Olympus Stylus 1

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oly stylus1It’s called an enthusiast’s camera, designed for semi-pros, yet is a compact camera. It’s the Olympus Stylus 1, and it has OM-inspired looks.

The camera has an i.Zuiko lens that the company says incorporates the optical quality of its interchangeable lenses.

At its heart is a 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VI image processor, as well as the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) from the OM-D E-M5 and wi-fi.

While it may look like a DSLR, it has a retractable fixed lens, a newly developed 10.7x (28–300 mm equivalent) lens with constant f/2.8 aperture across the zoom range.

The large diameter lens incorporates a built-in VCM image stabilization mechanism that is said to virtually eliminate camera shake and blur.

The lens can also capture macro shots from 2 inches away.

When the lens is not in use, it retracts fully into the camera body (behind a removable automatic lens cap), meaning the camera will fit in a coat pocket.

Olympus designed the new lens to work with its 12-megapixel high-sensitivity backlit CMOS sensor and TruePicVI image processor, for fast recovery time and shutter speed to capture images with rich details and low noise.

Images come through with true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression, says Olympus.

The Stylus 1 also inherits the Fast Touch AF system from the Pen series for near-instant, precision focusing via the tilt-able LCD touchscreen monitor.

The camera is the first Olympus enthusiast, premium compact camera equipped with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF). The 1.44 million dot resolution LCD EVF has a 1.15x viewfinder magnification rate (0.58x equivalent) and 100 percent field of view – just like a DSLR.

The eye sensor automatically switches the live view display from the high-resolution 3.0-inch tilt-able LCD touchscreen monitor to the EVF as the camera approaches the user’s eye.

A variety of information is displayed on the EVF screen, including variables such as exposure and colour.

The Stylus 1 incorporates a blend of hands-on controls, including a hybrid control ring similar to the one found on the XZ-2 iHS. The control ring is built around the lens and can be switched between digital and analog operation with the control lever located on the front of the camera. In digital mode, the ring turns smoothly for fine zooming or manual focusing, and in analog mode, users can adjust settings such as aperture, shutter speed and more.

The front grip ensures a precise hold, and a sub-dial is positioned near the shutter button.

The camera is also equipped with a hot shoe for accessories, built-in flash, a side zoom lever with variable speeds and two customizable function buttons for easy access to commonly used settings.

By quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the wi-fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share 2.1 smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and the Stylus 1 so the camera’s “live view” is effectively displayed on the phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display. Users can wirelessly adjust various settings, such as the shutter speed, aperture value, ISO and exposure compensation, as well as operate the Live Bulb shooting mode from their wi-fi devices. They can also use their smartphone to embed GPS information into their images.

The camera offers 1080p Full HD Movie capability with stereo sound and high-speed movie recording (120 fps/240 fps) for slow-motion playback.

The Stylus 1 includes 11 Art Filters with bracketing option, five Art Effects and Photo Story, which shoots a group of still photos straight into attractive, prepared layouts.

Users can also capture RAW image data for post-processing flexibility, create motion blur effects without overexposing thanks to a built-in ND filter (with 3 EV stops) and capture up to 7 frames per second in full resolution.

There are several new accessories: EP-11 eyecup cuts out peripheral light for improved visibility in bright conditions; a full-body jacket protects the camera against damage and comes with a tailored cover; and CLA-13 converter adapter for the TCON-17x 1.7x teleconverter lens that extends the focal length of the camera to 510 mm yet retains the constant f/2.8 aperture.

The Olympus Stylus 1 will be available in December, in black only.

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