Olympus SZ-16 iHS Camera Review: A Comprehensive Guide

The Olympus SZ-16 iHS is a versatile camera that combines advanced features with user-friendly controls. This review covers everything you need to know about this camera, from its design to its performance and image quality. Whether you're an amateur photographer or a professional looking for a backup camera, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus SZ-16 iHS article cover photo

Key Features

Jan 08 2013


16 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the SZ-16 iHS

The Olympus SZ-16 iHS camera is a popular choice among photographers of all levels. Featuring a powerful lens, high-speed autofocus, and user-friendly controls, this camera is both versatile and reliable. In this review, we'll explore the key features and performance of the Olympus SZ-16 iHS camera, including its image quality, video capabilities, and design. By the end of this guide, you'll have a clear understanding of whether this camera is right for you.

Olympus SZ-16 iHS Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus SZ-16 iHS camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-quality images
Good low light performance
Affordable price
Compact and lightweight
Long zoom lens
Fast autofocus
Advanced shooting modes
Built-in WiFi
Good battery life


No manual control over aperture and shutter speed
Mediocre video quality
No touchscreen
No external microphone input
Small sensor size
Limited dynamic range
No RAW shooting
No viewfinder
No hot shoe for external flash

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus SZ-16 iHS

Weather sealed
Dimensions108 x 70 x 40mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus SZ-16 iHS is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution460k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 460k dots. This makes the Olympus SZ-16 iHS not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Olympus SZ-16 iHS does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the SZ-16 iHS camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus SZ-16 iHS has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Olympus SZ-16 iHS has a native ISO range of 80 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Jan 08 2013


80 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4608 x 3456 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus SZ-16 iHS camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the SZ-16 iHS is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life220 shots
Battery ModelLI-50B
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus SZ-16 iHS supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus SZ-16 iHS uses the LI-50B model of battery pack. This is rated for 220 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus SZ-16 iHS has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Olympus SZ-16 iHS boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus SZ-16 iHS includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus SZ-16 iHS?

The Olympus SZ-16 iHS features a CMOS sensor

Is the Olympus SZ-16 iHS weather sealed?

No the SZ-16 iHS does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus SZ-16 iHS announced?

The Olympus SZ-16 iHS was announced on Jan 08 2013

Does the Olympus SZ-16 iHS have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the SZ-16 iHS does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus SZ-16 iHS?

The SZ-16 iHS has a native ISO range of 80-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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