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Olympus adds sensor-shift to Stylus compacts

Olympus has announced three new Stylus compact cameras that include sensor-shift image stabilization.

Olympus' new Stylus 1020 is among the first Olympus compacts to include sensor-shift image stabilization.
The Stylus 1020 is among the first Olympus compacts to include sensor-shift image stabilization. Olympus

In addition to the two new waterproof models announced today, Olympus has shared plans to sell three new Stylus compact cameras, all of which include sensor-shift image stabilization. Like some of their competitors, Olympus offers their IS in conjunction with an ISO-boosting mode, which they call Digital Image Stabilization. Together they somewhat predictably call the combo Dual Image Stabilization. Like Fujifilm models, Olympus compact cameras record their images to xD Picture Cards. Last year Fuji transitioned to xD/SD combo slots in all of their compact cameras. Olympus has chosen to stick with xD slots, but will include adapters with all of their new compact cameras so that you can use MicroSD cards if you want to.

Chief among the three new cameras is the 10-megapixel Stylus 1020, which sports a 7x optical zoom lens that covers an equivalent of 37-260mm with a maximum aperture range of f/3.3-5.3. The 1020 also has a new type of screen for Olympus, which they're calling HyperCrystal II. The company says that it provides an increased contrast ratio and better color reproduction when compared to their older HyperCrystal LCDs. The 1020 includes a 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD, as well as illuminated buttons and a continuous shooting mode that lets you shoot successive images with the flash turned on-- many continuous shooting modes won't allow flash, or only use it for the first shot. Olympus expects the Stylus 1020 to hit stores this March for about $350 with blue, pink, black, or silver glossy finishes.

Next in the line comes the 10-megapixel Stylus 1010. It doesn't boast the 1020's continuous shooting with flash, and has a 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD instead of the newer HyperCrystal II, but other than that it has all the same features as the 1020. The Stylus 1010 is also expected in stores this March and should sell for about $300 in a choice of silver, black, blue, and purple colors.

The Stylus 840 steps down to an 8-megapixel sensor and 5X optical, 36-180mm f/3.3-5.0 zoom lens. Like the 1010, the 840 as a 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD. In addition to the features mentioned above, all three of these new cameras also include a handful of other convenient features including face detection auto exposure and autofocus, shadow adjustment technology to help preserve details in shadows when trying to capture a high contrast scene, and in-camera editing to help remove red-eye, resize images, adjust saturation, or even bring out shadow detail in photos that have already been captured.

They also include Olympus' Perfect Shot Preview, which lets you see the effects of certain adjustments, such as exposure compensation, in a multi-window screen before capturing the image. Finally, they all include in-camera panoramic stitching of up to three images. If you're willing to wait to stitch, the Olympus Master software that comes with the cameras allows panoramas of up to ten images. Olympus plans to start shipping the Stylus 840 to stores this month where you should be able to buy it for about $250 in a choice of silver, blue, black, and pink finishes.