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Announced in February, the Olympus SZ-10 is part of the Super Zoom range of cameras from Olympus and is available in silver and black with an RRP of £199.99.
The SZ-10 can take panoramic images, 3D photos and has a range of magic filters which make it easy to add creativity to your picture taking. Videos can be shot at 720p HD and allows the magic filters to be applied when shooting movies.
Close-up macro images are possible with a minimum focus distance of just 1cm in Super Macro mode. The SZ-10 can also shoot panoramic images which are then stitched together in-camera.
- 18x wide optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28 - 504mm)
- 14 megapixel sensor
- 3 inch TFT LCD screen
- Dual Image Stabilisation
- 720p HD Movie and HDMI Control
- Eye-Fi Card compatibility
- 3D photo shooting mode
- Magic Filters
- ISO 64 - 1600
- 1cm minimum focus distance
Olympus haven't provided a CIPA rating for the camera's battery but it was charged before testing and was not needed to be recharged. Focus speed it good as well is start-up time, it is ready to go within a couple of seconds of switching on. In continuous shooting the SZ-10 shoots full sized images at about 0.9fps, switching to High-speed 1 yielded 4.9 fps and High-speed 2 gave 10 fps although the image size is limited to 5 and 3 megapixels respectively.
Olympus SZ-10 Lens test images
Wide-angle | 1/160 sec | f/9.3 | 5.0 mm | ISO 64
Full optical zoom | 1/320 sec | f/4.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 64
Digital zoom | 1/320 sec | f/4.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/4 sec | f/3.7 | 11.0 mm | ISO 100
At ISO 64 there is a touch of noise in places and more so at ISO 100. It becomes steadily worse at ISO 200 and at ISO 400, images produced are starting to lose sharpness. ISO 800 produces soft looking images and at ISO 1600, there is a significant loss of detail and sharpness thanks to noise. ISO 800 and 1600 images are likely to be better for web use rather than large prints.
Olympus SZ-10 ISO test images
ISO 64 | 1/6 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
ISO 100 | 1/8 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
ISO 200 | 1/15 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
ISO 400 | 1/40 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
ISO 800 | 1/80 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
ISO 1600 | 1/160 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm
Even in dull, overcast conditions, the SZ-10 is able to take landscape shots with good colour and sport mode is able to capture the water in the air. Although the subject looks a little red, the camera takes good portraits without any red-eye.
Olympus SZ-10 Scene modes
Landscape | 1/100 sec | f/9.3 | 5.0 mm | ISO 64
Landscape with building | 1/100 sec | f/9.3 | 5.0 mm | ISO 64
Sport mode | 1/640 sec | f/3.8 | 12.2 mm | ISO 80
1/125 sec | f/3.9 | 13.8 mm | ISO 100
Below are some images using the full 18x optical zoom lens. The first image was taken using High-speed shooting to capture the batsmens movements. The other images were taken using iAuto mode.
Olympus SZ-10 Sample Photos
High-speed shooting | 1/500 sec | f/13.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 1000
Zoom 1 | 1/250 sec | f/4.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 320
Zoom 2 | 1/250 sec | f/4.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 100
Zoom 3 | 1/250 sec | f/4.4 | 90.0 mm | ISO 160
Panoramic | 1/2000 sec | f/9.3 | 5.0 mm | ISO 640
There were no white-balance issues during testing. Under our studio lights the camera coped well with the AWB just having a slight orange cast in the image under the incandescent lights, with the incandescent preset giving the best image. The AWB has worked perfectly under the fluorescent lights, which a magenta cast in the image when using the fluorescent preset.
Olympus SZ-10 White-balance test images
Awb preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/5 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 100
There are eight creative digital filters which can be applied during shooting, seven of which can be used during video recording.
Olympus SZ-10 Digital filters
Drawing | 1/80 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 640
Fish eye | 1/40 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Pin Hole | 1/40 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Pop Art | 1/40 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Punk | 1/40 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Soft focus | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Sparkle | 1/40 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 250
Watercolour | 1/80 sec | f/3.3 | 6.8 mm | ISO 640
Video ModeThe Olympus SZ-10 shoots videos at 720p HD but doesn't allow the use of optical zoom during recording, when sound recording is also active, which is a shame, but you can use digital zoom. The magic filters available during video recording are Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk and Watercolour.
Value For MoneyThe Olympus SZ-10 is available for around £148.99. Other cameras with an 18x optical zoom lens are the Nikon Coolpix S9100 (12.1 megapixels, £224.99), Fujifilm FinePix S2950 (14 megapixels, £136.99) and the Samsung WB700 (14.2 megapixels, £170.00) The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 (14.1 megapixel, £248.99) and Leica V-Lux 30 (14.1 megapixels, £549.99) both have 16x optical zoom but cost more, especially the Leica.
|The Olympus SZ-10 is an easy to use camera, with good image quality, at a very reasonable price.|
Olympus SZ-10 Super Zoom ProsRubber grips on front and back
Minimum focus distance of just 1cm
High-speed shooting at 10 fps
Good detail in images
Olympus SZ-10 Super Zoom ConsLots of noise in images after ISO 400
No optical zoom with sound in videos
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Olympus SZ-10 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/4.4|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 504mm|
|CCD pixels||14Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Type||Back-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||6.16mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||4.62mm|
|Screen resolution||460,000 dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 3200|
|Video FPS||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||No|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB6 USB Cable, CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable, Handstrap, Instruction Manual, World Wide Warranty Card, Image Management Software|