Olympus Stylus 1 review

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There is a lot to like about the Olympus Stylus 1. The camera is packed in features and at the same time is easy for use by amateurs and can satisfy advanced users. Build quality may not be the exactly on the OM-D level, but I doubt anyone will complain. Tilt LCD is great as is the case with electronic viewfinder; actually as far as viewfinders go, this one is in better part of what’s available right now. Auto focus is as fast as anyone would want, comparable even with better DSLR cameras.

Image quality is on a high level compared to cameras with similar sensor size. Yes, colors colors are a bit muted and scenes with high dynamic range can be a problem (this is still only tiny 1/1.7″ sensor), but Stylus 1 keeps an astounding amount of details in its images. There are cameras with better sensors and image quality at this price point (a bunch of DSLR and mirrorless models), but none of them is this small with 28-300 F/2.8 zoom lens.

All put together, Stylus 1 deserves my full recommendations. This can be the only camera you will ever need, great for travel and family photos or as a secondary backup camera for you DSLR system.


  • Image quality
  • 28-300mm zoom with constant F/2.8 aperture
  • Fastest AF among all compact cameras
  • Tilt LCD
  • Excellent EVF
  • Build quality
  • RAW file format
  • Wide range of camera customizations
  • Control ring around the lens with selectable click/free rotation
  • Built-in flash can act as remote commander up to 3 groups of flashes
  • Hot-shoe
  • Slow-motion video
  • Removable lens cover


  • There are cameras with better image quality for this price (but they are all significantly bigger)
  • LCD does not support multi-touch
  • Non-standard USB connector (again!)
  • No 3,5mm input for external microphone


All from RAW, setting “to taste”

ISO 100, F/2.8, 1/100

ISO 100, F/2.8, 1/2000

ISO 100, F/3.5, 1/500

ISO 100, F/3.5, 1/640

ISO 100, F/4, 1/1000

ISO 100, F/2.8, 1/500

ISO 160, F/2.8, 1/250

ISO 100, F/3.5, 1/500

ISO 800, F/2.8, 1/100

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6 thoughts on “Olympus Stylus 1 review

  1. Great straightforward review. I own the stylus 1 and it is a great camera. Your review is interesting and not overly long.
    I find the super control panel (scp) along with being able to customise function buttons 1 & 2 so very useful and rarely have to go into the menues. Image quality for a camera of this size is amazing also being able to emulate many dslr`s and isolating subjects with the fast lens if desired.
    Best, Geoff

  2. Excellent review and pictures. Thanks. I was wondering in the RAW sample photos when you use the expression “To taste”. What did you mean exactly. Did you change any of the internal settings like noise reduction or noise filter?


    • “To taste” means I’m adjusting images in Adobe Camera Raw till I get the look I personally like, that can involve exposure, curves, noise, sharpness, colors, white balance, lens correction etc. I consider straight out of camera images as incomplete and unfinished; PC editing software is a second part of image creation, like dark room was before the advent od digital.

  3. Hello Ivan,

    I recently discover your cameras reviews on YouTube and I find them very professional, unbiased and extremely educational. I have highly recommended your blog to some family and friends.

    I have been looking for a smaller, lighter and more up-to-date camera than a standard DSLR and I fell in love with the Nikon Coolpix P600 ($425 1/2.3 sensor) until I saw your review on it. You are right, if the average image quality is not all that great then all the bells and whistles may become irrelevant.

    I did a new research with different criteria (image quality and sensor size in mind) and I fell in love again but this time with the Olympus Stylus 1 ($650 1/1.7 sensor) and you seem to agree this is a good camera.

    Unfortunately I believe the price of this Olympus camera is too high for a point and shoot. I would rather consider instead a DSLR Pentax K30 ($425) for which I already have a few lenses (but a K30 is not an up-to-date camera and carrying all that equipment around is not very convenient and/or practical if just taking a few photo in the park or small social gathering).

    I will really appreciate if you could give me some advice.

    What would be the next thing (already in the market or about to enter) closest to the Olympus Stylus 1 but within the $400-$450 range?

    My main feature’s list in order of preference would be:
    1-Image quality (sensor size?)
    2-Wi-Fi (as much control as possible with my android)
    3-Good zoom (at least 300mm if at all possible)
    4-Viewfinder (nice to have)

    Thanks in advance.

    • Tnx for your praise, i am happy when people find my work usefull :)

      It will be hard to find camera with all these features you mentioned up to $450.

      NEX-6 with the kit lens is now on sale on Amazon: $500 down from $900 what is a brutal deal and killer camera, but you don’t get telephoto without buying another lens that would cost $240 (55-210).

      Olmypus XZ-2 is a great choice (on sale now also for only $300), but no telephoto and no viewfinder. Nikon P7700 is also excellent, but has everything except wifi and viewfinder.

      Olympus E-PM2 also falls into the price range but telephoto would require another lens:

      Take a look at this litlle fellow:
      It has everything except telephoto and viewfinder, but probably the best IQ from 1/2.7″ sensor I’ve seen and fits in any pocket.

      As you see, at the price range you mentioned you will have to give up on a feature or two from you list, you’ll just have to decide which one. Or pay the bigger price to get them all. Or find a killer sale somewhere :)

      Personally, I would go for that NEX-6 on sale and learn to live without 300mm zoom, it has image quality way above anything with small 1/2.7″ sensor, perfect viewfinder, wifi, excellent handling and a growing system of lenses.

  4. Pingback: Nikon Coolpix P600 review | Camerahoarders.com

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