33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2014
This camera is a little heavier than the simple point-and-shoot models, and - in that I was backpacking for 5 weeks - I worried about that aspect ... but it fit perfectly into my pocket and performed magnificently. I ordered two extra batteries for it and charged them before I left for the UK but I never had to use them. One 32GB SD card and one battery that I recharged whenever I could find an outlet, and it was perfect. The battery will last for days through hundreds of pictures at the highest setting. I couldn't have been happier with my purchase. I even dropped it quite a few times without it being in a case and ... nothing. I hope I have it forever.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2014
I really love this item, the quality is absolutely amazing. I took some great photos on my recent vacation and I am so glad I had this camera, much better quality than my Iphone, I really couldn't believe it. It's lightweight and has many functions that all cameras should have. If you are thinking about getting a camera that will last, this is the one. I received mine very quickly and it arrived on time with no damage whatsoever. Hope this helps you make your decision. A++
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2013
There are a variety of settings to digitally alter pictures for fun. The software provided has a lot of Photoshop qualities including editing & file storage. The company is responsive when you have a question, I've owned a variety of cameras. To me, this is the best.
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2013
I have only had my SZ15 for a week now but I have played with it off and on and find it a marvelous little point 'n shoot. I have went from a 35mm, down to smaller and smaller digitals thru the years. Decided that they have finally gotten the little ones as good as the SLR size. No, it will not do everything but this little camera is a workhorse. The pictures have been great even in low light (using flash of course). The easy of use is marvelous. And I just love, love, love, the "magic" function. No yellow people as mentioned in one review I read. But you can get them if you want. There's an app for that. LOL Actually it's one of the magic functions. I ran across it by accident. The only bad thing is there is no viewfinder and the LCD is very washed out in direct sunlight but that is typical. But I still can't wait to use this little gem on our next vacation.
45 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
Camera takes too long to focus on subject. My subjects are primarily birds, and the bird is gone by the time the camera is focused. Camera design makes it awkward to hold.
93 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2013
I had read reviews for this camera in many places. Most of them were really good so I decided to try it.
16 megapixel and 24x optical zoom.
Now I am not a camera expert, but I do feel like I can use a camera reasonably well and I am used to using different settings. I can use a camera beyond just point and shoot.
The first pictures I took were in my livingroom. I wasn't impressed with the focus and lighting. So I tried using flash, no flash, indoor setting, auto setting . . hmmm
Well, it was time to go to my daughter's school concert. At the school the kids faces all turned out yellow, I had one picture turn out and I don't know why that one did. (I even brought it home and took the sd card out to look at it on my computer to see if it was just the camera display, nope the pics were terrible).
Then I tried to video. The faces were yellow on the video too. But even worse than that, if that's possible, there is NO stabilization!!!!
Also, when you zoom in and out it does not stay focused and has to re-adjust the focus constantly! So in the middle on the video there is blurry spots where the camera was refocusing. Sometimes school events are hard to take pictures at due to the lighting (it was in the gym & I was in the front row)
So I tried again at home. I had my daughter stand by her granddad. He turned out clear her face was blurry. I manually adjusted the exposure and ISO bypassing all the presets. That sort of helped.
I did not try the camera outdoors. I know some cameras that don't do well indoors do great outside.
The next day I reset all the factory settings and tried one last time to take a picture in the kitchen of my daughter, it was so blurry. That was it, packed it up and took it back.
41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2013
Olympus has had a good reputation in the camera world...or so I thought. My wife bought this camera for me for my birthday, and it is a HUGE disappointment. As another reviewer mentioned, this camera feels like it would break at any moment...light weight plastic construction. When you move the camera in your hand, you can feel something inside the camera move. No joke! Maybe it's the battery? Don't know. But you can sure feel the movement inside whenever you move the camera. The zoom, while 24x is very nice, zooming in is a problem. When zooming on my model, the zoom continues to zoom, even when I've removed the finger from the zoom button! This is true only when zooming in; not zooming out. The result, I have to rezoom back out to get my photo. Very time consuming in the world of taking photos! Also, when zooming past 24x, this camera does not focus...it's very odd. Doesn't even attempt to focus. Not clear what's happening here. I took about 35 photos with the camera, but they are all oversaturated. They were taken out of doors. My cheaper $120 point-n-shoot took truer photos! A freelance graphic designer who occasionally takes photos, I can't use this camera at all. It would make me look cheap, stupid, unprofessional. I really can't express well my disappointment with this camera. Don't buy it. That's it. Just don't buy it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2015
For $90 this is a great digital camera. It still is not as clear as my wife's SLR with fancy lenses, but it fits in my pocket and turns on fast (2 seconds) to take candid shots on the fly.
Here's a few tips for the 'point and shoot' folks who don't want to mess with camera settings too much.
