Olympus SZ-30MR Review


The Bottom Line

The Olympus SZ-30MR camera has a stylish and beautiful look with an extremely large zoom. Taking a glance at it, you will see it quite slight and not heavy at all. The optical zoom lens is very large, up to 24X. All of these things make it a very good device that many people will not regret buying it.

However, the price is quite high, about under $400 and there still remain some quirks. Therefore, I don’t really recommend you to purchase this one. It is great, but for sure, it is not the perfect one for all people.

When you use the zoom at the maximum level, it may take a bit time to switch from the previous to the photo later. The time for shutting a photo in this case is slow. This is popular for cameras with an extremely large zoom. Sometimes, you still find it not convenient to use this camera. Its dial labeling mode is a little crazy.

Yet, this camera is still good enough to be taken into consideration. If the price is not exceeding $100, it can make up for all the flaws and I think it is good enough to be introduced to you. In comparison with the Nikon P500 ultra-zoom, this model is not highly recommended over. Except the case that you just need a light camera with the good zoom ability, this is a good option.

Olympus SZ_30Z

Olympus SZ-30MR ultra-zoom Camera Review Buy

Image Quality

One feature that surprised me a lot was its excellent ability in shooting wonderful photos when you are at a far distance. It performed well, even in conditions that required a flash. The powerful flash is a great point of this camera. To increase the exposure of the photos, you could also take advantage of adjusting its ISO settings. In general, I found the photo quality of this camera very satisfying.

Most impressive images created by this camera will very extremely sharp, except some cases. For example, when the camera shake occurs, some blurriness happens as well. In this case, a tripod is the best solution for this camera, especially when the photographing conditions are indoor or without enough light.

For outdoor conditions, you will never have to worry about the exposure or autofocus. Both of the features are great with the SZ-30MR. However, despite the good image quality in general, you may still encounter some little disappointment when some blurriness happens due to a camera shake.

There are something you can do to make fun with the SZ-30MR. You can take advantage of them to make your photos more interesting, for example, making the photos become amazing with art effects or adjusting the colors after taking photos. They work well and bring fun when you are using them. The MR mode is also supported. With this mode, you can take two pictures at exactly the same time, one with the special effect and the other still in the original format.

What a pity that you cannot take advantage of the zoom lens for shooting movies. Instead, there is no way beside using a digital zoom which is often small. The quality of movies can be acceptable.


“The response times of the SZ-30MR is very quick, but it is not for all the cases. One of these cases is when the zoom lens is needed” – that is what I want to tell you about this camera.

This is just a joke, you know, right? Without using the zoom, what is the reason for buying a camera with such a large zoom lens? However, if you are being concerned about shooting photos  with a good ability to catch the light, this camera is not the best choice. The reason is that unlike other ultra-zoom cameras, there remains some delays.

The zoom lens on the SZ-30MR is quite good. It is better than that of other similar cameras thanks to the fast and smooth moving among different distances. You can take advantage of this large 24X zoom to take many photos of various distances.

Shot to shot delays sometimes happen the SZ-30MR. Especially, those delays increase under low light conditions or when you adjust the zoom to the maximum level. That’s the reason why “busy” notification appears sometimes. The more you extend the zoom lens, the more shutter lag you encounter. It is common for most cameras with extremely large zoom lens. And this shutter lag becomes a bigger problem as well in conditions without enough light. Because of the shutter lag, you will not able to catch the photos of moving subject, which is a sorrow of using this camera.

It is common for most cameras with extremely large zoom lends that the autofocus speed of this camera is quite fast. However, the closer you come to the maximum zoom, the slower this speed is. You can apply a solution to reduce this slow speed by trying to pre-focus. You just need to touch and press the shutter button slightly before going to capture images.  

You cannot change the time of reviewing your photos because it is already a fixed amount. Therefore, it is not comfortable to capture a lot of photos continously. Despite being able to return to shooting mode when you press the shutter button but obviously, this process takes time. Due to this, you may feel disappointed with missing one or two photos.

The arrangement of the options of this camera is nice. However, there still remain some hassles in using it if you don’t have any experiences with cameras. Actually, what I mean is not about recommending beginners to take this camera out of consideration, but if you are a beginner, it does take time to read the user guide carefully before you want to understand all the features of the camera. It is not that easy for beginners.


Unlike boring, larger DSLR cameras, the SZ-30MR is a little bit more beautiful look compared to other cameras of similar types. The design of this camera is very nice. There are some great points in the design of The SZ-30MR. For example, it has a glistening style; it is thinner and lighter than many other cameras of the same class. All of those things create its difference.

Despite having an extremely large zoom lens, it is very light. You will be surprised to find it not difficult at all and especially convenient to use this camera.

The flash of the camera is located right next to the lens housing. Except extending the flash, you will not have to worry about its firing.

Despite all the good aspects of this design, a nice combination between the style and the colors, there is one drawback. The labeling on the mode dial is not really convenient for the usage. Because of the gleaming silver cover and the white color of the text labels, you will find it hard to see the dial labels if the sun shines on these dial labels. When this happens, you may feel annoyed after some moments.

You cannot separate the battery charging from the camera. This is a little bit inconvenient. Both the battery and the memory cart part are included with a sturdy cover. One improvement is that SD memory cards are accepted for the camera. In the old models, only xD memory cards Olympus’ own brand could be used.

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