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Olympus Stylus SH-50 - The First Compact Camera

1/23/2014 11:25:10 AM
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The Olympus Stylus SH-50 has a huge 24x zoom, which no other manufacturer has been able to match in a compact camera.

It has five-axis optical stabilization, which should reduce blur in photos and videos. We didn’t notice a huge advantage when taking photos, but the effect on videos was clear. Wide- angle clips glided smoothly as we panned around a scene, and remained stable when we jiggled the camera.

Olympus Stylus SH-50

Another useful function is the ability to record videos and photos simultaneously. With the SH-50, you can just hit record and continue to take up to 10 photos.

With such impressive video features, it’s reassuring that video quality is up to scratch. Details were precise and crisp, though not quite up to the Canon SX280 HS’s standards, with colors rich and punchy. Low-light clips were noisier than the Canon SX280 HS’s but retained more detail in subtle textures.

With the SH-50, you can just hit record and continue to take up to 10 photos

With the SH-50, you can just hit record and continue to take up to 10 photos

The Stylus SH-50 performed well for photographic duties, too. It captured a photo every second in normal use, amply aided by responsive autofocus. Continuous shooting was the best we’ve seen from a pocket ultrazoom camera, managing 11.4fps for 17 frames, and taking just five seconds to save them and go again. Other options include indefinite 2.6fps capture, and 60fps shooting at a reduced 2.7-megapixel resolution.

A strip of icons down the right-hand side of the screen provides quick access to important functions. We’d have liked a wheel to adjust exposure quickly. However, we’d gladly trade this in for the SH-50’s touchscreen, which is extremely useful for moving the autofocus point - which isn’t possible on many of the SH-50’s competitors.

The Stylus SH-50 performed well for photographic duties

The Stylus SH-50 performed well for photographic duties

Image quality is perhaps the SH-50’s weakest area, but it still ranked above average. The huge 24x zoom helped it to excel at telephoto shots, although it wasn’t so impressive at more conservative focal lengths. Focus appeared to be sharp but the camera used excessive amounts of digital sharpening, which made dense textures such as foliage look slightly artificial. Noise levels in low light were reasonably well controlled.

Considering the amount of technology crammed into this camera, it’s a shame that Olympus hasn’t thrown in GPS and Wi-Fi. That would have made it a six-star product. On balance, the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is the better camera, but the Stylus SH-50 remains a tempting alternative.

It’s a shame that Olympus hasn’t thrown in GPS and Wi-Fi

It’s a shame that Olympus hasn’t thrown in GPS and Wi-Fi

Specifications

·         Rating: 5/6

·         Megapixels: 16 megapixels

·         Sensor size: 1/2.3in

·         Viewfinder: None

·         LCD screen: 3in (460,000 dots)

·         Articulated: No

·         Touchscreen: Yes

·         Optical zoom: 24x (25-600mm)

·         Optical stabilization: Optical, lens based

·         Orientation sensor: Yes

·         Maximum resolution: 4608 x 3456

·         File formats: JPEG; QuickTime (AVC)

·         Video resolutions: 1080p at 30fps, 1080i at 30fps, 720p at 30fps, VGA at 30fps

·         Slow motion video modes: 720p at 120fps (1/4x), 432x324 at 240fps (x)

·         Maximum video clip length: 29m 0s

Controls

·         Exposure modes: Program, manual

·         Shutter speed range: 15 to 1/2000 seconds

·         Aperture range: f/3-8.7 (wide), f/6.9-20 (Tele)

·         ISO speed range: 125 to 6400

·         Exposure compensation: +/-2 EV

·         White balance: Auto, 4 presets, manual

·         Additional image controls: Shadow adjust

·         Manual focus: No

·         Closest macro focus (wide): 3cm

·         Closest macro focus (Tele): 0.4m

·         Auto-focus modes: Multi/face detect, center, flexible spot, tracking

·         Metering modes: Multi, center, face detect

·         Flash modes: Auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction

·         Drive modes: Single, continuous, self-timer, panorama, HDR

Physical

·         Card slot: SDXC

·         Memory supplied: 39MB internal

·         Battery type: Li-ion

·         Battery life (CIPA): 300 shots

·         Connectivity: USB, A/V, Micro HDMI

·         Wireless: No

·         GPS: No

·         Hotshoe: No

·         Body material: Aluminum

·         Accessories: USB cable

·         Weight: 270g

·         Size (H x W x D): 64x112x42mm

Buying information

·         Price: $360

·         Supplier: www.olympus.com

 

 
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