Olympus SZ-16 iHS Review

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Review posted 07/03/2013

Quick Take
Pros
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Face detection makes portraits as easy as ever
  • Good overall image quality 
  • Dual Image Stabilization keeps images sharp
  • Very Fast Auto Focus
  • Nice, Bright 3.0-inch LCD
  • Decent shooting performance
  • Good Battery Life
  • HDMI output
  • Competitively priced
Cons
  • Weak pop-up flash
  • Some noise in all images / Normal with most 16-Megapixel image sensors
  • Noise also present in movies 
  • Buffer fills very quickly when capturing full-sized images
Bottom Line
The Olympus Stylus SZ-16 is an affordable and versatile digicam. Sporting powerful and features that produce good image quality and decent performance, this camera will handle just about any situation with its 24x zoom lens. A great option at just $229.99. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
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Note: the Black version of the SZ-16 you will see pictured in this review seems to only be available in Europe.

For 2013, Olympus announced two new members to its Stylus SZ-series. And, while the SZ-15 and SZ-16 may feature the same 24x optical zoom lens, 11 Magic Filters, and built-in dual image stabilization, the SZ-16 is an "iHS" model, which stands for Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed. The SZ-16 also boasts a 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor optimized for filmmaking, thanks to its Multi-Motion Movie Image Stabilization and the TruePix VI Image Processor straight out of Olympus' more expensive PEN series cameras. 

Another benefit of the iHS-branding is Hand-held Starlight mode, which captures and combines multiple exposures to create crisp, "noise-free" images in darker shooting scenarios without the need for a tripod. The SZ-16 iHS also includes Beauty Make-up Mode -- which allows you to add blush, eyeliner, and other make-up effects to any portrait -- as well as Smart Panorama for capturing gorgeous 360-degree views.

The SZ-15 may save you about $30, but it lacks the movie image stabilization, the newer image processor, and Hand-held Starlight mode.

Olympus SZ-16 iHS Features
  • 16MP CMOS image sensor
  • 24x optical zoom
    • 25mm widest angle
  • TruePix VI Image Processor
  • Full HD Video Recording
  • 3.0-inch LCD display
  • Hand-Held Starlight Mode
  • HDR Backlight Adjustment
  • High-Speed Sequential Shooting
  • Multi-Motion Movie IS
  • 11 Magic Filters
  • Beauty Make-up Mode
  • Smart Panorama

Available in white or silver (black in European markets), the Olympus SZ-16 iHS can be had for about $229.99 USD. See our lowest price button at the top right of this page for the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • SZ-16 iHS Camera body
  • LI-50B Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • Strap
  • USB Cable CB-USB8
  • Warranty Card
  • Set-Up Manual & Instruction CD
  • Quick Start Guide


Additional Product Views
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SZ-16_SLV_BACK.jpg
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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EZOPower Li-50B Replacement Battery + Black with Red Strip Case for Olympus SZ-15, SZ-16 iHS, SZ-31MR iHS, SZ-12, SZ-11, SZ-20, SZ-30MR, TG-630 iHS, TG-830 iHS, TG-620 iHS, TG-820 iHS, TG-810, XZ-1, VR-350, Stylus Tough 8010/ 6020/ 8000/ 6000/ 1030 SW/ 9000/ 1010/ 1020 EZOPower Li-50B Replacement Battery + Black with Red Strip Case for Olympus SZ-15, SZ-16 iHS, SZ-31MR iHS, SZ-12, SZ-11, SZ-20, SZ-30MR, TG-630 iHS, TG-830 iHS, TG-620 iHS, TG-820 iHS, TG-810, XZ-1, VR-350, Stylus Tough 8010/ 6020/ 8000/ 6000/ 1030 SW/ 9000/ 1010/ 1020 $23.99