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For a digital camera to stand out from the crowd nowadays it has to have some killer feature, so when I got hold of the SP-565UZ to review it didn't take long for me to find it... not one, not two, but three.
On paper it seems fairly run-of-the-mill. Small screen, just 2.5-inches, along with a funny design that makes the camera look off-balance. However, that 2.5-inch screen is superb, very sharp and colourful, this makes it stand out from the crowd. It is also nice that it takes standard AA batteries. Less impressive is the xD memory card slot, the only saving grace is that Olympus included an adaptor to take MicroSD cards which are pretty cheap nowadays, running under £10 for a 4GB card.
The lens on this baby is awesome (number two on my list). It offers a superbly powerful 20x optical zoom. The optics coupled with the 10-megapixel sensor deliver awesome pictures, very crisp, colourful and they retail an excellent amount of detail. Olympus could have crammed even more pixels onto the sensor, but that would have introduced noise, which I am happy to say has been avoided, with 400 ISO images being clean and 800 ISO being more than usable.
Next up is the scene modes and there are plenty, for portraits, family shots, night time, the list goes on. There is even a smile feature which takes the photo when the subject smiles. The killer feature though is the GUIDE... this takes you step-by-step with what settings you need to make to take a particular type of photo.
So, three really nice features that bring this beyond what is normally on offer. I also mentioned that the camera looks off-balance. It is almost as though they missed off some of the left side of the camera. I am happy to say that the batteries address weight balance and the hand grips the camera very comfortably. I really don't want this camera to go back and think it is worth every penny of its £250 asking price.