1) use a decent size SD card. 4Gb stores about 400 pictures at the highest setting, or 16 min. of video at the highest setting
2) use the lowest ISO=100 setting (in mode='P'), and everything else on AUTO for best clarity. this camera takes great pics with ISO 100 (see attached: bird was at full 24x zoom, dog was inside w/ flash).
3) when ISO was not fixed at 100, my video would go from bright to dark and back again. Setting the ISO=100 helped that a great deal.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2014
I received my Olympus Stylus as a gift from my husband and I love it! It was to replace a Nikon that I've been using for a couple of years. The Olympus takes much better indoor pictures, plus great pictures outside as well. I was never able to get a successful indoor picture with my Nikon, so I'm loving my Olympus. I won't be missing shots of our grandkids birthday parties anymore. I'm learning to use the zoom feature and have had a great time filming video. The SZ-15 is a good camera for the price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2015
After researching small budget point and shoot cameras I finally bought this one. It is very hard for me to review this product, because my needs are unique.
I only take product photos on a table inside the house, with a three point lighting system. Products such as shoes, bags etc.
I do not know if this camera is "point and shoot" outside in the daylight when taking a landscape, but inside the house it certainly is not.
I had to fiddle with the "P" settings for about 5 hours yesterday before getting taking any marginally decent pictures.
The automatic settings, give me blurry, washed out colors. Even when the picture looks good, magnified at 100% it looks grainy and horrible.
Finally I had to settle for "daylight mode, which adds some color. Underexposure -0.3, and no flash, with an ISO of 600.
It is quite impossible to take near perfect product pictures with this camera.
I have not found a way for the camera to take smaller pictures either. Normally cameras have a basic, normal and fine setting. This thing takes one size in 314 dpi. One good thing about it, the menus are easy to navigate.
I have tried everything. Pretty much impossible to take pictures that are sharp and in focus at 100%. Pictures are fuzzy at 100% magnification in photo shop.
I am using a 3 way lighting system, and nothing works with this camera. I do not think it should be purchased for closeup product pictures.
The best setting I can find is P, sunlight, -0.3 exposure.
Automatic white balance makes all colors look horribly bland.
The most disturbing aspect of this camera is that in between on and off cycles, it takes completely different pictures on the same setting. The variables have not changed. The lights are static and in the same place. The camera settings when the camera was turned off were P, automatic white balance, sunny, exposure -0.3.
I take pictures, then turn camera off, then take camera to office for download to photo shop. Spend about 10 minutes in photo shop with the color correction tools, because pictures are never same color as the photographed item (This camera has huge problems with colors blue and green) Blue and green items are completely off color (no matter what setting is chosen).
After color corrections are made, contrast and sharpness have to be dealt with.
When the camera is turned back on, the settings appear to be the same, but this time around the same photographed item looks different once again. In other words I have to reset camera, and apply my settings again in between on and off cycles. I am reluctant to try any other cameras under $200 because i'm pretty sure they will all be "more or less the same". In other words, one has to spend at least 10 minutes per photo in photo shop trying to make a bad picture half way decent.
I have now spent about 200+ hours with this camera and taken thousands of product pictures. I have always hesitated on whether to purchase a DSLR camera instead, and have not yet selected one. Probably the Nikon D3300 is my first choice at the moment.
Here is my final verdict on the Olympus Sz-16 FOR TAKING PRODUCT PICTURES ONLY.
First of all, I am using a white lighting tent with many daylight bulbs around the tent. More or less light can be added from all sides, and top, and front. All lights are covered with white shower curtain material. This means we can exclude reflections (causing noise and glare).
After trying every shooting mode, with lights changed, with distance from object changed, with ISO and white balance changed, with Spot and ESP changed, these are my conclusions.
1. It is impossible to take a perfect picture without noise even at ISO 100. (little white specs can be seen all over when magnified to 100% in Photoshop).
2. It is impossible to take a crisp in focus picture (maybe 1 picture in 150 will have a perfect focus)
It takes me two uses of UNSHARP mask in Photoshop to get the picture more focused (still not perfect).
It takes me anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to remove all the noise with the SPOT HEALING BRUSH or CLONE STAMP in Photoshop.
I always have to modify the contrast and levels as well as the exposure in Photoshop.
Basically, unless you are fluent in Photoshop, this camera can be a nightmare for people wanting to take good pictures.
I have NOT compared any other point and shoots to this Olympus, which I may do before pulling the trigger on a Nikon D3300.
Any automatic settings this camera offers I.e. Automatic white balance and automatic ISO should be avoided. The picture quality is much worse (I mean from bad to worse).
Pictures look OK when NOT viewed at 100% magnification in Photoshop, but that is besides the point!!
My settings are P, ISO 100~200, Exposure always varies +0.7~1.3.
Obviously I am using a tripod and shooting at different angles and distances.
I have also tried Macro mode at low ISO, and the noise is still present.
Switching between spot or face mode or ESP and metering, does absolutely nothing to solve any quality issues.
In a nutshell, does this camera take product pictures? Yes it does. Does it take good product pictures? No far from it.