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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.
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 1,030k 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
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 an excellent resolution of 1,030k 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.
|Shutter Response||0.125 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.25 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.65 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.9 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.0 secs|
|Continuous Shooting - Sequential 1||2.6 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - Sequential 1 with flash||1.3 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - Sequential 2||10.6 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - High-speed 1||19.6 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - High-speed 2||61.0 fps|
The sequential shooting modes all record in full 16.8 megapixel resolution with the high-speed modes restricted to just 3 megapixels.
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Olympus SH-50 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/40 sec | f/4.5 | 13.1 mm | ISO 125
Landscape | 1/200 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Trees | 1/100 sec | f/3.0 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Pet Mode | 1/500 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 1000
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
Wide Angle | 1/200 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Full Optical Zoom | 1/500 sec | f/6.9 | 108.0 mm | ISO 125
Digital Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/6.9 | 108.0 mm | ISO 125
Macro | 1/60 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 320
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
1/15 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 125
1/25 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 200
1/50 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 400
1/100 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 800
1/200 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 1600
1/400 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 3200
1/800 sec | f/4.4 | 11.9 mm | ISO 6400
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
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 5.5 mm | ISO 125
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 5.5 mm | ISO 125
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.3 | 5.5 mm | ISO 125
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.3 | 5.5 mm | ISO 125
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
Magic Filter - Fish Eye | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Fragmented | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Pin Hole | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Popart | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Punk | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Reflection | 1/40 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Soft Focus | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Sparkle | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Magic Filter - Watercolour | 1/60 sec | f/4.9 | 17.3 mm | ISO 1250
Dramatic | 1/200 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 125
Miniature | 1/320 sec | f/4.8 | 15.8 mm | ISO 125
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.
Value For MoneyThe Olympus Stylus SH-50 is available for £249.99. All of the major manufacturers have a travel camera in their range with a similar range of zoom. Options include the Samsung WB800F at £209.99, Nikon Coolpix S9500 at £220.00, Sony Cybershot WX300 at £199.99, Canon PowerShot SX280 HS at £239.67, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 at £236.40 and Fujifilm FinePix F900 at £269.00. A lot of the competitor cameras do have built-in Wi-Fi which is lacking on the SH-50.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Buy Online Now
|The Olympus Stylus SH-50 has an excellent set of features in a well-built compact body.|
Olympus Stylus SH-50 ProsFull 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 ConsNo RAW shooting
No built-in Wi-Fi
Images are soft in the corners
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Olympus SH-50 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3 - f/6.9|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 600mm|
|CCD pixels||16Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||15sec|
|ISO sensitivity||125 - 6400|
|Video FPS||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||LI-90B Lithium-Ion Battery|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||LI-90B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB8 USB Cable, Hand Strap, Instruction Manual, World Wide Warranty Card, Olympus Viewer 3 Software CD-ROM|