Olympus Stylus 1

Looks just like a miniature DSLR and shoots like one, too

The Stylus 1 has a serious, angular design that echoes Olympus’s flagship OM-D cameras. The look is “DSLR that’s had a mishap with a shrink ray” and the handling is similarly pro, with a decent grip and a viewfinder as well as the three-inch, tilting touchscreen.

A bright aperture lens is bolted on to the front like the others in this test, but in the case of the Stylus 1 it provides f/2.8 throughout its entire 10.7x zoom range, the 35mm equivalent of 28-300mm. Switch it on and it’s impressive from the off, the automatic lens cover splintering into four pieces in an extremely cool display of showmanship. Mirroring its Canon rival, the Stylus fields a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor delivering a 12-megapixel resolution and up to ISO 12,800 light sensitivity. Also on board is a latest generation TruePic V1 processor for near instantaneous autofocus, with the touchscreen providing both Touch AF and Touch Shutter options.

Olympus Stylus 1

Eleven on-board Art Filter digital effects extend creativity and are excellent at salvaging shots when conditions are dull, although not essential. Frankly, shots from the Stylus 1 look good without tinkering. A dedicated record button gets you shooting 1080p video in a flash. There’s also the option of high-speed 120fps or 240fps capture modes for creating slo-mo effects. The zoom can be used for video and while there’s a low mechanical buzz, the lens action is smooth, automatically re-focusing as it goes.

Like all good modern compact cameras, Wi-Fi is built in for sharing shots on the go. There’s also a lens ring for quickly adjusting features. With DSLR-like, performance this is a serious contender. However, it is the largest – you’ll have trouble slipping this into a pocket – and one of the priciest cams on test. A big investment in every sense.

Love: Longer lens reach. Constant, fast f/2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range. Classy, DSLR-like design

Hate: Largest compact cam on test. High price tag

Verdict: Not the smallest or cheapest camera on test, but it is a proper grown-up option

Features:

1. Screen

A tilting three-inch touchscreen allows you to compose shots at awkward angles. There’s a viewfinder, too

2. Controls

Dedicated buttons and dials aplenty without feeling overly cramped

3. Lens

A 10.7x optical zoom lens with a 28-300mm focal range really impresses

4. Build

Angular and sturdy, but the most beefy cam on test

Specification

Sensor 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch BSI CMOS

display 3-inch touchscreen

Lens 28-300mm

zoom 10.7x optical

ISO range ISO 100-12800

Video 1080p at 60fps

Stills capture JPEG, Raw, Raw + JPEG

connectivity Wi-Fi

Battery life Up to 240 shots

 

Height 87mm

Width 116.2mm

Depth 56.5mm

Weight 240g