We just got the Olympus Stylus 1 in as a review unit and couldn’t wait to show you the first images taken with this camera.
The Olympus Stylus 1 is Olympus’ newest point and shoot zoom camera with a focal range of 28-300mm (35mm equivalent). The camera has a 3-inch tilting touchscreen with beautiful clarity. The Stylus 1 also offers users Wi-Fi capability to easily transfer images to your smartphone or tablet by way of the Olympus Camera app. Sounds like a bunch of other cameras nowadays, right? Kind of, but the Olympus Stylus 1 isn’t your run-of-the-mill point and shoot camera.
I was so excited to get my hands on the Olympus Stylus 1. Based on the specs there is a lot to love about this camera. For starters, the Stylus 1 has a 10.7x zoom lens with a constant aperture of f/2.8. That’s right! Any Point and Shoot with a maximum constant aperture of f/2.8 piques my attention. In addition to that, the camera shoots RAW files, has a hybrid control ring and manual shooting and focusing functionality.
The Stylus 1 was announced on the heels of the highly publicized Sony RX10. It has a smaller sensor and fewer megapixels than the Sony. But this girl knows it’s not always about the size of a sensor or a large megapixel count that makes a camera worth having. For me, the real worth of a camera comes down to image quality and ease of use. If the image quality is there and the camera does what you want it to do, it matters very little the size of the camera’s sensor. Also, if the camera acts as an extension of your hand, specs alone mean less than a great user experience. On the other hand, the $600 difference between the cameras (the Olympus Stylus 1 costing only $700 vs $1300) is not worth saving if the camera cannot produce quality results.
My first impression of the camera is generally very positive. It obtains autofocus quickly, it has a bright LCD screen that tilts for overhead or waist-level shooting, and the EVF is great (especially for this price point). The camera features a slight hand grip that is good for the camera’s weight and the programmable function buttons are very helpful when needing to access repeatedly used functions. For advanced shooters, the camera has a mode dial for various shooting options: PASM, scene mode, and 2 custom modes. The camera also has a manual focus mode, albeit a bit challenging to get used to. I really only have 2 minor gripes about the camera at this point. First, my lower palm has a tendency to rest on the buttons on the back of the camera. It’s not a major problem, but it did get annoying a couple of times. Second (this one can hardly be a gripe of the camera), I was hoping for a more aggressive macro mode. As a macro fanatic, I am completely spoiled with the super Macro Mode on the Olympus TG-2. I was really hoping the Stylus 1 could deliver results that were comparable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. But to be fair, the camera’s spec sheet doesn’t claim that the camera could deliver this–it was just wishful thinking on my part.
*On a side note, if I have Olympus’ attention, I would absolutely love to see a mid to high end Olympus camera be able to deliver the same outstanding super macro imagery that the TG-2 can produce.
Below is a sample image gallery from the Olympus Stylus 1 and are straight out of camera jpeg image files. I apologize for the lack of creativity in the shots. Southwest Ohio is dreadfully boring in the winter. I am going to seek out a few cool locations and bring you some better shots for the full review. For the time being, these shots should give you a good idea of the camera’s potential.