on April 6, 2008
Updated on December 16, 2008
I upgraded to the Stylus 1010 from the Stylus 830. Though it is arguable whether it is a true upgrade.
Besides the obvious improvements such as the better zoom, higher MP's, and a beefed up lens it is essentially the same camera. It does have a better battery (up to 70 more shots per charge), simpler controls, and improved software on the camera, but it is not weatherproof, which used to be a standard feature on Stylus models. Olympus deruggedized the 1010 by taking out the rubber gaskets on the access doors and by replacing the anodized aluminum body that the 830 has with a plastic one.
The one major improvement the 1010 has is its ability to accept SD micro cards (with an adapter) which have a considerably larger maximum capacity (up to 16 GB), and are much cheaper than their larger alternative the XD whose capacity is limited to 2GB's (a quick price check on amazon shows that a 4GB Micro SD costs around $6, and a standard 2GB XD card cost around $20.)
The SHQ movie feature seems to be a reoccurring problem with Olympus though. The Stylus 830 was only able to record 20 second clips at VGA 640x480/30fps. The Stylus 1010 can only record 10 second clips at that setting. However the 1010 does give you the option of recording VGA 640x480/15fps with longer clips.
*A new development on this is a fix from Olympus. First of all you have to have a camera that currently has the 1.1 version firmware. If you don't, you'll have to go to their website to update it. Be aware though, that website carries the following warning.
"Please note that if the firmware upgrade is not performed properly your camera will need to be serviced to have the camera returned to an operational state."
Once you have the 1.1 you will be able to record movies with 4gb and higher SD Micro cards as well as record movies with VGA quality 640 x 480/30 fps up to the full capacity of the card (no longer limited to 10 second) But this is only with XD Type M+ cardsor the XD Type H cards. This seems to be a complicated and expensive fix considering the price of buying high speed cards (a 2GB XD Type M+ cost around $30), but it is a fix none the less *
Overall I am happy with the purchase and am impressed with the picture quality, and the expanded options in the software. However Olympus could have spent a little extra time developing a true upgrade for the stylus series instead of throwing in a few improvements, (and retrogrades in my opinion) and calling it two different cameras (the 1010 and 1020 whose only difference is the LCD screen, and flash option on during high speed sequential shooting.)
on November 13, 2008
I have used Olympus cameras for about 15 years and have always been happy with them. Unfortunately, I have used this camera for six months and am getting a new one. There are several good things about this camera, but there is one huge flaw: poor image quality. I have been doing some research and discovered that the megapixels are the culprit. While the camera has 10MP, the image sensor was not made to accommodate 10MP's worth of detail. Because the image sensor is small, it produces grainy photos. You will get better quality images with a camera that has fewer megapixels and/or a larger image sensor.
Some things I DO like about this camera: 1. Good close-up/macro shots; 2. "Scene" settings, such as "Available Light;" 3. Image name includes the date the picture was taken; 4. Portability/size of camera; 5. You can take panoramic photos (if using xD card); 6. Built-in lens cap; 7. Large LCD screen.
Some things I DO NOT like about this camera: 1. Grainy pictures, especially indoors; 2. Flash is too bright and frequently washes out my subject; 3. Lens is easily smudged and can be tricky to clean because it is so small; 4. Can't make the image be 4x6 ratio, so I have to manually crop all of my photos before printing them.
on April 18, 2008
7x Optical Zoom, 10MP, 2.7" LCD, MicroSD Compatible, Small Size, Loads of Features
Panorama requires Olympus Memory, 10 Second Best Quality Video Limit
Aftering having this camera for a couple days, I feel confident in its features to write a review.
Things I really like about this camera. :
*It is the size of my cell phone + a little thickness
*10 MegaPixel resolution
*An unheard of 7x Optical Zoom for a camera it's size.
*The 2.7" LCD is large, bright, and clear even outside
*Light weight design even with the battery
*Quick 2 hour recharge time on a long lasting batter
*I can use cheaper MicroSD memory with the provided adapter.
