Today my Father’s Day present from my wife arrived via UPS – the Olympus SP565 UZ (Ultra Zoom).  We were overseas in Europe on Father’s Day so we waited until we returned home to order.  This model came out last fall in September so it has been on the streets for a short 10 months.

This camera replaces an Olympus C-4000 Zoom camera that I have had for 5 years and it has faithfully served me.  In fact all the photos at our family flickr account were taken with the C-4000. It has been through two carrier deployments and tons of use.  It has served us well but it was time for an upgrade.  By the way, it still works very well and is available for sale with all of its memory cards, etc.  Just contact me if your seriously interested. I can make you a great deal on it.

On to the new camera – from the press release last August – some of the features:

  • Extreme optical performance in minimum size: 20x wide optical zoom (26-520mm*) – from extreme close-ups to the action as well as stunning scenes (additional 5x digital zoom also included)
  • Avoids blur thanks to Dual Image Stabilization
  • Don’t miss the moment with high-speed 13.5fps sequence shooting**
  • Advanced Face Detection of up to 16 persons for perfectly focused and exposed faces plus correct exposure of other image areas
  • P/A/S/M exposure modes for creative freedom
  • 25 scene modes for the best results in different situations
  • 10 Megapixels to make poster-size prints
  • See and share images on the 2.5"/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD
  • Built-in flash and wireless flash control from the camera body
  • Liven up your memories with movie recording with sound (up to VGA resolution at 30fps)
  • In-camera panorama function (with xD-Picture Card)
  • Includes Perfect Fix and Perfect Shot Preview
  • xD-Picture Card and microSD Card compatible
  • So of course the first thing to do when I got home, after kissing the wife of course – she did get it for me, was to unbox the new camera.  All of these unboxing photos were taken with the C-4000.

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    The camera came with a USB cable for connecting the camera to your PC to download photos; a USB mini to RCA to connect to your TV; 4 AA batteries; a Micro SD adapter; an instruction manual; lens cap (but no lens strap – so I recycled the one off the C-4000).

    I also ordered a M= 2GB xD card since the camera only has 48MB of internal memory.  The 2GB card holds approximately 800 shots at Normal resolution and 400 at Fine.

    I do want to point out the absolute waste of packaging when it comes to this memory card made by Olympus.  The actual memory card itself is about the size of a quarter.  The packaging was massive compared to that – just look at the photos below (also taken with the C-4000):

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    Olympus – it would not be a bad thing to be a little green with this packaging OK?

    OK – so the camera is unboxed and I installed the batteries and memory card without issue – these steps are very much like most digital cameras these days. The LCD screen on the back is one of the clearest I have seen and is a full inch bigger than the C-4000’s.  It also has an Electronic View Finder and a pop up flash that you will need to pop up if it is needed.

    So without anything but Auto mode selected I took some sample photos to test the camera and compare it to the C-4000:

    C-4000 shot.

    SP565 UZ shot. See the bigger coverage area of the standard shot? Like watching widescreen compared to full screen.


    SP565 UZ – indoors; no flash; standard shot (1X).

    SP565 UZ – indoors; 20X zoom of same shot; no flash.


    SP565 UZ – outdoors; no flash; standard shot (1X)

    SP565 UZ – outdoors; 20X zoom of same shot; no flash.


    SP565 UZ – indoors; standard shot (1X); with flash.

    SP565 UZ – indoors; standard shot (1X); no flash.

    There are still some features I want to check out such as long exposures and burst shot mode amongst the many options the camera has for manually setting your shots. However, just based on my initial 30 minute impression I think this camera is going to bring us many shots in the coming years.