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Olympus SP 550 Ultra Zoom Gordon Laing, March 2007

/ Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting

Olympus SP-550UZ corner sharpness comparison

  To measure and compare the Olympus SP-550UZ's corner sharpness we photographed the Enhanced Digital Camera Resolution Chart with it and a number of rival models, each using their best quality JPEG and default image tone and sharpening settings.

We set the lenses at their widest and longest focal lengths and with various apertures. The crops are taken from the extreme lower left corner of the chart and presented here at 100%.

Zoomed-out to wide angle, the Olympus SP-550UZ delivers fairly good results in its corners with only slight softening when the aperture's wide open. There's a hint of coloured fringing, but it's clearly superior to the Nikon D40's kit lens, although both the Panasonic FZ50 and Canon G7 deliver better-corrected results overall.

Zoomed-in to telephoto, the Olympus SP-550UZ suffers from quite visible coloured fringing, and this is also apparent in real-life examples pictured in our Gallery. All the Olympus results on this page are also slightly lower contrast than the models we've compared it against, although to be fair, none of them come anywhere close to sharing its massive 18x optical zoom ratio. The closest is the Panasonic FZ50, but even its 12x optical zoom can't get as wide as the Olympus. Clearly there'll almost always be some optical compromise with such a huge zoom range, and for the SP-550UZ, it would appear to be coloured fringing, especially when zoomed all the way in.

Note: crop details which appear smaller here are due to them being captured with lower resolution cameras and / or a lens which couldn't focus as close to the chart. In each case though, the crop still represents the extreme bottom left corner of each camera's frame. The Nikon D40 samples show a different portion of the chart because it captures wider 3:2 aspect ratio images, but again the results below still represent the extreme bottom left corners of the frame.

Olympus SP-550UZ
Canon PowerShot G7
Nikon D40
Using DX 18-55mm II
Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Olympus SP-550UZ at 4.7mm f2.8
Canon PowerShot at 7.4mm f2.8
Nikon D40 at 18mm f3.5
Panasonic FZ50 at 7.4mm f2.8
4.7-84.2mm at 4.7mm f2.8
7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm f2.8
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f3.5
7.4-88.8mm at 7.4mm f2.8
Olympus SP-550UZ at 4.7mm f4
Canon PowerShot at 7.4mm f4
Nikon D40 at 18mm f5.6
4.7-84.2mm at 4.7mm f4
7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm f4
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f5.6
7.4-88.8mm at 7.4mm f4
Olympus SP-550UZ at 4.7mm f5.6
Canon PowerShot at 7.4mm f5.6
Nikon D40 at 18mm f8
Panasonic FZ50 at 7.4mm f5.6
4.7-84.2mm at 4.7mm f5.6
7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm f5.6
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f8
7.4-88.8mm at 7.4mm f5.6
Olympus SP-550UZ at 4.7mm f8
Canon PowerShot at 7.4mm f8
Nikon D40 at 18mm f16
Panasonic FZ50 at 7.4mm f8
4.7-84.2mm at 4.7mm f8
7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm f8
DX 18-55mm II at 18mm f16
7.4-88.8mm at 7.4mm f8
Olympus SP-550UZ
Canon PowerShot G7
Nikon D40
Using DX 18-55mm II
Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Olympus SP-550UZ at 84.2mm f4.5
Canon PowerShot at 44.4mm f4.8
Nikon D40 at 55mm f5.6
Panasonic FZ50 at 88.8mm f3.7
4.7-84.2mm at 84.2mm f4.5
7.4-44.4mm at 44.4mm f4.8
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f5.6
7.4-88.8mm at 88.8mm f3.7
Olympus SP-550UZ at 84.2mm f5.6
Canon PowerShot at 44.4mm f5.6
Nikon D40 at 55mm f8
Panasonic FZ50 at 88.8mm f5.6
4.7-84.2mm at 84.2mm f5.6
7.4-44.4mm at 44.4mm f5.6
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f8
7.4-88.8mm at 88.8mm f5.6
Olympus SP-550UZ at 84.2mm f8
Canon PowerShot at 44.4mm f8
Nikon D40 at 55mm f16
Panasonic FZ50 at 88.8mm f8
4.7-84.2mm at 84.2mm f8
7.4-44.4mm at 44.4mm f8
DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f16
7.4-88.8mm at 88.8mm f8

Olympus SP-550UZ results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Noise / Noise 2 / Corner sharpness / Fringe & macro / Geometry / Vignetting
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