Olympus SP-590UZ

Olympus SP-590UZ


Another new digital camera of note to be released in the last week is the Olympus SP-590UZ.

By far the feature to note on the SP-590UZ is its zoom – an impressive 26x optical zoom which gives those using it the equivalent of a 26-676mm focal range.

Olympus-SP-590UZ.JPGThe Olympus SP-590UZ has a 12 megapixel image sensor, has the ability to shoot in RAW, has dual image stabilization (both mechanical and digital) to stop camera shake at the long end of the zoom and has a 2.7 inch LCD display.

Other features include

  • high speed shooting (up to 10 frames per second)
  • a maximum aperture of f/2.8 to f/5.0 across different focal lengths
  • HDMI viewing of images on HD TVs
  • Face Detection (for up to 16 people)
  • Built in Flash (with wireless flash control if you want to sync it with Olympus strobe flashes)
  • Video at 30 frames per second
  • AA battery power
  • All the normal semi-automatic shooting modes but also Multiple Exposure mode (multiple exposures on the one image), Soft Background Focus mode, and Beauty Mode (softens wrinkles on a subjects face).
  • In camera editing using ‘beauty fix mode’ (again to remove blemishes but also ad a sparkle to the eye of your subject.

The Olympus SP-590UZ will hit stores in March and have a retail price of around $450 USD.

It is already available for pre-order at Amazon.

Olympus-SP-590UZ-back.JPG Olympus-SP-590UZ-top.JPG

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • John June 27, 2011 09:36 am

    From an old & enamored AE-1 shooter...

    The MOVEABLE LCD screen is what turned me off to the Canons, when I bought my SP-560UZ.
    It just looks too fragile! Like something that could easily break & leave you without post-viewing/sharing options.
    (I ALWAYS use the viewfinder when shooting!)

    Plus... AA advantage: If all of your rechargeable AA's run out... the nearest drug or grocery store will ALWAYS have MORE, regular, CHEAP AA's!!!

    Anywhoooo... I'm so thankful for the technology of the digital advantage, of shooting until you're just tired or frustrated & NOT having to worry about film & developing costs!!!

  • sk December 16, 2009 03:43 am

    can anyone PLZ PLZ PLZ PLZ teach me how to use this camera???

  • Richard December 2, 2009 06:45 am

    After checking the 590 and the P90, I bought both but have since returned them, I have decided to go with the Canon Powershot SX20 IS. My Reasoning was the 590 and the P90 had fantastic Zoom however the overall construction was not Quality.
    I now have the SX20 and not only is the Quality in body, but the Zoom is great, pictures crisp, clear, and the colour outstanding..
    Only Con is the manual, terrible, lacking detail and somewhat hard to follow. I downloaded the full manual and it is a lot better. The LCD Screen could be a little bigger it is only 2.5, but is movable.
    This is a great little camera and a great backup to my Nikon D5000.

  • Richard November 20, 2009 10:51 am

    After only a brief look and quick testing, I am not impressed with the overall construction, seems cheap.
    However when the batteries and card are installed it seems a little sturdier. I will test the Pictures tomorrow in daylight.
    I do like the fact one can use the miniSD with and adaptor. I have the option of returning it if not completely satisfied.
    I had found the Nikon P90 better constructed, but lacking in great nite shots. I guess one has to weigh all the options. More later when I can work on all the Menu and all that the 590 has to offer.
    My Dealer tells me that the 590 is now in limited supply and may soon be replaced. I got one of the last 1 of 2 he had in the store, and got a great price.

  • Richard November 20, 2009 03:41 am

    Ho Rob.
    I was unable to see your pictures. I had the nikon P90 but after vacation I took it back as the night shots were terrible. Even with T/pod. Day shots were fantastic.
    I am picking up a 590UZ today and try it for a week. I went to the site you mentioned but could not locate your pictures.
    A reply ASAP would be appreciated.

  • Rob November 19, 2009 07:47 pm

    I've owned the sp-590uz for several months. If you want to see the results of the 26x zoom, then look at wikipedia for taj mahal, and find my picture of the finial on the top. This was taken without a tripod and I wasn't even leaning against anything. You can not only read the lettering, you can see all the shadows and it has good tonal qualities. PHENOMENAL!! I also use the in-camera panorama feature a lot. I will never buy another camera without in-camera panorama. 26mm is nice, and 24mm would be better, but for me, the panorama feature lets me get all the pictures I really want to take. It works vertically (think redwood trees in Muir Woods) or horizontally. In the camera, there are two modes to combine the pictures. There is also a "combine in computer" mode that allows for all sorts of combining possibilities. The only thing I really wish were easier to launch and use is manual focus. It's practically useless, but I'm still considering a E-P2, only it will have a focus ring on the lens. I'm stuck on Olympus at this point. I have an E550, bulky but good at everything and this one. I'm probably going to get a Stylus 9000, which is what I was waiting for when I finally saw the SP 590UZ and bought it, despite the size. Olympus Master 2 software is pretty good, very easy to transfer files, and good with its panorama feature.

