Product Support

SP-560 UZ

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What are the main features of the SP-560UZ?

The Olympus SP-560UZ is an impressive 18x ultra-zoom digital camera. Its 4.7-84.2 mm f2.8-4.5 lens yields a 27-486mm zoom equivalent in 35mm format. To support such a long zoom ratio, the SP-560 UZ incorporates Sensor Shift Image Stabilization that compensates for camera shake by gyroscopically sensing camera movement and constantly repositioning the 8.0 megapixel CCD sensor, resulting in sharper images in challenging shooting situations. Applying the Sensor Shift image Stabilization also enables shooting at lower shutter speeds in low-light situations and using lower ISOs for better image quality.

The SP-560UZ has an option for a 15 frames-per-second burst rate that also features Pre-capture technology. Pre-capture starts shooting images when the shutter button is depressed halfway, saving up to 10 shots in the buffer memory but not writing them to the memory card. The stored images are refreshed continuously until the shutter is fully depressed, at which time the sequence is saved to the memory card along with the frames captured after the shutter button is fully depressed. Pre-capture makes it possible to record moments that pass too quickly for the typical photographer to react.

The SP-560UZ also offers full creative control. In addition to three auto-exposure metering modes, it allows Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual Exposure modes. In addition to standard autofocus, the camera offers Full Time Autofocus, Predictive Autofocus and Manual Focus options. The Macro and Super Macro modes offer extreme close-up capabilities—in Super Macro the lens will focus to 0.4 inch. At that distance, a twenty-five cent coin would fill the frame.

The SP-560UZ also features a Scene mode with 25 preset scenes so settings tailored to specific shooting scenarios can be quickly applied. It can also record videos with or without sound at 30 or 15 frames per second.

Bright Capture technology allows shooting in low-light situations and capturing an image that’s clear and bright without a flash. And with ISOs up to 6400, the camera can capture images in marginal lighting situations.

Images can be framed and played back on either the high-resolution 2.5-inch LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder.

The camera uses xD-Picture Card media for removable memory. Using Olympus brand cards enables the Panorama function. Panoramic images can be stitched together in the bundled OLYMPUS Master 2 software.

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Are any firmware updates available for the SP-560UZ?

Use the Update Camera function in the OLYMPUS Master 2 software packaged with your digital camera to find out whether firmware updates are available for your model. An Internet connection is required to perform the operation.

For detailed instructions on how to update the camera's firmware, click here.

Note: If multiple firmware updates are available for your model, it may not always be possible to update directly from the current firmware version in your camera to the latest available version. In such cases, updates must be applied in stages. For this reason, it is recommended that, after updating the camera firmware, you immediately check again for additional updates. Simply repeat the update procedure to apply subsequent updates.

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How can I download images and movies from the camera to a computer?

Complete instructions may be downloaded by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® software is required to view the file. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version.

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What are the purposes of the different record modes?

The SP-560UZ has numerous quality setting options for capturing and saving the images in camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and then process the images down to lower file sizes later using a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality record modes.

  • RAW is the highest-quality record mode available on the SP-560UZ, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW format all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that may pose complicated exposure problems, such as wedding photography.

    Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. OLYMPUS Master and OLYMPUS Studio contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or updates to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.

    When RAW is selected in the SP-560UZ, there are options for saving a JPEG copy of the image simultaneously at a selected quality setting.

  • SHQ images are the highest-quality JPEG images that can be shot with the SP-560UZ, and they create the largest JPEG files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file’s size by discarding some of its data is called compression. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data. SHQ uses the lowest JPEG compression, with a fixed ratio of 1:2.7. SHQ is the best choice for general photography and for producing large prints.

  • HQ and SQ are lower-quality JPEG formats, which create smaller files than SHQ. Unlike SHQ, the photographer has the option of setting compression ratios for HQ and SQ modes via the camera menu. HQ mode at a low compression is suitable for general photography and printing. SQ mode is suitable for small images in desktop publishing, images to be used on the Internet, and still images made for animated movies.

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What is the purpose of the Scene mode?

The SP-560UZ has a Scene Mode (SCN on the Mode Dial) that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 25 available Scenes can also be applied by controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ.

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What is the purpose of the Quick Shutter scene?

