Olympus SZ-10

Olympus SZ-10 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-504mm (F3.1-4.4) lens
  • 215g - 106 x 67 x 38mm
  • Announced February 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus SZ-10 summary

Olympus SZ-10 is Olympus's Small Sensor Superzoom camera originally revealed on February of 2011. It features a 14 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4288 x 3216.

The SZ-10 is ranked #202 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras & over all #895 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please test our Advanced camera search to find camera ratings based on your personal requirements.

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Here is a graph of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus SZ-10 family

The Olympus SZ-10 has a history of related digital cameras. Listed below, you can identify all previous and more recent models alongside key specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Olympus-Stylus-SH-3 front thumbnailOlympus SH-3
SZ-10 vs SH-3
Olympus-Stylus-SH-2 front thumbnailOlympus SH-2
SZ-10 vs SH-2
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Olympus-Stylus-SH-1 front thumbnailOlympus SH-1
SZ-10 vs SH-1
Olympus-Stylus-SP-100 front thumbnailOlympus SP-100
SZ-10 vs SP-100
Olympus-SZ-15 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-15
SZ-10 vs SZ-15
Olympus-SH-50 front thumbnailOlympus SH-50
SZ-10 vs SH-50
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Olympus-SZ-16-iHS front thumbnailOlympus SZ-16 iHS
SZ-10 vs SZ-16 iHS
Olympus-Stylus-SP-820UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-820UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-820UZ
Olympus-SZ-31MR-iHS front thumbnailOlympus SZ-31MR iHS
SZ-10 vs SZ-31MR iHS
Olympus-SP-620-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-620 UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-620 UZ
Olympus-SZ-12 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-12
SZ-10 vs SZ-12
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Olympus-SZ-11 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-11
SZ-10 vs SZ-11
Olympus-SP-810-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-810 UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-810 UZ
Olympus-SZ-30MR front thumbnailOlympus SZ-30MR
SZ-10 vs SZ-30MR
Olympus-SZ-10 front thumbnailOlympus SZ-1028-504mm
Olympus-SP-610UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-610UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-610UZ
Olympus-SP-600-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-600 UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-600 UZ
Olympus-SP-800-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-800 UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-800 UZ
Olympus-SP-565UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-565UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-565UZ
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Olympus-SP-590-UZ front thumbnailOlympus SP-590 UZ
SZ-10 vs SP-590 UZ

Olympus SZ-10 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of good and bad points of the Olympus SZ-10 based on aspects that are generally regarded as necessary in a camera.

built-in flash
comes with face detect focus
comes with tracking focus
decently wide (28mm)
does have HDMI out
good MP (14 megapixels)
great minimum ISO (80)
great reach (504mm)
great zoom range (28-504mm 18.0 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
lighter than competition (215 grams)
pretty good screen size (3")
can't swap lens (fixed lens mount)
can't use external flash
display is not selfie friendly
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
doesn't have RAW files
does not have headphone support
does not have microphone support
does not have Timelapse recording
lack of manual exposure
lack of manual focus
low battery life (220 shots)
low quality video (1280 x 720 pixels)
max zoom aperture not good (f4.4)
no aperture priority mode
no shutter priority mode
pixelated screen (460 k dots)
screen is fixed
sensor is small (1/2.3")
slow fps (1.0 frames per second)
slow maximum aperture (f3.1)
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Olympus SZ-10 Sensor details

The Olympus SZ-10 features the TruePic III+ chip. The size of the sensor on the Olympus SZ-10 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4288 x 3216 pixels at aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Optical stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization since the latter might cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor has 14 megapixels and includes a native ISO range of 80 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW photos are not saved therefore the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The image below illustrates the SZ-10's sensor dimensions in comparison to other common sizes. The SZ-10 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is showcased in green.

Olympus SZ-10 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus SZ-10 dimensions

Olympus SZ-10 is 0.47 lbs (215 grams or 7.58 oz) & has outer measurements of 106mm x 67mm x 38mm (4.2" x 2.6" x 1.5"). The weight of average Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 grams and the Olympus SZ-10 is less heavy when compared with other rivals.

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Listed below is a photo of the Olympus SZ-10 with a soft drink so you can get a sense of its scale.

Olympus SZ-10 dimensions scale

The top view below will provide the button layout on the SZ-10.

Olympus SZ-10 topview buttons dials

Olympus SZ-10 Lens specs

The SZ-10 has a built-in lens providing a focal range of 28-504mm making it a 18.0 x zoom which is ideal and would let you zoom right in.

At the widest 28mm, it features an aperture of f3.1 and that's quite slow and not great for low light occasions and you will probably find it hard to get good bokeh. You will also need to raise the ISO producing noisy files. At the tele end, 504mm is excellent zoom and comes at f4.4 which is really slow and you would need to choose slow shutter speeds.

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Olympus SZ-10 Connectivity

The SZ-10 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that feature NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly with smartphones. You can copy photos and at times alter settings without connecting directly to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and release the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI port, it can easily be hooked up to an external display. Almost all cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack through the USB socket.

