Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The SZ-15 kit does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the display screen.
From the main shooting screen, you'll see the current shooting mode for the SZ-15 in the upper right corner with the popup menu options below it along the right side. In iAuto mode you'll have a limited number of popup menu options versus Program mode, which we'll discuss next.
In the lower left corner in iAuto mode you'll see the battery charge and number of images remaining on the memory card. In the lower right you'll see the amount of video recording storage time remaining on the memory card.
Press the Info button on the top of the four-way button, and you'll see a 3x3 grid appear on the screen. Press info again, and all data and icons disappear from the screen. Press Info a third time to return to the primary data screen.
Switching to Program mode, you'll see many more popup menu options along the right side of the LCD screen of the Olympus SZ-15. Otherwise, the options are the same as with the iAuto screen when you press the Info button on the four-way button.
You open the popup menu options with the left side of the four-way button. Use the four-way button to navigate the popup menu icons and then press OK to select a particular icon. The popup menu options in Program mode are:
- Mode - Program Auto, iAuto, Beauty, Super Macro, Scene (options listed later), Magic (options listed later), Panorama
- Flash - Auto, Redeye, Fill In, Flash Off
- Self-timer - Off, 12 Sec, 2 Sec
- Exposure Value - Between -2 and +2 in 1/3 increments
- White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, One Touch 1, One Touch 2
- ISO - Auto, High, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
- Burst - Single, Sequential 1, High-Speed 1, High-Speed 2
- Resolution - 16M, 8M, 3M, VGA
- Aspect Ratio - 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1
- Night Scene
- Night + Portrait
- Self Portrait
- Beach & Snow
Olympus gives you the option of shooting with some special effects through its Magic Filter. Eleven different special effects are available:
- Pop Art
- Pin Hole
- Fish Eye
- Soft Focus
To gain access to the flash modes on the popup menu of the Olympus SZ-15, you must press the flash switch on the top of the camera and open the flash. Without a physically open flash you cannot make changes to the flash modes.
The flash modes are: Auto, Redeye, Fill In, and Flash Off.
Press the menu button on the back panel of the SZ-15 to open the Menu screen. All of the camera's menus are available through this screen. Each tab on the left opens a different menu screen. Use the tabs on the left side of the screen to advance through the various menu screens and then make your selections among the commands as they are highlighted in the right side of the screen.
The Camera menu (which is the shooting menu marked with a camera icon) encompasses the top two tabs. The Movie menu (movie camera icon) has one screen, the Playback menu (play button icon) has one screen, and the Setup menu (wrench icon) has three screens.
As you'll see during the breakdowns of each menu option below, the SZ-15's menu control options are extremely limited. Olympus only included a bare bones set of commands, which contributes to the idea that this camera is only aimed at beginning photographers. Some of the menu options may be grayed out, depending on which shooting mode you're using. The Camera menu options include:
- Compression - Fine, Normal
- AF Mode - Face/iESP, Spot, AF Tracking
- (Metering) - ESP, (Center)
- Digital Zoom - Off, On
- Image Stabilizer - Off, On, While Exposing
- AF Illuminat. - Off, On
- Pic Orientation - Off, On
- Icon Guide - Off, On
- Date Stamp - Off, On
- Super-Res Zoom - Off, On
The SZ-15's Setup menu options include:
- Format - Yes, No
- Backup - Yes, No
- Eye-Fi - Off, On
- USB Connection - Auto, Storage, MTP, Print
- Playback Power On - Yes, No
- Keep Camera Settings - Yes, No
- Sound Settings - Sound Type (1, 2, 3), Volume (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Playback Volume (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Pixel Mapping - Start
- LCD Brightness - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
- TV Out - NTSC/PAL (NTSC, PAL), HDMI Out (480p/576p, 720p, 1080i), HDMI Control (Off, On)
- Power Save - On, Off
- Date and Time - M/D/Y, D/M/Y, Y/M/D
- World Time - Home, Alternate
- Beauty Settings - Set 1, Set 2, Set 3
As you're shooting video with the Olympus SZ-15, you'll see the recording time in red along the bottom of the screen, as well as the amount of time remaining in the current video stream. Surprisingly each video stream is limited to 8 minutes with the SZ-15, which is well below average versus other cameras. The video resolution is on the far right.
This is the only view that's available when recording. Pressing the Info button won't change the data displayed on the screen. Movie recording is a significantly below average feature with the SZ-15, although the full 24x optical zoom is available when shooting movies. The autofocus works slowly in movie mode. If you're looking for a camera with which you can shoot a lot of high quality movies, the SZ-15 is going to disappoint you.
You will be limited to a maximum video resolution of 720p HD with the SZ-15.
The options in the camera's Movie menu are:
- Image Size - 720p (1280x720), VGA (640x480)
- Frame Rate - 30fps, 15fps
- IS Movie Mode - On, Off
- Sound - On, Off