First Shots & Thoughts | Olympus Stylus 1

First Shots | Olympus Stylus 1 | UK fashion blog | Stylonylon

My idea of heaven is being let loose outside, just me and a camera. Since receiving the new Olympus Stylus 1 for Christmas (thank you, lovely husband!) I’ve spent the last few days getting to know the new Olympus layout and how it handles…

It was smaller than I thought (bonus!) and is the perfect travel camera or for those times you don’t want to lug your DSLR with you. Since its launch just a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been avidly reading reviews and living in high hopes that this little camera would live up to the claims. Most importantly, its potential for dreamy bokeh, which for bloggers, at least, is high on the list of aesthetic priorities when it comes to picture taking. This I’ve been practicing as I get used to the menu layout; see my quince shot below – pretty happy with the results, I must admit.

I shoot on AV, which means I can set the aperture – the lens stops down to f2.8 which is great for shallow depth of field. I also set the WB and ISO. Shutter speed is something I still haven’t got the hang of, but something for the new year! I love the instant access to changing the aperture by turning the focus ring and top dial for exposure. For ISO, WB and AF you have to click through the menu, but I’m getting the hang of doing that quickly. What’s amazing is that you can use the menu functions easily even when you’re using the brilliant viewfinder (no token EVF, this one works properly!). This has long been on my wishlist for a compact and I’m thrilled to have it on here. This is also the first time I’ve had a camera which links up to my iPhone – I can transfer photos nice and easily to share on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and I can also use my phone as a remote shutter release, a must for a fashion blogger who does all her own outfit posts! I think that while I’m away in January all these features will come into their own.

Anyway, here are a few of my shots, the ones I was happy with, all taken just after midday on Skye – the sun was so soft, closer to setting than rising. So far, the Stylus 1 has taken some lovely photos, but, I feel, has so much more potential than I’ve tapped into. I find it takes a while to get the hang of a new camera. But with our forthcoming trip to Australia and Tasmania I’m hoping to push my limits and get some really great shots. And as some of them will be ending up on the Free People blog, I want to give it the best I’ve got.

Other thoughts – at £549 it’s not the cheapest compact, but given that my last serious compact was the Leica X1 which comes in at nearly three times the price (mine was second-hand and half price from eBay) and I’m achieving practically the same image quality I’m not complaining. Plus the other ‘enthusiast’ compact I own is a Canon G11, which I’ve never felt that comfortable using ergonomically and, as a result, never really achieved much photographically – the viewfinder was not great and the lens not as good as this one. So, early thoughts, I would definitely opt for the Stylus 1 over these two.

Anyway, enough camera chat for now – though do drop me a line if you have any questions, as I love talking cameras.  I do hope you’re enjoying the run up to the new year? We haven’t got anything major planned just some family time (and lots of chocolate eating!) before we make the trip back to London from Skye. Whatever you do, I hope you feel re-invigorated and inspired for 2014!

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  1. Hi there,

    Found you by searching hashtag stylus1 on twitter. Lovely pics. I can’t wait for mine to turn up (fingers crossed soon). Do you find the battery to hold out for a day’s snapping and a bit of wifi or do you always need to have a spare? I’ve got a Pen Mini that shares that battery type so have a few spares already but it’d be nice to go out with only the Stylus. How is the build? Would you say a case is essential or could the camera take a light knock or two?


    1. Hi Ed
      Thanks for stopping by. So far, I haven’t done a full day but I’ve had it out for about nearly two (though not heavy use) half days before recharging, so it does feel like there’s a good charge in the battery. I’ve just bought a case for travelling but probably won’t use it when I have out with me. The lens feels very protected and overall the camera feels quite robust, my only worry would be scratching the screen as it’s quite large. But it’s definitely a camera for having out and about with you without too much worry – just what is needed!

  2. Hi “London freelance writer in her 30s”

    I found you when looking for info on the Stylus 1, which I’ve just bought.
    Are you still enjoying it? Have you any tips as to what settings you use, especially for your landscapes? Never used an Olympus before.

    Great photos of Skye, btw. And the cat.


    1. Hi Dave – sorry for the long delay in replying, I only saw this comment just now. Yes, best tip I got was to activate the Super Control Panel – in the display settings. It means when you press ok, you have a shortcut to all the settings. Nothing really major on the settings, although I have been playing around with the highlights and shadows. I tend to shoot with the exposure and ISO a little up for brightness. Hope that’s of use! Julia

  3. Nice pics! Where were these taken? Makes me want to go out in the nature again..Sadly I have to work. Really should go back now again.

    1. These are all on Skye, so beautiful there and a great location for test shots! 🙂

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