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 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
242
inc VAT

Page 2 of 2Olympus SZ-31MR review

Specifications

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.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 920,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 24.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 25-600mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,608x3,456
File formats JPEG, MPO; QuickTime (AVC)

Physical

Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 43MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 200 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, DC in, micro HDMI
Body material metal
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 244g
Size 69x106x40mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £242
Supplier http://www.misco.co.uk
Details www.olympus.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3 (wide), f/6.9 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 6400
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets, 2 manual
Additional image controls shadow adjust
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, flexible spot (touchscreen), face detect
Metering modes multi/face detect, spot, AF point
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, panorama, 3D

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