Olympus SZ-31MR review

Not the best for image quality, but it’s packed with impressive features, including simultaneous photo and video capture

13 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Page 2 of 3Olympus SZ-31MR review


1/2.3in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 24.0x zoom (25-600mm equivalent), 244g

Its huge zoom range doesn't necessarily give the SZ-31MR an advantage over lesser-specified rivals, as maintaining sharp focus in a 24x lens this compact is no mean feat, but it did perform extremely well in our tests. Focus was a little soft towards the right of the frame, but it held together well at the full telephoto extension. Combined with the massive 16-megapixel sensor, this camera excelled at capturing details in distant subjects. It was even better for macro photography, having the ability to focus 40cm away when zoomed right in.

Olympus SZ-31MR sample shot

Details are crisp at the wide end of the zoom... - click to enlarge

The 16-megapixel sensor isn't so well suited to low-light shooting, and indoor shots looked smudged on close inspection. Despite that, these photos were fine when resized to fit a screen, and it displays less noise than many 16-megapixel sensors.

Olympus SZ-31MR sample shot

...and pretty good at the telephoto end too - click to enlarge

Its image quality is good rather than excellent, but the SZ-31MR is a pleasure to use. The ability to take photos and videos simultaneously is a genuine breakthrough that, for many people, will be more valuable than rival cameras' superior image quality, although the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25 and DMC-TZ30 have superior video stabilisation and virtually silent lenses, which make them slightly better at capturing video.

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