The QUICK SHUTTER scene uses FULLTIME AF autofocus to ensure that the subject in front of the lens is in focus at all times. This reduces shutter release lag time because the camera does not have to focus when the shutter button is pressed.

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How many images can the SP-560UZ hold?

The chart below shows the approximate number of pictures at each available quality mode that the SP-560UZ can hold in its internal memory and on a variety of optional xD-Picture Card™ media. The camera can store pictures and movies in any combination of quality modes. All figures are approximate.

Image
quality
mode
Image size
(H x W)
Compression Number of storable images1
Internal
Memory
xD-Picture Card™ media
47MB 16MB 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB 512MB 1GB 2GB
RAW2 3,264 x 2,448 Uncompressed 4 1 2 4 10 21 43 86 171
SHQ 3,264 x 2,448 Normal 12 3 7 15 31 63 127 255 511
3,264 x 2,176
(3:2)
Normal 13 4 8 17 35 71 143 286 999
HQ 3,264 x 2,448 Normal 23 7 15 31 62 124 249 499 571
3,264 x 2,176
(3:2)
Normal 26 8 17 35 70 140 280 561 1,122
SQ1 2,560 x 1,920 High 19 6 12 25 51 102 204 410 820
2,560 x 1,920 Normal 37 12 24 49 98 197 394 789 1,560
2,304 x 1,728 High 23 7 15 31 62 124 249 499 999
2,304 x 1,728 Normal 45 14 29 59 119 238 476 954 1,881
2,048 x 1,536 High 29 9 19 39 78 156 313 627 1,254
2,048 x 1,536 Normal 56 18 36 73 147 295 591 1,184 2,369
SQ2 1,600 x 1,200 High 46 15 30 61 122 245 491 984 1,938
1,600 x 1,200 Normal 86 28 56 114 228 456 912 1,827 3,553
1,280 x 960 High 68 22 45 90 181 363 726 1,453 2,907
1,280 x 960 Normal 121 39 79 159 319 639 1,277 2,558 4,920
1,024 x 768 High 101 33 66 133 266 532 1,064 2,132 4,264
1,024 x 768 Normal 168 55 110 221 443 887 1,774 3,553 7,107
640 x 480 High 275 90 180 362 725 1,452 2,904 5,814 10,661
640 x 480 Normal 505 165 331 664 1,330 2,663 5,324 10,660 21,323
16:9 1,920 x 1,080 Normal 63 20 41 83 166 332 665 1,332 2,665

1 Capacity will be slightly less than shown if sound is recorded with still images. All figures are approximate.
2 RAW totals assume JPEG DUPLICATE SETTING is set to [OFF]. When it is set to [ON], a second image is saved with the RAW image file. The size of the second image depends on the image quality mode selected for the duplicate. RAW quality mode is not available in the Full Auto or SCN shooting modes, when DIGITAL ZOOM or FINE ZOOM is set to [ON], or when the DRIVE function is set to any value other than Single Frame.

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How much movie recording time does the SP-560UZ have?

The amount of movie recording time depends on the Image Quality mode used to shoot the movies and the length of each shot. The two settings that comprise an Image Quality mode are image size and frame rate. Image size is the resolution of each frame in the movie and is measured in pixels. Frame rate is the number of movie frames that are stored per second of recording time.

The SHQ quality mode uses the largest image size and fastest frame rate, so it produces the highest-quality movie files; however, the files will be larger than recordings of equal duration that are shot using other quality modes.  Therefore, SHQ mode will exhaust storage capacity more quickly.

In movie mode, the SP-560UZ can, in most cases, record continuously for 29 minutes or until the capacity of the storage medium is exhausted, whichever occurs first. When using Standard or Type M xD-Picture Card™ media, the maximum recording time per movie in the SHQ quality mode is 40 seconds.

The chart below shows the maximum continuous movie recording time available in each quality mode when using either the camera's internal memory or Type M+ or Type H xD-Picture Card media. The chart assumes that the memory medium has been freshly formatted.

