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Olympus Stylus 1 Comparison Review

The Olympus Stylus 1 is a fixed lens compact camera that was officially introduced in October 2013 and is equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 11.8 megapixel.

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Is the Olympus Stylus 1 a good camera? The Stylus 1 has a Camera Elo of 1821. This rating puts the Stylus 1 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the Stylus 1 ranks among the top 40 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Olympus Stylus 1
Fixed lens compact camera
28-300mm f/2.8
11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 100 - 12 800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Tilting touchscreen
7 shutter flaps per second
410 shots per battery charge
116 x 87 x 57 mm, 402 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Olympus Stylus 1 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Olympus Stylus 1 vs credit card front
Stylus 1 versus credit card top view
Stylus 1 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus Stylus 1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 4.6 in 3.4 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 410 n Oct 2013 699i
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799i
3.
 
Canon G16 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X30 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X20 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599i
7.
 
Nikon P7800 4.7 in 3.1 in 2.0 in 14.1 oz 350 n Sep 2013 549i
8.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 4.6 in 3.4 in 2.2 in 14.2 oz 450 n Apr 2015 699 i
9.
 
Olympus XZ-2 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 12.2 oz 340 n Sep 2012 599i
10.
 
Panasonic LF1 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.8 oz 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
11.
 
Pentax MX-1 4.8 in 2.4 in 2.0 in 13.8 oz 290 n Jan 2013 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus Stylus 1 was launched in the US market at a price of $699. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Olympus Stylus 1:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Olympus Stylus 1 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus Stylus 1 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Olympus Stylus 1 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.617951
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
5.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
6.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p........
7.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
8.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p........
9.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
10.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.621152
11.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The Stylus 1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Stylus 1 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Stylus 1 has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.58x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus Stylus 1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
7.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
8.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s1440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
9.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
11.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y

One convenient feature of the Stylus 1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

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Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus Stylus 1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
7.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Olympus Stylus 1sYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
11.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the Stylus 1 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

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The Stylus 1 has a zoom lens built in (6-64mm f/2.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 300mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Stylus 1 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699i
2.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
3.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
4.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
5.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599i
7.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549i
8.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s.......... Apr 2015 699 i
9.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599i
10.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
11.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Olympus Stylus 1 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Stylus 1.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the Stylus 1 based on?

The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Olympus equipped the Stylus 1 with the TruePic VI image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Stylus 1?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Olympus Stylus 1 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Olympus Stylus 1?

The Stylus 1 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Olympus Stylus 1 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Which battery does the Stylus 1 use?

The camera gets its power from the BLS-5 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Olympus Stylus 1
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-300mm f/2.8
    Launch Date October 2013
    Launch Price USD 699
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 11.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3 968 x 2 976 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.91 μm
    Pixel Density 27.26 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 51
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BLS-5 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 87 x 57 mm
    (4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 in)
    Camera Weight 402 g (14.2 oz)

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