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Olympus SZ-14 review

A 14MP 24x superzoom camera with HD video for under £200

Our Verdict

For

  • 24x zoom range
  • Effective image stabilisation
  • Easy to use
  • Thin

Against

  • Proprietary USB connection
  • No manual exposure
  • Only 720p HD video
  • Slippery finger grip

Sitting mid-way up the Olympus range of travel-friendly compact cameras, the Olympus SZ-14 sports a good range of features for a pocket-friendly price. A 14-megapixel CCD sensor should provide ample resolution, even for large prints.

Although CCD sensors generally don't perform as well as the newer backlit CMOS technology found in cameras higher up the Olympus range, sensitivities up to ISO 1600 are available.

The headline feature that draws the most attention is the huge 24x zoom range, providing an angle of view equivalent to a 25-600mm lens on a 35mm camera, in a body only 39.5mm thick.

Olympus SZ 14 review

This range is perfect for those on the move, with the 600mm equivalent telephoto zoom being perfect for picking out distant details, whereas the 25mm equivalent wide angle should be ample for shooting in claustrophobic environments and for squeezing plenty of the scene into the image.

A Panorama mode is also included for capturing even wider scenes.

Olympus SZ 14 review

Because holding such a long telephoto lens steady can be difficult at the best of times, the Olympus SZ-14 comes equipped with Dual Image Stabilisation. A sensor shift system keeps things steady when shooting still images, and electronic image stabilisation takes over for video recording, which should help to tame the effects of quivery hands.

In addition to iESP metering, advanced face detection and shadow adjustment technology have both been employed to aid accurate exposures in tricky lighting conditions.

Olympus SZ 14 review

A 3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 460,000 dots provides a clear image for composing and reviewing images, too.

Although many cameras now sport 1080p HD video recording, Olympus has stuck with 720p footage for the Olympus SZ-14. This can be viewed on a suitable HD-ready television via the built-in HDMI interface.

Olympus SZ 14 review

If you have a 3D TV you can also take and view three-dimensional images on the television via the same HDMI connection, although the HDMI cable is not included.

Finally, a range of 11 'Magic' picture-taking modes are included, which create popular special effects in-camera. These range from traditional and popular effects such as Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus and Miniature, to more exotic ones, such as Punk, which reduces the photo to a pink and black high-contrast image. These modes give more scope for creativity.

With a UK price of £199.99, the Olympus SZ-14 is in the same price bracket as the Olympus SH-21, which was announced at the same time, and the Canon IXUS 125 HS, Fuji FinePix F600 EXR and Nikon Coolpix S6200, to name a few

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution14 Megapixel
USBYes
Wide AngleYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyTraveller
Image StabilizationElectronic, Optical
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom24x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Pet Detection, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)216 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Flash Memory Capacity59 MB
Minimum Focus Distance30 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4288 x 3216
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCCD
Total Camera Resolution14.5 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedLI-50B
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Height68.7 mm
Width106.5 mm
Depth39.5 mm
Focal Length4.50 mm to 108 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsWAV, AAC
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Red-eye Reduction
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelSZ-14
Product NameTraveller SZ-14 Compact Camera
Product LineTraveller
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV102080BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Vivid movies and close-ups bring memories of holidays and other trips to life. That's why the latest star of Olympus' compact SZ 'Super Zoom' Series comes with Multi-motion Movie Image Stabilisation (Movie IS) and a massive 24x wide optical zoom lens (25-600mm*). With this powerful new compact, you can zoom right in to shoot close-ups without capturing your own shadow or disturbing your subject. Cutting-edge Multi-motion Movie IS complements it's High Definition Movie capability by reducing blur. It delivers HD movies that are crisp and vivid, even when you're filming moving subjects while walking yourself, for example on the beach with friends and family. With a host of creative Magic Filters you can add a whole range of special effects to your images directly on-camera. The SZ-14 even offers the new Fragmented filter.

Battery Life300 Shot
Package Contents
  • Traveller SZ-14 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable
  • Hand Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Software Media
Display Resolution460000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker