Olympus has announced the Stylus VH-520, an affordable 10x compact superzoom with a 14MP CMOS sensor. It offers a 26-260mm equivalent stabilized zoom lens and the ability to shoot 1080p video. It also offers 'Magic Filter' processing effects that can be applied to both stills and video, along with high-speed movie mode. The VH-520 will be available from April at a price of around £130.

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Press Release:

Olympus Smart flagship shoots bright and blur-free, in 1080p Full HD.

The compact class has its low-light hero. Semi-pro tech gives VH-520 the edge in the dark.

In the new VH-520, Olympus have taken a gorgeously slim compact and packed it full of the technologies, such as low-light iHS, only normally found in much bigger cameras for three times the price. For sheer image quality, the VH-520 is way ahead of the field. Its biggest performance boosters? The 14-megapixel CMOS sensor and a TruePic V processor originally developed for DSLR. Closely followed by the 26mm-260mm* wide, 10x optical zoom lens (20x with Super Resolution Zoom) and lens-shift image stabilisation for taking out blur. When it's dark, ISO 6400 and HDR Backlight Adjustment are essential. For slow-mo movie playback, there's High Speed Movie recording, and Multi-motion Movie IS for shooting video on the go. It all sounds unbelievable that all this technology would be feasible in such a svelte camera body, because normally it wouldn't be. But even in poor lighting conditions, with the Olympus VH-520 great picture quality is feasible. It will cost just £129.99 from late April – in brown, black, white, red, purple or blue.

Point-and-shoot in the day or the dark

For a camera measuring just 25.4mm from lens to its radiant 3" LCD, the VH-520 really has no right to house components of this quality. Forget the gorgeous design, the sensibly laid-out controls (one-button movie recording) and Magic Filters for stills and Full HD movies. The real magic is in the 10x optical zoom, 26mm wide angle lens. By shaving down the lens set, Olympus were able to replace digital IS with mechanical. Combine that with the high-sensitivity, high-ISO capability of iHS, and you've got a camera that lets you shoot straight from the hip – bright and blur-free, in good or bad light.

Outstanding features:

  • 10x wide optical zoom lens (26-260mm*) with 20x Super Resolution
    Zoom for effortless close-ups and wide-angle shots
  • 14 Megapixel CMOS sensor for extremely high-quality full-size
    movies, stills and prints
  • iHS technologies for capturing exactly the shots you want with rich
    colour and low noise, irrespective of shooting conditions
  • 1080p Full HD Movie with stereo sound for capturing movies in the
    best image quality
  • Multi-motion Movie IS for recording Full HD movies with reduced
    blur while walking
  • Mechanical, lens-based Dual Image Stabilisation for reducing blur
    caused by shaking, even with long exposures
  • TruePic V image engine for excellent image quality
  • HDR Backlight Adjustment for ideal exposure when shooting
    against the light
  • High Speed Movie for recording video at high frame rates (240 or
    120fps) and playing it back in dramatic slow motion
  • ISO up to 6400 for excellent imaging despite poor light
  • 3" colour LCD (460,000 dots) for easily framing, reviewing and
    sharing shots
  • Magic Filters for adding creative effects to stills or Full HD movies

* 35mm equivalent.

Olympus Stylus VH-520 specifications

Additional images