116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2013
It was probably a stupid thing to do, but I'm glad I did it. I'd been looking for a new camera for a while, but no matter what brand or price of camera, the reviews all had a few negative comments that made me reconsider my purchase. So when Amazon posted the Olympus Stylus SZ-16 for advance purchase months before it's release, I decided to take a chance - no reviews meant there couldn't be any negative ones.
I'm really very please with the camera - the zoom is amazing, the shutter is fast, it does really well in low-light situations - I've rarely need the flash. Plus it has some fun features, for taking "dramatic" or "pop art" photos. Also has setting for fireworks, sports, and two pet modes (Camera automatically snaps a pic when it recognizes the face of a dog or cat - I mention this because this feature amuses me, I haven't tried it yet.)
Way back in high school I bought a Pentex SLR which I used for years, and took great pictures, but it was difficult to lug it, plus the lenses and flash around, and when digital came along, I switched to point & shoot. My pictures where never as great as those taken with my SLR, and I had assumed that I had lost whatever "it" was that helped me take great photos. With my new Olympus Stylus, I have "it" back. Turns out that the right equipment helps make a great photographer. (And how lucky are my all my Facebook friends to be regularly treated to my awesome photos? - Actually, I'm appreciative of their indulgence of me.)
My one little quibble is that the USB cable port is behind a small door on the side of the camera that has a rubber hinge. I'm not optimistic about that hinge lasting the useful life of the camera.
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2013
I just received my camera today. This review is actually to correct an answer I received from someone. There is no list of what you get in the camera box. Here's what you get:
1. the camera
2. camera safety cord - long enough to wrap around your wrist - not your nect
3. 1 Li-ion battery (not charged when you get it)
4. CD ROM with 84 manual about the camera; software to view the pictures / video you've taken; software link to register your camera with Olympus
5. a. USB AC Adapter cord - install the battery which is not charged in the camera. Connect the cord to the AC adapter and let it charge the battery inside the camera. It takes about 3 hours to charge.
5. b. USB AC Adapter cord is also be used to download pictures and video from camera to your computer. This is also used
6. Quick start printed instructions
7. Warranted from Olympus printout
I wanted this information before I bought and it wasn't available. I hope it helps you.
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2013
My husband wanted a small camera that he could use to take photos (as well as video) on a trip to Hawaii, some upcoming weddings, and to shoot reference photos for paintings that he would create at a later date. He is notorious for not wanting to spend much money on something, and then later regretting that he chose something that didn't have enough of the features that he needed.
On this occasion, I was happy that he didn't just go for the cheapest thing out there - he actually did a tremendous amount of online research and spent a little more than his normal budget, and he is THRILLED with this camera. Part of his joy comes from that fact that this camera performs as well (and sometimes better) than cameras on which we have spent far more in the past (including a semi-pro digital video camera we spent over $1,000 for about 12 years ago).
Granted, the video function has some drawbacks: the zoom is VERY harsh (not smooth/subtle at all), and the sound drops out momentarily during the split second zoom. However, that being said, the digital stabilization is VERY good, which is a big help in situations without a tripod. (Obviously, the farther out you are zoomed, the shakier your shot will be no matter what you do.) The zoom feature is surprisingly robust, with very good quality - great for nature shots, and at weddings where you are far away from your subjects. My husband loved the fact that there is a grid feature for the viewer that allows you to keep a straight horizon line (for video and photos), which has always been a struggle / pet peeve for him.
The settings on this camera are helpful: he utilized the "sunset" setting very successfully in Hawaii and got shots that rivaled (and sometimes surpassed) those from my $1,000+ Canon20D digital. I, personally, find menu-based controls too confusing, and I thought that he would, too (he has very short patience for technical things), but he mastered the menus/functions extremely quickly, so maybe I would be able to learn them, as well, if I was sufficiently awake?
I also thought that this camera would be too small for my husband's hands - I know that I struggled a bit to keep a grip on it, being spoiled to the rubberized grip on my Canon - but he doesn't seem to have a problem. (He DOES keep the long neck strap that he bought for it around his neck at all times for safety.) I noticed at the Olympus website that there appears to be an accessory you can get that provides a grip and attaches to the bottom of the camera - this may be worth investigating...
As with all digital camera preview windows, it is often impossible to see whether you are getting your shot when you are in bright conditions, but we were both astounded when reviewing our photos/video on the computer later at how often shots came out not just well, but beautifully, when the preview window made it seem as if they would be washed out.
One small negative (but not enough to take away from the 5 star rating) is that the latch on the battery door is not spring-loaded, so the door will not stay closed if you do not move the latch to fasten it. I am spoiled to my Canon's spring latch, so I have to be VERY careful when loading the battery into the Olympus. And as will most digital cameras, the door hinges on the compartments for the ports are very delicate/tricky, but if you are sufficiently patient/careful, they aren't a problem.
All in all, my husband feels that this is one of the most satisfying purchases that he has ever made. He recommends this camera without hesitation.
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2013
I'd like to start off that the customer service was amazing with very fast responses!
I bought this great camera because I wanted one that had a nice zoom without the bulkiness of a big camera. I was at my daughter's softball game and sitting from the bleachers, I zoomed in close enough to see her face when she was batting. It takes excellent pictures from far away. The pictures don't come out grainy when you zoom in and print them out.
The camera is very light weight and has many options/features. I'm still trying to navigate through those so I can't really comment on it. My main buying incentive was the price, the zoom and overall size of the camera. I bought it in white because I have a white iPhone and iPad and wanted everything to match.
This camera has exceeded my expectations. I hope you find this review helpful. Good luck!
