Olympus Stylus 1s Review

 
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12.00
Megapixels
10.70x zoom 1/1.7 inch
size sensor
image of Olympus Stylus 1s
Front side of Olympus Stylus 1s digital camera Front side of Olympus Stylus 1s digital camera Front side of Olympus Stylus 1s digital camera Front side of Olympus Stylus 1s digital camera Front side of Olympus Stylus 1s digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Olympus Stylus 1s
Resolution: 12.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/1.7 inch
(7.6mm x 5.7mm)
Lens: 10.70x zoom
(28-300mm eq.)
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 100 - 12,800
Shutter: 1/2000 - 60 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 in.
(116 x 87 x 57 mm)
Weight: 14.2 oz (402 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 04/2015
Manufacturer: Olympus
Full specs: Olympus Stylus 1s specifications

Olympus Stylus 1s Review -- First Impressions

by
Preview posted

Olympus Style 1s Review -- Product Image

In the spring of 2014, we reviewed the Olympus Stylus 1, and found much to love in a product that redefined what the bridge camera could be, pairing compact size and a larger-than-average sensor with an excellent 10.7x constant-aperture zoom lens. Now, the company follows up with the 12-megapixel Olympus Stylus 1s -- and it's almost exactly the same Dave's Pick-winning camera, save for some styling tweaks and firmware refinements.

In fact, so closely are the two related that, once you've scanned over the differences below, you'd be well advised to read our previous Olympus Stylus 1 review. The firmware improvements in the Stylus 1s have already been ported over to that camera's version 2.0 firmware update, and so unless you have an aesthetic preference for the newer model, there's really not much to choose between them.

One key difference that stands in the Olympus Stylus 1s' favor is the presence of a new BLS-50 lithium-ion battery pack, which increases battery life by around 10%, up from 410 shots in the earlier camera to 450 shots in the new model. The pack itself is backwards-compatible, though, so once it becomes available at retail you could use it in place of the lower-capacity BLS-5 pack in the original Stylus 1.

Olympus Style 1s Review -- Product Image

Beyond that, though, the Olympus Stylus 1s' hardware changes are all cosmetic. The front and rear grips have both been retextured with a synthetic leather overlay, in place of the diamond-cut texturing of the original Stylus 1's grips. There's also now a blue stripe on the silver metallic ring around the base of the lens barrel, which Olympus tells us should be taken as a hint at the presence of a high-quality i.Zuiko Digital lens, just as featured in the earlier camera. And of course, the model name badge has been updated to read "Stylus 1s", rather than "Stylus 1" -- but that's a given.

Olympus Style 1s Review -- Product Image

Otherwise, the changes made are all in firmware. You can now change the zoom control on the left side of the camera's lens barrel to operate in steps rather than smoothly, with a total of nine steps between the 28mm-equivalent wide angle and 300mm-equivalent telephoto positions. You can also change how the zoom position is displayed in the electronic viewfinder or on the rear-panel LCD monitor, choosing either a magnification factor, actual focal length or 35mm-equivalent focal length display.

Autofocus has also been improved, with a new small target AF function whose focus point size is approximately 1/4 that of the standard AF point. And if you prefer to focus manually, a focus peaking function will help to confirm where the point of focus lies in your image.

Olympus Style 1s Review -- Product Image

Olympus has also added an interval shooting function, capable of up to 999 frames with an interval time of anywhere from one second to 24 hours between shots. This can be combined with the camera's movie capture functionality, to create a time-lapse movie in camera. And the Olympus Stylus 1s will support not only the TCON-17X 1.7x tele-conversion lens and MCON-40 macro extension lens right out of the box, but also the newer WCON-08X 0.8x wide-conversion lens.

Olympus Style 1s Review -- Product Image

Available from mid-April 2015, the Olympus Stylus 1s carries the exact same list price of US$700 as did its predecessor.

For much more information, you can read our in-depth Olympus Stylus 1 review, bearing in mind the new firmware features mentioned above, and the improvement in battery life from the new BLS-50 lithium-ion battery pack.

Just want a nutshell view of this camera and its capabilities? Read on for our Olympus Stylus 1s technical information report, following below!

Olympus Stylus 1s Technical Information

by Mike Tomkins

Sensor

The Olympus Stylus 1s is based around a 12-megapixel, 1/1.7"-type CMOS image sensor with an RGBG Bayer color filter. The imager has a 4:3 aspect ratio, and a total resolution before sensor masking of 12.76 megapixels.

Processor

Output from the Olympus Stylus 1s' sensor is handled by a TruePic VI image processor, the same type featured not only in the earlier Stylus 1, but also in the interchangeable-lens Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Sensitivity

By default, image sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 1600 equivalents. This can be expanded to encompass everything from ISO 100 to 12,800 equivalents, in 1/3 EV steps.