*It is packed with features and shooting modes
---Auto - Point and Shoot
---Manual - Adjust Options Freely
---Scenes - Pre-Selected Modes based on Environment
---Guided - List that sets camera settings based on what you want to do
*2 Continuous Shooting Modes
---Standard - normal resolution w/ 1 to 2 second delay
---High Speed - 3 MP resolution w/ very almost no delay
*Super Macro Mode - allows the camera to focus on objects less than an inch away
*30 minute video clips in the other modes
Features I am not fond of:
*To use the onboard and computer panorama, art, and 3D features you must use an Olympus/Fuji Branded XD memory card
---The alternative is getting some photo "stitching" software
*The highest video quality setting of 640x480 at 30fps allows only 10 second video clips
---This may be solved by an eventual firmware update
I was able to purchase a 4GB MicroSD memory card for $23 after shipping, compared to $30+ for a 2GB XD card or more for Olympus Brand. The 4GB works perfectly in the camera and allows for 1600+ pictures on 10 MP Normal quality. I ran my own test between fine and normal qualities, but did not find enough of a discernable difference to warrant the doubling of the file size.
I plan on taking the camera with me on a 2 week cruise in Europe. I wanted a camera with a great zoom, quality, and the ability to store all of my pictures on a single memory card. I feel I have found the perfect travel companion in this camera for size, quality, and weatherproofed travel conditions.
Overall I think this is a great camera and while I can't use the panorama mode on the camera, I can easily get some "stitching" software to create my own. I would recommend this camera to those that want a portable large zoom camera with a plethora of features for the basic to intermediate photographer.
First of all, I am not a great expert. But I do like to take good pictures, and do have a special need for close-up photos, and both of these needs are accomplished by this camera in a way that exceeds my rather high hopes and expectations.
My special 'close-up' application doesn't seem to be covered by other reviewers, and my experience using the Olympus 1010 in this way may be of interest to someone with similar needs. I do scrimshaw wherein images are produced on ivory-like surfaces by an engraving technique known as stippling (creating tones with closely spaced dots). I like to photograph my work in a way that reveals the technique, and shows how images with fine detail are created. In most cases it is necessary to photograph the subject at a distance of about 3 to 4 inches. I could go into much detail about how I struggled to get results approximating what I wanted using other cameras, but with the Olympus 1010 all I need to do is put the subject in reasonably good light and shoot the picture with the camera hand-held in the regular macro mode. The results are so good that I have already consigned my tripods and special lighting platform to the storage shed where they will reside until my next yard sale.
For ordinary day-to-day pnotographing I have entertained myself by shooting pictures of various subjects with various lighting conditions, and have been uniformly impressed with the results of my clearly amateurish efforts. There doesn't need to be a book entitled "Photography For Dummies" written for users of this camera. I have proof that it can make one with little photographic talent look very good.
on September 3, 2008
I'm surprised and delighted with the sharp, clear photos this camera takes, the panorama feature, and the amount of editing that can be done in-camera - it's amazing. The instructions and the camera's menus are quite friendly if you've ever used a digital camera before. I'm already using settings that I never could remember how to find in my much less intuitive Sony menu.
However, in using all those settings, I discovered that when Olympus and the 1010's users tout the camera's long battery life, they're talking about point and shoot with the occasional flash or zoom, and not taking full advantage of all the special features the camera has to offer. If, for example, you use the zoom frequently, set your screen brightness to high because you're shooting in bright sunlight, use the Guide frequently, make a lot of in-camera edits, play back to erase old photos you've fixed in camera, etc., a new, fully charged battery drains fast, and without adequate warning. The battery drain I might have expected, and that's not the real issue for me as I can live with that considering all the great things the camera can do. The biggest problem for me so far is that after shooting approximately 40-50 photos one day, doing all of the above (zoom, lots of edits, playing back, etc.) the battery indicator still showed green and full. The following day, after I had taken maybe 5 shots, the battery suddenly (i.e. no quarter or half `down' indications) blinked red and showed a quarter charge left. At no time when I turned the camera on did the battery indicator show anything but green and a full charge. After anywhere from one shot taken to 2-3 seconds after turn-on, the indicator showed almost empty, and eventually empty battery. I had made a trip to a local museum specifically to try the camera out, and left after taking less than half the shots I wanted to try because the battery, which had read fully charged the night before, was completely dead within maybe 18 shots. Again - it's not the battery drain itself that shocked me (I was doing a lot of experimenting), it was the fact that there was no indication that the battery capacity was being used up, so I could be aware and re-charge before another outing. After the battery was fully recharged, I did perhaps 5 min or less of editing and deleting on the camera, and when I plugged the camera back into the charger it took another 15-20 mins. to recharge to capacity! So, don't trust the battery charge indicator, especially if you're taking shots at an event important to you. An extra battery for this camera isn't just desirable, it's absolutely mandatory to carry with you if you intend to edit in-camera. If you don't have a spare ready to pop in, you really can't make full use of all of the camera's features, or even most of them, on a consistent basis. If you're a total point-and-shoot-on-auto user I guess it isn't an issue, but I'm a 'serious for fun' user and I bought the camera for an upgrade specifically to use all its many features.
