Olympus SH-25MR review
1/2.3in 16.8-megapixel sensor, 12.5x zoom (24-300mm equivalent), 208g
The SH-25MR is a bit of an oddball. Its 12.5x zoom lens is nothing special by today's standards, with competing cameras having zooms between 15x and 24x. It clearly wants to be seen as part of the pocket ultra-zoom crowd because Olympus lists it under the Traveller section of its website, and the built-in GPS radio for tagging photos goes some way to justifying it.
GPS accuracy from digital cameras can be temperamental, but on the SH-25MR it was impressively accurate. Photos were tagged to within a couple of metres, and sometimes it even managed to get a position when indoors. It has a built-in compass too, but this data isn't recognised by software such as Picasa and Lightroom. A tracking feature created a log of our journey, which was accurately plotted when we uploaded the LOG file to www.gpsvisualizer.com. This feature quickens battery depletion, but the camera helpfully shows a reminder as it's powered down that shows the GPS radio is still active.
An impressively accurate GPS lets you record exactly where you took a photo.
This camera can take up to 38 16-megapixel photos while it's recording a 1080p video. This is an incredibly useful feature, as it means there's no need to think about whether a scene is best captured as a video or photo; you can do both. It's even possible to use the video and photo burst modes simultaneously, with a top speed of 9fps. Another mode captures a photo and a short video, including up to seven seconds of footage from before the shutter button was pressed.
These features make the assortment of panorama, HDR, 3D and creative effect modes seem tame in comparison, but it's all welcome. We imagine they'll be appreciated more than other cameras' manual exposure controls. Selecting P on the mode dial reveals an assortment of conventional controls, and the touchscreen makes it easy to move the autofocus point. Unfortunately, this camera lacks a wheel for setting adjustment, something that's included on many other Olympus cameras.
Selecting P on the mode dial gives you access to plenty of settings, but it's a shame that there's no mode dial.