Review: Olympus SZ-30MR

Review: Olympus SZ-30MR
  • The Olympus SZ-30MR is a compact Point and Shoot camera packed with new and unique features like Multi-Recording (MR)

Olympus's latest addition to their Super Zoom (SZ) series is the new SZ-30MR. It is a compact Point and Shoot camera packed with new and unique features like Multi-Recording (MR), Full 1080p High Definition still and video shooting, 3D, and 24x Super Zoom. Best of all, it is small enough to fit into your pockets and purses.

Design and Build:

The SZ-30MR is a well-built compact camera. It looks good but we're not sure how long that will last as the chrome build could wear off with time. The front facing portion is dark grey with a matte and chrome finish. The body is a little on the bulkier side since it incorporates a large 24x Optical Zoom lens which is also found in similar Point and Shoot cameras like the Sony DSC HV 100V with 30x Optical Zoom and Canon SX 30 with 35x Optical Zoom.

The built of the camera is quite sturdy. The hand-grip on the right enables you to keep a tight grip on the camera and it is very helpful when clicking pictures without a tripod. The rear of the camera has the 3.0" LCD screen set on a hard plastic with matte black finish.

One of the major disappointments in this camera is the lack of a viewfinder. People used to one will take some time to adjust to looking at just the LCD screen.

The top of the camera has the capture button surrounded by the Zoom toggle. Just behind it is the On/Off button. The third is a rotary dial, which allows us to swiftly toggle through the various shooting modes.

On the right of the LCD screen, the first button is the Record button, silver chrome with a red dot in the middle. Below that is the Display button with a small arrow sign, which is a very typical feature in all digital cameras. The menu button and the dial below help you navigate through the different categories of the menu. The dial can be either clicked on all four sides or can also be easily rotated. The rotating becomes easier since it is again very swift and smooth similar to the above dial. The last is the Delete button. This comes with two options, Erase and Cancel, which is again selected through the central dial.

At the extreme right of the device is a flap of hard plastic, the black matte finish of which hides the Micro HDMI and USB ports. The HDMI connects you to HD TVs for viewing your videos in full HD resolution. The memory card slot is at the base together with the battery.

Features and Performance:

To start with, the Olympus SZ-30MR is a 16 Megapixel backlit CMOS sensor that makes it excellent for shooting in low light conditions, so shooting at night now will not be a problem anymore.

One of the most important features of this camera is the 24x Optical Zoom, which enables you to take extreme close-ups without the picture getting pixelated or distorted. This is great for textures and detailing. You can manually adjust the ISO 80 TO 3200, a higher ISO than this range might produce noise in the picture so it is not really advisable.

The most striking feature of this camera, which sets it apart from the rest, is the Multi-Recording function. It lets you take pictures and shoot video at the same time.

Another interesting feature is Olympus's in-built Dual Engine image-processing technology, which enables you to combine images and videos of different combinations, like wide angle and close up or Full HD and normal resolution or a normal mode with a normal filter. This feature lets your imagination run wild, should you happen to be the next big director/photographer in the making.

Another brand new feature is the Eye-Fi card compatibility feature which allows you to upload images wirelessly and instantly to your PC, laptop or even directly to a social networking site like Facebook.        

It also has the option of 3D image capture, which is also seen in the Sony DSC HX 100V. This feature combines two images of a particular object from two different angles giving it the actual feel of a real image. One can just go to the 3D mode and release the shutter from the first shot and then a pan it a little wide and voila! The second image will be taken automatically from a different angle.     

It also has 15 different modes to choose from which includes Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Hand Held Starlight, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet Mode - cat/dog, and Panorama. The presence of the Intelligent Auto will allow the camera to switch the mode since it identifies what you are shooting. The Shadow Adjustment Technology will help in correcting these unwanted shadows from the images.

All modes work very well - except the Beauty mode. Please do not count on this mode to hide your blemishes or your pimples because it just doesn't work. Other than this, the Olympus SZ-30MR works very well in low light conditions especially the mode called Hand Held Starlight enables you to shoot in the dark without any tripod. Perfect for capturing images at a nightclub or a concert.

The Olympus SZ-30MR will let you play with your images and make them all the more fun by using the Magic Filters. There are a total of eight filters, which are Punk, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Drawing, Soft Focus, FishEye, Sparkle and Watercolour. All filters except the Sparkle filter can be used to capture images and shoot videos both in normal and HD resolution.

This camera lets you capture images at 9 frames per seconds (fps) in full 16-megapixel resolutions. This helps you to capture fast moving objects and get every small little detail out of it. Very convenient for shooting moving vehicles, birds flying or even an on-going match.


Due to its compact size, the Olympus SZ-30MR is great for everyday use and makes the perfect travel companion. It gives you a lot of options to choose from and experiment with your image.

The availability of both auto and manual modes help you understand the basic necessities and requirements for capturing the right image. Though, with so many features packed in, Olympus could have made the user interface a little more user friendly as the SZ-30MR can become just a little confusing to navigate.

    In-built image correcting features
    Strong built
    Compact and easy to carry around
    Variety of features and modes

         No viewfinder
         Cluttered User Interface

In the Box:
         USB Cable
         Warranty Card
         User Guide
         Software CD
         Charger with cable
         AV Cables


Price: 4
Design: 4
Wow Factor: 4


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