It's just OK
I purchased this camera as a point and shoot alternative to my Canon SLR.
And here lies the problem. You are comparing dissimilar cameras with differently sized sensors and dissimilar firmware to suit those specific sensors.
What sold me on it is the new Olympus 5-axis image stabilization.The IS is instantly noticeable, and is by far the best advantage to this camera. Even at full zoom and/or in low light conditions the videos and images have little or no motion blurring compared to the slew of other point and shoot camera that I have owned.
And that is why I am gunning for the SH-50 iHS. I take part in Christmas parades with my P&S mounted on my accordion as I am playing it while walking. Also, even in my SZ-30MR videos where I am standing still, YouTube still volunteers to take the shakes out of them.
My biggest disappointment is the softness of images from wide to telephoto. I suppose going from an SLR I had set the bar high. However, I expected more from a camera in this price range.
When I used a Stylus 800, I got slaughtered here because the excessive sharpening caused artifacts. Later my SP-570UZ got slammed for being too soft. Then people discovered that this allowed you to sharpen to suit specific pictures during PP. With my current SZ-30MR I found over-sharpening again, with excessive noise reduction to compensate for it (it brought up all sorts of crud in the sky). After using the camera for six months, the crud was disappearing mysteriously. My favourite speculation is that solder flux residue has boiled off the BSI CMOS sensor (manufacturers are no longer allowed to use Freon for getting rid of that residue).
From what you are telling us, with the SH-50, Olympus is going back to under-cooking in the firmware.
The sound of the lens zooming in and out in video playback is loud and annoying.
This is commented on with other makes as well. It was very noticeable on my SZ-30MR for the first year or so. After two years that noise is reduced so much, in some of my videos I don't hear it at all.
It is also unfortunate that no Aperture or Shutter Priority is included and no RAW image capability. But I suppose that is to be expected for cameras in this class.
The workaround is to set the ISO so that P mode will choose your favourite combination. P&S firmware writers do seem to work against those who have photographic training. Still, you also get spot metering and spot focussing, which also help to get appropriate shutter speeds and apertures.
I ended up trading it for an Olympus E-PM2 mirrorless SLR, and though the video is a bit lacking on it, I'm much happier with the image quality and more advanced features.
Since you do come from an SLR, this looks like a more suitable choice to me than a P&S.
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