The Olympus SH-50 was announced at CES in January 2013. It has a 24x optical zoom lens and multiple-axis image stabilisation for both images and videos. It is available in black, silver and white for £249.99.
Olympus Stylus SH-50 Features
The Olympus Stylus SH-50 has a 16.8 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 24x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-600mm. To help keep your images as sharp as possible there is 3-axis sensor shift image stabilisation.
There is iAuto mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. There are also a number of scene modes to choose from as well as manual controls where you adjust the shutter speed and aperture. There are also 11 magic filters including miniature and dramatic. In continuous shooting, the SH-50 is able to record full resolution images at 11.5 fps.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with 5-axis movie stabilisation to counteract blur. The optical zoom is available during recording, you can take pictures during movie recording and you can also record high-speed movies at either 120 or 240 fps.
16.8 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
24x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-600mm)
3-axis sensor shift image stabilisation
3.0 inch 460k dot resolution OLED touch screen
11 Magic Filters
Full 1080p HD 60i/30p HD video recording with Hybrid 5-axis IS
ISO 125 - 6400
3cm minimum focusing distance
Smart panorama mode
11.5 fps full resolution continuous shooting
Available in silver, black and white
Olympus Stylus SH-50 Handling
The Olympus Stylus SH-50 is small enough to carry in a pocket, but is quite heavy which isn't surprising given it has a 24x optical zoom lens. It has a metal body with a good rubberised grip on the front, although there isn't a particular spot for your thumb to rest on the rear.
The top of the camera has a mode dial, zoom rocker, shutter release and on / off switch. There is also a button which releases the pop-up flash. On the rear are movie record, playback and menus buttons as well as a d-pad with an OK button. The d-pad is used to cycle through the camera menus. The shooting settings are down the right hand side of the screen, with the available options listed dependent on the mode you are in. The rest of the settings are available via the menu button.
The 3.0 inch screen has a good resolution of 460k dots making it a pleasure to use when shooting and viewing your images. You're able to set the focus point by pressing the screen - this also releases the shutter.
There is no CIPA rating provided for the battery by Olympus. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - Sequential 1
Continuous Shooting - Sequential 1 with flash
Continuous Shooting - Sequential 2
Continuous Shooting - High-speed 1
Continuous Shooting - High-speed 2
The sequential shooting modes all record in full 16.8 megapixel resolution with the high-speed modes restricted to just 3 megapixels.
Olympus Stylus SH-50 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Olympus SH-50 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash.
Olympus SH-50 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail in the middle but are softer in the corners. There's a little purple fringing and chromatic aberration in places. With a minimum focusing distance of just 3cm, the camera is capable of taking excellent macro shots.
Olympus SH-50 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low with sharp images produced at ISO 125, 200, 400 and 800. Images become a little soft in places at ISO 1600. Image quality significantly decreases at ISO 3200 and is really poor at ISO 6400.
Olympus SH-50 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) produces an image with an orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing much better. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB takes a decent picture, with the fluorescent preset having a slight magenta cast.
Standard Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 500
Wide Panorama | 1/500 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail although there is a little ghosting in places when they are stitched.
Olympus SH-50 Digital filters
Digital Filters - Above are examples of each of the 11 magic filters available on the SH-50.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD resolution. Quality is excellent and the 5-axis stabilisation ensures recording is steady, even when shooting handheld. You can use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
The Olympus Stylus SH-50 packs a large number of extremely useful features such as manual controls, 11 fps continuous shooting and superb optical image stabilisation. With many other travel cameras that have a similar amount of zoom having Wi-Fi and GPS it may be overlooked, particularly as there are also cheaper travel cameras available. If Wi-Fi and GPS is not what you desire in a camera, then the feature set, decent image quality and excellent body will appeal.
The Olympus Stylus SH-50 has an excellent set of features in a well-built compact body.
Olympus Stylus SH-50 Pros
Full 1080p HD video recording
3cm close focusing distance is good for macro shots
Excellent image stabilisation
Full manual controls
11 fps continuous shooting
Solid, well-built metal body
Screen has an excellent resolution
Good detail in panoramas
Olympus Stylus SH-50 Cons
No RAW shooting
No built-in Wi-Fi
Images are soft in the corners