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Olympus SP-550UZ 7.1MP Digital Camera with Dual Image Stabilized 18x Optical Zoom

by Olympus
102 customer reviews
| 6 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
3 new from $149.99 12 used from $65.00

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description


From the Manufacturer

Featuring the world’s most powerful zoom lens (f/2.8-4.5, 28-504mm equivalent), the SP-550UZ offers maximum shooting versatility for travel, sports and everyday use. The 18x super telephoto zoom gets you closer to the action than any compact digital camera on the market, and at the same time, the wide-angle lens gets more into your frame -- perfect for shooting indoors, landscapes and group shots. The result is 100x total seamless zoom.

Stylus 550UZ Highlights

7.1 megapixels The SP-550UZ’s high-resolution CCD delivers superior image quality for larger prints without sacrificing detail.

Dual image stabilization The 2-in-1 anti-blur solution. Sensor- Shift image stabilization keeps your shot steady by compensating for camera shake (ideal for shooting in low light and zooming in on your subject), and digital image stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and faster shutter speeds. These 2 anti-blur technologies combine so you can capture crisp, clear images in any situation.

15fps high-speed sequential shooting Shoot fast-action sequences like a pro! At the click of a button, you can take several shots in rapid succession to capture every moment of the action. With a burst rate of up to 15fps, you can freeze moments in time to get the shot you want.

Pre-Capture Pre-Capture begins working as soon as the focus is locked, automatically archiving five frames in the camera’s buffer memory prior to the shutter release, so you’re sure to capture the perfect shot even if your reaction time is slow.

ISO 5000 The SP-550UZ offers the highest sensitivity of any ultra zoom (up to ISO 5000) for superior low light and fast-action photography. Combine with shutter speeds of up to 1/2000 seconds to capture fast-action photos, like sports and pets, with ease.

2.5-inch high-resolution LCD The large, bright LCD (230,000 pixels) provides easy shooting and sharing of your images with friends and family.

Bright Capture technology Keep it bright even in low light! When shooting or recording in low light, Bright Capture allows you to clearly preview your shot on the LCD and capture brighter, more vivid images -- without a flash.

Full manual exposure control Provides creative control for advanced users, yet it’s easy enough for any family member to pointand- shoot beautiful images.

30 shooting modes including movie with sound Getting the best shot has never been easier. Preset shooting modes optimize the camera’s settings for any shooting situation to ensure you capture a great shot. Select Scene modes such as Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Sports, Beach and Snow, Underwater and more. Records TV-quality AVI movies with sound (640 x 480 resolution at 30fps), up to the capacity of your xD card.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.1 x 3.1 inches ; 1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • Item model number: 225885
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,824 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at January 25, 2007

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 102 people found the following review helpful By R. Stauber on March 8, 2007
I got the camera about a week ago and highly recommend it. If you buy this camera, I recommend getting an H type card which is much faster than the M type for taking pictures. Some movie functions do not work to full capability with the M type but do with the faster H type. I also recommend getting NIMH 2700 mah batteries and charger. Their higher capacity is worth the money and will save over the long run.

As far as the camera goes, I wish the camera was higher than 7.1 mp, but compared to my old 3.3 mp camera, the pictures are so much clearer and finer. The camera has many functions build in, and you will need to read the manual to get full use of the camera. Out of the box AUTO mode works well, but after reading the manual, I think most higher end users will want to set their own modes.

Some nice included functions are the manual ability, the ability to choose among 15 different shooting types (such as through a window), and the ability to store raw images among others. Storing raw images is slow due to the large file size and can take several seconds on an M type card.

Movie mode is able to take 30 fps at 640X480, but 15 fps is still good quality. With the M type card you can only take 15 seconds of movies at full mode, but H type you can fill your memory card. The default setting for movies is without sound so you will need to turn this on. However, with sound turned on, I was not able to zoom, even with the H card.

Image Stablization was nicely setup and can be set with just the push of a button rather than going through the Menu. Also, the eyepiece viewfinder is setup so that if the display on the back is on, the viewfinder is off and vice-versa.
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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By William A. Nolan VINE VOICE on May 3, 2007
Verified Purchase
I have had this camera for a month now, and have shot about 2500 frames. I teach digital photography at the local college, and have several cameras, so I have a good basis for comparison.

I shoot mostly nature subjects, and this camera acts like it was designed just for me. For nature subjects you need telephoto and macro, and this camera shines at both ends. Set to super macro it will focus at 1cm. Thats less than 1/2 inch. It has allowed me to shoot a honeybee that filled the frame.

The 18x telephoto is clear and sharp, and perfect not only for birds at a distance, but lizards 8 feet away. I bought the CLA-10 adapter and 1.7 teleconverter, so I can get 27x telephoto, and it is still clear. The image stabilization is good enough that I can hand hold at 27x if necessary.

The current lack of RAW support in Adobe products is being worked on, and the plug-in is expected shortly.

If you shoot nature you will love this camera. It is also ideal for candid street photography, and is being used by some pretty famous photojournalists.
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133 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Hiram Grant on February 27, 2007
After leading the way in digital point-and-shoots in the early part of the decade, Olympus had fallen on hard times. Not that their cameras weren't any good, it's just that they weren't anything special. With the SP-550uz (and a few other cameras), Olympus has really stepped it up.

First, this is one heck of a nice looking camera (the photos don't do it justice), and feels equally good in your hands (nice heft with the 4 AA batteries). The dials looks sharp and appears to be solid.

In operation, the camera works very well. The tremendous 18x optical zoom is smooth and not too noisy. The rear and internal LCDs are good, although I prefer the Sony internal LCD. The selector dial is easy to read, and the extremely helpful photo/descriptions that appear when you set the dial make it easy to figure out how to use the camera. Their "guide" mode is a wonderful addition for the beginner.

The "dual" image stabalization is a nice touch (but not a cure-all). The mechanical stabalizer is great for letting you hold the camera steady, but it doesn't really help as much for moving objects. The high ISO mode is more properly called an anti-blur mode, as it simply boost the ISO. This helps stop moving objects, but at a sacrifice in quality. High ISOs simply aren't very good on compact cameras, period.

Anyone who's read my reviews knows that I'm not a big fan of the xD cards. They're OK, but not a easy to find, or priced as competitively, as the SD cards.

Some recommended accessories are rechargable batteries and their lens adapter, if you think you might ever want to pick up filters or add-on lenses. These are tubes are sometimes difficult to find when the cameras are first out, but are really difficult to find once they've been discountinued, so get one early.

Overall, a camera at the top of the heap (along with the newly announced Sony DSC-H9).
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Images from this camera are very high quality. The 18X optical zoom is very usable with only minimal distortion noticeable at the extremes. The optical image stabilization system (based on stabilizing the CCD image sensor instead of lens elements) is quite good and performed well under several different circumstances (moving car, boat, shaky hands).

My main gripe with this camera is the lack of high speed USB 2.0 support. The fine print says that the USB interface is "full speed" which means a maximum transfer rate of 12 Mbit/s instead of the 480 Mbit/s possible with high speed USB. So, downloading photos from the camera through the USB interface is painfully slow compared to most current generation digital cameras such as a Canon SD900.

The software provided with the camera is somewhat difficult to use and is slow and unresponsive.

It would also be desirable if the camera could accept a lithium ion rechargeable battery in addition or instead of the 4 AA batteries it uses. But, battery life with both alkaline and rechargeable NiMH AA batteries was adequate.
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