Olympus refocuses with new compact point and shoots

olympus compactOlympus has announced a slew of new cameras, ranging in make and model from a high-end super-zooom to an entry-level point and shoot. Conspicuously missing from Olympus additions? No new entries to its micro four-thirds PEN series, arguably the manufacturers’ most popular products. But Olympus has been adding to this lineup fast and furiously, and now it’s taking a step back to focus on its other segments. 

While these new cameras run the gamete, some manage to stand out from the rest: the SZ-12, the SP-62OUZ, and the VR-340. Here’s a quick introduction (we’ll have some hands-on time with Olympus new additions within the week). 


sz12The SZ-12 is a compact super-zoom with a 24x optical wide-angle zoom lens. That, along with a 14-megapixel sensor, are packed into a remarkably slim body that will easily fit in your pocket. Olympus hasn’t really a been a force when it comes to these entry-level, digicam devices, so we’re happy that the manufacturer isn’t just throwing out cheap-throwaway point-and-shoots. Its long-zoom and sturdy black-on-black chassis give it more credibility than the flimsier devices that have flooded this market. It will cost $200 and be available in March. 

Key specs: 

  • 14-megapixel resolution 
  • 24x optical wide-angle zoom lens (25-60mm equivalent)
  • HD 720p video 
  • Dual Image Stabilization 
  • 3-inch, 460K dots LCD display
  • Eye-Fi card compatibility 


sp-620uzThe SP-62OUZ is another zoom, this one with a 21x optical zoom. While it might have telephoto-capabilities in common with the SZ-12, the body makes all the difference. This camera is not pocket-friendly, instead with a defined grip jutting out from its face. It’s a bit of a befuddling camera, with its bigger, more serious-looking body, and then the addition of a somewhat novelty feature, 3D shooting. It’s available later this month for $200. 

Key specs: 

  • 21x optical zoom lens (25-525mm equivalent)
  • 16-megapixel CCD sensor 
  • 3D image capture
  • Dual Image Stabilization
  • 3-inch LCD display
  • Eye-Fi card compatibility


vr-340Olympus has also introduced a more traditional point and shoot with the VR-340. This super-wide compact has a 16-megapixel sensor and improved ISO sensitivity for shooting in low light. Of course it also includes a host of in-camera edits via Olympus’ Magic Art filters. Olympus calls it a “cosmetic toolbox” — and rightly so. It’s filled out with tools to add eyeliner  and lift cheekbones. Will this be used? Yes. Is it taking the in-camera image alteration thing a little far? Definitely. But the $150 compact is clearly made for a certain demographic–entry-level, younger users–and the feature is right on target for them. Still, when it comes to compacts, Canon is generally king, and much of its new lineup will directly compete with Olympus’. 

Key specs:

  • 10x super wide optical zoom lens (24-240mm equivalent) 
  • 16-megapixel sensor
  • AF Illuminator 
  • One-touch video record button 
  • 3-inch LCD display 
  • Up to ISO 3200
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

2018 was a terrific year for new cameras. Here are our favorites

This year, we saw the unveiling of several exciting new cameras. We look back at our favorite models -- each delivering something unique, yet all are powerful and feature-rich. Camera fans, rejoice!

Grit and gear: How Chris Hershman went from retail clerk to music video director

How did Chris Hershman go from working a music retail job to working with bands like NEEDTOBREATHE and Switchfoot? The music video director and filmmaker talks to us about video, tech, and Nikon's new mirrorless.