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!