TODO alt text

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

The black version of the Olympus SZ-14 supplied for review has a matt crinkled finish applied to the high quality plastics used in its construction.

A metal front plate follows the contour of the body, enhancing the quality feel, but at the same time this surface feels quite slippery, which may affect your ability to keep a firm grip of the camera.

Olympus SZ-14 review

For a camera housing a 24x zoom lens, the Olympus SZ-14 is remarkably thin and light, tipping the scales at only 216g with the battery and memory card inserted.

Battery charging is performed with the supplied USB cable, which can be plugged into any powered USB socket or charger, which should limit the amount of bulky accessories that have to be taken out when travelling.

Olympus SZ-14 review

Unfortunately, Olympus decided to use a non-standard USB cable for charging and image transfer, so care will need to be taken not to lose it. A standard micro USB connection, as found on most mobile phones, would have been a better option for many.

Controls are laid out within easy reach of finger and thumb, and a rotating dial aids quick progress through the camera's well laid-out menu system.

Olympus SZ-14 review

The extensive range of automatic scene programs and 'Magic' creative effects will suit inexperienced photographers perfectly.

Manual control is limited to exposure compensation in Program mode, which may leave more experienced photographers wanting.

Olympus SZ-14 review

A dedicated video recording button, placed next to the thumb rest, is slightly recessed to prevent accidentally filling memory cards with unwanted footage.

Support for Eye-Fi wireless SD cards is also included, which will enable images to be transferred straight to a compatible printer or computer.

Olympus SZ-14 review

The dual image stabilisation system works well in both still image and video modes, keeping the image on the 3-inch LCD screen suitably steady, which aids composition.

Although not the highest resolution screen available, the 420,000 dot screen fitted to the Olympus SZ-14 provides a clear, crisp view when composing, even in bright light. When images are played back on the screen, they often look soft or even out of focus until you zoom in to view them at 100%.

Olympus SZ-14 review

In use the Olympus SZ-14 feels very responsive, starting up and focusing quickly, even at the telephoto end of the zoom range.

A variety of sounds are played back with every press of a button, which can make this camera sound like a very compact arcade game. Even with the sounds turned off, the camera still plays a loud tone when switched on, which can be quite disturbing when shooting in quiet places, such as museums or churches.

Olympus SZ-14 review

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