Olympus SH-21 review

A compact camera with a 12.5x wide zoom lens and a 16MP backlit CMOS sensor

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

Our results from the lab have been compared against the Fujifilm 550 EXR, Canon IXUS 220 HS and Nikon Coolpix S9100.

Our analysis shows that the Olympus SH-21 has better signal to noise ratio results than the Fujifilm 550 EXR, Canon IXUS 220 HS and Nikon Coolpix S9100 at all sensitivities. Dynamic range results however showed that the SH-21 lagged behind the comparison cameras up to a sensitivity of ISO 800, above this value it compares well and produced the highest dynamic range at ISO 1600.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

JPEG Signal to Noise Ratio

Olympus SH21 review Signal to noise ratio
Olympus SH21 review: Signal to noise ratio

JPEG images from the Olympus SH-21 show better signal to noise ratio across the sensitivity range than the Fujifilm 550 EXR, Canon IXUS 220 HS and Nikon Coolpix S9100.

JPEG dynamic range

Olympus SH21 review Dynamic range
Olympus SH21 review: Dynamic range

This chart shows that the Olympus SH-21 has a lower dynamic range than Fujifilm 550 EXR, Canon IXUS 220 HS and Nikon Coolpix S9100 at the lower end of the sensitivity range. From ISO 800 it scores higher dynamic range results than the Canon IXUS 220 HS and at ISO 1600 it score higher results than all of the comparison cameras.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedEye-Fi Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom12.5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Pet Detection, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)184 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height59.4 mm
Width105.4 mm
Depth30.6 mm
Focal Length4.20 mm to 52.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelSH-21
Product NameSH-21 Compact Camera
Exposure Control

Program Automatic

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV107010GE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Rich colours, low picture noise, excellent contrast - the SH-21 is all about tremendous picture quality. The ultra-slim design ensures it never looks out of place at more sophisticated occasions and when you want to be sure to capture a one-off event like a wedding, it's good to know your camera has a 16-Megapixel Backlit CMOS sensor with the high sensitivity to perform in dim-lit interiors. For wide-angle shots, you can call on a high-grade super-wide 24-300mm lens and there's a 12.5x optical zoom for razor-sharp close-ups.

Package Contents
  • SH-21 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
  • Software Media
Limited Warranty2 Year