Olympus Stylus 1 Field Tests

Olympus Stylus 1 Field Test Part I

Dreamy Bokeh on a Budget

by Dave Pardue |

When a camera company unveils a new product it's generally accompanied with claims about all the special features embedded within, so I went to the Olympus website and read their claim that the Stylus 1 and its fixed i.Zuiko f/2.8 lens could: "...produce pro-quality stills with beautiful, defocused background..." That's quite a bold statement, but the sharp subject and gorgeous blurred background in the image below are proof that they're onto something rather good with this unique little camera. So let's take a closer look!

At a price point of US$700 we're no longer in traditional consumer camera territory, but have instead entered "enthusiast" land, that nether world between the consumer and the professional market. Enthusiasts often have particular styles or types of shooting they gravitate to... wildlife, portraiture, street shooting, etc... and as such are naturally interested in finding tools to support that particular style.

So when we at IR saw the Stylus 1 for the first time, most of us scratched our heads and asked "who is this camera for?"

Read more about my first impressions and hands-on experience with the Stylus 1.

Read Field Test Part I

Olympus Stylus 1 Field Test Part II

Reader Requests, Special Features and More

by Dave Pardue | 01/27/2014

Reader Requests. Thanks for your comments and suggestions for additional testing (and patience!).

Below we'll take a look at some of them in detail and see if we can further expand on the benefits of owning a Stylus 1 versus any potential drawbacks or shortcomings. So grab another coffee, dive right in and don't forget to keep your comments and suggestions coming at the bottom of the page when you're finished reading.

Thanks to our reader Duoxi for suggesting the simple and pertinent comparison in low light against the very capable and similarly priced Sony RX100 II. We already know without hesitation that the RX100 II with its much larger 1"-type sensor performs better as ISO rises, and that the Stylus 1 has a much longer zoom range and a larger available aperture across the farther end of that range. So this is a test to determine if the larger aperture on the Stylus 1 at longer focal lengths takes in enough light (thus allowing for a lower ISO at similar settings) to compensate for its weaker high-ISO performance.

Read on for reader requests, special features and more.

Read Field Test Part II

Olympus Stylus 1 Field Test Part III

Ergonomics, lens comparison testing and conclusions

by Dave Pardue | 3/07/2014

For this third and final chapter shooting with the Olympus Stylus 1 I'll write more about the handling and controls onboard the camera, and take a closer look at some of the additional features and functions. I'll also explore how the incredible i.Zuiko lens compares to a high-end Olympus Four Thirds lens (the beautiful and pricey 300mm eq. f/2.0 prime), and also to the lower-priced and smaller-sensored Panasonic FZ200.

Up close and personal. Let's start with a quick look at focus modes. There are five general focus modes, including Single AF, Continuous AF, Continuous AF with Subject Tracking, Super Macro and good ol' fashioned manual focus. Super Macro allows focus to be achieved at just 5cm (~2"), which is quite a tight range. For the Spanish doubloon image above I had the lens barrel right up against the bottom of the coin itself. You are not able to use zoom while in Super Macro mode, nor flash, but as you can see from this shot you're still afforded a very nice dose of bokeh (background blur) if it's desired. Clicking on the image will take you to a page where you can then click to see the full resolution image up close (and it's quite revealing in doubloon detail).

Read on for my thoughts on ergonomics, lens comparison testing and concluding remarks.

Read Field Test Part III

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