    If you're not a panorama shooter, don't knock it until you've tried it. You used to have to buy special cards with the panorama feature enabled, but that is no longer the case for Olympus' recent offerings.

  • tomb August 5, 2009 05:16 am

    Just bought the sp-590uz and for the life of me can't get it zoom to what I would think is 26x. Any ideas?

  • canixy July 20, 2009 06:13 pm

    The Best Optical Zoom, 26x optical zoom 26-676mm is nice. i like my body is smooth and smart camera.

  • Alycia July 16, 2009 11:51 am

    Hello, I am an amature interested in photography and bought a Canon rebel XT did not have the time to learn how to use it or the money to purchase the lens I wanted to zoom and so forth. Now I have sold this camera I am looking to purchase a point and shoot here are my choices for the zoom features and macro also want durable and light weight if possible: Nikon P90, Canon XS10, or the Panansonic FZ28. Can someone please help me decide which one is the best buy. Thanks

  • Jeff June 20, 2009 11:57 am

    Update on my purchase of Canon SX10 IS: I took the camera to southwestern Florida in April and hit many bird photo hotspots. Spent up to a full day shooting almost the whole day. I am very pleased with the camera. This is my first superzoom point and shoot. Before, I shot with a DSLR and, for packing light, a Konica-Minolta A200, which was a nice camera. However, the SX10 is much more capable then the A200, which is much older. I enjoyed not using or needing a tripod! The only problem: manual focus doesn't work really well.

    I used rechargeable NiMH AA batteries in the camera, taking a spare set of four with me every day.. They worked fine- got several hundred shots off a fully-charged set. I recommend the SX10. For the price, I don't think it can be bettered. I'm sure the new Olympus and Nikon superzooms are great, also. Happy shooting to all.

  • Borgward June 19, 2009 07:43 pm

    I got myself a UZ590 as a replacement for my trusty C700 UZ 1.2 megapixels. I considered a Nikon D60 but it was a bit complicated for me. I am impressed with the UZ590, it was a steep learning curve but a great upgrade.
    A great camera, as close a a 'mug' photographer like me cares to go to a DSLR, maybe later.
    Many more features than my old camera, but lots more flexibility too, timelapse, 15 second shutter opening, face detection, improved landscape ability, the list goes on.

  • JapanDave April 20, 2009 09:43 pm

    I have narrowed down my camera buy list to 3 cameras: This one, the Canon Powershot SX10 IS, or the Canon Powershot G10. I'm upgrading from a 3 year old Olympus FE-140 so really any of these models would be quite an upgrade. The G10 is kind of a different animal, so just comparing the two superzooms, which would you guys recommend?

  • Richard April 1, 2009 01:30 am

    Just a Comment, I too am an Olympus fan, but check out the Nikon P90 as I mentioned above. It has MOST of what the 590 has and is much less expensive. It also has a rechargable battery the lithium en-el5, a very dependable battery.
    I am totaly Pleased with this Camera.

  • Robert March 31, 2009 06:49 pm

    I appreciate Richard and Kalis comments, though I still feel reviews should carry such information. I have since contacted the local Olympus representative, who also confirms that the batteries ARE rechargeable and that alternative energy sources may be available. In any case, I shall see things first hand tomorrow.

  • kalis March 31, 2009 10:18 am

    i'm using the SP570UZ and and been using rechargable AA batteries for my camera.. the battery last for at least 350 shots but it totally depend on the usage of the flash and LCD viewing... the more u use the LCD viewing n flash the faster the battery charge hit zero.. but on average, u should get a good 300 shots without any prob.. depends on ur battery's life...

  • hannah March 31, 2009 09:12 am

    I found one website that listed the Olympus 590 uz as waterproof shockproof and dustproof - i am doubtful about this, but if it is then I am all for it!

    While I have no intentions of abusing my camera the reality is that with travel these would be great bonus features for me.

