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Olympus SZ-12

14-megapixel digital camera with 24X optical zoom (Black)

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  • Olympus SZ-12

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  • Olympus SZ-12

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  • Olympus SZ-12

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Item #: 279SZ12K
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Olympus SZ-12

by David Brown
Olympus

Today's point-and-shoot cameras make great pictures easier than ever

From baby's first steps, to that dream vacation in the islands, these cameras make it easy to capture life's greatest hits. Today's cameras have helpful automatic features, like face detection and scene recognition that make shooting more foolproof than ever. And they all have plenty of megapixels for detailed photos that stay sharp, even when you enlarge and print them.

Big zoom for big moments

Does your camera's zoom leave you too far from the action? Try the Olympus SZ-12's powerful 24X optical zoom for close-ups that capture distant subjects with sharp detail. Small enough to fit in your pocket, this high-zoom point-and-shoot packs a punch with a 14-megapixel sensor for high-resolution stills and high-definition video. One camera serves all your needs, perfect for documenting your child's sporting event, your friend's wedding or a family vacation.

Make the most of your photos with easy shooting modes and creative filters

The SZ-12 is ready to take on just about any subject. Its 16 scene modes automatically optimize the camera's settings, so you spend less time tweaking and more time capturing great shots. If the sun has set and you're concerned about low light, just choose “Night” and let the SZ-12 handle the details. Want to exercise your creative flair? Try Olympus's Magic Art filters for cool effects like Water Color, Punk or Drawing for unique shots that are sure to attract attention. You can even apply filters to video shooting for one-of-a-kind home movies.

Shoot great-looking portraits and panoramas

Want to keep it simple with a portrait? Beauty mode smooths wrinkles and blemishes so your subjects always look their best. Or if you've got something bigger in your sights, switch to Panorama mode for those shots that won't fit in a single frame. Fire away continuously while panning the camera, and the SZ-12 will stitch up to 10 shots together for one impressive image.

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Highlights:

    Specifications:
    • 14-megapixel effective recording
    • 24X optical zoom (4X digital zoom)
    • 3" LCD screen (460,000 dots)
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 25-600mm
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • sensor shift image stabilization for blur-free photos
    • beauty mode softens shadows and smooths wrinkles and blemishes for better portraits
    • automatic red-eye reduction
    • creative filter effects can be applied to still images and movies
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
    • 16 scene modes including Night+Portrait, Sports, and Indoor
    • panorama mode stitches together up to 10 shots
    • 3D still image photography for viewing on your 3D-capable TV
    • built-in flash
    • auto and preset white balance settings
    • 59MB internal memory
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • micro HDMI output for connecting the camera to a compatible HDTV (cable not included)
    • USB port
    • 4-1/4"W x 2-3/4"H x 1-5/8"D
    • weight: 7.6 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charger
    • audio/video and USB cables
    • strap
    • software CD-ROM

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size
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    3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD
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    No
    Wi-Fi
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    No
    Touchscreen
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    No
    Waterproof
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    No
    GPS-enabled
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    No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent
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    25-600mm
    Optical Zoom
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    24x
    Digital Zoom
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    4x
    Filter Diameter
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    N/A
    Manual Focusing
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    No
    Manual Exposure
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    No
    Built-in Flash
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    Yes
    HDMI Output
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    Micro
    Memory
    Internal Memory
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    59 MB
    Memory Media
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    SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Image
    Effective Megapixel Count
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    14
    Total Megapixels
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    ---
    Image Stabilization
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    Sensor Shift
    Highest Resolution
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    4288 x 3216
    HD Video Recording
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    1280 x 720p
    Dimensions
    Width (inches)
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    4-5/16
    Height (inches)
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    2-3/4
    Depth (inches)
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    1-9/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    7.6
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Digital camera (black)
    • LI-50B Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7V/925mAh)
    • F-2AC-1B AC adapter (5V/500mA)
    • Wrist strap
    • 62" A/V cable (with proprietary connector on one end and composite video and mono audio RCA plugs on the other end)
    • 54" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on the other end)
    • Olympus Setup CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty card

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features
    Recording Images

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Supplied Software

    Features

    Optics: The Olympus SZ-12 is equipped with a powerful 24x F3.0-6.9 zoom lens. The lens has a focal length of 4.5-108mm (equivalent to 25-600mm in 35mm photography). The 24x optical zoom lets you get close to the action, while the 25mm wide angle lens allows you to capture wide landscapes and group pictures. Combined with the 4x digital zoom, the total zoom capability is 96x.

