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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 purple fringing comparison

  To measure and compare the Olympus SP-550UZ's purple fringing caused by lens chromatic aberrations and sensor blooming, we photographed a test chart with areas of very high contrast using it and a number of rival models.

We tested the lenses at their widest and longest focal lengths, and with the apertures wide open. The crops are taken from the upper left corner of the chart and presented here at 100%.

Like the other cameras tested here, the Olympus SP-550UZ exhibits coloured fringing in its extreme corners when photographing high contrast subjects. This can be more noticeable than its rivals in real life examples though as illustrated in our Gallery page.

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 G7 at 7.4mm f2.8
Nikon D40 with 18-55mm at 18mm f3.5
Panasonic DMC-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 84.2mm f4.5
Canon PowerShot G7 at 44.4mm f4.8
Nikon D40 with 18-55mm at 55mm f5.6
Panasonic DMC-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 macro comparison

Olympus SP-550UZ macro test  

To measure and compare the Olympus SP-550UZ's macro performance we photographed a custom chart using it and a number of rival models.

Each camera was positioned at a distance and set to a focal length which delivered the maximum possible reproduction.

The dark lines are 10mm apart and the result is not cropped. Smaller areas are preferred in this test. The image left was taken with the Olympus SP-550UZ.

4.7-84.2mm at 10mm f5.6
Max area of 32x24mm

The Olympus SP-550UZ offers two macro modes and the result above was taken in Super Macro which can focus as close as 1cm. While it is possible to focus this close to your subject with the SP-550UZ, it's very difficult to do so without casting a shadow - so the result above is the best we could manage, although it was possible to get a fraction closer still. Either way, we captured an area measuring just 32x24mm which is better than any of the other cameras tested, although the Canon G7 arguably has identical capabilities. It's an impressive result for the Olympus though, considering its lens also delivers a massive 18x optical range from wide angle to serious telephoto.

Canon PowerShot G7
Nikon D40
Using DX 18-55mm II
Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Canon PowerShot G7 macro test
Nikon D40 macro test
Panasonic DMC-FZ50 macro test
7.4-44.4mm at 7.4mm
Max area of 36x26mm
  DX 18-55mm II at 55mm f8
Max area of 74x48mm
  7.4-88.8mm at 7.4mm
Max area of 60x42 mm

Olympus SP-550UZ results continued...

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