Olympus SP-590 UZ – A Comprehensive Review of the 26x Superzoom Camera

Looking for a versatile and powerful superzoom camera that delivers exceptional image quality? Look no further than the Olympus SP-590 UZ. With its impressive 26x optical zoom lens, fast autofocus system, and advanced shooting modes, this camera is a favorite among amateur and professional photographers alike. In this comprehensive review, we'll take a closer look at the features, performance, and overall usability of the Olympus SP-590 UZ.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus SP-590 UZ article cover photo

Key Features

Jan 07 2009


12 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the SP-590 UZ

Capturing stunning landscapes, wildlife, and action shots requires a camera that can keep up with your creativity and ambition. Enter the Olympus SP-590 UZ, a superzoom camera that combines high-performance features with ease of use. This camera boasts a 26x optical zoom lens, which offers a focal length range equivalent to 26-676mm, making it perfect for capturing everything from wide vistas to distant subjects. What's more, the SP-590 UZ features a fast autofocus system that can keep up with even the most unpredictable subjects. Let's dive in and see what this camera can do!

Olympus SP-590 UZ Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus SP-590 UZ camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Zoom: impressive 26x zoom lens
Image stabilization: dual image stabilization
Resolution: 12 megapixel resolution
Screen: large 2.7-inch LCD screen
Battery life: long battery life of up to 590 shots
Speed: rapid 14fps burst shooting speed
Memory: compatibility with both compact flash and SD memory cards


Size: bulky and heavy design
Low light performance: struggles in low light conditions
Noise: significant amount of image noise at high ISO settings
Video: limited video recording quality and options
Focusing: slow autofocus system
Manual controls: limited manual control options for advanced photographers
Accessories: few accessories available for customization and expansion

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus SP-590 UZ

Weather sealed
Dimensions116 x 84 x 81mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus SP-590 UZ camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the SP-590 UZ is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeSLR-like (bridge)

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.70" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Olympus SP-590 UZ not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


SP-590 UZ includes a electronic viewfinder with n/a of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus SP-590 UZ has a 12MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Olympus SP-590 UZ has a native ISO range of 64 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jan 07 2009


64 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution3968 x 2976 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus SP-590 UZ camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the SP-590 UZ is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StoragexD Picture Card, microSD Card, Internal
Battery Life
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus SP-590 UZ supports xD Picture Card, microSD Card, Internal with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus SP-590 UZ uses the undefined model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus SP-590 UZ has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Olympus SP-590 UZ boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus SP-590 UZ includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus SP-590 UZ?

The Olympus SP-590 UZ features a CCD sensor

Is the Olympus SP-590 UZ weather sealed?

Yes the SP-590 UZ does have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus SP-590 UZ announced?

The Olympus SP-590 UZ was announced on Jan 07 2009

Does the Olympus SP-590 UZ have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the SP-590 UZ does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus SP-590 UZ?

The SP-590 UZ has a native ISO range of 64-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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