Olympus SZ-20 review

We look under the hood of Olympus's latest super-zoom

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Although the SZ-20 needs at least 10cm to focus on macro subjects, the results are actually impressive. If we were to be critical however a growing number of compacts now allow users to get as close as 1cm from the subject; thus Olympus needs to catch up, and fast.


One of our favourite filters is the 'Sparkle' option which adds a star burst effect to fragments of light. This is particularly impressive when shooting subjects such as flowers, windows and water on sunny days


When capturing images with the compact in Watercolour filter, the results can appear rather weak; with subjects lacking definition and variance in colour. However once uploaded onto the computer users can make out a greater level of detail and will notice colours previously unseen on the LCD

Dodgy panorama

Good panorama

In soft even light – across the expanse of the scene – Smart Panorama is capable of recording well exposed vistas. However if the light changes mid exposure the camera's metering can struggle and as such the results may be unusable. Click to see the full image

Soft filter

The soft filter is ideal for using when capturing macro stills of plants, or portraits of newborns and children

Punk filter

Punk Filter

Pinhole filter

Pin hole filter

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilySZ
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationDigital, Optical
Optical Zoom12.5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)186 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height64 mm
Width102.4 mm
Depth30.4 mm
Product SeriesSZ
Focal Length4.20 mm to 52.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelSZ-20
Product NameSZ-20 Compact Camera
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberN4305992
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Enhanced performance beyond the still image. Like every SZ Series compact, the SZ-20 is packed with Olympus technology that's seriously state-of-the-art, like the backlit CMOS sensor for low-noise shots in poor light and an impressive 12.5x super wide optical zoom. With 1080p Full HD Movie recording and 16 Megapixels, it's the must-have model for anyone who wants to live and shoot 24/7 - in perfect, pixel-rich quality, no compromises required. What's more the SZ-20 features a whole raft of innovations - from Smart Panorama, 3D still photo shooting, Eye-Fi card compatibility for automatic wireless uploading of images to a website or PC to a choice of eight Magic Filters, seven of which work with both Full HD movies and stills. For a camera in this category, that's yet another unique feature.

Package Contents
  • SZ-20 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video Cable
  • Hand Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty2 Year