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Olympus SZ-10 Video specs

The highest possible video resolution on the Olympus SZ-10 is 1280 x 720 and you can capture in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible for today's requirements. You should shoot for at least FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera does not offer a microphone and headphone port which means that you have got no control over the sound. It is perhaps best to look into a different camera if you need decent sound for your video clips.

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Olympus SZ-10 Weather Sealing

There is no environment sealing in the Olympus SZ-10 so you need to be careful in rainy and dusty situations.

Olympus SZ-10 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus SZ-10 features a 3" fixed display boasting a resolution of 460k dots.

Please note that the display screen has no touch support.

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The View Finder specs for Olympus SZ-10 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

For bright outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and tricky to see, viewfinders will be pretty valuable.

Olympus SZ-10 Shutter specs

Olympus SZ-10 is able to shoot continuously at 1.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Olympus SZ-10 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Olympus SZ-10 features only built in flash lacking external flash support.

Olympus SZ-10 Autofocus specs

Olympus SZ-10 features just Contrast Based Autofocus & doesn't have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is more quicker and accurate when compared with Contrast Based focusing. The camera features Face detect making it handy for portraits.

It also includes Tracking Autofocus for things on the move. Olympus SZ-10 has not got manual focusing. Manual focusing can be useful in low light or you need more precise control on focusing.

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Olympus SZ-10 Battery life

The battery life (LI-50B) in the Olympus SZ-10 is built to last for 220 pictures based on the CIPA requirements which is lower compared to it's competition. The average Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR features the best (600) battery life in this type of cameras.

Listed below is a number of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the highest battery life:

Olympus SZ-10 for different forms of photography

The following illustration indicates a rundown of the Olympus SZ-10 for different forms of photography. To check out more, browse to the specific section below.

Olympus SZ-10 Portrait photography information

The Olympus SZ-10 has a points total of 33 which is subpar, meaning that it is simply not acceptable to use for portrait photography. Shooting portraits favors heavily to sensor dimensions, support for RAW files along with the option to work with external flash.

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decent megapixels (14MP)
features face detect autofocus
manual focus not available
manual mode not possible
no external flash support
small sensor size (1/2.3")
no RAW files

Olympus SZ-10 as a Street photography camera

Having a decent score of 60, the Olympus SZ-10 is somewhat suitable to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera comes with a perfect balance of image quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
lighter than competition in class (215g)
screen does not articulate
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
lacks RAW support

Olympus SZ-10 as a Sports photography camera

A subpar sports photography points total of 40 means the Olympus SZ-10 is simply not acceptable for taking photos of sports. A camera needs good focusing plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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great zoom range (28-504mm 18.0 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
megapixel count decent (14 megapixels)
supports tracking autofocus
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 fps)
lack of shutter priority mode
small sensor size (1/2.3")
low battery power (220 CIPA)
has no phase detect auto focus

Olympus SZ-10 Travel photography highlights

Weight is extremely crucial in buying a camera for travel. All round, the Olympus SZ-10 gets a nice 65 for a travel camera which makes it a good pick to take on your vacations.

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lighter than others in class (215g)
decent sensor resolution (14 megapixels)
flash built-in
pretty wide (28mm)
very long zoom (504mm)
no Time Lapse function
not so great battery life (220 CIPA)
does not contain selfie friendly screen
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.1)

Olympus SZ-10 as a Landscape photography camera

For anyone looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photos, the most essential factor will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus SZ-10 with it's subpar rating of 40 for a landscape camera is simply not acceptable in the current marketplace.

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really wide (28mm)
screen size is decent (3")
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
sensor resolution is decent (14MP)
lack of manual focus
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.1)
no manual control
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
has no RAW files
not so great battery life (220 CIPA)
does not have Time Lapse recording

Olympus SZ-10 Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera ought to posses a moving display screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Considering every thing, the Olympus SZ-10 is simply not acceptable as a vlog camera as it delivers a subpar rating of 31.

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rather wide (28mm)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
offers face detection focus
lighter than competition (215g)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.1)
does not have a selfie friendly screen
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pixels)
no external microphone support

Olympus SZ-10 Alternatives

If you are looking for replacements to the SZ-10, below is a collection of the top placed cameras that fall within the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The line graph just below gives you an overview of the SZ-10 vs it's top rated competitors suggested earlier.

Following are several cameras you may view as alternatives. To read a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Olympus SZ-10
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
TruePic III+
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Highest Possible resolution
4288 x 3216
RAW support
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
AF center weighted
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
28-504mm (18.0x)
Maximal aperture
Macro focusing distance
Crop factor
Display type
Fixed Type
Display sizing
Resolution of display
460k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Display tech
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Minimum shutter speed
4 secs
Fastest shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
1.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual mode
Set WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
7.10 m
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video format
Motion JPEG
Microphone support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
215 gr (0.47 lb)
106 x 67 x 38mm (4.2" x 2.6" x 1.5")
Battery life
220 shots
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Card slots
Cost at release