    LED Monitor: The camera is equipped with a 3.0" LED monitor with approximately 460,000 dots. The SZ-12 offers a 5-level monitor brightness adjustment in the menu. There is no separate viewfinder.

    Recording Media: The SZ-12 records still images or movies onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory Cards. For test images, or when the memory card becomes full, you can shoot a small number of images onto the camera's 59MB internal memory. Still images are recorded in JPEG format. Movies are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with sound.

    Dual Image Stabilization: The camera combines Sensor-shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds, so you can capture sharp, blur-free images, even if your subject is moving.

    Focusing Range: The focus range for the normal shooting mode is 3.6" to infinity for wide angle and 1.6' to infinity in telephoto. In the macro mode, the range is 3.6" to infinity (wide) and 1.6' to infinity (tele). Super Macro mode allows you to take shots as close as 1.2"

    AF Illuminator: The camera has a built-in LED illuminator that assists in Auto Focusing, or illuminates a subject in shadows. It can be set to automatically illuminate when the shutter button is pressed halfway.

    Flash: The camera's built-in flash operates in the following modes:

    • Flash Auto: The flash fires automatically in low light or backlight conditions.
    • Red-eye Reduction Flash: This emits pre-flashes for red-eye reduction.
    • Fill-in Flash: The flash fires regardless of the available light.
    • Flash Off: The flash does not fire.

    Self-Timer: You can take pictures of yourself using the 12-second built-in self timer. The 2-second self-timer also aids in preventing camera shake.

    Power Requirements: The SZ-12 operates on an LI-50B rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. An AC adapter (F-2AC-1B) is supplied to charge the LI-50B in the camera or operate the camera on AC power. Charging time is approximately 3.5 hours. The camera can also charge while it is connected to a computer via USB, but can be as much as 10 hours.

    Recording Images

    Resolution: Several recording settings are available for still pictures and video, requiring varying amounts of memory:

    • Still Pictures:
      • Image Size: 14M--4288 x 3216, 8M--3264 x 2448, 5M--2560 x 1920, 3M--2048 x 1536, 2M--1600 x 1200, 1M--1280 x 960, VGA--640 x 480, 16:9L--4288 x 2416, 16:9S--1920 x 1080
      • Compression: Fine or Normal
      • Audio: With sound or Without Sound
    • Video:
      • Image Size: 1280 x 720, 640 x 480, 320 x 240
      • Compression: Fine or Normal
      • Audio: With sound or Without Sound

    Shooting Modes: The camera lets you choose between several shooting modes:

    • Program: The camera automatically sets shutter speed and aperture, but allows you to make changes to a wide range of other settings, such as exposure compensation, white balance, etc.
    • iAuto: The camera automatically selects the optimal shooting mode for the scene.
    • Scene: Lets you select from the following pre-programmed settings: Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet Mode-Cat, and Pet Mode-Dog
    • Magic: Lets you add special effects, such as Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Watercolor, Reflection, Miniature, and Fragmented.
    • Panorama: You can connect images with overlapping edges together into a single panoramic image. You can select "Auto" or "Manual" Panorama, which allows you to put up to 3 images together, or "PC" for up to 10 images to be linked together on your computer using the supplied software.
    • 3D: 3D images are shot for viewing on a 3D-compatible display device.

    Sequential Shooting: The camera can take one frame at a time, or a sequence of pictures at a time by holding down the shutter button. During sequential shooting, the focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed when the first frame is shot. Sequential photos can be taken as follows:

    Speed Setting Frames Per Second Maximum # of frames Resolution
    Normal 0.89 fps 18 14M (4288 x 3216)
    Hi 1 7.6 fps 42 5M (2560 x 1920)
    Hi 2 10 fps 43 3M (2048 x 1536)

    Sensitivity: The higher the ISO value, the greater the camera's light sensitivity and better its ability to shoot in low light. The SZ-12 can automatically set the camera's sensitivity according to the conditions around the subject. To minimize blur caused by a moving subject or camera movement, the camera can automatically use a higher sensitivity (compared to Auto). Manual settings include ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600 equivalents.

