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on October 6, 2012
I have had several Olympus cameras and had good luck with all of them. Received the SZ-31MR just before a trip to Victoria, BC in September. Beautiful weather and the city was still green with lots of flowers. This trip was really a great opportunity to test the versatility of the camera, macro for the flowers, various wide angle and telephoto for harbor scenes, legislative house by day and night, scenery pictures from a drive in the mountains, etc. etc. September is a beautiful time of the year to visit Victoria by the way. I tried out the "hand-held starlight" with impressive results. Obviously the results are better if the camera is supported, but did get some great night shots of lit buildings, street markets, etc. Impressed with the versatility of the camera, optical zoom is very impressive for something this small and light, even digital zoom is good in day light. For a fit in your pocket, light weight, pretty much do it all camera, I can't think of a better one. I have also used the "pet mode" to get some great pictures of our dogs!
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on March 31, 2013
I needed a camera with strong optical zoom, that could take decent lower light photos on cruises, about the neighaborhood, and sometimes pinch-hit with video. This is my second camera from Olympus, the last being a 1996 D-500L. (Which still works and for a .85 mega pixel unit does very well.) The optical zoom is quick. The ability to get around auto-focus and tap the video screen is one feature I consider key to enjoying it. Where some cameras struggle to focus, this one is able to lock onto whatever I touch, if it is stuck at all. The dial for primary modes is handy and prevents the need to deal with the menu most of the time. The secondary rotary dial helps speed through secondary menus and such. The video quality was surprisingly good, and though I will continue to use my dedicated camcorder for most video needs, this one provides an alternative I don't feel any hesitation to use. The ability to instantly start video recording from a secondary button is excellent. The burst photo modes are handy and work well. I can use this camera and have confidence that if I hit the shutter button the photo is there. There is some lag with displaying the results, however you quickly learn to ignore the lag and just shoot pictures. The camera is fast and powerful enough that you do not need to worry, you just shoot. Put a 16 GB SD card into this camera and just fire away. I found myself taking far more photos that turned out vastly better than a 10 mega pixel Kodak I replaced with this device.

No, this isn't as tiny as some pocket cameras nor as connected as phones. But if you seriously need to have why tiny cameras or phones are lousy for even slightly thoughtful photography, you don't need this camera or to read this review. I would buy this camera with high confidence, even some of the lesser models in the line. Though in this case, you get all features. I can see this camera working hard for fully three or four years.
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on November 1, 2013
A lot of research went into buying this camera and it was worth the time. We have a DSLR camera with multiple lenses, but it is never available when you need it. It is just too bulky to carry everywhere. The SZ31 is slightly bulkier that the basic point and shoot, but is an excellent size and wieght for everyday use. We compared the SZ31 with a basic Canon point and shoot with less zoom capability. Take into consideration that the Canon was $50 less and is a couple years older.

Picture comparisons. All pictures taken without a tripod:
View Finder: The Canon has a view finder as-well-as the LCD screen. However, the LCD screen must be turned off to preserve AA battery life. There is no on-board charger The Olympus has only the LCD screen, but has a stronger battery and on-board charging.The battery lasted through a day of shooting.
Sea plane at approx 1+ miles: Canon photos blurred-barely distinguish the plane. The Olympus was clear with mid zoom.
Outdoor group photos: Canon had some blurred photos. Olympus was sharper and more vivid even though the user was shaking.Flying stink bugs were very clear.
Distance group photos: All Canon shots were blurred. The Olympus was much sharper with better color.
Beach pebbles in/out of the water: The canon took a decent photo of the beach pebbles, but the pebbles in the water were washed out. The Olympus pictures appeared as though you were looking through Polaroid glasses. The pebbles in the water were very vivid.
Panoramas: The Canon could not take panorama. Individual shots had to be stitched on a computer program. The Olympus has a meter showing the progress of the spanning. The panoramas were excellent.

The photo software program that comes with this camera is excellent and relatively easy to use. It is one of the best we have found.

Our relatives using the Canon were amazed and enjoyed the features of the SZ31. They are now converts.

There are a few improvements that Olympus could have made. A viewfinder would be an advantage for telephoto shooting. Only one clip for a hand strap is on the camera. a second one with a neck strap would be helpful. Finally, the full out zoom seemed to blurr.

