Olympus Stylus 1s Preview

Released towards the end of 2013, the Olympus Stylus 1 was an enthusiast all-in-one camera boasting a 12MP high-sensitivity CMOS image sensor, the TruePic VI image processor, and a 10.7x i.Zuiko zoom lens. While its price tag rivaled some entry-level DSLRs and Micro Four Thirds ILCs, the Stylus 1 offered a 28-300mm 35mm equivalent zoom range with a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. And you definitely aren't getting an entry-level ILC kit with a constant f/2.8 for $700.

Olympus has upgraded the Stylus 1 for 2015, dubbing it the Stylus 1s, and signifying that this is a new generation, but one not significant enough for current gen owners to think about buying another one. In fact, most of the new model features -- Small Target AF, Focus Peaking, Interval Shooting with Time Lapse Movie, Easy Step Zoom, and Switchable Zoom Factor Display -- will be included in a free firmware update for all current gen Stylus 1 cameras. That said, the Stylus 1s is getting a larger capacity capacity BLS-50 Li-on battery capable of taking about 40 more shots, the grip has been redesigned in "pebbled synthetic leather", and the Hybrid Control ring now sports a spiffy blue line. Like I said, not really worth it for current Stylus 1 owners. But if you're in the market for a high end all-in-one because you don't always want to lug the full DSLR kit, then read on, my friends.

First released in Japan last October, this all-in-one features classic OM-D styling stuffed with current generation digital enhancements. More than simply looking "like" an OM-D, the Stylus 1s uses a lot of the same functional systems like the Mode Dial, Subdial, Hot Shoe, Movie button, Playback button, and customizable Function buttons. It even boasts the same large 1.44M dot Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) as the OM-D series. Bottom line, this is a budget-friendly OM-D that you can fit in your pocket.

Built-in Wi-Fi is a given in the current market, yet there's a small upgrade here too. While many Olympus cameras have been able to connect wirelessly to smartphones and tablets via the O.I. Share app for a couple years, the Stylus 1s (and 1 post firmware upgrade) adds the ability to remote control the camera directly from your smart-device in P, A, S, M or iAUTO modes. You can even adjust zoom and Touch AF directly from your smartphone's screen. And, as before, transferring images to your iOS or Android device is simple, making sharing high resolution images to social media a snap.

Lastly, the heart of the Stylus 1s functionality is the Hybrid Control Ring (and the subdial). To achieve precision in your photographic, artistic endeavors, you need to be able to control settings like focal range, aperture size, and shutter speed. The Hybrid Control Ring, the subdial, function buttons, and the customizable zoom lever work in tandem to allow you, the photographer, as much flexibility as possible in manually adjusting settings without needing to take your eyes off your subject.

Olympus Stylus 1s Features
  • 12MP high-sensitivity CMOS image sensor
  • TruePic VI image processor
  • 10.7x i.ZUIKO zoom lens
    • f/2.8
    • 28-300mm equivalent
  • 3.0" tilting touchscreen
  • 1.4M dot EVF
  • Hybrid Control Ring
  • Zoom Lever
  • Small Target AutoFocus (AF)
  • Magnification with Focus Peaking
  • Interval Shooting with Time Lapse Movie
  • Easy Step Zooming
  • Switchable Zoom Factor Display
  • Super Macro Mode
  • RAW capable
  • Hot Shoe
  • Full 1080p HD Video Recording
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Upgraded Battery (capable of 40 more shots than previous gen)
  • 2.2-inches (56cm) thick
  • 14.2oz (402g)

The Olympus Stylus 1s will be available in mid-April (2015) with a $699.99 MSRP.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.