Olympus Stylus 1 Review

November 29, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

The Olympus Stylus 1 produced images of very good quality during the review period. JPEGs taken at the base sensitivity of ISO 100 exhibit great colour and nice tonality, and strike a good balance between noise reduction and detail retention.

High-ISO performance is broadly in line with what you could reasonably expect from a sensor of this size. In JPEGs, the effects of noise reduction become apparent at ISO 800 and above, whilst the raw files contain quite a lot of noise (though they do retain detail better than the out-of-camera JPEGs). ISO 1600 and 3200 are borderline usable for small prints, whereas the highest settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are really only there to make the spec sheet look better.

Thankfully with an f/2.8 lens throught the zoom range and sensor-shift image stabilisation on board, you will hardly ever need to shoot at these high sensitivity settings anyway. The fast lens not only allows you to use low ISOs in dim lighting, it also provides for good subject-background separation, something most digital compacts can't really achieve. Thankfully the 10.7x zoom lens doesn't suffer too badly at all from purple-fringing in areas of high contrast.

Noise

The base sensitivity setting is ISO 100, with the maximum being ISO 12800. You can dial in any value in between these two extremes in third-stop increments. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each “full” ISO setting for JPEG and RAW files.

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg
   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

Focal Range

The 10.7x i.Zuiko lens offers a very versatile focal range, as demonstrated by these examples.

28mm

300mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

The out-of-camera JPEGs are fairly sharp at the default sharpening setting, but still benefit from a little extra sharpening in a photo editor. Alternatively, you can change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your needs better. Here are two 100% crops - the right-hand image has had some extra sharpening applied.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

At full resolution, the Olympus Stylus 1 allows you to choose from two JPG quality settings, Normal and Fine. Additionally, the camera supports raw capture, and simultaneous recording of JPEG and raw files is also possible.

12M Fine (5.10Mb) (100% Crop)

12M Normal (2.44Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
   

12M RAW (11Mb) (100% Crop)

 
quality_raw.jpg  

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus Stylus 1 dealt with chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with just a little purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Olympus Stylus 1 has both a Macro (10cm) and a Supermacro (5cm) mode, albeit the zoom can only be used in the former. The shot below demonstrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case, a Compact Flash card.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The Olympus Stylus 1 has a pop-up flash with AUTO, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Off, Slow synchronisation with red-eye reduction, Slow synchronisation, and Manual (Full, 1/1.3 - 1/128) modes. These shots of a white-coloured ceiling were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Suppressed Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

Forced Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Suppressed Flash - Telephoto (300mm)

Forced Flash - Telephoto (300mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye Flash settings caused any red-eye.

Forced Flash

Forced Flash (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction Auto

Red-eye Reduction Auto (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

The Olympus Stylus 1 allows you to dial in exposure times as long as 60 seconds or up to 15mins in the Bulb mode, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography. The example below was taken at a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 100.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Anti Shake

The Olympus Stylus 1 has a lens-shift image stabilisation mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at shutter speeds that are critically slow for the focal length used. To test this, we took 2 hand-held shots of the same subject at both ends of the zoom range with the same settings. The first shot was taken with image stabilisation turned off, the second with it turned on.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/15th / 28mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
1/15th / 300mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Multiple Exposure

The Olympus Stylus 1 can combine two seperate frames taken sequentially into one to create a multi-exposure picture.

Multiple Exposure

multiple_exposure1.jpg

Art Filters

The Olympus Stylus 1 offers 11 Art Filters including Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone. These can be applied to both stills and movie clips.

Pop Art

Soft Focus

art_filter_01.jpg art_filter_02.jpg
   

Pale&Light Color

Light Tone

art_filter_03.jpg art_filter_04.jpg
   

Grainy Film

Pin Hole
art_filter_05.jpg art_filter_06.jpg
   

Diorama

Cross Process
art_filter_07.jpg art_filter_08.jpg
   

Gentle Sepia

Dramatic Tone
art_filter_09.jpg art_filter_10.jpg
   

Key Line

 
art_filter_11.jpg  

Picture Modes

Olympus' Picture Modes are preset combinations of contrast, sharpness, gradation and saturation. There are six Picture Modes to choose from, all of which can be tailored to your tastes.

i-Enhance

Vivid

picture_mode_01.jpg picture_mode_02.jpg
   

Natural

Muted

picture_mode_03.jpg picture_mode_04.jpg
   

Portrait

Monotone

picture_mode_05.jpg picture_mode_06.jpg