Olympus 1040 Review

 
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Basic Specifications
Full model name: Olympus Stylus 1040
Resolution: 10.10 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3"
Lens: 3.00x zoom
(38-114mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 50-3200
Shutter: 1/2-1/2000
Max Aperture: 3.5
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.2 x 0.8 in.
(89 x 56 x 20 mm)
Weight: 3.8 oz (108 g)
MSRP: $200
Availability: 10/2008
Manufacturer: Olympus
10.10
Megapixels
3.00x zoom
1/2.3"
size sensor
image of Olympus Stylus 1040
Front side of Olympus Stylus 1040 digital camera Back side of Olympus Stylus 1040 digital camera      

The Olympus Stylus 1040 features an ultraslim body that the company says makes it "the thinnest Stylus camera of all time", at just 20.3 millimeters thick. This svelte frame houses the combination of a 1/2.3"-type ten megapixel image sensor and an Olympus-branded 3x optical zoom lens with a rather tight 38mm wide-angle. A 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution and 140 degree viewing angle offers the Stylus 1040's only option for framing and reviewing images, as there's no optical viewfinder on this model. In the interests of keeping size down, the Olympus 1040 includes no form of mechanical image stabilization - only what the company calls "Digital Image Stabilization", which simply increases the ISO sensitivity (and along with it, both the shutter speed and image noise levels) to try and freeze motion. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 50 to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent, with the ability to extend this to ISO 3,200 at a reduced three megapixel resolution.

Olympus' Stylus 1040 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera's image sensor, and the Stylus 1040 also includes face detection capability, able to detect up to sixteen faces in a scene simultaneously. Olympus' Face Detection function is linked to both the autoexposure and autofocus systems, ensuring that your subjects' faces are taken into account when determining both these variables. It also allows for tracking of a subject's face as it moves around the frame,once detected. A "Smile Shot" function can automatically capture three photos when the camera detects that your subject is smiling.

A "Perfect Shot Preview" mode allows users to see what the effects of certain camera adjustments - for example, exposure compensation, white balance, or metering mode - will be before actually taking a photo. Eight scene modes are offered in the Olympus 1040, plus a Program Auto mode, allowing users some degree of control over their images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds and apertures. There's also an Intelligent Auto mode which can identify the type of scene being photographed, and then automatically set the camera up for either Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Macro, or Sports shooting. In-camera image editing is possible, with the Olympus 1040 able to resize images, as well as correct for red-eye and exposure problems, or convert the images to black and white or sepia toning. An in-camera panorama mode is started with a press of the shutter button followed by panning the camera slowly across the scene. The Stylus 1040 then cleverly captures two more photos by itself at the correct moment, and combines the three images together in-camera to offer a single stitched scene automatically. For creation of larger panoramas up to ten images, the included software can be used on a computer.

For viewing images on a television, the Olympus Stylus 1040 has NTSC / PAL video output connectivity, while images can be transferred to a PC over a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection. A rechargeable LI-42B Lithium Ion battery with charger is included with the Stylus 1040, along with Olympus' Master 2 software for viewing and modifying photos. Images are stored in 48MB of internal memory, as well as on xD-Picture Card memory cards. Interestingly, Olympus has also chosen to include an MASD-1 microSD to xD-Picture Card adapter in the Stylus 1040 bundle, allowing the use of microSD cards in the camera as well.

The Olympus Stylus 1040 will ship in the USA from October 2008 with pricing of about $200.

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