That said, it's a very cool little camera. I do love the `little' - fits so easily into a purse for take-along all the time. It's also very light, even with the battery. In the promo description of this camera, Olympus said that they wanted their color not just to be vivid and bright, but to be `pleasing to the eye', and it's definitely that - much more pleasing and accurate colors than my Sony. And what's not to like about the zoom?! Fantastic. The Shadow Adjustment Technology is brilliant - my favorite feature, really. It works like a charm. The macro function works beautifully. I'm a little confused as to what some of the Scene modes are actually supposed to do. Shots I took in the museum with the `behind glass' feature actually came out looking worse than without it. Some of the Available Light shots I took look better than my Sony, some look the same, and some not as good (I was doing retakes of pix I already had from the other camera, under the same lighting conditions, to compare). The panorama feature is very cool. As far as the brightness of the screen in bright sunlight - I'd say better than my 2 year old Sony, and viewable in bright sunlight, but just that - viewable, not extra special. In average sunlight it's definitely better than the Sony. The video is fine, too - probably as good as the Sony's, and they are known for their video capabilities. The quick charge works well.
In summary, I love the camera and would happily recommend it to others, with a caveat that using all of the features that most people will be buying it for will use up the battery very quickly, so you really do need an extra battery at the least.
Update: Two more weeks of camera use, and I'm a very happy camper. Absolutely love the panorama (but can someone tell me where to get them printed?) feature, the shadow adjustment, best shot and the macro. One very nice surprise - I always use Photoshop Express to 'quick fix' my photos before printing or uploading to share, and there is almost no difference between my Before and After results! With my Sony, there is a pretty significant difference. How cool is that, when it's almost impossible to improve on the snapped photo?!
on July 18, 2008
I have had this for about a month but used it on a vacation so it got lots of use. Lovvvve the color but beyond that it takes great pics. I am replacing a Canon-S2IS with a 12x zoom (zoom is a major consideration for me in getting a camera). I was tired of the bulkiness of it and looking for something smaller but with camparable zoom and pic quality.
It was between a small camera with a 10x zoom and this camera that caught my eye, I confess, with the color! The other had higher zoom, larger viewer (another concern for me)but was a bit bigger. the Olympus was smaller but less zoom. I decided to buy the other when I took one last look through the viewers of both and realized I could see much clearer through the Olympus! Even without my cheater glasses - even though the screen was smaller! That sold me! I don't miss the difference in the zoom, it takes great pics, flash is great and I haven't begun to try all the easily accessible options for special shots, no flash, etc. Battery charge lasts a long time. I got the XDm+ memory card for it so I could take longer videos. Price was $30 for 2 gig, not terrible. The size is great - I carry it everywhere now and get more chances to have some great shots!
The one drawback that I stated in the title is the USB connection. I cannot believe that they made it so slightly different that you cannot use a standard PC to camera cable - you need the one they supply. I hadn't tried downloading and I almost didn't take that cable on the trip since I have a standard one I used for everything! I would have been steaming! Bad Olympus!
on June 23, 2008
With the Stylus 1010, Olympus has combined a high quality 7X zoom lens with their TruPic III DSLR Image Processor in a well made, stylish point-and-shoot camera. Since receiving this model as a Father's Day gift I have taken dozens of pictures, and have been greatly impressed with the camera's focusing speed and accuracy, excellent color reproduction, and low noise levels. Of particular note are the high quality macro and super macro modes which are capable of producing floral photos such as the example that I have posted. In addition, the Stylus 1010 also offers 23 preprogrammed scene modes, and the Perfect Pix software program which allows the user to perform in-camera red eye and shadow adjustment corrections with the push of a button. All in all, another excellent product from Olympus.