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Olympus announces Stylus SH-50 iHS with 5-axis image stabilization

By dpreview staff on Jan 8, 2013 at 03:00 GMT

Olympus has announced the Stylus SH-50 iHS, which the company claims is the first compact camera to feature E-M5-style 5-axis image stabilization. The 16MP camera also features a 24x 25-600mm (equiv.) optical zoom lens, 1080i60 video output and a touch-sensitive 3-inch rear LCD. Taking design cues from the company's higher-end PEN cameras, the SH-50 iHS sports a textured hand grip and will be available in March in both black and white versions.

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Press Release:

Ready, Steady, Go with Olympus Stylus® SH-50 iHS: world’s first Point-and-Shoot camera with 5-Axis video stabilization

Affordable, High-End Point-and-Shoot’s Outstanding Features Include Advanced Image Stabilization Technologies Similar to the Award-Winning Olympus OM-D E-M5

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 7, 2013 – Shooting video with a point-and-shoot camera or a mobile phone can sometimes be a hit-or-miss experience, with jerky results that could cause motion sickness. To provide a better experience, Olympus has created the STYLUS SH-50, a new premium, compact long zoom camera that’s equipped with 5-Axis Video Stabilization, 3-Axis Image Stabilization for stills and Full 1080p HD Video. A first for point-and-shoot cameras, its 24x optical zoom lens (25-600mm equivalent)* combines with an advanced image stabilization mechanism, originally developed for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 flagship interchangeable lens camera, to compensate for image blur­­­­­­ in all situations regardless of the scene. The result is brilliant still images and beautiful movies, even while using zoom.

The STYLUS SH-50 iHS is a true hybrid optimized for anyone looking to record virtually blur-free memories of any important milestone frozen in time or full of vivid motion. The SH-50 iHS is equipped with an Advanced Movie mode for powerful video recording functions including Photo-In-Movie that captures a full 16-megapixel still image while simultaneously shooting Full HD movies and High Speed Movies for 120 frame per second shooting in 720p HD and 240 frames per second in HVGA. The STYLUS SH-50 iHS includes 60i Movie--60 frames per second HD recording--for smoother images of moving subjects.

Its 16-megapixel Backlit CMOS sensor combines with the TruePic™ VI image processor to command an assortment of Olympus’s advanced iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) technologies to capture beautiful, sharp images of subjects even in challenging low-light situations and backlit scenes. The 3-axis Photo Image Stabilization mechanically compensates for rotary shift as well as horizontal and vertical angular shift to further enhance still images and eliminate blur.

An easy-to-use, touch-sensitive, 3.0-inch high resolution LCD screen is powered by the touch of a finger to focus on subjects and activate the shutter. Live Guide, a graphic user interface that provides simple assistance to control settings to capture the perfect image, adjusts color and tone at the swipe of a finger. Advanced photographers will appreciate onboard fully manual controls that customize settings to their comfort and shooting style.

Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology adjusts dark areas within an image shot under backlit conditions so that a subject’s face can be revealed even under strong lighting, and Hand-Held Starlight mode, which helps users at night by capturing multiple images and stitching them together into a single, crisp photo, can now be used with a flash. With the flash on, the camera automatically merges an image of the subject illuminated with the flash in the foreground with a separate image of the background nightscape, to produce a single, clear night photo. In low-light, HDR Backlight Adjustment takes a collage of images at various exposure levels and blends them into one perfectly exposed photo. Eleven Magic Filters add a range of spectacular effects to both stills and video, and Beauty Mode with Make-up lets users easily apply everything from eyeliner to eye shadow and blush to subjects.

Users can easily share their images on a big-screen HDTV in high definition using an optional HDMI cable or on their social networks using the Olympus Image Share smartphone application (via optional Toshiba FlashAir™ SDHC card or optional Eye-Fi Card).