Image
Quality
mode
Image size
(W x H)
Frame
Rate
Recording time per movie (mm:ss) with Sound1
Internal
Memory
47MB
xD-Picture Card™ media (Type M+ or Type H)
16MB 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB 512MB 1GB 2GB
SHQ 640 x 480 30 fps 00:26 0:08 0:17 0:35 01:102 2:212 4:422 09:252 18:502
HQ 320 x 240 15 fps 02:22 0:46 1:33 3:07 06:15 12:31 25:02 29:003 29:003
SQ 160 x 120 15 fps 09:28 3:06 6:13 12:27 24:56 29:003 29:003 29:003 29:003

1 All times are approximate and are calculated based on storage capacity; they are not a guarantee of battery life.
2 The maximum length per movie when recording in the SHQ quality mode using Standard or Type M xD-Picture Card media is 40 seconds.
3 Using any size/type xD-Picture Card media, the maximum length per movie is 29 minutes.

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Where can I find the documentation for my camera?

The SP-560UZ is packaged with a printed Instruction Manual that includes a Quick Start Guide. If lost, replacement documentation can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® is required to view the PDF files. The software is available as a free download from Adobe's Web site.

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How do I update the camera's firmware?

Digital cameras are controlled by internal software called “firmware.” Firmware dictates the functionality of the product and the features that are available. Some digital cameras have the flexibility to change, improve or add functionality by downloading and applying firmware updates.

Olympus digital cameras are thoroughly tested for full functionality prior to shipment. Updated Olympus firmware versions offer little or no functionality changes; they are typically offered due to changes in electronic components during camera production.

Complete instructions for updating camera firmware may be downloaded by clicking here.

Adobe Reader® software is required to view the file. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version.

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How do I insert the memory card?

To insert the memory card into the camera, do the following.

  1. Power off the camera.
  2. Open the card cover on the right side of the camera.
  3. Hold the memory card so that the gold contact area is facing the back of the camera and the notch is facing up.
  4. Insert the card into the card slot as shown below. Push the card gently straight in until it clicks.

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What are the P, A, S and M modes on the Mode Dial? How are they used?

The P, A, S and M modes are the Advanced Shooting modes.  These are essentially non-AUTO modes that allow the photographer more creative control by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings. Briefly, the Advanced Shooting modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program shooting) – Allows shooting using an aperture and shutter speed set by the camera. In many respects it is similar to the AUTO mode. Unlike the AUTO shooting mode, the program shooting mode allows full access to the menu settings for greater creative control of the camera.
  • A (Aperture priority shooting) – Allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field.  This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens using the up/down arrow buttons.  The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. The Aperture priority shooting mode automatically enables the Exposure Compensation function, which is controlled by the left/right arrow buttons.
  • S (Shutter priority shooting) – Allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake.  This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body using the up/down arrow buttons.  The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speeds are changed. The Shutter priority mode automatically enables the Exposure Compensation function, which is controlled by the left/right arrow buttons.
  • M (Manual shooting) – Allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently of each other. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Exposure is determined by testing or by using a light meter. In the Manual shooting mode, the shutter speed is set using the up/down arrow buttons, and the aperture is set using the left/right arrow buttons. The effect of changes in the shutter speed and aperture are shown on the LCD screen or in the electronic viewfinder. The values of underexposure and overexposure are displayed in the upper right of the screen display where the Exposure Compensation values are displayed in the P, A and S shooting modes.

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When the Mode Dial is set to AUTO, why are some of the menu options deactivated (grayed-out)?

In the AUTO shooting mode, the camera operates with a minimum of input from the user. Many shooting functions are controlled entirely by the camera; the photographer cannot change their settings. Therefore, the menu options that control those settings are deactivated (grayed-out) in AUTO mode.

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The manual says that the SMILE SHOT Scene works in the shooting standby mode. How is the shooting standby mode enabled?

When the SMILE SHOT Scene is selected, it automatically puts the camera into the shooting standby mode. When the camera is in the shooting standby mode, it is waiting to detect a smiling face in the frame. When the camera detects a smiling face, it automatically shoots three shots in rapid succession without the shutter button being pressed. If the shutter button is pressed while SMILE SHOT is enabled, the camera will shoot a burst of three frames whether or not a smiling face is detected.

When SMILE SHOT is enabled, the Self-Timer/AF Illuminator lamp is lit.

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The automatic settings make Night Scene convenient for night shots, but I want more creative control. How should I set up the camera?

The SP-560UZ has numerous options that give the photographer extensive control over exposure factors. Creative night photography involves using the camera’s manual settings.

