We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Cameras Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Olympus SP-590UZ review

£276.37 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Olympus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Boasting a lengthy zoom capacity, with a focal length of 26-676mm, the Olympus SP-590UZ is a quality compact/DSLR bridge camera.

Boasting a lengthy zoom capacity, with a focal length of 26-676mm, the Olympus SP-590UZ is a quality compact/DSLR bridge camera.

We were surprised at the lack of distortion at both ends of the Olympus SP-590UZ's massive zoom spectrum, even without the technical wizardry of the Nikon Coolpix P90's distortion-correction function (it's possible that this function is there but switched on at all times).

We were delighted to find images retained a lot of detail. The Olympus SP-590UZ's lens offers definite advantages, although it isn't up there with the very best.

Using the extreme telephoto, you'll probably need a tripod to get the shot you want, but Olympus has a dual image-stabilisation system which helps. This backs up the CCD shift with a digital system that ups the ISO and the shutter speed to avoid smears and blurriness. Despite this, we didn't see any extra noise with the Olympus SP-590UZ.

However, there was some noise when we upped the ISO setting in poor lighting. The Olympus SP-590UZ's noise levels were average for the megazoom models we tested.

Digital photography news and reviews

What did surprise us was the compact proportions of the Olympus SP-590UZ. The result was that all the buttons are jammed together to the right of the screen and are rather small. Pressing the wrong one is all too easy.

There's an AEL button to lock exposure, but no manual focus button or adjustment wheel. Selecting manual focus requires visiting a secondary menu and then tapping left and right on the pad, which is a pain. Clearly the Olympus SP-590UZ is a camera for those who prefer autofocus.

The other point to note is that Olympus bucks the SD camera card trend and persists with using xD Picture Card store - you can also use microSD via an adaptor that comes as part of the Olympus SP-590UZ package.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>

Olympus SP-590UZ Expert Verdict »
Olympus SP-590 UZ Scores 9.1 out of 10 based on 115 reviews
2.7in, 230k pixels LCD
12Mp 1/2.33in CCD
26x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom
compact/dSLR bridge
microSD/SDHC/xD Card
USB 2.0
ISO 64 to 6400
4x AA batteries
110x90x912mm
435g
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

A mixed bag. We liked the extreme aspirations of the Olympus SP-590Z but felt it didn’t fully realise that 24x zoom’s potential. Against that is the solid dual-stabilisation setup and the lack of noise in good light.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Olympus SP-800UZ review

    Olympus SP-800UZ

    The Olympus SP-800UZ is a petite all-in-one camera with a massive 30x zoom. It's well-priced, too.

  • Olympus SP 610UZ review

    Olympus SP 610UZ

    The Olympus SP 610UZ fills the gap between the SP 600UZ and SP 800UZ with its 22x optical zoom lens.

  • Olympus SP-570 UZ review

    Olympus SP-570 UZ

    Olympus' entry into the megazoom class delivers the greatest magnification rating of any camera we've seen. Using the Olympus SP-570 UZ at 20X, photos taken at a distance of up to 30ft from the subject looked as though the photographer had been right up close.

  • Olympus E-420 review

    Olympus E-420

    Not only is it one of the most lightweight and compact models in the world, the Olympus E-420 is an inexpensive DSLR that's a mighty £170 less than its Olympus E-410 predecessor.

  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 review

    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47

    If you need a camera with an extreme zoom range, the LUMIX DMC-FZ47 is a good choice: its 24x lens is sharp enough throughout the range to create clear pictures, with only a little resolution lost at maximum zoom. Its ‘bridge’ design also makes it easy to hold comfortably.


IDG UK Sites

Windows 10 release date, price, features. The next version of Windows will run on everything:....

IDG UK Sites

An Apple fan's perspective on the Windows 10 launch

IDG UK Sites

Sensor-laden kids' watch with 3G launches in Japan

IDG UK Sites

2014 Retina iMac release date rumours, specs and features: 27in 5K Retina iMac 'launching this mont'......