Olympus SZ-20 Review

May 19, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |


In summing up our impressions of the camera, the positives with the SZ-20 are a best in class resolution, better than average (but not class leading) 12.5x optical zoom range, decent feature set, best in class pricing and that striking retro/futurist design. The negatives are that horribly irksome scroll wheel on the Olympus' backplate instead of a proper shooting mode dial or button (or simply better implementation), the variable white balance performance, corner softening at extreme wide-angle, plus generally soft shots at maximum telephoto.

Of course the SZ-20 provides other sweeteners, including its fun and for the most part effective Magic Filters (if choosing carefully and appropriately from the available options), stereoscopic shooting, and automatic panorama generation. If the 12.5x optical zoom here isn't enough for your needs, look to the equally new SZ-30 model, also from Olympus. We've yet to test it, but on paper it fields a veritable whopper at 24x, but with an inevitable price hike to match.

Ultimately whilst the Olympus SZ-20 gets an above average from us, unless you need a travel zoom and you're on a particularly tight budget it falls short of being unequivocally recommended simply because there are better options for a few pounds more.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4