Olympus Stylus 1s

Olympus Stylus 1s

12MP 1/1.7" BSI CMOS sensor | 28-300mm F2.8 lens | 1.44m dot EVF

What we like:

  • Raw capture
  • Solid ergonomics, twin control dials
  • Relatively small

What we don't:

  • Poor low light performance
  • Limited control over depth of field
  • Limited video capabilities

The Stylus 1s is an updated version of Olympus' original S1 flagship compact. It looks like it was plucked from of the company's excellent OM-D mirrorless camera range but it's actually a fixed zoom camera that sits somewhere between the small sensor, long zoom models and the large sensor, high-end zoom cameras. It packs a 28-300mm equivalent lens into a smaller package than the large sensor models while its 1/1.7" sensor and constant F2.8 zoom means it offers better image quality than its super long zoom rivals.

Compared to its predecessor the 1s features a more comfortable grip, a higher capacity battery and several new features like a time-lapse mode. It also offers a new small target AF mode as well as a step zoom feature with nine preset zoom positions.

"The camera's handling is very good compared with its peers, with well worked-out, twin-dial direct controls"

From an image quality standpoint, the Stylus 1s' output offers great color rendition for excellent good-light images but its noise performance can't compete with the more expensive 1"-type peers. Overall though, JPEG quality is very high, with only high ISO shots requiring processing from Raw.

The camera's handling is very good compared to its peers, with well thought-out, twin-dial direct control (though it's not quite OM-D standard, despite its appearance). The dial around its lens switches between a click-stop and a freely-rotating mode for controlling different settings and a well-integrated touchscreen makes the Stylus 1 an engaging camera to take control of.

On the video front, The S1 is capable of 1080/30p capture and offers a built-in mic with a wind noise reduction feature.

Simple image transfer via Wi-Fi and that long, bright lens make the Stylus 1s a compelling option as a travel camera, even if its greater bulk undermines its true 'all-rounder' credentials. That said, although it can't match up to its large-sensor, long zoom rivals (such as the RX10 II, G3 X and FZ1000), it's considerably smaller and less expensive than them, too.

Studio Test Scene | Specifications Compared