Customer Review

134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality camera that delivers great results, 24 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Olympus SZ-30MR Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 24x Wide Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Length:: 9:18 Mins

This really is one fantastic camera; it's one of the most comfortable cameras I've held to date, it looks really swish and of course it being able to take some really good photos (although for those who like to have the Raw photo files I would like to clarify that this camera doesn't have an option to take them and will only take photos in JPEG format).

If you're the type of person who doesn't like to mess around with settings then you will be pleased to know that this camera has a mode called "Intelligent Auto"; on this mode the camera literally tries to guess what kind of photo you are taking be it a macro shot, portrait or landscape, most of the time it will choose the right one and will deliver a good result.

However, like every other camera, their is only a certain amount it can do by itself and you may find in some cases you will have manually tweak some settings on manual photo mode which surprisingly isn't that scary, or why not select one of the pre-set settings in "Scene" mode, it covers a huge range of different photo scenarios like "Sport", "Portrait" & "Landscape" etc...

One of the biggest features of this camera is of course it's 24x optical zoom, which I have loved from the very start but would like to point out that when you are zoomed in from a certain point it can be tricky to not shake the camera, although the camera has a good image stabiliser, using a tripod and putting the camera on something sturdy will give you the best results.

I have listed some settings/modes below and have explained a little about them which I hope will be helpful:

*Intelligent Auto; This mode is great for those who aren't comfortable in playing around with settings, the camera will try to recognise the type of scene you are in and will adjust the settings for you, in most cases the camera will do a good job.

*Manual Photo Mode; This option is great for those who are more comfortable in knowing what settings they want to change, you can change the type of flash (which you can only access if your flash is out, to do this there is a little switch on the front side of the camera), or edit other settings such as macro, exposure, whitening balance and ISO settings.

In this photo mode you can also choose different burst options which will be nicely grouped when in playback (certain bursts are limited to 5MP). Also note that there are three different types of auto focus's, don't be afraid to play around with these.

*Photo with video clip; Records a video before and/or after the picture taken, I couldn't really see the point of this mode though.

*Multi-Recording Mode (MR); This option gives you the choice of taking a picture/video with a special effect whilst also keeping it's original file, take a picture or video in two different sizes at the same time or take a video/picture in two different angles, this is a great feature for this camera.

*Magic Mode; This setting is more for fun photos, it offers 8 different effects to choose from (Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle & Watercolour).

*Panorama; One of the best features this camera provides, it's so easy to do, just click down the shutter and move the camera from the left to the right at a nice slow pace and once done the camera does the piecing together for you. You can either do a normal panorama or a 360degree one, which ever you choose, to get the best results make sure that you take the picture outdoors (moving objects may hinder the image).

*3D Mode; Take pictures or record video in 3D, I can't comment on this feature as I don't have any 3D equipment in my home.

*Scene Mode; A bunch of pre-set settings adjusted for certain scenario's such as 'Portraits', 'Landscapes', 'Night-Landscapes', 'Documents', 'Cuisine' + more!
I have achieved great results from this mode.

This camera has amazing recording abilities, not only can you record in a whooping 1080p resolution in fine detail which looks FANTASTIC, you can also zoom in WHILST recording up to 24x optical.

The camera automatically focuses as you zoom in, sometimes it may need around a second to full focus after zooming but even at full zoom it delivers great results.

If you're going to be zooming in all the way, a tripod or something sturdy for it too rest on is advisable to avoid a shaky video.

Now for those who love too edit videos this is very important, all videos taken by this camera is in MP4 video format and has no option to change to a different type, so make sure your editing software can support this because my main issue was 'Windows Movie Maker' & Corel VideoStudio Pro X4 (PC) could not support this file and I had to use a video converter before I could even edit it, this was the biggest let down about the camera.

I have included a video but it is rather long (9 minutes 18 seconds), in the video you will see:
00m:00s - 01m:00s Look at the camera & putting the SDHC card/battery into it also.
01m:06s - 08m:30s Run through of all the different modes.
08m:35s - 09m:18s Example of the zoom in record mode.

Overall this is a top quality camera that can take some really good photos, it does come with a big price tag but it has so many good features which makes the money well spent.

** EDIT - 04th August 2011: I have recently received Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11 (PC) and can safely say this specific video suite DOES support this cameras video file output, but still check your current video software as not all of them support this format! **
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jul 2011 10:53:45 BDT
Milad says:
Thanks for taking all that time for writting this review, it really helped me make up mind as I was really confused to what camera I should buy. The video really really helped to see the camera in action. Great Work.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2011 11:41:35 BDT
MyKeyReviews says:
Thank you very much for the comment, I'm really glad it helped :)

Posted on 20 Jul 2011 21:13:43 BDT
sophie says:
Hi. Was just wondering, what video converter do you use to convert the videos?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2011 23:13:14 BDT
MyKeyReviews says:
I personally use Movavi Video Suite, it does the job for me :)

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2011 23:57:20 BDT
sophie says:
thanks :)

Posted on 1 Aug 2011 16:21:46 BDT
The Doctor says:

I was looking in the shops at the SZ10 and thought it looked like a stunning camera and wondered if you had looked at that one as well.

I am considering this as a purchase or maybe the Panasonic FS35 which from looking on Amazon you also have a review of.

If you could only pick one of those cameras what would it be??


In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2011 01:01:35 BDT
MyKeyReviews says:
I personally haven't seen or tried the SZ-10, so I cannot say anything about that.

Panasonic FS35 or the Olympus SZ-20? Now that's a hard decision as I honestly love them both!

If you're going for bargain price while keeping good quality then the Panasonic FS35 is the way too go, it produces fantastic images (when you learn about the different settings properly).

As a whole... the Olympus SZ-20 gets my vote although it's gonna cost you £100 extra, so it's really down to if you are willing to go that much extra for that bit better quality :)

If you have any other questions, feel free :)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2011 07:36:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Aug 2011 07:38:25 BDT
The Doctor says:
Cheers for that

At the moment I was looking for a bargain price camera. The wife has managed to leave my Fuji S9600 in a park (nice little present for someone!) and drop a Fuji A900 which smashed the lens.

With that in mind I was also looking at the Fujifilm T200 as well.

I think the way to go is to get the FS35 and then get something like the SZ-30 at a later date (and just not let the wife near it)!

I've done the whole SLR thing so do not want to go back to lugging loads of equipment about.

Many thanks

Posted on 15 Dec 2011 10:39:59 GMT
Jennagain says:
I am thinking of purchasing this camera - thank you for the detailed review!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2011 14:14:01 GMT
MyKeyReviews says:
No problem and thank you for taking time to comment. :)
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