Olympus SZ-30MR Brief Review


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  • 16 megapixels
  • Backside-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 24x optical zoom
  • 25 wide-angle
  • Optical image stabilization (sensor-shift)
  • 3-inch LCD (460k pixels)
  • 1080p HD video
  • Simultaneously record video and stills
  • 9fps burst shooting
  • Magic Art filters
  • Max ISO 6400
  • 3D image capture
  • HDMI out
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2011-05-15
  • Final Grade: 86 4.3 Star Rating: Recommended

Olympus SZ-30MR
16 megapixels; Backside-illuminated CMOS sensor; 24x optical zoom; 25 wide-angle; Optical image stabilization (sensor-shift); 3-inch LCD (460k pixels); 1080p HD video; Simultaneously record video and stills; 9fps burst shooting; Magic Art filters; Max ISO 6400; 3D image capture; HDMI out; Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards; Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 9/29/2014

The SZ-30MR is the latest Olympus superzoom, packing a 24x zoom and simultaneous 1080p video/16mp photo recording. It's a significant redesign from their SP line of past years, and looks like it might be one of the thinnest superzooms ever (though still a bit too chunky to be a compact zoom). It's a CMOS-backed camera, which should help boost its high-ISO image quality and will also allow for a speedy burst mode -- 9fps, according to Olympus. Most of these specs are in line with the current superzoom crop, though we're very impressed by the simultaneous video/still capture. As with most CMOS-backed cameras, we expect image quality to be a bit "soft" throughout the focal range -- that's just a side effect of the sensor type, but the bloated megapixel count won't help the cause. It's in the same boat with a lot of cameras this year, and at first glance, it seems to have enough separating it from the pack to possibly gain some extra attention.

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Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

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