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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Control Options

 **Manual Control Options       There are a few manual controls on this camera, but nothing to please photographers who are truly hungry to adjust the shutter speed and aperture themselves. Focus***Auto Focus – The Olympus 1030SW has a contrast detection system that focuses from 19.7 inches to infinity normally. Autofocus modes are in the Recording menu and include Face Detect, ESP, and Spot. The Spot mode is the fastest, while the Face Detect is the slowest. The face detection system can recognize three faces but doesn’t track them well. I watched the green bracket frame a face on the LCD, but when the man leaned forward slightly, the bracket disappeared. This technology is behind the curve when other manufacturers are offering more faces (Canon recognizes 35 at a time) at more angles (Fujifilm can track 360 degrees). The autofocus worked just fine most of the time, but seemed a little soft in movies. This is a pre-production model, though, so we can’t slam it just yet. The Macro focus mode can be turned on by pushing the bottom of the multi-selector. It focuses from 3.9 inches to infinity when zoomed out and 11.8 inches to infinity when zoomed in. There is also a "Super Macro" mode for shooting subjects within very close proximity to the camera: 0.79 to 19.7 inches. This can be activated with or without the help of the LED illuminator on the front. Because the flash is not effective that close to the camera, Olympus installed this LED to help light close subjects. It lights them, but looks similar to the lighting used in the Blair Witch Project. *Manual Focus – *There is no manual focus on the Olympus Stylus 1030SW. *ISO**The Olympus Stylus 1030SW has ISO options that appear in the Function and Recording menus. There is only one automatic mode; most cameras offer another higher ISO-minded automatic mode. The 1030SW also has a full range of manual options: ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600. All of these can be used at full resolution. **White Balance            The white balance is available in the same menus as the ISO options. Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, and Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, and Fluorescent 3 options are shown with live views. There is no Manual mode, which is always what I prefer but may not be what the 1030SW’s target audience will use. ****Exposure The Olympus Stylus 1030SW offers program auto exposure at best. The exposure compensation can be adjusted by pushing the top portion of the multi-selector. Four preview images appear on the screen at once. Each image is a third-stop EV from the other, and more images can be seen when you scroll to the right. The typical +/- 2 EV range is available. ****Metering Metering options are not vast on this digital camera. The Metering mode can be changed in both menus under the heading "ESP/Spot" (there’s an icon for spot). And the choices are … ESP and Spot. Most digital cameras also have a Center-Weighted option, but this Stylus goes for extremely basic controls. Shutter Speed Shutter speeds are automatically selected by the camera and depend on the chosen exposure mode and the current available lighting, as well as other functions on the camera such as ISO and flash. The shutter speeds range from 1/2-1/1000 of a second in every mode except the Night Scene mode, where shutter speeds can slow down to four seconds. This range is shorter than what most compact digital cameras offer. Most have a faster 1/2000 of a second shutter speed option. The Olympus 1030SW comes with a TruePic III image processor that activates a noise reduction system any time the shutter speed slows down to a half-second or longer. Aperture **The aperture is automatically controlled by the camera and has a maximum of f/3.5 when the lens is zoomed out. This is the same max aperture as previous waterproof Stylus cameras, but the 1030SW’s longer 3.6x optical zoom lens has a slightly narrower aperture when zoomed in. Its f/5.1 isn’t much different from its predecessors’ f/5.  

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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

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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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