We purchased a couple of accessories. The Case Logic DCB-302 camera case fits the camera like a glove for ease of carrying. It has room for memory cards and extra batteries. There is no room for extra cords or an accessory battery charger. We also purchased an accessory kit from Davismax (Amazon) that includes 2 Halcyon 1500 mAH batteries (standard battery is 1000 mAH), an AC/DC charger, LCD screen protector and a worthless tripod. Note, we bought this value package knowing we would not use the tripod. We also have two HS memory cards.

We will update this as we get to know the camera better.

Update: My wife took our first video along with the still shot. Both the video and the still were excellent along with sound. She was ecstatic! Still lovin' this camera.
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on May 15, 2012
Just got it went out took pics. all the magic senes are great. I just know I'm going to have fun with this camera. FYI: Order an extra battery at least one. It uses the battery very fast with I guess all the features. I did and an extra charger both are inexpensive on amazon. The charger that comes with the camera has to plug in through the camera. The charger I got for extra battery just goes in charger much easier esp. if u were using one while charging the other. Love the camera. Hope this helps.
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on June 30, 2013
Just got a job and so I saved up as much money as I could to buy myself a nice little camera, and this is the one I chose! It's absolutely fantastic with great settings. Not only is it easy to use, but it takes some beautiful pictures. The "MAGIC" modes are great fun and add such a nice effect to photos.

During the Supermoon, my mom and I compared photos. She has the OLYMPUS OM-D with all these fancy lenses, and I used this Olympus SZ-31mr (black one). My photos turned out much better than hers, and she was quite jealous she couldn't get any to look like mine! I HIGHLY recommend this camera to anyone and everyone who is just looking for a point-n-shoot camera that ALSO takes amazing photos.

One more thing: the video has great quality as well, and you can even add in magic effects as well! The panorama is great. Just, everything is great. I'll always get an Olympus over any Nikon or Canon.
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on December 25, 2012
I love this camera. I just got it today #Christmas and I have fallen in love with this camera. So far the features are great and work great. The only feature I have not figured out yet is the high speed sequential shooting thing. I just never got the time to try to figure it out. But I kind of need to figure it out for cheerleading and gymnastics. Any ways I love this camera; great zoom; amazing in lower light; good features!!!! I would really recoment this to any one that does like nature pictures because this is good with taking in all of the beauitiful color. This is also for the people that do sports and take videos of themselves to make sure that they got the routine or stunt. Guilty of that ;) All around great!
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on November 13, 2013
This small camera feels wonderful in my hand as it has more heft than the smaller pocket cameras, and the grip is very comfortable. The multitude of features available with this camera make it a fun one to use when out and about, and I love being able to just grab and shoot as the moment strikes me. I have yet to learn by doing, all that this camera is capable of, however just returned from a vacation where I used it in various settings and it worked well. The super zoom is a great feature, and I used it often, and had the camera "on" a lot and it was still easy on the battery. I am not very astute with cameras, so wanted one that would be an easy out-of-the box camera with lots of potential. The panorama feature is fun, and the numerous settings provide many options for special effects. Videos are a simple push-button feature, and I loved that I could take photos will taking videos. I really like that the pop-up flash is in the center of the top line of the camera and not at a corner where fingers could rest, as is the case with most other pocket cameras so you will not find yourself holding down the flash when the camera is trying to open it. Summarizing, this is just what I wanted in a pocket camera, altho it is just a bit larger and few ounces heavier than most pocket cameras. It is my preference to carry it in a small shoulder sling case rather than in my pocket so I also bought the small Lowepro compact camera bag which is perfect for this camera as it has nice padding, little inner pockets for extra battery and memory cards, and room for me to drop in my car keys, or camera wipes, etc. I added a strip of press-on Velcro to the back outer pocket to secure anything flat I may wish to carry (dr. license, $$, cr. card, etc). I love photographing my pets at home so this camera is always hanging in the case where I can quickly grab. Pet facial recognition is sort of fun, as is the 'beauty' effect for portrait type photos. Also the touch screen makes it easy to take a photo if you like touch screen features.
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on December 16, 2013
I like all the features although I may need to study well the owner's manual so I could familiarize with all features.
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on August 10, 2013
The camera is exactly as it was described in the information provided. It is an excellent camera and am very satisfied.
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on December 6, 2013
A lot of serious camera features and quality in a small package.
We now take this camera into the field instead of the more costly ones, sort of a 'throw down' field camera with all of the features of the 3K$ ones.
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