Performance

Full-resolution burst capture is possible at a rate of up to seven frames per second, to manufacturer specifications. Our testing of the earlier Stylus 1 found it capable of exceeding this spec, shooting at 8.1 frames per second in JPEG or raw modes, and 8.0 frames per second in raw+JPEG mode.

Lens

The Olympus Stylus 1s' real attention-grabber is its lens, an i.Zuiko Digital-branded 10.7x zoom with 28-300mm equivalent range. Unusually for such a long zoom and relatively compact camera, maximum aperture is f/2.8 across the entire zoom range.

The lens features 12 elements in 10 groups, of which eight are aspherics, and optical image stabilization is built-in to help combat blur from camera shake. The Stylus 1s can focus to as close as just five centimeters in Super Macro mode. With macro mode disabled, it will focus to 10 centimeters at the wide position, or 80 centimeters at full telephoto.

And like the Stylus 1 before it, the Stylus 1s features a removable, automatic lens cap that protects the lens when it's fully retracted into the body, but allows it to extend through the cap's extended petals when the camera is powered on -- no need to manually remove the lens cap before every shoot.

Autofocus

The Stylus 1S features a 35-area autofocus system with 9-area group targeting, and is capable of both single-servo and continuous autofocusing. It also features AF tracking, face-priority AF, and eye detection. This last allows the camera to focus specifically on your primary subject's eye, right where you'd want it for a portrait shot.

Viewfinder

The electronic viewfinder in the Olympus Stylus 1S is the same as that used in both the Stylus 1 and E-M5. Total resolution is around 1.44 million dots, and the manufacturer-rated field-of-view is approximately 100%, with 1.15x magnification. An eye-proximity sensor just to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece automatically detects when you raise the camera to your eye, disabling the LCD monitor and switching to the viewfinder automatically.

LCD monitor

The display, meanwhile, is a 3.0-inch LCD panel with a total resolution of 1.04 million dots. It's overlaid with a touch-screen which allows for limited menu navigation, touch autofocus, and touch shutter. And it's articulated, too, providing for an 80-degree upward tilt or 50-degree downwards tilt that helps when shooting from the hip, low to the ground, or over your head.

Exposure

A full complement of Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual modes is provided, as well as two custom modes. If you need a little hand-holding, there is also an Intelligent Auto mode, plus 13 scene modes. And to unleash your creative side, art filter effects and a photo story function are also included.

Exposures are determined using a Digital ESP metering system that can also function in center-weighted average or spot modes. When using spot metering, highlight or shadow control modes are also available. Exposure compensation is provided within a range of +/-3EV, in 1/3EV steps.

Shutter speeds range from 1/2,000 to 60 seconds, and a bulb timer function is also available, able to shoot exposures as long as 15 minutes.

A built-in flash strobe has a working range of 0.6 to 10.3 meters at wide angle, or 0.8 to 10.3 meters at telephoto, both with sensitivity at ISO 1600 equivalent. Flash exposures, too, can be compensated within a range of +/-3EV in 1/3EV steps.

Video

As you'd expect, the Stylus 1s can also record video at up to Full HD (1080p; 1,920 x 1,080 pixel) resolution, although the frame rate is limited to just 30 frames per second at full resolution. High-speed video is also possible, with rates of 120p and 240p at reduced resolutions. The maximum recording time is 29 minutes for regular video, and 20 seconds for high-speed clips. Audio comes courtesy of a built-in stereo microphone, and both wind-noise reduction and audio levels controls are provided.

Wireless connectivity

Just like its predecessor, the Olympus Stylus 1s includes in-camera Wi-Fi wireless networking connectivity. Courtesy of free apps for Android and iOS devices, the Stylus 1s allows for remote live view, focusing, capture and exposure control, and also allows for transfer of images and video post-capture. Although NFC pairing isn't possible, Olympus smooths the connection process by displaying a QR code on the camera's LCD monitor, which the free apps can recognize and use to pair the camera with a minimum of fuss.

Wired connectivity

In addition to built-in Wi-Fi, connectivity options include USB 2.0 High-Speed for data transfer, and a high-definition Type-D Micro HDMI video output. An optional remote cable (RM-UC1) can be used in the USB port for remote focus and shutter triggering, and the USB multi-connector also serves as a composite A/V output.

Storage

Images in JPEG or raw formats and movies in MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 format can be stored on Secure Digital cards. There's a single slot, and it accepts not only the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC card types, but also the higher-speed UHS-I types to a maximum of 104MB/second. Eye-Fi cards are also supported, although with in-camera Wi-Fi support, there's likely little reason to use one in the Stylus 1s.

Battery

Power for the Stylus 1s comes courtesy of Olympus' proprietary BLS-50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, which is CIPA-rated at 450 shots on a charge (with 50% using flash). The camera ships with a dedicated battery charger in the product bundle.

 

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