Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Olympus Stylus SZ-15 Sample Images & Hands On Review

Olympus Stylus SZ-15 Sample Images & Hands On Review

The Olympus' SZ-15's slim design belies its powerful zoom.
Olympus' new SZ-15 somehow packs a massive 24x  optical zoom (25-600(!)mm 35mm equivalent) in a relatively slim, compact body.  With a strong 16 megapixels and a 3 inch LCD screen, this point and shoot will appeal to people looking for the focal length of a bridge super-zoom but hoping for a more compact--and more reasonably-priced--point and shoot.

The SZ-15 also features Dual Image Stabilization, Face Detection and AF Tracking to help capture moving subjects like kids or pets. 


The Olympus SZ-15 is built around a 16 megapixel 1/2.3" CCD sensor with Olympus' Truepic III+ Image Processor, which together help deliver quicker image capture and transfer speeds.  The 25-600mm f/3.0-6.9 lens focuses relatively quickly for such a wide-ranging zoom, and can shoot macro as close at 1.2 inches away.  

The Olympus SX-15 at 25mm. f/3.0 at 1/320 Sec., ISO 400.

Detail of the above at 600mm.  f/6.9 at 1/60 sec., ISO 400.

Another detail at 600mm.  f/6.9 at 1/80, ISO 400.

The camera only offers a somewhat disappointing ISO maximum of 1600, so it's really intended for outdoors shooting.  Of course the pop-up flash helps fill in photos, and I'd venture to say that the camera will deliver better photos with the flash than smartphones with their tiny LED flashes.  Still, I'd recommend learning to use the 2 second delay self timer as a way of countering shutter lag camera shake in low light.

Hands On

The Olympus SZ-15 is quite easy to use, with an intuitive zoom and other basic controls.  Olympus' menu system can get very complicated, but the menus on the SZ-15 are actually not to difficult to understand.  The simple interface on the back of the camera is perfect for likely users of this camera.

Can your smartphone do that?  No way.  Zooming in at almost 500mm. 



Image quality is also quite strong, particularly when compared to smartphone cameras or other weak point and shoot system.  Few cameras offer as much zoom in such a compact form factor, and image quality cannot be compared to larger cameras or DSLRs.   

Very good detail at approx. 70mm.  f/4.3 at 1/50 sec., ISO 200.
For the price, size and features--the long zoom in particular--the SZ-15 delivers great digital images. 


  1. I love the physical appearance of this camera. Its design is too masculine and adds up the color of it. Anyways, I'm always looking for a camera that has a 16MP.

  2. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    sz super zoom olympus
    thank you :)