Olympus SH-2 long zoom adds raw capture, more night-shooting options; keeps 5-axis stabilization


posted Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 1:00 AM EST


In early 2014, the Olympus SH-1 brought the company's much-praised five-axis image stabilization system to a fixed-lens, compact camera body for the first time. Now, it follows up with the Olympus SH-2 long-zoom digital camera a year later, and this 16-megapixel, 24x zoom model retains the best features of its predecessor -- right down to that handy image stabilization system -- along with a couple of key differences.

Perhaps most importantly, if you're an enthusiast looking for a coat pocket-friendly long-zoom camera that doesn't limit your options too much, is the presence of raw capture as well as the existing JPEG-compressed capture of the earlier camera. The other main change is visible right on the Mode dial. The SH-1's Hand-held Twilight position on the Mode dial -- indicated using an icon of the moon, a star and a hand -- has been replaced with a new Nightscape position that has a simpler icon of moon and star, but without the hand. This position accesses one of five shooting modes -- Night+Portrait, Night Scene, Fireworks and Hand-held Starlight, which were all found on the earlier camera, as well as a new Night Composite mode.


In other respects, the Olympus SH-2 is near-indistinguishable from its predecessor. The leatherette texture on the body panels appears slightly different in press images, although this could be a matter of a slightly different rendering -- these images are often created on a computer rather than being true photos of the product in question. The flash range has also been reduced just slightly, but this doesn't necessarily mean it's a new strobe -- Olympus could just have changed how it rates the strobe's range. And early press materials for the Olympus SH-2 suggest that it may no longer include its predecessor's dual-axis electronic level gauge -- we have an enquiry in to the company to confirm this is actually the case, and not just an error on the spec sheet.

Available from April 2015, the Olympus SH-2 ships in black or silver versions. List pricing is is set at US$400. Want to know more about the followup to the SH-1? Read our Olympus SH-2 preview for the full story!