    My priorities are excellent durability (again, preferably water/dustproof) high zoom, great quality in macro and when blown up to large sizes, preferably taking AA batteries, and amenable to some manual adjustment.

    However, I haven't found one that has all of the above PLUS being waterproof/dustproof/etc. Any suggestions?

  • Richard March 31, 2009 09:06 am

    There is always a note in the instructions as well as from the Seller, advising the use of rechargables.

  • Robert March 30, 2009 08:30 pm

    While this camera, the Olympus 590, appears to be exactly what budding beginner-cum-would-be professional might appreciate, I have not seen anywhere on any site covering this new camera any mention or evaluation of the extent to which the 4 AA batteries handle this massive quantity of features and for how long before having to be renewed. Surely a rechargeable would have been in order for such an innovative camera.

  • Richard March 23, 2009 12:01 am

    Hi All.
    I opted to purchase the Nikon P90 instead of the 590. The P90 is very similar to the 590 in many ways and I can say without hesitation this Camera is a Gem in many ways. The pictures are Clear, Crisp, Detailed and although I am still learning this Camera, I can oly praise it. The Zoom is awsome.

    I am used to the double A, Rechagable type power(Fuji) and if not charged properly the P90 Nikon EN-MH5 has a limited life. IT MUST BE charged properly to start with thus giving it a much longer life. Once that is done, it has great staying power.
    I had intended to buy the Olympus 590 but with almost similar Prog,s the P90 is a Great buy, and $150 cheaper than th 590(Canadian) .
    The Nikon comes with a 2year Nikon Warrenty,I got the extended also. The camera Quality is typical Nikon, only con is the dreaded Battery/Card door which one has to watch, its flimsy.
    In My Humble opinion one of the best PS Cameras around.

  • Seb March 22, 2009 02:49 am

    I currently use the SP-550UZ, it's quite a heavy camera but i'm happy with it, looking at this i can see the appeal and if i had the money, would consider replacing it with this
    olympus has really done well with this

  • James February 7, 2009 11:51 am

    Noticed the question about uselessness of this loooong zoom and requirement fora tripod.

    My bride not only wants the 26X zoom she is ordering the 1.7 telephoto extender. Why? She shoots several hundred shots daily - mostly on our property and mostly of birds.

    BTW - she recently spent over $3,000 on a Canon DSLR - 12mgpxl - 1.4 zoom extender and large "L"Series zoom lens and after three weeks of dissatisfaction she tossed it and went back to her point-and-shoot. She has three Canons and is really looking forward to test driving this new Olympus. She never needs nor uses a tripod and gets a lot of satisfaction due to a lot of online recognition of her many posted pictures.

    The only reason - IMO - that the camera makers don't put bigger and more capable CMOS chips in the point-and-shoots is it would de-value their vastly overpriced DSLR and hurt sales and revenue - fact is and as a few already posted image quality from p-and-shoots often is as good as DSLR and could be equal if the makers would put the same conponents inside the camera bodies.

    Anywho, we are looking forward to getting this camera in the house - almost bought the Nikon D90 - glad we're going to try this one first.
    Best to All

  • Richard February 3, 2009 07:18 am

    Hi Jeff.
    I have had Olympus before, but cant say im looking at this camera because of Loyalty. I presently have 3 Fuji, 1 Canon and 1 Olympus.(mostly 5 years old)
    As I said I am selling off all my Cameras, except the Canon G9 and feel the 590 will compliment my kind of usage. I like both the G9 and the 590 for all they give plus the Raw aspect..
    Perhaps you all may think im a camera Nutt, yes in a way I guess, and i do like Photpgraphy, again i think perhaps im a little beyond the amature stage, but FUN is my key word.
    I Smoked in my younger days, so now instead of blowing smoke, the money I save as a NON smoker goes to my Hobbys, Watergardening and Photography, which I enjoy more.
    I need 2 cameras that can be carried and are not too bulky so the 590 and G9 will fit well into an upcomming trip to Hawaii.

  • Jeff February 3, 2009 06:01 am

    richard: do you plan to buy the SP590 because of loyalty and confidence in the brand, or because of what you know about this particular camera compared to others of the same type? I just ordered the Canon SX10 IS, based on the performance reviews and consumer satisfaction. I need a camera for a trip in April, and the Olympus is coming out too late for me to try one out well before I go. I will have time to get accustomed to the Canon camera before I go. I am also getting a Panasonic DMC-LX3, for going light and taking landscape shots.