Two accessories are essential for night photography. The first is a steady tripod or camera clamp to stabilize the camera during the long exposures involved in night photography. The other accessory is a cable release. The SP-560UZ uses the RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release (Item # 260237), which can be purchased from authorized dealers or online directly from The Olympus Store. Click here to order.

The cable release is plugged into the camera’s USB connector. The release button can be locked down for long BULB exposures.

To set the camera up for night shooting,

  • Turn the Mode Dial to the M (Manual) shooting mode. In this mode the shutter speed and f-stop are entered manually—there is no auto exposure. Use the left and right arrow buttons on the keypad to select the desired aperture. Use the up and down arrow buttons to set the shutter speed to BULB. In the BULB setting the shutter will remain open as long as the shutter button is depressed or the Remote Cable Release button is depressed or locked.

  • Find the appropriate WB (white balance) setting for the shot. Because night scenes have mixed light sources, you may have to experiment with different settings to find a desirable color balance. The WB setting, like the rest of the settings listed below, can be found in the CAMERA MENU.

  • ISO is also subject to testing, depending on the exposure time used. ISO 200 or 400 would be a good place to start.

  • FOCUS MODE should be set to MF (Manual Focus) because autofocus isn’t practical for time-exposure night photography. When you close the menu, you will see a focusing scale on the left side of the LCD screen. Use the up/down arrow buttons to manually focus the lens. A great feature of the SP-560UZ is that when you are manually focusing, the LCD screen shows an enlarged area of the image to assist in fine focusing.

  • SHARPNESS should be set to –5. This is the minimum sharpening the camera can apply. Since night images are usually post-processed, it is best to begin with an unsharpened image because each step of post-processing of a JPEG image recompresses the image a little bit, degrading the image.

  • NOISE REDUCT. should be set to ON. Long night exposures create noise and hot pixels because the sensor heats up during the exposure. NOISE REDUCT. exposes a second dark frame with the same exposure time as the original image. The camera then compares the two images and subtracts the noise and hot pixels from the first frame, thereby saving a cleaner image.

It’s a good idea to keep some notes on your tests and final settings for future night shoots. Remember to reset your camera to its normal settings after your night shoot. You can also preserve your settings for future night photography by creating a My Mode profile.

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The SP-560UZ has seven focusing modes. Which should I use?

With seven focusing modes, photographers have great flexibility in setting up the camera for diverse shooting situations. The following descriptions will help you determine the best mode for each shot.

  • FACE DETECT: In this autofocus mode, when the camera detects a face in the image view, it displays a green outline around the face and focuses on it. FACE DETECT is capable of detecting multiple faces and averaging the autofocus.
  • iESP: This is the factory default autofocus mode. The camera itself determines which subject within the screen to focus on. Even when the subject is not in the center of the screen, focusing is possible. However, since the camera has no way of knowing what the subject is, it may not select the intended subject.
  • SPOT: In this mode, the camera focuses on the subject within the AF target mark, which is in the center of the frame. If the main subject is not in the center of the frame, the AF target mark can be positioned on the subject by aiming the camera, pressing the shutter button halfway to lock the autofocus on the subject and then recomposing the shot. Press the shutter button all the way down to capture the image.
  • AREA: When this option is enabled, the AF target mark can be repositioned to numerous points in the frame using the arrow buttons on the four-way keypad. You can shoot at any time in this mode. Pressing the [OK/FUNC] button returns the AF target mark to the center of the image.
  • MF (Manual Focus): Manual focus is set in the FOCUS MODE option in the CAMERA MENU. Manual focus can be used creatively to focus on a specific subject or during time-lapse still image shooting. When manual focus is enabled, a focusing distance scale is displayed running vertically on the left side of the LCD screen or in the electronic viewfinder. The distance setting is controlled by the up/down arrow buttons on the keypad. While focusing, the central area of the image is enlarged for more accurate focus. Pressing the [OK/FUNC] button sets the focus. Pressing [OK/FUNC] again refocuses.
  • FULLTIME AF: This mode keeps the subject in front of the lens in focus at all times without having to press the shutter button halfway. The focusing time is reduced, resulting in much shorter shutter lag. Also, the subject is automatically kept in focus during movie recording.
    When the QUICK SHUTTER Scene is enabled, FULLTIME AF is automatically enabled to reduce shutter lag.
  • AF PREDICT: This is the SP-560UZ application of Predictive Autofocus technology. The camera observes the movement of a subject moving toward or away from the camera and predicts its position at the moment of exposure. When activated, position the AF target mark on the subject and press the shutter button halfway to engage AF PREDICT. When the moving subject reaches the desired position in the frame, press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

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How do I decide which ISO setting to use?