44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
The Olympus Stylus SZ-16 has good and bad features.
1. Excellent zoom quality for such a relatively small camera.
2. Great image stabilization.
1. One can take rapid fire pictures; however, there is a recording delay
of 2 -3 seconds before one can take another shot if you are taking single shots.
2. It requires six steps to delete an image.
3. No printed manual included. Only a CD is included.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2015
First, let me say that this camera fills a very specific niche. Its not a compact pocket camera, and its not a super zoom (by current standards) bridge camera either. It is in between, a mid-size, if you will.
This camera is an upgrade for my Olympus VG-180 (originally purchased for only $59 on Amazon which actually costs quite a bit more now), which was my favorite compact among others i have had including a Canon powershot, Nikon Coolpix, and Kodak EasyShare.
The reason I ended up with it is because I was looking for an "upgrade", but something smaller than my bridge camera for portability on walks and runs...but given that these nature runs are outdoors, i did not want to sacrifice a long zoom or 1080p video (both features lacking on my VG-180). Many of the less expensive compact cameras still have CCD sensors and are limited to 720p video. The more expensive ones have CMOS sensors and will allow for 1080p...and most of the less expensive compacts typically have a 5x to 12x zoom.
At the time I am writing this review, I can say that there is just simply no better bang for the buck in a camera that I could find with these features. For $140.00 you get a camera with CMOS sensor that does 1080p video and has a 24x zoom...in a comparatively small form factor. Also you get the intuitive Olympus interface, and excellent outdoor performance, that I have long been a fan of after trying so many compact cameras.
*Excellent Picture quality for the price
*Audio recording only mono
* No View finder
*Screen Resolution is middle of the road by todays standards
*Charger included plugs in the wall and uses a cable connected to the camera to charge, instead of standalone charger.
*The lens "fit" is a bit loose, and tends to "move around" a bit when the camera is shaken (noticed this while running with it)
*Does not save RAW format
I am attaching some images taken with the camera. These images were all taken around the same time of day, before sunset. The image of the duck was from across the lake almost at full zoom and my camera hand stabilized against a railing. I am also attaching an image taken of a tree in the sunlight so you can see the dynamic range and how the camera handles sun flares.
All images are using default settings (except i switched to "fine" compression, the default is "normal"), and no images were post processed. Also keep in mind, I do not claim to be a pro photographer by any stretch...but I do like to get creative.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2013
This is such an underrated camera -true Olympus is not the best known brand and they certainly don't make much fuss when launching a new line of cameras, but even here the comment list is so scarse-.
I've owned a few camera's up to date (Nikon, Panasonic, Sony) and I'll have you know that this one is, without a doubt, the best one I ever had.
It has so many features (panorama, fish-eye effect, pop art effect, and such), a beautiful design (metal and stained Reflex Camera-like plastics) and a wonderful image quality): much much better than its Sony, Panasonic and Canon counterparts (especially looking at cameras from the same price-level).
If you doubt between this and one of the mentioned other brand... go for it! I can guarantee you: you will not be disappointed.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
First, I am a home inspector and use my camera a lot, I mean, a very lot. It's not uncommon for me to take 150 pictures a day, six days a week. I have owned four different models of the Panasonic Lumix cameras with optical zooms from 12X to the latest 20X. The Panasonic takes good pictures, however, after about six months of use, all of the cameras had issues focusing when zooming past 12X. Two have gone back for repair and were not much better when returned. I switched to the Olympus for the zoom and price point. This has been a great camera. The zoom and focus works flawlessly, all the way out to 24X. I have not had one issue with focusing and the pictures are very clear. I estimate I have 2,000 pictures on this camera so far without a issue. If you are looking for a good, affordable point and shoot camera, give this camera a look. I don't think you will be disappointed. Last thing, pick up any other point and shoot camera and hold them like you were going to take a picture. They are terrible, nothing to hold onto. Then pick up this camera, it's easy to hold, point and shoot. Enough said. By the camera, you'll like it.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2014
This is with out a doubt the best point and shoot camera I have ever owned. I hike daily in the mountains and take a minimum of 40 pictures every day from wild flowers to action shoots of wildlife, and the results are amazing. A large DSLR camera would be just too large and cumbersome to carry, and the SZ-16 fits in my coat pocket comfortably. Shooting on automatic gives you fantastic images whether you are shooting macro or telephoto. By experimenting with the different setting you can get very close to professional results. The image stabilization feature is somewhat loud when taking 1080 video but when shooting long telephotos it does an amazing job. Most low light conditions are handled automatically and I very rarely ever use the manual pop up flash. The camera is that smart. I suggest purchasing an additional battery and plug in charger so you always have a backup. Our friends look at these images and ask what kind of DSLR camera I bought. I have four friends who have purchased this camera after seeing our results and they are all thrilled with the camera. It seems that Olympus is going backwards on the new model camera. I have friends with the newer model and they get nowhere near the results we get with our SZ-16. We highly recommend this great little camera.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
I bought this camera for my wife for Christmas.
This camera is fast and very user friendly. It takes wonderful indoor pictures with or without using the flash. Outdoor pictures have been limited due to the winter weather, but what I have taken so far turned out great. It is fast enough to catch the grandkids doing what they do, and they are quite quick little buggers.
The battery life is quite good. I purchased a charger and 2 batteries to supplement the original.
I would recommend this camera to anyone serious about good pictures at a modest price.
It also has many different settings for the photographer who likes to experiment and fiddle around with stuff.
I believe so far that the only drawback is no viewfinder. That would be handy in bright sun when the LCD screen is hard to see.