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- Olympus SZ-31MR iHS
- Olympus' new travel-zoom is feature-rich and a lot of fun but sacrifices image quality for zoom.
Olympus SZ-31MR iHS Digital Camera Review$399.99
Videos may be recorded in 1080p at 60 or 30 frames per second, as well as 720p, and 480p. High-speed recording for slow-motion videos is also possible in 720p, 480p, or 320x240; at 60, 120, or 240 frames per second respectively. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
Video shooting is mostly an automated experience, however it's possible to combine video work with any scene mode or "Magic Filter." This is quite a rare ability for any camera, and makes for some very unique footage.
Optical zoom is unlocked while a recording is in progress, however adjustment speed is slowed in order to cut down on mechanical noise picked up by the microphones. It doesn't work though, recordings still include some distracting sounds from the electronic motor.
Focus is automatic and continuous while a recording is in progress. Conveniently, simply touching the screen will specify a zone on which to lock focus, making this a more flexible implementation than most compacts. Autofocus is smooth and reacts quickly, leaving us with few complaints.
Like focus, exposure is automatic but can be assigned to meter from a certain zone with a one touch of the screen. Neither of these features have tracking though, so you'll need to "update" your zone with another touch if framing changes. Although this flexibility is convenient, in practice the actual touch usually causes the camera to shake a bit when filming from the hand, but this should become tolerable with practice.
The SZ-31's heavily-advertised ability to shoot full resolution stills while recording a video works seamlessly. Exposure and focus match the video's, and an onscreen "faux flash" indicates that a still shot has been recorded. Shot to shot is quite fast, ironically, even more so than plain old still shooting.
Stereo microphones are located directly below the flash enclosure. They're decently placed, but the left one could become obstructed by fingers. A wind noise reduction option is available in the main menu but, other than mute, no other audio settings exist.