Olympus announces the Stylus 1; is this a legitimate Sony RX contender?

Olympus announces it's RX competitor; can this best Sony's workhorse point and shoot?
Olympus announces it’s RX competitor; can this best Sony’s workhorse point and shoot?

“Bridge cameras” have definitely come a long way. High-end point and shoot cameras and “super zoom” cameras no longer come with anemic CCD senors with slow-as-molasses image processors. The new bridge camera can definitely bridge that technological gap between your entry-level P&S or smartphone and an interchangeable lens system; this year has been good to this market segment with the reigning big dog – the Sony RX series of cameras.

Today, Olympus is throwing their hat into the ring with the Stylus 1; a surprisingly svelte camera with 10x optical zoom borrowing heavily from the aesthetics of the OM-D E-M1 (Olympus’s latest flagship mirror-less camera) yet compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket. Don’t sleep on this camera though, Olympus makes claims that the true beauty of the Stylus 1 is on the inside.

The Olympus Stylus 1 is equipped with a 12-megapixel CMOS back lit sensor powered by their TruePic VI imaging processor. That’s the same imaging sensor found in the E-M1. You’ll also find a 3-inch LCD articulating touch display for quick focus and image capture and in-camera WiFi for wireless control and sharing with your smartphone or tablet using the Olympus Image Share app (iOS and Android, sorry Windows Phone).

If you’re looking to expand your photography skills fear not, the Stylus 1 has plenty of manual controls thanks to co-opting the hybrid ring (originally found in the Olympus XZ-2iHS) as well as what sounds like a promising 1.44 million dot LCD EVF with 1.15x magnification and 100% field of view.

We’ll be reaching out to Olympus to see if we can get a review unit and put it through its paces. In the mean time, check out the full press release below:


The First Olympus Fusion of Ultimate Image Quality, High-Powered i.ZUIKO® DIGITAL Lens, and Built-In EVF

CENTER VALLEY, PA., October 29, 2013 – Olympus has redefined the enthusiast compact camera by uniting many of the best features found across its camera lineup in the new STYLUS. Designed for semi-pro shooters who demand optical brilliance, DSLR operation, convenience and portability, this one-size-fits-all package has head-turning, OM-inspired looks as well as premium imaging performance.

The STYLUS 1 includes an i.ZUIKO lens that incorporates the outstanding optical quality of the Olympus ZUIKO interchangeable lenses. At its heart is a large 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VI image processor along with additional features, including the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) from the award-winning Olympus OM-D E-M5® and Wi-Fi for shooting and sharing anywhere. Whether you want the latest and greatest high-tech tool, or if you simply prefer something that is lightweight and easy to take when you are on the go, there is truly something for everyone.

One Great Lens

The newly developed, ultra-slim 10.7x (28–300mm*) high-power i.ZUIKO lens features constant f2.8 brightness across the zoom range and is versatile enough to capture wide to telephoto shots and produce pro-quality stills with beautiful, defocused backgrounds and crisp images even when telephoto shooting in low light. The large diameter lens incorporates a powerful, built-in VCM image stabilization mechanism that virtually eliminates camera shake and blur. Its lens can also capture stunning 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), so the STYLUS 1 fits easily into a coat pocket.

One Great Sensor

Olympus designed the new lens to work seamlessly with its 12.0 megapixel 1/1.7-inch high-sensitivity backlit CMOS sensor and TruePicVI image processor, the same processor used in the Olympus OM-D

E-M5, 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. The STYLUS 1 also inherits FAST TOUCH AF system from the Olympus PEN® series for near-instant, precision focusing via the tilt-able LCD touchscreen monitor.

One Great Electronic Viewfinder

The STYLUS 1 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 (equivalent to 0.58x of 35mm film camera) and 100 percent field of view — just like a DSLR — so users can easily compose their subjects directly with clear visibility from the center to the edges. The eye sensor automatically switches the live view display from the high-resolution 3.0-inch, 1.04 million dot resolution tilt-able LCD touchscreen monitor to the EVF in no time as the camera approaches the user’s eye. A variety of information is displayed in an easy-to-view layout on the EVF screen, including variables such as exposure and color.

Operability for all Shooting Styles

The STYLUS 1 incorporates an ideal blend of effective, hands-on controls, including a hybrid control ring similar to the one found on the Olympus STYLUS 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, while the sub-dial, positioned near the shutter button, provides further operational accuracy. 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.

Wi-Fi Sharing and Control

Built-in Wi-Fi is easy to set up. 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.

Creative Possibilities

In addition to superior still image quality, the 1080p Full HD Movie capability with stereo sound and high-speed movie recording (120fps/240fps) captures movies for dramatic slow-motion playback of fast-action scenes. The STYLUS 1’s 11 included Art Filters™ with bracketing option, five Art Effects and Photo Story, which shoots a group of still photos straight into attractive, prepared layouts, effortlessly bring the user’s artistic visions to life. 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!

Several new accessories are designed to complement the STYLUS 1 and broaden the creative potential of this powerhouse compact camera. The 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 the CLA-13 converter adapter for the high-grade TCON-17x 1.7x teleconverter lens that extends the focal length of the camera to 510mm and retains the outstanding brightness of a constant 1:2.8 aperture.

*35mm equivalent.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus STYLUS 1 will be available in December 2013.

Estimated Street Price:

$699.99 Available in Black

To find out more about the STYLUS 1, and for a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website at: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/digitalcameras/premium-compacts/stylus-1.html.


Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhance people’s lives every day. These include:

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: getolympus.com.

* Olympus Image Share 2.0 is compatible with most Smartphones. Please visit http://www.getolympus.com/olympusimageshare for phone compatibility information.

Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

“Olympus,” “ZUIKO,” “Olympus OM-D,” “OM-D”, “Olympus PEN”, “PEN”, “Art Filters”, “Photo Story”, and “Stylus” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Olympus Corporation, Olympus America Inc. and/or their affiliated entities.

©2013 Olympus Imaging America Inc.

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