Think of the ISO speeds as film speeds. Low ISOs such as 50 and 100 are better-suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – outdoors scenes, for example. Higher ISOs, such as 400 and 800, would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 or 3200 would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.

The AUTO and Scene modes automatically set the ISO.

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The subject I want in focus doesn’t line up with the AF frame in the viewfinder. How do I get the camera to focus on the subject?

The AFL (Autofocus Lock) function enables the photographer to prefocus on a specific subject, lock the focus and then recompose the image and shoot the picture. To do this:

  1. Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF Lock lamp appears. It is a green dot in the upper left corner of the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder.
  2. While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, recompose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.

At first this may seem to be a cumbersome procedure, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.

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How do I use the different metering modes?

The SP-560UZ provides three metering options that allow the photographer to have greater control over exposure. The metering modes are set in the CAMERA MENU. Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

ESP
ESP metering is recommended for general use. The camera meters the brightness at the center of the monitor and the surrounding area separately to capture an image with balanced brightness. When taking pictures against a strong backlight, the center of the image may appear dark.
Spot metering measures the exposure using a very small area in the center of the monitor and can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness within the area on which the metering spot is centered can dramatically influence the final exposure.
Center-weighted Average metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode when you do not want the light level of the background to affect the exposure value of the main subject.

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What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

Exposure Compensation is enabled by pressing the Up arrow button on the keypad. The values are changed using the Left and Right arrow buttons. Exposure Compensation is disabled by pressing the Up arrow button a second time.

The Exposure Compensation setting is shown on the LCD’s control panel or the electronic viewfinder. It looks like this:

In the example, Exposure Compensation is set to underexpose one f-stop. The function can be set to under- or overexpose up to two f-stops in 1/3-stop increments.

It is important that you set the compensation back to 0.0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed.

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The SP-560UZ has AUTO White Balance, so why is it necessary to have white balance presets?

Having white balance presets grants the photographer more creative control. For one thing, daylight can be warm or cold. On a sunny day, early and late light has a warmer appearance than when the sun is high. The AUTO White Balance option might color correct for that warmth, thus taking away the ambience. Using the Sunny day setting will preserve that warmth. The AUTO White Balance will also diminish the red, yellow and orange colors in a sunset, so it is advisable to use the Sunny day setting when shooting sunsets.

On cloudy days, the light seems colder because the clouds absorb the warmer red and yellow frequencies of the sunlight coming from above the clouds. Therefore, there is a Cloudy day setting in the presets to record the images with a warmer appearance. Creatively, the Cloudy day preset can be used on a sunny day to give images a more “golden” appearance, or it can be used to make a sunset warmer.

The Tungsten light setting compensates for the yellowish color cast of indoor lighting and candle light. The Tungsten light setting should be used for shooting subjects being lit with floodlights, for example, for posting to an Internet auction site. Creatively, the Tungsten light preset can be used outdoors in daylight to make the images appear more blue—giving a surreal feeling of coldness and moodiness.

The three Fluorescent lamp presets provide options for different types of fluorescent lights. These presets are valuable when photographing in business and office environments. It is advisable to shoot test shots to find the correct fluorescent preset for the shooting environment before doing available light photography under fluorescent light.

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With so many White Balance settings available, why and when should I use One-Touch White Balance?

There are many light sources and situations that are not covered by Auto White Balance or the other settings in the White Balance menu. Many noncontinuous light sources, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor and sodium vapor lights, do not have all of the colors of the spectrum. There are also situations in which many different types of lights are used in one environment. These do not neatly fit into what the camera firmware knows about white balance, so it is necessary to “educate” the camera about the specific light balance by shooting a white reference subject such as a white card and saving the data in the White Balance menu as a One-Touch White Balance.

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How should I set up the SP-560UZ to shoot in black and white?

The SP-560UZ always shoots in color; however, a color image can be converted to a black and white or sepia tone image using options in the EDIT menu.

