During testing, the Olympus SZ-14 has proved itself to be a versatile camera, capable of producing good quality images, especially for a superzoom compact at this price point.

The lack of Full HD video may be off-putting for many, but the 720p footage recorded should still look good on a regular HD TV.

The combination of a 24x zoom in a small, light and reasonably robust body should suit those who wish to travel light perfectly.

We liked

Having such a large zoom range housed in a body under 4cm thick makes it portable, without technical compromises.

A good selection of automatic scene modes and the easy to navigate menus should suit inexperienced photographers well, enabling them to get good results in a wide range of conditions.

We disliked

For a camera that charges via USB, it seems strange for Olympus to use a proprietary USB connection, since the camera could be rendered useless for a time if the cable goes missing on your travels.

Occasional wayward exposures, lack of manual control and the slippery finish are all aspects of the Olympus SZ-14 that may be improved upon.

Final verdict

Although there may be a few issues that could be improved upon, such as the non-standard USB interface and the iESP metering system's propensity for overexposure, the Olympus SZ-14 still represents good value for the price.

Point and shoot photographers will love the easy to use interface, selection of automatic scene modes and 'Magic' creative effects, whereas more experienced photographers may wish to look further up the Olympus range for a camera with a little more manual control.

For the price, the range of features and quality of images delivered are about right, making this camera an interesting choice for those after a compact camera for their travels.