When the first Olympus Stylus was introduced almost twenty years ago it quickly became the “go to” camera for street photographers, edgy artists, and space/weight conscious travelers. That first Stylus was a popular, ruggedly built, very compact, clamshell-style 35mm point-and-shoot camera that produced reliably first-rate snapshots. When the digital age arrived, Olympus resurrected the popular Stylus nameplate.
Olympus’ new digital Stylus models retained the old school elegance of the original and added twenty-first century imaging technology. The new ultra-thin Stylus 7010 shrinks the marque to shirt-pocket size, punches resolution up to 12 megapixels, features a 7x zoom, a 2.7 inch “Hyper-Crystal II” (230,000 pixel) LCD, Dual Image Stabilization, AF tracking, an i-Auto (intelligent Auto) mode to make taking pictures super easy, and a selection (pop art, pin hole, sketch, and fish-eye) of “Magic Filters” just for fun. The new Olympus Stylus 7010 is available in three chic colors – silver, gray, or pink.
Resolution keeps increasing, zooms keep getting longer, and cameras keep getting smaller. The theoretical point where the practical limitations of resolution, minimum body mass, and maximum focal length intersect may soon be realized. The Stylus 7010 is currently the smallest digicam available with a 7x (the 35mm equivalent is 28mm to 196mm) zoom. That may sound like another useless selling point, but upon closer examination the 7010 really is unique. The Stylus 7010 is ultra compact AND super thin – a genuine shirt pocket (3.8in×2.2in×1.0 inches and weighs just 4.4 ounces) mini-mega zoom digicam.
Very thin cameras often use internal focus periscope zooms to fold the light path (via mirrors/prisms) in order to save space, but they produce images that are consistently softer than traditional design digicam zooms. The first digital Stylus I ever tested featured a periscope style zoom. Barrel distortion, corner softness, vignetting, and chromatic aberration are usually well above average with periscope zooms. The nifty little 7010 features a relatively sharp and super small (about one inch thick when the camera is off) traditional optical zoom that goes all the way from 28mm moderate wide-angle to 200mm medium telephoto – that’s a lot of zoom for a camera that is only about an inch thick and costs less than two hundred bucks.
More on the way…
We’re just getting started, so watch for our full review of the Olympus Stylus 7010 – coming soon.