Olympus SP-570 UZ Review

 
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Olympus SP-570 UZ Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to below average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.3 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

1.5 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

15 seconds
(11 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

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.

Slower than average startup and buffer clearing times.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.0 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

2.0 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.5 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are also slow, though moving from Play to Record is about average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.52 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Wide
Flash Enabled

0.80 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position, Auto Flash enabled.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.81 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.13 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.52 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.52 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Full autofocus shutter lag at 0.52s is about average at wide angle for a long zoom, but 0.81s is a bit below average at full telephoto these days. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of 0.13 second, which is average. Continuous AF and manual focus weren't any faster that full autofocus.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
RAW & JPEG
6.98 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
RAW

5.63 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.46 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640 x 480 JPEG

1.95 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
High Speed 1
5 megapixels

0.13 second (7.51 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
15 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
High Speed 2
3 megapixels

0.07 second (13.42 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
12 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
RAW & JPEG

Not Possible

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
RAW

Not Possible

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

1.24 seconds (0.81 frames per second);
5 frames total;
11 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640 x 480 JPEG

0.90 second (1.11 frames per second);
20 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Olympus Type-H xD memory 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.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are a little sluggish, at about 2.46 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) One thing to keep in mind is the higher resolution size. RAW files also take quite a bit of time, at 5.63 seconds. The camera's continuous modes are very fast at the lower resolutions, at 13.42 frames per second at 3 MP and 7.51 frames per second at 5 MP, but slows to 0.81 fps for 10 MP/fine JPEGs. The flash takes six seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is pretty good.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

4,300 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very good.


Overall, the Olympus SP-570 UZ is a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from quite slow to quite fast, depending on the task at hand. Startup and mode-switching times are quite sluggish, and shutter lag isn't fast. Additionally, normal cycle times are on the slower side, but some of the continuous modes are quite zippy. Thus, the SP-570 is equipped to handle fast-paced action at its smaller resolution settings, but shutter lag may slow you down, and you might tap your foot a bit while waiting on Playback mode or between RAW shots.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
A little better than average battery life for an AA design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Four AA NiMH batteries,
(CIPA standard)
390

The Olympus SP-570 UZ uses four AA batteries for power, and ships with four alkaline cells. NiMH batteries may be used, but not Oxyride, manganese, lithium, or rechargeable lithium batteries. Although battery life is good, we still recommend you pick up a set of spare NiMH batteries and keep them freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of with four AA batteries (Olympus does not mention which type; we assume NiMH), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

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

Storage
The Olympus SP-570 UZ accepts xD-Picture Cards, and includes about 45MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
45MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal RAW RAW + JPEG
3,648 x 2,736
Images
9
18
3
2
File Size
5.0 MB
2.5 MB
17.4 MB
17.4 MB
2,560 x 1,920
Images
18
35
-
-
File Size
2.5 MB
1.3 MB
-
-
2,048 x 1,536
Images
28
53
-
-
File Size
1.6 MB
865 KB
-
-
1,600 x 1,200
Images
44
80
-
-
File Size
1.0 MB
577 KB
-
-
1,280 x 960
Images
65
116
-
-
File Size
705 KB
400 KB
-
-
640 x 480
Images
264
483
-
-
File Size
176 KB
96 KB
-
-

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity xD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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