Olympus Stylus 1 is a camera from a so called prosumer class which was very popular around 10 years ago but neglected since because of cheap DLSR cameras. Lately, many manufactures started to produce them once again as there is a demand for small cameras with high image quality and manual controls. Stylus 1 has all the bells and whistles that should make it popular: 12 megapixel CMOS sensor with RAW file format compatibility, 28-300mm zoom lens with F/2.8 constant aperture, Full HD video, WiFi, EVF, tilt and touch sensitive LCD and many others. I was quite indifferent to this camera at the time of the announcement. Big zoom, small sensor, probably bad electronic viewfinder (most EVF’s on compact cameras were garbage until now so why expect better?) and surely average image quality… Boy I was wrong! It is not revolutionary but almost all aspects of Stylus 1 were way better than I expected. Keep reading to find out what0s so good about it.
- Announced: 2013.
- Type: Prosumer
- Dimensions: 116 x 87 x 57 mm (4.57 x 3.43 x 2.24″)
- Weight: 402g (with battery)
- Sensor: 1/1.7″ (7.44 x 5.58 mm), 12 MP (3968 x 2976 pixels)
- ISO range: 100 – 12800
- Image stabilization: Yes (in the lens)
- Dust and moisture protection: No
- Flash: Built-in pop-up flash + hot-shoe + flash remote commander
- Continuous shooting: 7fps
- LCD screen: 3″, 1,040,000 dots, touch sensitive
- Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
- Battery: Li-Ion
- Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, 1280 x 720 @ 30p, 640 x 480 @ 120fps, 320 x 240 @ 240fps
- Connectors: USB 2.0, micro HDMI, Wi-Fi built-in
CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
Olympus Stylus 1 had quite high build quality for compact cameras standards. The camera is tightly assembled and uses plastic of good quality. I do wish Olympus used soft rubber for grip and thumb rest though; right now it is from some soft plastic but it’s not a big deal.
The camera handles very well. Grip is not very protruded but in combination with excellently shaped thumb rest it is possible to hold the camera for prolonged periods of time without hand fatigue.
In use, Stylus 1 generally feels and operates like OM-D. Menu system, AF speed and the possibility to personalize externals controls are a copy of those found on E-M5 or other mirrorless cameras from Olympus.
Control dials have good response when rotated; they have just the right amount of frictions but are still easy to rotate. The one around the lens uses the ingenious solution seen on Olympus XZ-2: control ring has “clicks” but with the flick of a special switch beside the lens it rotates freely and controls manual focus. Buttons on the back are relatively small and are not protruded enough (menu and playback buttons especially).
There is a small built-in pop-up flash above the lens, but the detail that makes is extremely usable is the option to wirelessly control Olympus flash units up to three groups just like OM-D can. Hot-shoe is also present.