Olympus SZ-30MR Super-zoom camera - Preview BSI 16MP & HD 1080p videos and arsenal of new features
Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:36 AM
Olympus has announced the Olympus SZ-30MR super-zoom compact digital camera.. The camera has a 24x (25-600mm | 35mm equiv.) Wide optical zoom lens. IT can capture Full HD 1080p videos and at the same time shoot Full-resolution (16MP) still images. This functinoality is also referred to as "Multi-recording". Furthermore, the Olympus SZ-30MR support 9fps continuous shooting in its highest resolution, 3D Photo mode, support for Eye-Fi™ card fr transferring images and lost of new goodies. As you can see, Olympus is trying to come up with truly unique cameras, and I have a feeling that the Olympus SZ-30M will be a popular camera. Let's take a look deeper under the hood and see why you should be excited about it.
16-megapixel BSI Sensor
The SZ-30MR features a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, with 16.8-megapixel resolution (16MP effective). I didn't find the info on Olympus website, but the new sensor is a back-illuminated CMOS sensor. We could expect with that much pixels, Oly has surely needed to take advantage of this technology to present a good image quality using this tiny sensor. I also think that we might see many more P&S cameras utilizing the new BSI sensors, at least in the mid-range price range. So bottom line, its good news, but we still want to see how it performs in its full resolution.
Shooting a full 16MP resolution will yield an image of 4608 (w) x 3456 (h) pixels. It is with mentioning that the camera can capture images also in 16:9 aspect ratio at a bit lower resolution of 4288 x 2416. Other resolutions are of course 4:3
25 - 600mm F3.0-6.9 24x Super Zoom Lens
The Olympus SZ-30MR is a super zoom point-and-shoot camera. Despite its thing body, it features a very long, wide angle telephoto zoom lens. With a 600mm focal length you can get really close to your subject and with a wide angle, you can shoot great landscape and group photos. With its compact size, long 24x zoom reach, the SZ-30 MR looks like the perfect traveler's camera. The camera comes with Dual image stabilization mechanisms, which include sensor-shift Image Stabilization and ability to shoot in high ISO sensitivity levels (up to ISO 3200), which enables you to take photos in higher shutter speeds to minimize camera shake.
Although it doesn't offer the same long 28-840mm of the SP-800UZ, it does has its own advantages over other high-zoom P&S cameras.
Large 3-Inch LCD
I must admint that a 3-inch LCD looks huge on a compact P&S camera. At least when I compare it to a DSLR camera. I am a bit disappointed that Olympus decided to go with a 460,000 pixel resolution LCD, I was actually expecting a 920K-dots LCD. I can understand why Olympus has decided to use a lower-res LCD, due to its lower power consumption. So by going with a lower resolution LCD, Olympus was actually able to prolong the battery life (200 shots per charge). We should take into consideration that it also lowers the price and allow other power-hungry technologies to be embedded in the camera.
Worth mentioning that at the some time of the announcement of the SZ-30MR, Olympus has announced the Tough TG-810, which features a 920,000 dot HyperCrystal III LCD. So you can see why I am a bit disappointed not seeing that resolution on the SZ-30MR - again, I can understand Oly's decision.
Probably the most talked about features in the Olympus SZ-30MR camera. The "Multi-Recording" features allows photographers to shoot images at 16MP while they are recording HD movies. But Olympus did more than that. it also allows you to shoot Full 1080p HD videos and VGA movies or wide-angle and telephoto movies, all at the same time. Thsi feature really open a lot of creative possibilities for photographers.
9 Frames Per Second in 16MP
Olympus SZ-30MR can capture image at an amazing burst rate of 9 fps !
I must admit that I didn't see that coming. I have needed to read that paragraph on Olympus press release page two times until this fact sunk. So what a 9-frames-per-second continuing shooting mode is code for? - well, you can take advantage of that speed to capture images that were very hard to capture without that speed. For example, kids playing soccer, a racing boat changing its course, a golf player hitting a golf ball and many other type of fast moving subjects. Bottom line, I am happy to see that Olympus has brought another USEFUL feature to its range of Point-and-shoot digital cameras.
