Olympus Stylus 1 Lens Quality

f/5.6, 28mm eq.
f/5.6, 50mm eq.
f/5.6, 300mm eq.
2x Digital Zoom

Zoom: The Olympus Stylus 1's 10.7x zoom lens exhibits good sharpness and contrast at the maximum wide angle setting at f/5.6, though corners are a bit soft and minor to moderate chromatic aberration can be seen along high-contrast edges. Some flare is also evident around very bright elements in our test scene. Performance is quite good at a medium focal length of about 50mm equivalent, with very good sharpness and contrast across the frame as well as lower CA and flare. At full 10.7x telephoto, performance appears to be good at f/5.6 with just a touch of softness, though this target isn't very good for judging long-zooms at full telephoto. (It's primarily meant to demonstrate zoom range.) 2x digital zoom (which can be engaged at any focal length) performs fairly well with few interpolation artifacts, though details are soft and noise is more visible as you'd expect from digital magnification. Overall, the Stylus 1's lens may not offer the range of the latest superzooms from competitors with smaller sensors, but its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture is exceptional and optical performance is very good for its class.

Aperture: f/2.8
Wide: Very sharp at center
Wide: Soft, upper left
Tele: Fairly sharp at center
Tele: Slightly soft, upper right
Aperture: f/4
Wide: Very sharp at center
Wide: Soft, upper left
Tele: Fairly sharp at center
Tele: Soft, upper right

Sharpness: At maximum aperture, the wide-angle end of the Olympus Stylus 1's zoom shows some moderate softness in all four corners of the frame compared to what we see at center, and blurring extends fairly deep into the frame, though sharpness progressively improves as you move away from the corners to the point where the center is very sharp. At full telephoto and maximum aperture, blurring in the corners is minimal, however the center isn't quite as sharp as wide angle. Some noticeable vignetting (corner shading) is visible at full telephoto, but interestingly wide angle shows very little.

Stopping down to f/4 improves corner sharpness at both wide angle and telephoto only slightly, but stopping down a bit further may improve corners more. Vignetting is still visible at full telephoto, but it's not quite a strong as when wide open.

Overall, very good performance for a fast, long-zoom lens.

In-camera JPEG
Wide: Moderate barrel distortion; noticeable
Tele: No visible distortion
Uncorrected RAW
Wide: Very high barrel distortion
Tele: Moderately high pincushion distortion

Geometric Distortion: There is moderate (~0.6%) barrel distortion at wide angle in JPEGs, and really no visible distortion at telephoto. Thus, the Olympus Stylus 1's processor does a good job controlling lens distortion.

As expected, uncorrected RAW files contain much higher barrel distortion at wide angle, at about 2.6%, and uncorrected pincushion distortion at telephoto is moderately high, at about 1.0%. Keep in mind most RAW converters will automatically correct for distortion, though sharpness can suffer when pixels are "stretched" during the correction process.

In-camera JPEG
Moderate and bright
Moderately low
Uncorrected RAW
High and bright

Chromatic Aberration: Chromatic aberration at wide angle is moderate in terms of pixel count, though pixels are fairly bright blue-purple and noticeable on our target. At full telephoto, fewer colored pixels are visible and fringing isn't as bright.

As expected, uncorrected RAW files show much higher and brighter green and magenta lateral chromatic aberration at wide angle, and moderate levels of blue and red CA at full telephoto. Again, most RAW converters will likely automatically suppress CA to try and match the camera's suppression.

Macro with Flash
Super Macro

Macro: The Olympus Stylus 1's macro mode captures a sharp image with strong detail across much of the frame, with just minor blurring at the extreme corners of the frame (a common limitation among consumer digital cameras in macro mode). Minimum coverage area in standard macro mode occurs at full telephoto, but is much larger than average at 4.07 x 3.05 inches (103 x 78mm), which is quite poor. The camera's flash throttled down a bit too much at this distance, producing an underexposed image, but at least there was no shadow from the lens. The camera's Super Macro mode did better, with a much smaller and closer to average minimum capture area of 2.22 x 1.67 inches (56 x 42mm). Note that flash and zoom are not supported in Super Macro mode, and that focal length is fixed at ~42mm eq.


Olympus Stylus 1 Viewfinder Accuracy

Wide: LCD Monitor
Tele: LCD Monitor
Wide: EVF
Tele: EVF

Viewfinder Accuracy: The Olympus Stylus 1's LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder both show about 100% coverage at wide angle, and closer to 101% coverage at full telephoto. Very good results here, especially considering the amount of distortion correction being performed.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Olympus Stylus 1 Photo Gallery .

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