To convert an image to black and white or sepia tone:

  1. In the Playback mode, select the image to be converted.
  2. Press [MENU] in Playback mode, and then open the EDIT menu.
  3. Using the down arrow button, select COLOR EDIT and press the [OK/FUNC] button to open the COLOR EDIT menu.
  4. Press [OK/FUNC] to preview the conversion. The LCD will display four previews: black and white (top left window), sepia (top right), hard saturation (bottom left) and soft saturation (bottom right).
  5. Use the right arrow button to select the conversion mode, and then press [OK/FUNC] to apply the conversion.

The camera will write the converted image to the memory card at the same quality setting as the original image. The original image will remain unchanged.

Note: The saturation options are used to make a color copy of an image with hard or soft color saturation.

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Is it possible to take time-lapse photo sequences with the SP-560UZ?

Yes, the SP-560UZ can be used for time-lapse photography. This technique is useful for photographing moving clouds, flowers opening or wildlife interacting at a feeding station.

The TIME LAPSE function is selectable from the CAMERA MENU when using the P, A, S and M shooting modes. The TIME LAPSE option enables shooting from 2 to 99 images at intervals of 1 to 99 minutes in one-minute increments.

It is recommended to use a tripod or camera clamp to position the camera for the time-lapse sequence. Because the length of a time-lapse sequence may exceed the battery life of the four AA batteries the camera holds, it is also recommended to power the camera with the C-7AU Digital Camera AC Adapter (Item: #200685-410), which is available for purchase from authorized dealers or online directly from The Olympus Store. Click here to order.

In addition, the MF (Manual Focus) mode should be used to prevent the camera from changing focus during the time-lapse sequence.

If the intention of the time-lapse sequence is to convert the images into a movie, use the SQ2 640 x 480 record mode to accommodate the frame rate a movie requires. The finished time-lapse sequence can be converted to a movie at various frame rates using third-party software such as QuickTime® Pro.

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How is Shadow Adjustment Technology applied?

Shadow Adjustment Technology can be selected by pressing the button below and to the right of the four-way keypad.

When Shadow Adjustment Technology is enabled, the camera processes captured images so that the shadow areas are brighter, revealing more shadow detail. The option can be used to shoot backlit or three-quarter lit subjects to make them appear with less contrast in strong daylight lighting conditions. Creatively, the option can be used in any lighting situation. In travel photography, you may choose to have the option enabled at all times. As with any creative option, it is best to experiment to test applications of the feature.

Shown below are two crops of the same view. In the first shot, Shadow Adjustment Technology was set to OFF. In the second, it was set to ON.

Shadow Adjustment Technology should not be used with the Panorama feature because it will only be applied to the first frame.

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How does the LIGHTING FIX function work?

The LIGHTING FIX function is used to “open up” shadow areas in a saved image to show more shadow detail without making any changes to the mid-tone and highlight areas of the image.

To apply LIGHTING FIX:

  1. Set the Mode Dial to the Playback mode, and then select an image.
  2. Press the [MENU] button, and then select PERFECT FIX.
  3. Select LIGHTING FIX, and then press the [OK/FUNC] button. The image to be modified will appear on the LCD screen.
  4. Press [OK/FUNC] again.

The LIGHTING FIX function will make a modified copy of the original image with enhanced shadow detail and save it in the camera memory or on the memory card. The original image will remain unchanged.

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I shot in the RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I’m away from my computer. How can I convert the RAW files to JPEGs in the field?

The SP-560UZ has a RAW editor in the CAMERA MENU that allows the photographer to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode but also to apply white balance, sharpness, contrast and color adjustments to the converted JPEG image.

To edit a RAW file in camera:

  1. In the Playback Mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
  2. Press the [MENU] button.
  3. Select EDIT.The display will show RAW DATA EDIT.
  4. Press the [OK/FUNC] button. The following options are displayed: IMAGE QUALITY, WHITE BALANCE, WHITE BALANCE COMPENSATION, SHARPNESS, CONTRAST and SATURATION.
  5. Apply any changes to be made, and then press [OK/FUNC]. The edited JPEG copy of the RAW file will be saved on the memory card.

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In the FLASH menu, what is the purpose of the SLAVE function?