Olympus couldn't have done that without the dual TruePic III+ image processor. The dual TruePic III+ is responsible for that speed of operation, ability to shoot 1080p Full HD movies and enjoy many of the Olympus SZ-30MR creative possibilities.
Record Movies in Full HD 1080p
While other super-zoom digital compacts only feature 720p videos, Olympus takes the SZ30MR a step forward by offering 1080p FULL HD video recording. The camera also comes with a HDMI socket so you can connect your camera directly to your HDTV and watch your videos directly on the HDTV display.
The Olympus SZ-30MR can capture images at 3D Mode. The camera does that by capturing two images on after another. You will need to take the first shot and than pan the camera to one side until the camera captures the second shot. At the end of the process, you will get a .MPO file that preserved the data and can be views on 3D HDTV and laptops. The process is very easy to achieve. To activate the 3D shooting mode, just set the dial of the camera to "3D Mode" and star shooting 3D images!
I am personally not a huge fan of the 3D technology, but I think that it has a great future a head of it. Some people like it and take advantage of it and some don't. Even so, it seems that many new camera, both DSLR, mirrorless and P&S are taking advantage of that new hype.
Other Features Worth Mentioning
Eye-Fi SD Card compatibility - The Olympus SZ-30MR is compatible with the Eye-Fi SD card, which can add Wi-Fi capabilities to your camera. With a Wi-Fi card you can upload your images directly to your computer or even share images online a few moments after you have taken them.
Magic Art Filters - The Olympus SZ-30MR features some very cool in-camera image retouching art filters. Those filters can be applied to your photos and videos too. Some of the filters which are included are : Pop art, Pin hole, Fish-eye, Soft focus, Drawing, Watercolor, Sparkle and Punk. Fun and Cool filters to play with and get attention from your friends and family.
Smart Panorama - Easily shoot Panoramic images by just panning the camera slowly from side to side. This feature enables you to shoot panorama pictures without the need to take sequenced shots and stitch them together using photo editing software.
Shadow Adjustment Technology - DSLR photographers are more familiar with this technology. The Shadow Adjustment technology brighten up dark shadowed areas and bring the details from overexposed areas. It happens many times that you shoot with available light and you don't have control over the available lighting conditions nor you have a strong flash to bring out the shadow details out. The Shadow Adjustment technology suppose to do just that. It will help you get beautiful shots even in high contrast shots.
Overall the Olympus SZ-30MR is a very interesting and fun camera to use and a great addition to Olympus super-zoom digital camera lineup. You don't get a 840mm reach as other super-zoom cameras, but you gain a camera full of new and update features. Don't forget the backlit CMOS sensor, 1080p HD recording, 9fps burst and the big LCD screen. The camera looks very thin (106.3 x 68.7 x 39.5 mm) and stylish. It weight only 226 grams. The SZ-30MR is compatible with SD/SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
source: Olympus press centre
What do you think about the new SZ-30MR?
Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:06 PM
Posted 02 July 2011 - 06:15 PM
Adalheida, Olympus already got the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 super telephoto zoom lens.
Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:08 PM
1. Compact and stylish body
2. 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor
3. 24x optical zoom lens covers 25-600mm equivalent range
4. TruePic III+ image processor
5. Dual Image stabilization (sensor-shift + digital)
6. 3.0-inch LCD screen
7. High sensitivity settings up to ISO 6400
8. Intelligent Auto
9. 8 Magic Art filters, including three new options; Watercolor, Sparkle, and Punk
10. New 3D still image mode
11. Full 1080p HD video capture
12. SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot (Eye-Fi compatible)
13. Li-ion battery pack (up to 200 shots) Olympus SZ-30MR
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