Conclusion: At $349 it’s actually a tough segment to satisfy. On one side of the ledger you’ve got buyers wanting plenty of options, features that perform and an expectation that $349 of their hard earned must give them a good return. The other side of the ledger is more about a price that actually represents the SZ-14’s truly great value for its price bracket. So with that in mind, Olympus have done extremely well with the new S-series model.
Conclusion: The Olympus SZ-14 is likely to appeal to you if you are looking for lots of lens power without paying out for one of the top of the range cameras in this sector. By dropping some of the more advanced features Olympus have kept the price down. There is no getting away from the fact that picture quality could be better. How much of an issue that will be to you depends on the size of prints you wish to make.
Pros: Lots of zoom for the price, USB battery charge, movie image stabilisation
Excerpt: The travel zoom compact is still proving popular and Olympus is building a raft of small-bodied, big-zoom, low-cost cameras for 2012. Setting sail in the wake of the SP-620UZ ‘Ultra Zoom’ we reviewed a few weeks back (16 megapixels and 21x optical zoom) comes the more slender SZ-14 ‘Super Zoom’.
Pros: Broad focal range, relatively compact dimensions, good value pricing, reasonably consistent performance from shot to shot
Cons: Scroll wheel at the back is very slippery and it’s hard to arrive at the setting you want without much back and forth, battery life is so-so
Excerpt: The Olympus SZ-14 was released in January 2012 alongside the SZ-11 to expand the Olympus SZ range of cameras and combines a 24x optical zoom lens in a compact body. It is available in red, black and silver for £194.00.
Pros: 24x optical zoom lens, Compact metal body, Magic filters are unique to Olympus, Fast high-speed shooting modes, Decent image quality, In-camera panoramic stitching
Cons: Video recording is limited to 720p HD, Lots of noise at ISO 800 and 1600, No rubber grip on front of camera