Even though the SP-560UZ doesn’t have a PC sync cord connector, it can be used with studio strobes and off-camera flashes equipped with slave triggers. A slave trigger will fire a flash unit when it detects another flash firing. When the SP-560UZ's FLASH setting is set to SLAVE, the camera's built-in flash will fire in sync with slaved flash units.

The SLAVE function has 10 power settings so that the camera’s built-in flash can be set from a minimum flash output (1) to full-power output (10). This gives the photographer the option of using the camera flash only as a trigger for the slaved flashes or as the main light, using the slaved flashes for fill light.

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I want to use a lens filter with the SP-560UZ. What is the diameter of the filter thread?

The SP-560UZ does not have a filter thread. The grooves on the interior of the lens front are used to control the lens; lens filters cannot be attached to this thread.

Filters with 55mm diameter can be attached to the SP-560UZ via the CLA-10 Lens Tube Adapter, sold separately. However, it is not recommended because vignetting may occur in the corners of the image when the camera is set to wide angle positions. Images taken with the SP-560UZ while using filters are not supported by Olympus.

The CLA-10 Lens Tube Adapter is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online from The Olympus Store. To purchase the CLA-10 (Item #202104), click here.

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Does Olympus offer any conversion lenses for the SP-560UZ?

Olympus offers the TCON-17 Telephoto Conversion Lens for use with the SP-560UZ. The lens increases the magnification of the subject by 1.7x when the camera is at the extreme telephoto zoom. The CLA-10 Lens Tube Adapter, sold separately, is required to attach the TCON-17 to the SP-560UZ.

Both accessories are available from authorized Olympus dealers or online directly from The Olympus Store. To purchase the TCON-17 Telephoto Conversion Lens (Item #200862), click here. To purchase the CLA-10 Lens Tube Adapter (Item #202104), click here.

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Does the SP-560UZ support the Olympus wireless RC flash system?

A firmware update is required to add support for the Olympus wireless RC flash system to the SP-560UZ.  Firmware version 3.1 introduces support for the FL-36R and FL-50R electronic flashes, the first to employ the Olympus wireless RC flash system.

To acquire firmware updates for your camera, use the Update Camera function in the OLYMPUS Master 2 software packaged with the camera.  Complete instructions can be found here.

Both the FL-50R and FL-36R electronic flashes can be purchased online from The Olympus Store.  To order the FL-50R, click here.  To order the FL-36R, click here.

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How do I use the SP-560UZ with Olympus' wireless flash system?

Complete instructions for using the SP-560UZ with Olympus' wireless flash system can be downloaded by clicking here.

Note: Firmware version 3.1 or later is required to use the SP-560UZ with Olympus' wireless flash system. For detailed instructions on how to update the camera's firmware, click here.

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Does Olympus offer a remote cable release for the SP-560UZ?

The RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release (item #260237) is the electronic cable release for the SP-560UZ.

The RM-UC1 connects to the same USB port on the camera that is used to connect the camera to a computer via the bundled USB cable. The RM-UC1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures.

The RM-UC1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-UC1, click here.

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When I look through the viewfinder, the image does not appear to be sharp. Why?

You may need to adjust the viewfinder’s diopter to your vision. To the left of the viewfinder eyepiece cup is the diopter adjustment dial. While looking through the viewfinder, rotate the diopter adjustment dial until you can see the AF frame clearly in the center of the viewfinder.

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I can’t get a sharp image using the NIGHT SCENE or NIGHT + PORTRAIT scenes. What am I doing wrong?

The NIGHT SCENE and NIGHT+PORTRAIT scenes are meant to take long exposures of skylines and city streets by leaving the shutter open for several seconds. Camera motion while the shutter is open causes blurriness. Therefore, it is necessary to stabilize the camera by bracing it against something solid or – ideally – by using a tripod or camera clamp.

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Sometimes when I’m shooting in dim light I have difficulty getting the camera to focus. What can I do?

Digital cameras autofocus by detecting differences in the contrast between light and dark areas of the image projected onto the sensor. If the light is dim or the image has somewhat flat contrast, the camera may have difficulty focusing.

The SP-560UZ has an AF Illuminator feature that uses the flash to illuminate the subject just before the exposure is made, thereby assuring autofocus.