    AF Mode: There are three AF (auto focus) modes for selecting the focusing area:

    • Face/iESP: the camera determines the subject, even when not in the center. If a face is detected, the camera focuses on the face when the shutter button is pressed halfway.
    • Spot AF: focus detection based on the subject within the AF target mark
    • AF Tracking: The camera tracks the subject's movement automatically to focus on it continuously.

    Exposure Compensation: In some situations, you may get better results by adjusting the exposure slightly using exposure compensation. You can adjust from -2.0 to + 2.0 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

    Still Image Audio Recording: When activated, the camera's built-in microphone can be set to record four seconds of audio after the shutter button is released and the picture is taken. In the playback menu, you can add up to 4 seconds of audio to still pictures.

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Image Playback: Once still images or movies have been captured, the camera gives you several options for playing them back:

    • Manual Playback: view images manually one-by-one
    • Slide Show: play still images back as a slide show. You can select to include all, or images from a single event, or in a specific collection created with PC software. You can choose from five types of background music and three types of transitions.
    • Photo Surfing: images are searched and related images are selected for playback as a group
    • Index View: For viewing multiple images at once, you can create an index display of 12 or 30 frames.

    Outputs: The SZ-12 is equipped with an HDMI Micro Connector (Type D) for connecting the camera to an HDMI-equipped HDTV. The output can be set to 1080i, 720p, or 480p. If the connected HDTV is compatible with HDMI Control, you can set the camera to be controlled by the TV's remote control. The camera also has a proprietary multi-function jack used as an audio/video output (with the supplied composite video/mono audio cable) or a USB port (with the supplied USB cable).

    Editing Pictures: If a picture you have taken turns out less-than-perfect, you can edit it using one of the following:

    • Image Size: You can save a high-resolution image as a separate image with a smaller size to use in e-mail attachments or other applications. You can choose 640 x 480 or 320 x 240.
    • Cropping: You can zoom in using the cropping frame, and create a new image.
    • Adding Sound: You can add up to 4 seconds of audio to an existing image using the built-in microphone.
    • Beauty Fix: The camera can make corrections to the subject's skin and/or eyes.
    • Shadow Adjust: You can brighten areas that are dark due to backlighting of other reasons
    • Redeye Fix: Red-eyes caused by flash shooting can be retouched.
    • Rotate: You can rotate the image to the proper orientation.

    Erasing/Protecting Images: Unwanted images can be erased one at a time or all at once. You can protect important images to avoid accidentally erasing them. Once an image is protected, it cannot be erased during a single-frame erase or all-frame erase function. Protected images are erased when the memory is reformatted.

    PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compliant printer. PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

    Print Reservation: Applying Print Reservation (Print Order) to your pictures allows you to take the memory card to a DPOF-compatible photo lab for printing, or print them on a DPOF-compatible printer at home, without using a computer. DPOF is the Digital Print Order Format and allows you to add information to your picture files such as which pictures to print, the number of prints desired, add the date and time to each image, etc.

    Supplied Software

    Supplied Software: The SZ-12 comes with Olympus Viewer 2 and [ib] software on CD-ROM. The disc also includes a full Camera Instruction Manual. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Viewer 2:
      • Windows XP (SP2 or later)
      • Windows Vista
      • Windows 7
      • Mac OS X v10.4.11-v10.6
    • [ib]
      • Windows XP (SP2 or later)
      • Windows Vista
      • Windows 7

    Mass Storage Device: When the camera is used as a Mass Storage device, you can connect it to computers running the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP Home Edition/Professional (SP1 or later)
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.3 or later
     
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    Olympus SZ-12 Reviews

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    4 out of 5

    Olympus sz-12

    Written By Mimnick, 65793 on Saturday, May 18, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great camera love it so much I got one for my Aunt...she loves it too.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Great camera

    Written By Lowe, Atlanta, GA on Friday, December 14, 2012
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This is an outstanding update of my previous Olympus.
    5 out of 12 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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