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Olympus SP-560 UZ Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a long zoom.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
2.9 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.
Shutdown
2.4 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens.
Buffer clearing time
12 seconds (after 14 large/fine JPEGs),
11 seconds after a single RAW frame
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.8 second
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
1.6 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.
Display
recorded image
1.3 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.77 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.74 seconds
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.059 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shut button.
Continuous AF
0.78 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.39 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.15 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 14 shots.
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
2.14 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Single Shot mode
RAW
11.29 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 11 shots.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.92 second (1.09 frames per second);
14 frames total;
12 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.81 second (1.23 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.
Flash recycling
9.7 seconds
Flash at maximum output.
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
4,560 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Olympus Type H xD-Picture card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

The Olympus SP-560's performance is generally above average for an ultra-zoom model. Startup and shutdown speeds are above average (which means it's slower than a 3x digicam at 2.9 seconds, but faster than the average long zoom). Shutter response is above average, too, coming in at 0.77 second for full autofocus lag at wide angle, a tiny bit faster at telephoto, and a very quick 0.059 second when prefocused. Shot-to-shot cycle times and continuous-mode speeds are about average, though there are high-speed modes available at lower resolutions. The flash takes 9.7 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is below average, but the flash is fairly powerful. Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very fast, so you won't feel the need an external reader. Bottom line, the Olympus SP-560 UZ is a responsive long zoom and quite an improvement over the SP-550 in autofocus lag and download speed.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life with Alkaline AA's, probably even better with NiMH rechargeables.

Operating Mode
Battery Life
Still-image capture mode
LCD on, Alkaline AA batteries
380 shots
Still-image capture mode
LCD on, NiMH AA batteries
unknown

The Olympus SP-560 UZ uses a four AA-size batteries for power. Unfortunately, Olympus has not published a NiMH battery life rating for the SP-560, but 380 shots is pretty impressive for Alkaline batteries.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Olympus SP-560 UZ has about 47MB internal memory and uses xD Picture Cards, although no card is supplied with the camera.

Image Capacity with
47MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal RAW
3,264 x 2,448
Images
11
22
3
File Size
4.0 MB
2.0 MB
11.9 MB
2,560 x 1,920
Images
18
-
-
File Size
2.5 MB
-
-
2,304 x 1,728
Images
22
-
-
File Size
2.0 MB
-
-
2,048 x 1,536
Images
28
-
-
File Size
1.6 MB
-
-
1,600 x 1,200
Images
45
-
-
File Size
1.0 MB
-
-
1,280 x 960
Images
66
-
-
File Size
705 KB
-
-
1,024 x 768
Images
97
-
-
File Size
480 KB
-
-
640 x 480
Images
266
-
-
File Size
176 KB
-
-

The Olympus SP-560UZ stores its photos on xD memory cards or in approximately 47MB of internal memory, and no card is included with the camera. That means that out of the box, you can only capture four full resolution, low compression images, or one RAW image. We strongly recommend buying a large capacity xD Picture card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2GB one to give yourself extra space for extended outings and videos. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)