I have had my Olympus E-500 for about a year now, and I really like it. It has plenty of features, does what it is supposed to do, but where I primarily use a camera is while kayaking, changing lenses is not advisable.
The E-500 was my first choice, and I do not regret that choice at all. My second choice was the Olympus SP-550UZ, mainly because of the versatility of the lens.
So I was at the local Wally World the other day, and they had the SP-550 for about $100 or so lees then it was going for last year, and I had some extra money for various reasons, so I broke down and bought it. This is a nice little camera, and it has a lot more features then I expected. When I looked last year I was more interested, and I guess focused on the 18x zoom capabilities, then I was on any of the macro capabilities. Had I thought about it more, I might have gone with the SP-550UZ.
I had the chance to use the camera today in conditions similar to when I am kayaking and I am pretty impressed with the results. I do have a bit of a learning curve, but I think I have a grasp of the basics. I thing I’ll be in real good shape when I get the “My Mode” features set up with what I normally use on the water, and can easily switch between them.
Here are 2 pictures taken together, and I think it only took 2 button pushes to go from the Macro Mode to the the Telephoto full zoom mode.
This was taken very shortly after the picture above, from about 60 or so yards away
I am very happy the results so far, and will probably have the SP-550 as the quick draw camera, and use the E-500 for the heavy lifting.