Thursday, January 15, 2015

Olympus Upgrades Your Stylus 1 to a Stylus 1S* for Free!

Reciprocity.  Stylus 1

At the end of October, Olympus released a Japan-only successor to the Stylus 1 (reviewed here and here) called the Stylus 1S.  In terms of hardware, the Stylus 1S was almost identical to the Stylus 1, differing only by the grip texture.  However, the Stylus 1S had several improvements in its software, including a step zoom that addressed one of my chief annoyances with the otherwise capable Stylus 1.
 
Today, Olympus announced a major firmware upgrade for the Stylus 1.  The firmware upgrade gives the Stylus 1 the same functionality as the Stylus 1S*, including:
  • the focal length now shows the 35mm equivalent focal length instead of the silly zoom magnification (WOOHOOOOO!!!!).  Alternatively, you can display the actual focal length (e.g. 6mm at the widest), or stay with the zoom magnification.
  • a 9-step zoom to switch between popular focal lengths (YES!!!!).  The focal lengths for the step zoom are: 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, 100, 135, 200, 300.  Note that the Stylus 1 has two zoom levers: the one near the shutter and the other one on the side of the lens.  You can choose to assign the step zoom to one or the other or both.
  • focus peaking for manual focus (Awesome!)
  • a smaller AF point is now available for more precise focusing
  • interval shooting (potentially useful also for family portraits...)
  • time lapse mode
  • compatibility with a new wide angle converter (WCON-08X) that gives the Stylus 1 a 22.4mm equivalent focal length at its widest setting, still at f/2.8.
  • compatibility with the O.I.Share app v. 2.5 (for remote shutter release via your smartphone's wifi)

*no free grip though. :)

These are seemingly small but very useful improvements to an already good camera.  You can update the firmware through the Digital Camera Updater.  Thanks for listening to your users, Olympus!!!

CAUTION: updating the firmware will delete all your custom settings (similar to resetting it to factory defaults).

I shot with the Stylus 1 quite a bit lately and will be posting about those shots soon.