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Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review

The Olympus SH-25MR has a 12.5x optical zoom lens, making it an ideal travel compact camera, Daniel Bell reviews.

| Olympus SH-25MR in Compact Cameras

Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review: Olympus Sh-25mr 3

The Olympus SH-25MR is a compact digital camera, with a 12.5x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, GPS and full 1080p HD video recording. It is available in red, white, gold and black for £189.99.

Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review: Olympus Sh-25mr 2

Olympus SH-25MR Features

The SH-25MR has a 16 CMOS sensor and 12.5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-300mm, and super resolution zoom. There is GPS and Electronic Compass that downloads location data in under 10 seconds.

Shooting modes available are iAuto, 17 scene modes (including Handheld Starlight, 3D Photo and Pet Detection), Beauty, Panorama, Magic Filters and Multi-recording. There are also various high-speed continuous shooting modes.

Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD, with optical zoom available and Movie IS to reduce shake. The SH-25MR can also take pictures at the same time as movie recording, as well as take a photo with a movie clip.

Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review: Olympus Sh-25mr 4

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • 12.5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-300mm)
  • Dual Image Stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460,000 dot touch panel LCD screen
  • GPS & Electronic Compass
  • Full 1080p HD movie recording and HDMI Control
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • Multi Recording functions
  • HDR Backlight Adjustment
  • Available in black, gold, white and red
Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review: Olympus Sh-25mr 5

Olympus SH-25MR Handling

The SH-25MR has a very solid metal body and is also quite heavy. There is a grip on the front of the camera and a ridge on the rear alongside the buttons which also helps to hold the camera firmly. If you've used a recent Olympus compact camera, you'll be used to the familiar menu layout, with basic shooting options, such as ISO, self-timer, white-balance etc. down the right hand side of the screen.

You can set the focus point of the camera using the touchscreen, with Live Guide also available which allows you to change colour saturation, brightness, and image colour (warm to cold). There aren't many other buttons on the camera, with a d-pad and a dedicated movie record button on the rear and mode dial on the top.

The LCD screen is bright and clear to see in most lighting conditions. Olympus haven't provided a CIPA rating for the battery, but during testing we were able to take over 700 shots before it ran out of power. The length of the battery will be reduced by constant use of GPS. The GPS is ready within 30 seconds of switching on.

We tested the cameras performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

Shutter Response   0.175 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.45 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.85 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   1.8 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.1 seconds
Sequential shooting 1
  2.5 fps
Sequential shooting 2
  7.7 fps
High-speed 1
  20 fps
High-speed 2
  60 fps

Both sequential shooting modes record at full 16 megapixel resolution, with the high-speed modes recording at 3 megapixels, although the camera takes a little time to process the pictures.

Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review: Olympus Sh-25mr 1

Olympus SH-25MR Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Olympus SH-25MR Sample Photos

Sample Photos - In landscape mode, the camera is capable of excellent colour reproduction, with superb blues and greens. Portraits are free of red-eye when using the flash but skin-tones aren't the best. Sport mode has been used to gain a fast shutter speed to capture the water drops. The last example was taken using pet detection mode, which automatically activates the shutter when a pets face is detected.

Olympus SH-25MR Lens test images

Lens Performance - The SH-25MR delivers well exposed images, with excellent colour reproduction and purple fringing barely noticeable. Detail is good in the centre of the images, but they are much softer in the corners and edges. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm, which allows you to get close enough to take a decent macro shot with plenty of detail.

Olympus SH-25MR ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 80, with a very slight amount appearing at ISO 100, with a little more at ISO 200, then ISO 400. ISO 800 causes images to become slightly softer with small amounts of detail being lost. This loss of detail and sharpness continues through ISO 1600 and ISO 3200. There is lots of detail lost at ISO 6400, with a very soft image produced. This highest ISO setting is best avoided, unless your images are to be resized for sharing on the web.

Olympus SH-25MR White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent studio lights, the AWB preset has a slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset taking the better image. When using the AWB preset under the fluorescent lights there is a slight green cast, with a magenta cast evident when using the fluorescent preset.

Panorama mode - The SH-25MR takes good panoramas, although if you view them at full size you can see some ghosting on occasion where the images haven't aligned perfectly.

Olympus SH-25MR Other sample images

Olympus SH-25MR Digital filters

Digital Filters - As you'd expect to see on an Olympus compact, there are a range of magic filters available to take some creative pictures, the dramatic filter is particularly impressive, particularly on a cloudy day.

Video - Below is a video shot at full 1080p HD with stereo sound. Optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.

Value For Money

The Olympus SH-25MR is available for £189.99. Other cameras with 16 megapixels and similar zoom include the Nikon Coolpix S8200 (£200, 14x zoom), Sony Cybershot W690 (£179, 10x zoom), Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 (£160, 10x zoom), Nikon Coolpix S6300 (£160, 10x zoom), Olympus SH-21 (£154, 12.5x zoom), Fujifilm FinePix T400 (£119, 10x zoom) and Olympus VR-340 (£109, 10x zoom). If it's GPS you're interested in, there is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30 at £274.99, Canon Powershot SX260 HS at £254.99, Nikon Coolpix P510 at £304.99, Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20V at £322.00 and Leica V-Lux 30 at £484.00.

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.

Olympus SH-25MR Verdict

The SH-25MR has an impressive set of features, which make it an ideal choice if you are looking for a travel camera, with its decent zoom range and GPS capabilities. If you like taking portrait shots, you may be disappointed as we struggled to take any with good skin tones and the SH-25MR's images are fairly soft in the corners. But thanks to its colour reproduction, lengthy battery life and fast high-speed shooting, we are happy to recommend the SH-25MR.

  Olympus SH-25MR Digital Compact Camera Review:
  The Olympus SH-25MR is an ideal travel-zoom with an appealing set of features.

Olympus SH-25MR Pros

Good zoom range
Fast high-speed shooting
Focus point can be set via the touch screen
GPS & Electronic Compass
Lengthy battery life
Excellent colour reproduction

Olympus SH-25MR Cons

Grips aren't made of rubber
Images are soft in corners and edges
Portraits aren't the best


Olympus SH-25MR Specifications

Max Aperturef/3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent24mm - 300mm
Optical Zoom12.5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Spot
  • ESP Light Metering
ISO sensitivity80 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 320x240 QVGA
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsLI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB6 USB Cable, CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable, Hand Strap, Image Management Software

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