As the new top of the line "Stylus" model (as of 6/2008), the Olympus Stylus 1020 comes loaded with extraordinary features. This 10.1-megapixel digicam
features a 7x optical zoom lens, dual image stabilization system, 2.7" HyperCrystal II LCD screen, TruePic III imaging sensor and plenty
of in-camera features. These include, Face Detection, Perfect Fix, Shadow Adjustment, in-camera panorama mode and a live multi-frame
viewing window to show you adjustments and effects as you are taking your pictures. Finally, every time you press a button on the
camera, all of the menu buttons light up, making it very easy to operate in even the lowest lighting conditions. One thing to keep in
mind is this is one of the first Stylus models that is not listed as at least being water-resistant or all-weather, so if you are
familiar with the older models, this is something to watch out for.
- 10-megapixel effective CCD
- 7x optical zoom lens
- 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD with 230,000 pixel resolution
- AVI Movies at 640x480 or 320x240 with audio, with a frame rage of 15 or 30fps
- ISO sensitivity; Auto, 80 - 1600
- Lithium rechargeable battery and charger
- 15MB internal memory / xD-Picture Card slot
- LCD has superb color reproduction and brightness
- Near instantaneous shutter lag
- Produces sharp, clear images with excellent exposures
- It's not weather-resistant like it's predecessors
- Movie mode has difficulty adjusting to changing lighting conditions
- Slightly Expensive at the MSRP of $350
|The Olympus Stylus 1020 is a full featured, stylish compact digicam with excellent performance and picture quality. It's definitely a great camera for anyone looking to take some creative photographs.
Pick This Up If...
|You shoot lots of outdoor shots; sporting events, camping trips, summer vacations.|
The ergonomics of the "Stylus" models still have not changed over the last few models. It remains a very solid and sturdy feeling camera
that can be easily used with one or two hands. The mode dial and zoom controls lay conveniently around the right thumb as the rest of
the control buttons are low enough not to get in the way. All of the buttons are well marked and easy to read, even when not lit up. The
menu system has not changed either, and once you know where things are located, they are a snap to navigate.
A great addition to the 1020 is the new 2.7" HyperCrystal II LCD screen. It has great color reproduction to give you a much more
accurate look at your images. It has a very wide viewing angle, making it easy to share you images with friends and family. The screen
is easy to see in all lighting conditions including direct sunlight. It gains up well to help you with framing your images in low light
situations as well.
Performance from the 1020 is very good. The camera was able to capture its first image in just 1.6 seconds after pressing the power
button. The shutter lag is almost instantaneous when the camera is pre-focused and a quick 4/10 of a second when allowing it to
focus. When shooting in single shot mode, I was able to capture 5 images in 7 seconds without the flash and 5 images in 13.7 seconds with
it. The camera also features two continuous shooting modes.
The first "burst" mode shoots in full 10-megapixel resolution and was able to record 10 images in 10.2 seconds. It also works with the
flash capturing 10 images in 15.6 seconds. The other continuous mode is Hi-Speed continuous. This will only capture a 3-megapixel image
but it will capture them very quickly. Without the flash it captured 13 images in 2.2 seconds. That's almost 6 fps. With the flash it
captured 9 images in just 2.4 seconds, still about 3.75 fps. This is a little less than the 4.9 fps that Olympus claims can happen with
the flash. Our tests were completed using an Olympus M+ 1GB xD memory card, Program shooting mode, ISO auto, flash off and all other
settings at the factory defaults. Results may vary depending on lighting conditions, battery power, memory card etc.
The quality from our outdoor image samples were excellent. The camera produced sharp, clear images with excellent exposures and the
colors are rich and natural looking. The 7x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 37-260mm gives you a great deal of versatility
when shooting. You have the ability on the wide end to take decent landscape and group portrait shots, while the big telephoto zoom will
bring you very close to your distant objects and allows for great framing options no matter what you are doing. On the wide end of the
zoom, you notice some barrel distortion and a little edge softness throughout the range. This most likely wont be noticeable, unless you
plan to have large prints made (larger than 8x10). Chromatic aberrations have been very well controlled and are not noticeable at all in
any of our samples.
Our indoor sample images were also pleasing. There is little difference between shooting with the flash when compared to without it in
color and exposure. The face detection works very well no matter what shooting mode you are in. The built in flash has a range of up to
15.6ft. at ISO 800. In our samples it worked well from 8 feet and closer not going over ISO 200, either when being used as the main
light source or just as a fill light. It also handled macro mode very well. The camera also has a super macro mode, which does not allow
the use of a flash, but it will get you incredibly close to your object (0.79 inches from the lens!).
The movie quality was ok, although the camera seemed to have a little trouble adjusting for the changing lighting conditions. The video
runs smoothly and the little bit of ambient noise in the sample was from the wind. You are given the ability to change the white
balance, exposure mode, video quality and frame rate, which is nice depending on what you plan on doing with your videos. You are only
limited by the amount of memory on your card (max. 2GB clip size), so if you plan on taking a lot of video, you will want to have several
large memory cards available.
Supplying the power to the Stylus 1020 is a 3.7V 925mAh rechargeable Lithium Ion battery. Olympus claims you can capture up to 260 shots
with a fully charged pack. On a single charge I was able to capture more than 100 pictures, several videos and complete all of our tests
with the battery icon still showing a full charge. This is an outstanding battery life so far. We still recommend a second battery that
is very easy to keep charged with the included external battery charger. You should never miss a photo opt because of a dead battery.
Bottom Line - The Olympus Stylus 1020 is a full featured and stylish compact digicam. The 10-megapixel imaging sensor and 7x optical
zoom combined with the in-camera features make this a very capable and fun to use camera. It has excellent performance and quality, and
will definitely make a great camera for anyone looking to take some creative photographs. The only thing that upset us was that this
model is not weather-resistant like it's predecessors. With a MSRP of US$350 it is a little pricey, but offer a good deal if you are
looking for a camera with a little bit of extra power and some great features.