Olympus Stylus 1030SW First Impressions Review

Olympus has introduced another tough digital camera with its Stylus 1030SW. It can handle a drop from 6.6 feet, a dunk in water 33 feet deep, temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and crushing weight of up to 220 pounds. The 10.1-megapixel 1030SW

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Physical Tour

Watch our video preview of the 1030SW below by clicking play.

Front **The front of the Olympus Stylus 1030SW looks very much like its predecessors – almost like an industrial chunk of metal. There is a darker steel frame that shows around the edges of the camera. On the left edge is the Olympus logo. In the upper left corner are two holes that make up the microphone. In the upper right corner is the rectangular-framed lens, which is positioned where the left fingers wrap around the camera, thus blocking the view if not careful. The center of the camera has a lighter silver-colored metal plate anchored by three tough-looking bolts and surrounded by a thin black material, perhaps alluding to the many rubber seals throughout the camera. On the left edge of this inner plate is a token finger grip made only of a protruding chrome strip. There is also a Stylus 1030SW logo along with the words, "Shock + Waterproof." Above the text is the small built-in flash and a yellow LED to its right. On the right edge of the inner plate Olympus flaunts the increased resolution: "10.1 megapixel." 

Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-fr2.jpg
 Back**The left side of the back is occupied by a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and the right side is scattered with buttons. There are two zoom control buttons in the upper right corner: the left one zooms out and the right one zooms in. There is a bump between the separate buttons to differentiate them. Below them is the round mode dial, which is surrounded with a black grooved gasket and complemented with a divot in the camera body to its right for better handling. The mode dial has these positions: Camera, Auto, Playback, Star, Movie, Guide, Scene, and Digital Image Stabilization. To the left of the dial is a single LED to show which mode is currently selected. In the lower right corner of the back is a combination of buttons that looks like it came off a handheld gaming device. There is a central cross-like multi-selector that can be pushed in the four directions to navigate. Each direction has an icon embossed into it, but it is very hard to see. The top accesses the exposure compensation, the right side changes the flash modes, the bottom turns on the self-timer, and the left side activates the Macro mode. The outer corners look carved away to make room for the four buttons that surround the multi-selector. These buttons are labeled in silver lettering on a silver background (a less than helpful design), so they are also incredibly hard to see. The button in the upper left accesses the menus. The button in the upper right opens the Playback mode and also serves as a print button. The button to the lower left accesses different display information, provides basic info about shooting features, and turns on the flashlight when the camera is off. The button to the lower left deletes images in the Playback mode and turns on the shadow adjustment in the Recording mode.

Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-back.jpg

Left Side **The left side of the camera is labeled "3.6x optical wide zoom" and has screws on the top and bottom. You can also see how the metal exterior attracts fingerprints; perhaps a quick dip 33 feet underwater would wash them off. 

Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-leftside.jpg
 ****Right Side The right side is pretty straightforward: It is colored in black and has a chrome wrist strap eyelet in its center. Near the top is a latched door that opens to reveal the one multifunctional port. 
Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-rightside.jpg
 
Top The top and bottom of the camera aren’t very exciting. On the top, there is some text on the left regarding the lens: "Olympus Lens, AF Wide Zoom, 5.0-18.2mm 1:3.5-5.1." On the right side are the top’s only two buttons for power (on the left) and shutter release. The shutter release button is nice and large, and spaced far enough apart from the power button that you won’t be pushing both at once. 
Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-top.jpg
 ****Bottom**The battery and memory card compartment sits on the left side under a plastic lock. The inside of this compartment has a rubber seal to complement the outside’s lock. To its right is a tripod socket. 
Olympus-Stylus-1030SW-botto.jpg
 

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Sections

  1. Physical Tour
  2. Components
  3. Design / Layout
  4. Modes
  5. Control Options
  6. Image Parameters
  7. Connectivity / Extras
  8. Overall Impressions
  9. Conclusion

What's Your Take?

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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