  • Richard February 3, 2009 01:49 am

    I am an amature user, not overly skilled, but always willing to learn. My first Digital was a Olympus 2100. Best Camera I have ever had and I have 6. Fuji S6000,S7000, S1000. plus some PS low end.(all are for sale, LOL)
    I fully intend to buy the SP590 when it comes out, even when my Wife threatens to remove some body parts, if i buy another camera. Olympus has always been on the forefront of great Zooms, I do hope the 590 will be the same.
    Have to agree with Tom also. I owned a Yashica, with two great lens, which I still have somewhere. It too was the best and when I went to east Africa, went through 35 film packages with great results. I admire those who have the utmost skills with any Camera, however my outlook is Simple, HAVE FUN.

  • Dan January 28, 2009 02:09 am

    I will never buy into DSLR because photography is a supportive, not central, technology in my new media work. DSLRs are just too pricey, unless you have the disposable income (rich) or HAVE to have it for professional reasons. (A good lens set alone sets you back about $6,000.)

    The superzoom cameras are the best solution for someone like me. You get a good tripod and every 2 - 5 years buy another superzoom. No need to change to the right lens and miss a shot. They are improving faster than I had hoped. The SP-590UZ is my next camera unless something better comes along by March!

  • Tom January 25, 2009 12:36 am

    I was at Calumet Photo the other day and asked the guy there the same question.
    His response about the Leica was nice camera for holiday travel,(forgot to ask
    about the Olympus). So I think that someday it may be the style to have an all in
    one camera but the technology is not up to SLR quality "yet."
    I'd prefer an all in one option having come from film days where the weight of a
    bag full of equipment was considerable...Now if someone could invent a tripod
    that sprouts out of the bottom of a camera I'd be very happy...lol.


  • Jeff January 24, 2009 12:48 pm

    Sime: thanks for the reply. I found some more information about the camera, and apparently is does have a manual focus option. The switch is on the lens barrel, not on the back of the body.


  • Sime January 24, 2009 11:56 am

    Jeff, No, But it does have a million other "focus modes"

    • TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection
    • Face Detection AF
    • Spot
    • Standard
    • Macro
    • Super-Macro
    • Predective
    • Single AF

    Hope this helps.

  • Jeff January 24, 2009 03:37 am

    Does anybody know if the SP-590UZ has a manual focus option? I can't see it as a dedicated button option on the back of the camera, and I can't find any information about that option elsewhere. Does the SP-570UZ have manual focus as an option?

    I'm asking this quesiton because I am a long-time SLR shooter, but I have to sell my DSLR and lenses due to fact that I can't carry around that amout of weight anymore (arthritis). I am switching to a superzoom for my wildlife shooting, and I'm leaning toward the Canon SX10 IS, but I want to investgate all of my options thoroughly, before makine a purchase. I am also probably going to get a Panasonic DMC-LX3. Thanks for the help!


  • Sandra January 20, 2009 01:42 am

    Sorry Tom, but I guess I was reading a little more into what you were saying. I didn't realize that some DSLR's are somewhat restricting the control needed by the photographer. However, I do see where we differ in our opinions because you are looking at the advances in the new cameras as dangerous and I am super excited by them. I guess when it comes to our opinions, we are all entitled to what we believe. Now if only I had a spare $450 in March to get this camera.....

  • tom January 19, 2009 11:47 pm

    @sandra: I never rallied against P&S cameras. I am a DSLR fan, that's true, but I don't like my DSLR because it already restricts me from doing certain things manually (e.g. internal flash control). And that's what I see as dangerous! It doesn't matter whether it's a DSLR or P&S camera, I do believe that photographer has to have full control over what is being done.

  • Sandra January 18, 2009 01:45 am

    I think the bottom line to this whole discussion is that DSLR users love their cameras and believe they are the best thing out there and I am sure they are right. However, that does not make photos made by point and shoot users any less interesting or beautiful. I have been using the high end point and shoot cameras since 2001 and I have learned that cameras with more features, megapixels, improvements, etc. only make things easier to get the right shot but it's not the type of camera itself, but the photographer who makes the good picture. I recently got a chance to see a tame whitetail deer and at first I was fit to be tied because I didn't have my trusty SP-560 UZ with me. Not wanting to miss sharing the moment totally, I pulled out my cell phone with a basic 1 megapixel camera and got several lovely shots of the deer that would rival my usual camera of choice. I put the best photo on several websites and of course it was never displayed because let's face it, there is an elitist attitude in the photography community where certain photos would never be considered for competition because of the equipment used. I just think there is room in the photography world for both point and shoot users and DSLR users.

