Olympus Stylus 1 Trials at Russian Ridge is part 1 of a series of photos I have taken with my new Olympus Stylus 1 Camera. I am slimming down my camera bag for upcoming trips to Mexico, Northern California, and Denver. This amazing piece of equipment takes beautiful images and weighs so very little compared to my Nikon DSLR. These shots, taken at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, show some of the capacity that this little gem of a camera has, equipped only with its factory settings.
One of the features I coveted most when seeking a new point and shoot camera is: bokeh. The ability to get attractively blurred areas of an image while keeping other areas sharp. In DSLR photography this is done with short focal length lenses and fast F stops. With the Stylus 1 I simply zoom tight on my subject area from a distance and I get this sharp foreground, and dreamy background effect. The effect is even more powerful on small objects or subjects at greater distances. I am enamored with the natural beauty of Russian Ridge, and this quick portrait of Juliet given an indication why.
One of the most powerful features associated with this camera, is the built-in Wi-Fi app. I took this photo, and within 10 minutes it was on my iPad, edited, and saved. I need this kind of ease of operation when I am in the field and shooting abroad. The wi-fi connection is a hot-spot between the camera and the iPad (or iPhone) and so no external connection is required to make transfers. One would obviously need an outside connection to post an image. This shot was edited on Snapseed, Old Photo Pro, and Blender. I love the texture and the dreamy association to the past.
I like to crop to 1:1 (square images) to use on Instagram and for print purposes. I caught this young man doing his Tai Chi into the sunset. I was 30 yards from him and was able to get this kind of detail in the zoom. A little editing with Snapseed was all I needed to insure the effect would be strong. This is a moving image and without the lovely zoom and continuous f2.8 capacity of the Olympus Stylus 1, I would not have been able to get this high-quality image.
Here is an example of the range of the Stylus 1. These deer were roughly 75 yards from me when I caught this image. I cropped the image to 1:1 and the detail in the deer faces is very good. The Bokeh is pleasing, and the shot gives a good example of the twilight capacity of the camera. And of course, the lovely wildlife in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.
The purple and pink hues in the sunset that evening were simply stunning behind these craggy oaks. A little Snapseed tied it all together like a good rug in Jeff Lebowski's living room. Very low light is a slight challenge for the Stylus 1 as f2.8 is not the very top end for speed. At the same time, shots like this have less noise than my iPhone and a nicer depth of field.
Finally, with the light waning quickly I snapped off some very nice zooms of the moon. I can never get my SLR to get this correct (without lots of tweaks), and with the Stylus 1 I simply dialed down the exposure, and got a personal taste of moon rocks. I used a fun new iPhone/iPad app called Waterlogue to get the watercolor effects. I blended this in Image Blender to get this take on the moon over Russian Ridge. We were hustling out at this point to avoid any undue encounters with Mountain Lions.
I hope you enjoyed this little review of the Olympus Stylus 1 at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve. The camera is $699.99 at most retailers and comes with everything one needs to get right out and shoot (except an SD card). I give this camera an A- overall, and that may go up as I get better with it.