the DSLR learning curve? We've got your camera.

Expert review by:

Olympus SP-550UZ First Impressions Review


Olympus updated its ultra-zoom line with a new flagship, the Olympus SP-550UZ. This digital camera comes with the most zoom available on any compact digital camera to date, providing a massive 18x of optical zooming power. The camera also comes with...

- Great handling - Best-looking Olympus - Lengthy 18x optical zoom lens - Nice flash - RAW + JPEG files - In-camera RAW editing - Image stabilization - Great movie mode

- Gimmicky pre-capture mode - Slow 1.2 fps burst mode - AA batteries don't last long - Confusing menus - Some scene modes reduce resolution - $499 price

Product Specifications

Far and wide, the world's most powerful ultra zoom. Capture the moment, and capture the action, with the world's most powerful ultra zoom - the 7.1 megapixel SP-550 UZ. Its new 18x wide-angle super-telephoto zoom lens gets you closer to your subject than any other compact digital camera on the market. Dual Image Stabilization eliminates blur. And with high-speed sequential shooting and new Pre-Capture technology, you'll capture anything that moves. Even shoot in low light without a flash, thanks to Bright Capture Technology, and it's easy to preview, shoot and share with the large 2.5" high-resolution LCD.

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

Digital Camera Type:Compact
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 / Candle / Candlelight portrait / Cuisine / Documents / Fireworks / Indoor / Landscape / Landscape-portrait / Night portrait / Night scene / Panorama assist / Portrait mode / Shoot & select 1 / Shoot & select 2 / Snow / Sports mode / Sunset / Underwater macro / Underwater wide 1 / Underwater wide 2


Model:SP-550 Ultra Zoom
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-4.5
Max Focal Length:84.24mm
Min Focal Length:4.68mm
Optical Zoom:18
Type:Zoom lens


Microsoft Certification:Certified for Windows Vista
Vista Certification:Certified for Windows Vista

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:7.1Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (image sensor shift mechanism)

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVI
Digital Zoom:5.6
ISO (Max):5000
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 3200 (3Mpix) / ISO 400 / ISO 5000 (3Mpix) / ISO 800 / ISO auto
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Frames / Sepia
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Electronic