Olympus sp-620uz

In summation, the Olympus SP-620UZ is a simple to use value for money superzoom with modest aspirations but a decent performance. In some respects it betters more ambitions models - we were able to achieve sharp results handheld at extreme tele setting, for example - something we struggled to do with the likes of Fuji's premium X-S1.

The likes of Magic Filters, 3D mode (if you own a compatible 3D TV to replay the MPO files) and simple but effective panorama mode make things a bit more interesting than your regular bridge camera, too.

The lack of manual features, the fact that the optical zoom can't be used for video if you want to simultaneously capture sound, its plasticky build, lack of viewfinder, omission of hotshoe and potentially useful dedicated controls for more experienced photographers betray its budget status.

But for the price, which is bound to settle at around £150 in the UK market and $160 or so in the US, it's hard to ask for a great deal more.

We liked

The Olympus SP-620UZ's broader than average zoom range and an interesting smattering of extras such as 3D mode, Magic Filters and even 14fps sequential shooting belie the asking price.

It's easy to use and its stripped-down appearance and layout won't scare anyone off.

We disliked

It's poor that the optical zoom can't be used and sound recorded at the same time, since the zoom is the chief selling point here, and HD video is a feature that everyone now expects on even a budget camera.

We also had frustrations with aspects of the build, such as the overly sensitive scroll wheel plus stiff and plasticky battery compartment cover.

Final verdict

The Olympus SP-620UZ is an entry-level superzoom with modest ambition, but fortunately a low(ish) price that suggests anyone purchasing won't feel they are taking a big risk. The all-encompassing lens reach may not match pricier cameras, but it remains at a level with which it is practical to shoot handheld and still get sharp results.