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ISO comparison

These are 100 percent crops from the center of our test scene. The Olympus Stylus 1's image quality is just a step beyond that of a small sensor point-and-shoot. Between ISO 100 and ISO 400, fine detail is very good and noise/artifacts aren't much of an issue; they're only really noticeable if you're pixel peeping.

At ISO 800 you'll see an increase in softness and noise kicks up a notch. Still, its 1/1.7-inch sensor and sane 12-megapixel resolution allows for better low-light performance than you'll find on a comparable camera with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Moving up to ISO 1600 results in soft, smeary fine details and muddier colors. Olympus' JPEG processing is good, but if you prefer to exchange some graininess for a little better fine detail, shoot in raw or raw plus JPEG and process them yourself.

I would stay away from ISO 3200 unless you really have to use it. With the constant f2.8 aperture and excellent image stabilization, though, you won't have to rely on high ISOs as much as you would with a typical compact longzoom camera.

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Super Macro mode

The Stylus 1 can focus as close as 2 inches (5 centimeters) from a subject in Super Macro mode. Outside of that mode it can focus as close as 4 inches at the wide end and 2.6 feet in telephoto.

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Zoom range

The camera's 10.7x zoom range starts at 28mm (top) and extends to 300mm (bottom). Olympus has a CLA-13 converter adapter and TCON-17x 1.7x teleconverter lens. Combined they extend the focal length of the camera to 510mm while retaining the brightness of the constant f2.8 aperture. Unfortunately, the lens was not available for testing at the time of my review.

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Distortion

Overall the lens is very nice. Sharp in the center with just some slight barrel distortion at the wide end (top) and no pincushioning when zoomed in (bottom). There is some fringing in high-contrast areas of photos, however it's only really visible when pictures are viewed at 100 percent on screen.

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Art Filters

These are just four of the 11 Art Filters that Olympus includes on the Stylus 1.

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Photo Story mode

Photo Story lets you combine multiple shots into one photo. You're given a layout onscreen (different layouts, frames, and effects are available) and you simply tap in the frame you want to shoot, take the picture, and move on to the next frame. If you don't like the shot you've taken, just tap the frame again, and it will reset only the one you've tapped.

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Full-size sample: ISO 320

The photo in this slide as well as those in the slides that follow are available for you to view at full size using the links below each image. Note, though, that these are large files and may take several seconds to download.

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Full-size sample: ISO 100

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Full-size sample: ISO 100

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Full-size sample: ISO 400

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Full-size sample: ISO 100

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Full-size sample: ISO 800

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Full-size sample: ISO 200

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Full-size sample: ISO 3200

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Full-size sample: ISO 100 (Diorama mode)

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Full-size sample: ISO 100

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Full-size sample: ISO 200

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