* 35mm equivalent

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus STYLUS SH-50 will be available in March at an estimated street price of $299.99 (Available in Black and White)

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website:

Olympus Stylus SH-50 iHS specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3648 x 2736, 2832 x 2832, 2592 x 1944, 1984 x 1488, 1920 x 1080, 1024 x 768
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorTruePic VI
ISOAuto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG (DCF) EXIF 2.21
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–600 mm
Optical zoom24×
Maximum apertureF3.0 - F6.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range80 cm (31.5)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Manual
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Program Auto
  • Beauty Mode with Make-up
  • Scene Modes
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Beauty
  • Landscape
  • Night Scene
  • Night + Portrait
  • Sport
  • Indoor
  • Self Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Fireworks
  • Cuisine
  • Documents
  • Beach & Snow
  • Pet (Cat)
  • Pet (Dog)
  • S Macro
  • Backlight HDR
Built-in flashYes
Flash range4.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync
Continuous drive12 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec, Pet Auto Shutter)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 480fps (176 x 128), 240fps (384 x 288)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included39.3
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion SLB-10A rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)269 g (0.59 lb / 9.49 oz)
Dimensions112 x 63 x 42 mm (4.41 x 2.48 x 1.65)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes

Additional images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 36
John McCormack
By John McCormack (Mar 9, 2013)

There are many errors in the DPreview specs. Best check the Olympus site for the correct specs.

M Jesper
By M Jesper (11 months ago)

As always,
ps. this thing is huge !

By jmoh (Feb 24, 2013)

Hi Admin,

There's an error in the zoom range Specs. In the Intro it's says 24x zoom ( 25-600mm Eqv ) range. Whereas in the spec sheet it says 21x zoom ( 23-483Eqv ). I went over to the Getoly site and it says 24x zoom.

Cheers !!!...James.

Henry Falkner
By Henry Falkner (Jan 21, 2013)

5-axis video stabilisation would be very valuable when recording from the top of my accordion as I am playing it. I would like to see a movie example of how simultaneous video and still capture is handled - is it just a frame grab in editing? This issue may still cause me to jump for the older SZ-31MR iHS. But the Li-90B battery in the SH-50 should have better capacity than the Li-50B on my SZ-30MR and SZ-31MR iHS. Will the SH-50 show up in New Zealand?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
By slncezgsi (Jan 8, 2013)

At first I thought that I am looking at a new Ricoh camera ...

1 upvote
Paul T.
By Paul T. (Jan 8, 2013)

As an SZ-31MR owner, I see lots of similarities but what stands out for me (apart from the new Image Stabilization of course) is the fact that there's a Manual mode for aperture, exposure and ISO.

By peevee1 (Jan 8, 2013)

No specs?

Paul T.
By Paul T. (Jan 8, 2013)

Have a look at the Olympus UK site, it's very good:

Pierre Couture
By Pierre Couture (Jan 8, 2013)

Same zoom reach as the Pany FZ200, but with lesser grip, and slower lens. I like my TZ5, but this kind of reach is too big without a tripod on such a small body.

By photonius (Jan 8, 2013)

Actually not. It works quite well on the Sony HX20V/HX30V cameras (500mm equiv).

By peevee1 (Jan 11, 2013)

"Same zoom reach as the Pany FZ200, but with lesser grip, and slower lens."

Yeah, but this one is kind of pocketable.

By bb42 (Jan 18, 2013)

You're not forced to use the full zoom range...

By bobbarber (Jan 8, 2013)

How big is this camera? Is it like a travel zoom? I currently shoot a Canon SX30HS that I would gladly trade this for, IF this camera will fit in a (largish) pocket.

By bobbarber (Jan 8, 2013)

To answer my own question, it looks like this camera is just a tiny bit bigger in each dimension than the sx230hs. So, it should fit in a big pocket, although it is not a compact.

SH-50=106.3 x 69.2 x 39.7mm

By Timmbits (Jan 8, 2013)

Wow, one little thing in common with a real camera, and you guys all go crazy. Another inconsequential tiny sensor consumer camera.

1 upvote
By bobbarber (Jan 8, 2013)

I often carry my crappy Canon SX230HS travel zoom in preference to a Panasonic GH2. This class of camera is pretty useful to always have on you and not have to say, "If I could only get closer."

By calmwaters (Jan 8, 2013)

Wow Timmbits, are you ever the camera snob. The social media and the mainstream are being dominated by photos and video taken by "tiny sensor consumer cameras" and phone cameras. Photo's taken by these cameras are being treated with the same respect as photo's taken by high end cameras. If these are not your cup of tea, that's ok, but, don't tell me they're inconsequential.

Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Jan 9, 2013)

And I often carry my antique Canon SX110 IS to cover the long end. It's fine for picking out architectural details like roof cornices and terra-cotta boar's heads. But I wouldn't trust it for two- page magazine spreads. I guess. But what in hell would I know?

By bobbarber (Jan 9, 2013)

I rarely shoot for two-page magazine spreads.

1 upvote
By ddtwenty (Jan 8, 2013)

I am not expect to get camera with long zoom range. Just a shortter zoom range but to be more on tele end for example I like to see a compact body camera like this onlympus one come with super tele end with zoom power of only 8x like 125-1000 f2.8-5.6 with sensor size between 1/1.7inch to 1inch. But seem not any brands likely to introduce in to the market.

By photonius (Jan 8, 2013)

That's size is perhaps about half the size of APS-C (which is 1.6x smaller than FF). 1000mm (FF equiv.) / 1.6 / 2 = 300mm lens. Ok, look at the Canon EF 70-300 IS lens to see how big that will be

By ddtwenty (Jan 9, 2013)

Thank you for your calculation.
Yes may be I need more bulky body like cannon g1x to house that lenght of the lens (about 30 centimeter).

By Altruisto (Jan 9, 2013)

There's Nikon P7700, it's only 7x but the closest to what you're asking for, and what a camera!

By ddtwenty (Jan 12, 2013)

My idea is to have a compact camera with super tele zoom lens.
They will be used along with existing highend compact.
For instant when you have highend compact like cannon g15 pana lx7 sony rx100 you will find out that this super telezoom 125-1000 f2-5.6 1/1.7inch sensor will be a perfect duo with those camera that you already have.

AV Janus
By AV Janus (Jan 8, 2013)

5 axis for video 3 axis for stills. -is that the same as OMD?
I don't remember them ever making that statement for E-M5.

1 upvote
By carpandean (Jan 8, 2013)

Nope. OM-D is a fully mechanical 5-axis system that works in stills and video, while this is (credit given in post below) a traditional 3-axis mechanical system with 2 additional axis added via software during video only.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Jan 8, 2013)

Nice to see 5-axis IS used also on other cameras, this Olympus and also the Panasonic DMC-ZS30.

It's interesting to see that a hump is not needed, something previously said to be required to house the IS in an elevated position. I hope the hum is also gone.

By MirosIav (Jan 8, 2013)

Yeah, where's the hump now? I hope it'll disappear from m4/3 models as well or be filled with something useful. Flash, for example.

1 upvote
By carpandean (Jan 8, 2013)

Credit to user Elavon at

"From description in the article it looks that they have implemented additional 2 axis via software manipulation on the sensor during video recording.

They just ride the OMD 5 axis for the marketing hype. This is a traditional 3 axis with a video twist unlike the OMD which is an expensive real 5 axis implementation."

By OniMirage (Jan 9, 2013)

Technically it isn't the traditional IS because the traditional IS was dual axis. This one does the rotational corrections but zooms into the frame to do the vertical and horizontal shift corrections.

Hubertus Bigend
By Hubertus Bigend (Jan 8, 2013)

If they'd given it a finder, and a hotshoe, they could have made me interested.

By jj74e (Jan 9, 2013)

right, cause that's what everyone's looking for on a $300 compact.

some EVF accessories cost $300 by themselves.

why a hot shoe for a compact? if you're going to add big accessories on it you might as well use a mirrorless/DSLR.

people get so fixated on features that they can't get their heads out of their butts and think about a market audience other than themselves.

By frontkick (Jan 8, 2013)

Conflicting dimensions from different Olympus websites:
Weight 269g, 9.5oz
Dimensions (mm) 112.1mm W x 63.5mm H x 42.4mm D
Dimensions 106.3 x 69.2 x 39.7mm
Weight 244g (including battery and memory card)

1 upvote
By frontkick (Jan 20, 2013) has now changed their dimension to the same of that from

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
By jbwong (Jan 8, 2013)

42.4mm thick omg

By Mssimo (Jan 8, 2013)

"Similar to the Award-Winning Olympus OM-D E-M5"
Did not take long for Olympus to use the DPreview endorsement lol
Good on them.

1 upvote
Total comments: 36