  • tom January 16, 2009 11:57 pm

    I'm sure that P&S cameras will never totally replace SLRs but I'm strongly worried about the number of "features" available in cameras nowadays. Even with DSLRs there are more and more of them and people get confused with tons of functionality - you can see it in this topic too! I see many people around me using automatic modes because they don't understand all the functions of their cameras.

    If you still use manual mode - good for you! I'm just worried that full-manual settings might eventually disappear from the cameras some day when more people will fully trust the better and better automatic algorithms.

  • Kalis January 16, 2009 08:25 pm

    u got that rite silentkills, i use Nikon D40x as well.. and it give me wat is see.. unlike my SP570UZ, especially with the so call crystal clear 2.5" LCD that dun really show me the flaws until i transfer it to my laptop. SLR still rules... but it would help alot if the lenses price drop as well as the DSLR nowadays... :(

  • Billy of Arabia January 16, 2009 06:34 pm

    I have had mu Olympus C765UZ for about 5 years and the SP-590UZ appears to be the perfect upgrade. Even though I would not understand half the features, it gives me the tool to look professional. I want it!

  • silentkills January 16, 2009 05:53 pm

    @ tom
    i dont think point and shoots are ever going to replace slr's. simply because you can put bigger sensors in SLR's. Also you dont have the option to attach a fast lens on your camera like you do with an slr. AND the most important point, the speed of operation, i have still not seen a point and shoot on the market that matches the speed of even the cheapest DSLR.

  • Kalis January 16, 2009 11:29 am

    I'm a SP570UZ user, wit a 20x zoom capability, and i dun need any tripod when i extend the zoom to its fullest, but i do need the tripod when using the shutter priority to shoot long exposures. havent tried 26x zoom yet, but i do wanna see wat this babe can offer. and ronny, that camera would fit and look good on any tripods.
    no way any point and shoot will take over SLR cameras, and no matter wat software the pre-installed inside any cameras, it need an eye that sees beauty to press the button. so dun worry if the camera can do wonders, it still need a human behind it.

  • marilyn l January 16, 2009 09:55 am

    I can only dream of owning this camera

  • Tom January 16, 2009 08:43 am

    I just bought my first digital SLR, a Canon xsi and now I wonder if the SLR will be obsolete soon.
    I saw in a catalog a Leica point and shoot similar to the Olympus. It was more than the Canon but
    it seemed at first glance a better camera and no need to change lenses!
    I'm not an expert but are these new point and shoot going to replace SLR's ?
    I was shooting with a Panasonic FZ-7 and the pictures were amazing...should I have
    bought the Leica or this new Olympus instead of the Canon?

  • Ronny January 16, 2009 01:15 am

    It's got a lot of extras and as long as there are P S A M settings I still call it a camera.

    Only the 676mm is getting a bit stupid. A sturdy tripod with this on top just doesn't look right :)

  • Sandra January 15, 2009 10:58 pm

    I've been reading about this camera for the past week and the only downside I can foresee is that it totally makes my Olympus SP-560 UZ obsolete. Not all of us have the deep pockets it takes to spring for SLR's and the various lenses it takes to make great photos, so I get really excited when I see the vast improvements made to the advanced point and shoot cameras. Tom commented about photographic skills. I don't see where anyone is losing skills by using these cameras since you still have to wade through an ever increasing array of shooting modes to get the right type of exposure for your shots. In fact, I have had to go to the manual controls on many occasions because the pre-programmed scene modes don't always have that exact sharpness or focus I need to get the perfect shot. These new cameras put skilled photography more in reach to the general public and I don't see a thing wrong with anything that helps develop artistic ability.

  • tom January 15, 2009 07:59 pm

    I'm terrified about what a regular camera becomes nowadays. We will have an automatic Photoshop included in the camera in a few years time! Such "shooter" will observe people's faces, look for smiles, suggest different crops to fit everyone in the picture and frame it properly (automatically? Why not?).

    And what happened to photographic skills?

    I'm glad I'm buying myself a Yashica Mat TLR. It's much better to make all the decisions yourself.

  • Reza January 15, 2009 04:17 pm

    I'm completely amateur. I think the 26x zoom does not have any use, when you do not have tripod. Am I correct?

  • Slava33 January 15, 2009 12:55 pm

    I though my 420mm FZ30 had a crazy zoom range, but this is just stupendous! And with a good wide angle range! I wonder how good IQ it is going to have.