Monday, August 25, 2008

New Olympus SP565uz is a different SP570 (updated)

In a bit of a surprising move, Olympus has decided to shrink change the SP-570uz (PMA 2008) and produce the brand new SP-565uz. Note the symbolic nature of the model name. The press release from Olympus USA at the Imaging Insider.

The SP-565uz shrinks in size changes in shape, but retains the 26-520mm equivalent 20X super zoom lens, and has sensor-shift stabilization, along with a 10mp 1/2.33" sensor. PSAM is retained which will thrill fans of "traditional" photography modes.

It has RAW. The press release text does not mention RAW, but the spec sheets include RAW. RAW is also included in the specs at Imaging Resource and dpreview. Both sites use template spec sheets which means that sometimes you get leftover specs from the previous model, but since we found RAW in at least three spec sheets, we think that it probably/likely has RAW. Update June 2009: The review at Steve's Digicams verifies that it has RAW.

On the buzz front, we find a TruPic III engine, 33 scene modes, 2.5" LCD, EVF, and things like that.

The camera uses 4 AA batteries, and will be out around October 2008, at the more competitive price of $400, which is the price of the new Panasonic FZ28 as well. Amazon has it available for pre-ordering at $400 with a conservative October 31st release date.

Sadly, the ostriches at Olympus continue on the xD with microSD adapter path, completely ignoring the fact that the vast majority of digital cameras today use SD/SDHC/MMC memory cards instead.

Coverage on the Net
The Olympus UK press release at Photography Blog.

Detailed specs at Imaging Resource, and more at Digital Camera Review.

Olympus camera users are discussing this in the Olympus dpreview forum.

Update on SP-565uz size
Thanks to Light Scrape for pointing this out in the comments! The Olympus USA press release is confusing at best, the words "smaller" are not exactly the best way to describe the differences between the SP-565uz and SP-570uz. Instead they should have said a more compact or streamlined design. Decide for yourselves, compare the product shots side by side (by putting two side-by-side web browser windows or flipping over two browser pages) using the DC Resource product pages for SP-570uz and SP-565uz.


Juha Haataja said...

I wonder how this can match Panasonic TZ28, which has got nice reviews. Olympus SP570 wasn't universally praised for image quality, I hope this has improved. The smaller size is an interesting development.

Juha Haataja said...

Actually, I'm not sure about the smaller size, as the spec seem to indicate a slightly bigger and heavier camera.

1001 noisy cameras said...

Do you mean not-smaller than the FZ28 or the SP-570uz?

1001 noisy cameras said...

Oh I see what you mean on the 565 vs 570. It is 8 grams heavier than the 570, but saves around 5mm and 3mm in dimensions. The Olympus USA press release was poorly written, they were probably trying to highlight the differences in the design but wrote it up in a confusing way. I will update the post!

Juha Haataja said...

My confusion was caused by Dpreview, which lists wrong specs for 570: 365 g, 116 x 78.5 x 78 mm. These are actually the specs for 560, which was smaller and lighter than the newer 570.

Now 565 comes back in size towards 560, but not quite as small.

1001 noisy cameras said...

Thanks for the update. Regardless of the weight, dimensions and volume, it has a different look and shape, which at least gives photographers two different ...ergonomic choices!

acoolerclimate said...

The new SP565 looks to me almost identical to the SP560. Can't figure out why they did that. Perhaps the SP570 isn't selling, but the SP560 did, so they went back to that design? Very odd.

Anonymous said...

I strongly suspect that the main differences between the SP570 and the SP565 will be performance and image quality. Many reviewers main gripe with the 570 was its slow operation, imprecise lens ring control and substandard IQ. I eagerly await their opinions on the new model.

1001 noisy cameras said...

That could partially explain why they reverted to the SP-560uz.

Anonymous said...

I think referring to the SP-565UZ as a "smaller SP-570uz" is inaccurate. Consider the fact that the 565UZ is missing two key features present in the 570UZ: the zoom ring and the hotshoe, notwithstanding the erroneous accessory page on the Olympus site, which claims both the 560UZ and the 565UZ both have a hotshoe. We know the 560UZ does NOT have one, and photos of the 565UZ show none. I would describe the 565UZ as un upgraded 560UZ. Furthermore, I predict Olympus will release a successor to the 570UZ in January, probably carrying the designation "580UZ". If so, expect it to add support for some variant of SD memory, improved image quality and better focus ring control, faster performance, as well as other lesser improvements.

1001 noisy cameras said...

Great points. It's interesting to see how much confusion a badly written press release and product page can create!

Is it now known for sure that this camera has RAW?

Having SD/SDHC/MMC is a must for Olympus if they want to compete. Their stubborness on xD is holding back the SW-series from becoming a blockbuster seller.