Controls and customization

Lens control ring

The Stylus 1 uses a round-lens control ring like many other recent compacts, but with a twist borrowed from the XZ-2. It has two modes, controlled by the lever switch next to it. In the first it operates with distinct click-stops to change discrete parameters such as shutter speed or aperture; in the second it rotates continuously, to control manual focus or zoom. This being Olympus, you can choose exactly what parameter you'd like it to control in each exposure mode. This also means you can almost certainly set the Stylus 1 up to mimic the controls of another camera you own, regardless of brand.

The control dial also works with the Fn2 button beside it to give quick access to a wide range of other shooting parameters. Pressing Fn2 cycles through the functions, and rotating the dial changes their settings. You can choose as many or as few as you want to access from a reasonably long list of options:

Olympus Stylus 1 Fn2 options
 • IS Mode
 • Picture Mode
 • Scene mode
 • Art Filter
 • White Balance
 • Continuous shooting / self timer
 • Aspect ratio
 • Stills image quality
 • Movie image quality
 • Flash mode
 • Flash exposure compensation
 • Metering
 • AF mode
 • ISO
 • Face detection
 • ND Filter setting

Any of these options you don't expect to change regularly can be disengaged from the Custom menu (Setting B1).

Customizable buttons

The Stylus 1 has a number of other buttons that can be customized, but the primary option is the Fn1 button on the top, right-hand shoulder of the camera. By default, it accesses the 'Digital Tele-converter' function but can be re-purposed to any one of 7 other options. A similar number of options can be assigned to the REC button. Oddly, unlike other recent Olympus models, the movie record function itself can't be assigned to other buttons, even if it's been taken off the red button.

Button Fn1 REC
Available Functions • Digital teleconverter
• Conversion lens mode*
• ND Filter Setting
• Zoom framing assist
• Off
• DOF Preview
• Manual WB
• AF area reset
• DOF Preview
• Manual WB
• AF area reset
• Digital teleconverter
• Conversion lens mode*
• ND Filter Setting
• Zoom framing assist

*Conversion lens mode is used to warn the camera than an external (optional) TCON-17X optical conversion lens has been added.

This being an Olympus, there are other customization options - you can decide what both control dials do (with different choices for different exposure modes), and choose which directions they operate in (with different choices depending on whether you're selecting settings, zooming the lens or navigating the menus). It's also possible to individually disengage the downwards and right directions on the four-way controller that, by default, control drive mode and flash mode. Annoyingly, you never gain the ability to directly access AF point selection instead - you just get to disengage their functions.


The Stylus 1 offers essentially the same touchscreen options as the XZ-2 and recent Olympus Micro Four Thirds models. This means it's possible to tap to focus (or focus and shoot) at any time. The effect can be selected or disengaged whenever you want - either by tapping on the on-screen button or disengaging the touchscreen in the custom menu. The on-screen buttons for changing the camera's touch function are only available in certain view modes, though this could be a glitch stemming from the early firmware on our sample.

The default 'Live control' view requires a degree of scrolling to see all its options, and isn't touch-sensitive... ...whereas the 'Live Super Control Panel' variant is - but has to be found and liberated from the menus

As with the XZ-2, the Stylus 1 offers a touch-sensitive version of the excellent 'Super Control Panel' interface but it's not engaged by default. Instead you get a simple and rather dated-looking compact camera interface that isn't touch sensitive, if you press the 'OK' button. We'd strongly recommend delving into the menus to engage it (Option D3 in the Custom menu). Used in conjunction with the front dial, the ability to tap the parameter you wish to change then rotate to select the setting you want is very quick and powerful. It's just oddly difficult to gain access to.