Friday, March 30, 2012

Fun, Flexible and Affordable - Olympus SZ-12 Digital Camera Review, Product Images, Photos, Video in NYC

The new Olympus SZ-12 is a compact and super-zoom digital camera that is not only cost-friendly but also packs in a variety of impressive features. The Olympus SZ-12 has a 24x optical zoom, a 25mm wide-angle lens,  a 14megapixel resolution image sensor, a bright 3.0 inch LCD screen, 720p HD Movie Mode along with other fun features to enhance your shots like 3D Photo Mode and Magic Art Filters.

Shots were quick and easy to capture while using the camera on iA (Intelligent Auto) but I also liked having some flexibility and control of the settings by switching over to Program mode as well. 

iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode

Program Mode
Using the camera at its full 24x optical zoom was also a treat. Although it was a bit chilly that day which  made my hands a tad shakier than normal, it did not disrupt the image quality even at maximum zoom. Images appeared vibrant and clear. View the two photos I took of the fruit stand near our store. I shot both of these photos while standing in the same place, one photo with no zoom and the other photo at 24x zoom.

Additionally, the SZ-12 comes equipped with Scene Select Mode, you can choose from Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fire Works, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet (Cat), Pet (Dog), and the camera will automatically choose the best settings for whatever scene you're shooting. For example, the image below was shot on the Scene Select  - Landscape setting. Landscape is meant to emphasize the greens and blues in your photo.

Scene Select Mode - Landscape

You will find that changing your SZ-12 camera settings is very easy to do. Just look to the back of your camera right next to the bright  3.0" LCD screen. Another popular mode the SZ-12 features is Beauty Mode. Beauty Mode makes beautiful portraits by softening shadows and smoothing wrinkles and blemishes on your subject's face. Edits can also be made inside the camera after taking the picture.

If you have a 3D device to view your images on, you can set your camera to 3D Photo Mode and the SZ-12 will take two pictures and then combine them into one image creating a 3D effect. Adding another dimension to your already incredible photos enhances their aesthetic quality and brings the memories to life. 

Of course this camera also offers Panorama Mode, which is becoming a standard feature in the newest point-and-shoot models but for good reason. By panning your camera slowly over the wide landscape or scene you want to capture, Panorama Mode will piece together 3 images into one consecutive composite for you. This allows you to capture the full scene without limiting your shots to the size of one frame. Below is a panorama photo taken of Times Square in New York with the Olympus SZ-12.

Panorama Mode

Another cool feature are the 10 Magic Art Filters built-into this camera. These filters include Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Water Color, Reflection and Miniature. You can choose to add a Magic Art Filter while taking stills OR while recording movies. A simple, one-touch button allows you to record videos with amazing clarity in high-definition, right from your camera. HDMI output and control makes viewing your videos on an HD television simple. Below  are multiple photos taken with each of the different Magic Art Filters.

Pop Art Filter:

Pop Art Filter Image 01

Pop Art Filter Image 02

Pinhole Filter:

Pinhole Filter Image 01
Pinhole Filter Image 02

PinHole Filter Video:

Fisheye Filter:

Fisheye Filter Image 01

Fisheye Filter Image 02

Drawing Filter:

Punk Filter:

Punk Filter Image 01
Punk Filter Image 02

Sparkle Filter:

Sparkle Filter Image 01
Sparkle Filter Image 02

Watercolor Filter:

Watercolor Filter Image 01
Watercolor Filter Image 02

Watercolor Filter Image 03

Watercolor Filter Video:

Reflection Filter:

Reflection Filter Image 01

Reflection Filter Image 02
Reflection Filter Video:

Miniature Filter:

Miniature Filter Image 01

Miniature Filter Image 02
There are only so many places in midtown to get some good shots, after testing over 100+ cameras in the area (gotta stay relatively close to the store!) some of my shots have become redundant due to convenience and time restraints, but thankfully, that's where the Magic Art Filters came in and spiced up my shots! If the scenery gets repetitive (in a bad way) or the weather is drab, you can easily select one of the filters and just like that, your creativity is regenerated and you can start having fun again!

As someone who enjoys shooting subjects close-up, I was impressed by the SZ-12's macro and super macro capability. I was able to get closer than I expected to my subjects while still maintaining image quality. This is also due to the SZ-12's Dual Image Stabilization, which combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to capture crisp, clear images in a variety of situations. 

Macro Mode Image 01

Macro Mode Image 02
Macro Mode Image 03

Macro Mode Image 04

Macro Mode Image 05

Macro Mode Image 06

All of your videos and stills can be recorded onto a SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card. Memory cards have to be purchased separately, of course. You can also share your images wirelessly on your social networks or on your computer if you purchase an optional Eye-Fi card for your Olympus SZ-12 as well. 

More notable specifications include a compact and easy to hold hand grip body, noise reduction, a built-in flash, and a self-timer. The Olympus SZ-12 also comes with a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and battery charger. 

For prices and availability, you can visit our Olympus SZ-12 product page or you can stop by our H and B Digital retail location in Midtown, Manhattan.

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