A powerful yet compact superzoom with an artistic edge and plenty to offer
Olympus has graced the scene with a compact tele- zoom
camera. The powerful lens reaches across a 24 x optical range, which goes as
wide as 25 mm and as far as 600 mm. this gives plenty of scope when confronted
with challenging scenery, although there were times when focusing did not quite
make the grade and blurry shots were something to get used to. But as the
camera gives you control over ISO (as low as 80) we were able to help speed up
the shutter times to reduce blurring. The three- inch LCD display gave lots of
room to compose images, whichever scene mode was being used. The ease of use and
readily available quick- help guides make the camera ideal for beginners. Modes
such as the fun Magic Filter give you a choice of effects, which include
shooting with a fish- eye style lens, a drawn effect, water colour, the
‘miniature’ effect and a reflection mode for creating perfect symmetry in your
Olympus SZ- 14
Modes such as panorama and 3D are helpful additions, however
the latter is only useful if you have the right device to view it on after
recording. Shooting panoramas in done by taking frames one by one. This can
also be done in an auto mode where you pan across your scene to capture a long
vista, and the camera does the rest of the work. Manual options do not go as
far as aperture and shutter controls, but ISO, white balance and metering
choices are all available.
In terms of overall image quality, purple fringing is
strongly visible along lines of contrast, which tended to be a distraction.
Noise is dealt with substantially, and with ISO ratings starting as low as 80
the camera is good enough for everyday use, with its buttons and switches
feeling firm to the touch. The SZ- 14 is available in deep red, solid black or
metallic sliver, and looks every bit the part with a practical twist.
Hands- on …
The camera feels secure to hold, with a comfortable grip and
bumps in all the right places for fingertips. It is weighty and just about
pocket- sized, making it portable too, so you can take it almost anywhere.
Flash is operated by a button on the side of the lens, so it
is easy to access when you want it.
The enormous 24x optical lens zooms smoothly from wide to
tele, and neatly tucks into the body.
Magic Filters transform normal shots into artistic effects,
such as pin hole and Tish eye.
Program modes keep
hold of manual controls for adjusting setting
How good is it for
Portrait, self Portrait and Beauty modes help capture clear
Versatile zoom range and magic Filter make for creative
A choice of three burst modes for up to 10fps to capture all
Not’s the best night shooter, as images turn out fair soft
Super Macro mode works very well to focus on close objects
What is good about it
A large optical zoom means sharpness is kept through focal
Magic Filter modes allow room for extra creativity with
shots of various subjects
What could be better
Forcusing could be quicker to react, especially in low-
light scenes and indoors
Image quality could be better when coping with high-
A powerful yet
compact superzoom with an artistic edge and plenty to offer beginners
We answer your questions
Does the camera have any modes to improve my portrait
Yes. There is the beauty mode that works to reduce skin
flaws and redness. Also, in playback you can apply Beauty Fix options such as
Clear Skin and Sparkle Eye, for multiple finishing touches, which can all help
to give better portraits.
/ 14 MP
good- quality A4 photos
24x optical, 4x digital
angle to long telephoto zoom range is equivalent to using a 25- 600mm lens.
speeds / 4- 1/ 170 sec
night- time shooting with a four- second blub mode
sensitivity / 80- 1600
range that gives low noise in images in normal conditions
Modes / 16 scene modes, plus i- Auto, Magic Filter, Program, Panorama, Movie.
mode lets you adjust ISO, exposure, white balance and more
modes: A, RE, FI, SS, FOff
216g with battery
106.5 x 68.7 x 19.5 mm
SD / SDHC / SDXC
all- round superzoom camera that takes fine images and will be best for the
action photographer, but also has a versatile array of beginner- friendly