To enable the AF Illuminator:

  1. Pres the [MENU] button, select CAMERA MENU and then press the [OK/FUNC] button.
  2. Using the down arrow button on the keypad, toggle down to AF ILLUMINATOR.
  3. Toggle right and select ON.
  4. Press [OK/FUNC].
  5. Exit the menu.

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The RAW Image Quality option in the CAMERA MENU is grayed out. Why?

The camera may be using a shooting mode or function that does not support the RAW Image Quality mode. RAW is unavailable when any of the following is true:

  • The Mode Dial is set to AUTO, SCN or Movie.
  • DIGITAL ZOOM or FINE ZOOM is set to ON.
  • The DRIVE mode is set to any option other than Single Frame.

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When I try to select the PANORAMA option in the CAMERA MENU, the option is grayed out. Why?

The PANORAMA option in the SP-560UZ requires Olympus-branded xD-Picture Card media to function. When a series of images are shot while the camera is in Panorama mode, the individual images are “tagged” with information that indicates they are elements of a panoramic image. This information is used by the bundled OLYMPUS Master software to stitch the images together into an almost seamless single image.

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When I have my images printed as 4” x 6” prints, some of the detail at the top and bottom of the pictures is cut off. Is there a way to set up the camera so this doesn’t happen?

In the default setting, the SP-560UZ shoots in a 4:3 aspect ratio, which approximates the shape of an 8” x 10” print. A 4” x 6” print, however, has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

When an image shot in the 4:3 aspect ratio is printed as a 4” x 6” print, some of the image detail falls outside of the printable area defined by the borders of a 3:2 frame. This detail, located at the top and the bottom of the picture, is trimmed off before printing.

Both the SHQ and HQ Record Modes have an option to set up the camera to shoot in the 3:2 aspect ratio. The option is accessed from the IMAGE QUALITY menu. There you will see a blue arrow to the right of each of the Record Modes. Select SHQ or HQ, and then press the right arrow key to view the options available for that mode. When the 3:2 option is selected, the camera will be set up to shoot in the aspect ratio appropriate for 4” x 6” and 3.5” x 5” prints.

The preview image seen on the LCD screen and the electronic viewfinder will show black bands above and below the image, defining the image area of the 3:2 aspect ratio.

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I went on vacation and used several memory cards. Now, when I’m downloading the images onto my computer and trying to save them, I get a message that says, “Image file_name.jpg already exists. Replace it with the new file?” What's going on?

The SP-560UZ has two settings for creating file names for the images it captures:

  • AUTO - Even when a new card is inserted, the folder numbers are retained from the previous card. If the new card contains an image file whose number coincides with one saved on the previous card, the new card’s file numbers start at the number following the highest number on the previous card.
    Put simply, the camera picks up where it left off when naming files.
  • RESET - When a new card is inserted, the folder numbers start at 100 and the file numbers start at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.
    Put simply, the card starts naming files anew beginning at 0001. At some point, the computer will start seeing duplicate numbers. When multiple cards are downloaded in this setting, each duplicate file name will have to be renamed individually or else the like-named files will overwrite their predecessors when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.

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My camera is connected to my TV with the video cable to play back my photos, but I don’t see any images.

Televisions have AV (Audio/Visual) input channels (usually found below Channel 2) to play images and videos from digital cameras and camcorders. Using the TV channel selector, move downward through the channels until you see the camera menu on the TV screen. The display on the camera LCD screen or electronic viewfinder will be blacked out.

If the image quality on the screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output format that is incompatible with the television. In the camera’s SETUP menu, check the VIDEO OUT setting. In North America, the setting should be NTSC. If it is set to PAL, change it to NTSC.

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When recording movies in the SHQ image quality mode, I am restricted to 40 seconds of recording time per movie. Why?

In SHQ mode, the SP-560UZ records movies with VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) and a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Recording this much data, this quickly, requires a large amount of camera memory and a very quick write time.

Olympus’ Type M+ and Type H xD-Picture Card media are high-speed cards and are able to process this volume of information with no loss in quality. Other commercially available media, including Type M and Standard type xD-Picture Card media, are not able to do so. For this reason, this model limits movie recording in SHQ mode to 40 seconds when using media other than Type M+ or Type H cards. The 40-second restriction guarantees that the camera will be able to process the data properly and produce a smooth, error-free movie during playback.

Note: Using any supported memory media, the maximum continuous recording time per movie is 29 minutes.

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