Olympus SP-550 Ultra Zoom - 18x goodness

The new Olympus SP-550 UZ Ultra Zoom offers the ultimate in power and versatility with a compact, best-in-class 18x optical zoom lens (28-504mm equivalent in 35mm photography), which gives users the ability to shoot telephoto, wide-angle and macro (as close as 1cm) all in one. Crisp, clear images can be captured far and wide with Dual Image Stabilization and the broadest focal range available on any digital point-and-shoot. The camera’s full manual exposure control provides professionals and photo-enthusiasts with unlimited creativity, while its automatic settings and Built-in Help Guides will put novice users at ease.

This revolutionary ultra zoom is equipped with several unique features to deliver near-DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) performance in a compact size, including:

18x Wide-Angle Ultra Zoom Lens Provides Power and Versatility
Featuring the world's most powerful 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 time, the wide-angle lens gets more into your frame – perfect for shooting indoors, landscapes and group shots. The super macro mode is ideal for capturing the most subtle details from as close as one centimeter. The compact, precision-crafted lens combines high-refractive, aspherical and extra-dispersion (ED) lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. The bright, f/2.8-4.5 lens provides the equivalent of 28-504mm focal length with 100x total seamless zoom (5.6x digital zoom).

Dual Image Stabilization
Dual Image Stabilization technology enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation – adjusting for camera shake and a moving subject. Olympus’ Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the CCD to compensate for camera shake, which often occurs when zooming in on your subject and in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blur caused by a moving subject.

High-Speed Sequential Shooting & Pre-Capture
Capable of capturing images at an incredible 15 frames per second, the SP-550 UZ offers the highest burst rate of any compact digital camera. The inclusion of Pre-Capture technology, which works in conjunction with High-Speed Sequential Shooting, enables users to capture the action before and after fully pressing the shutter button. Pre-Capture begins working as soon as the focus is locked, automatically archiving five frames in the camera’s buffer memory prior to the shutter release – virtually guaranteeing that none of the action will be missed even if the user’s reaction time is slow. Perfect for situations where timing is essential, such as photographing a tennis player serving, children playing or a whale breaching.

Full Manual & Automatic Control
The Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes give users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creative vision – adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion, or just sit back and let the camera do the work with the automatic settings. Full manual and automatic control options allow advanced users to maintain creative control and novices to point-and-shoot their way to beautiful images.

30 Shooting Modes Including TV-Quality Video with Sound
The SP-550 UZ makes it easy to take great photos in a variety of scenarios and lighting situations with 30 shooting modes, including television-quality video with sound (640x480/30fps) up to the capacity of your xD card. Simply select the desired mode for portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action, macro and more.

7.1-Megapixel Image Sensor
The 7.1-megapixel CCD image sensor delivers superior image quality for consistently capturing sharp, vivid details even in large-format or cropped prints. The SP-550 UZ records in both JPEG and RAW file formats and is perfectly suited for a wide range of users – from new photographers to advanced users who require maximum creative control.
Other features include:

The SP-550 UZ will be available in March 2007. We use digital cameras a lot for the production of the Geekanoids website, so we hope to bring you a review as soon as the finished product is made available. Check out the full details on the Olympus website here.