Olympus brings 5-axis stabilization to compacts with the SH-1
By Simon Crisp
April 1, 2014
It's not just retro styling that's making its way from the Olympus flagship mirrorless line-up to its compact cameras. Some of the high-end tech is, too. The recently announced Stylus SH-1 is a 24x zoom camera which boasts built-in Wi-Fi, a TruePic VII image processor, and the 5-axis mechanical image stabilization which was originally developed for the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Olympus Stylus SH-1
Design-wise, the Stylus SH-1 looks like an even smaller version of the Olympus PEN E-P5, which in turn paid homage to the 50-year-old PEN F. The classic styling and use of aluminum alloy for its top and controls mean it could easily be confused for part of the Olympus mirrorless family, and is arguably one of the better-looking compact cameras on the market.
The 24x optical zoom lens (F3-F8.7) of the SH-1 is paired with a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type CMOS sensor to give a 35-mm-format focal length equivalent of 25-600-mm. Olympus's well-regarded 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization is used to help ensure crisp images and video, something that will come in handy when shooting at slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths without a tripod.
Also arriving from the Olympus OM-D series of interchangeable lens cameras is the TruePic VII image processor, which promises high-quality images with superior color reproduction and high sensitivity. This also allows burst shooting at up to 11 fps in full resolution, Full HD 1080p 60fps video recording, and an ISO range of 100-6,400.
Measuring 109 x 63 ｘ 42 mm (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches) and weighing 271 g (9.5 oz) the SH-1 is portable while offering full manual control settings. It also has a 3-inch, rear touchscreen with 460k dots, and built-in Wi-Fi for instant sharing and remote shooting with the iOS and Android Olympus Image Share apps.
The Olympus Stylus SH-1 will be available from May in either black, white or silver for a price of US$400.
Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3
Olympus has also announced the rugged TG-3, which is designed to offer quality performance while not compromising on toughness. As such it's freezeproof to -10℃ (14°F), waterproof to 15 m (50 ft), shockproof from 2.1m (7 ft), crushproof to 100 kg (220 lb) and dustproof. It has a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch-type CMOS sensor which is paired with a F2-F4.9 4x optical zoom giving a 25-100-mm 35-mm-format focal length equivalent. As with the SH-1, there's the TruePic VII image processor and an ISO range of 100-6,400.
Designed to be used in action conditions, the rugged camera features large buttons which you should be able to press whether underwater or wearing gloves, and a 3-inch rear monitor with 460k dots. It also boasts built-in GPS for logging location data, an e-compass for information on direction, latitude and longitude, and a manometer which records elevation and water depth and will give users a warning if they approach the camera's depth limit.
Other features worth noting include built-in Wi-Fi for sharing images or remote shooting with the Olympus Image Share iOS and Android apps, burst shooting at 5 fps for full-resolution images, a time-lapse movie function and interval shooting for automatic sequential shooting from one second up to 24 hours.
There are also a number of different macro options on the TG-3, which include Microscope and Microscope Control modes, for capturing subjects just 10 mm away and magnifying them up to 6.9x, and Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking which take multiple images while shifting the focus from the foreground to the background and merge them into one focused shot.
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-3 will go on sale in June priced at $350 and will come in black or red options. Optional accessories include waterproof fish-eye or teleconverter lenses, and an LED ring light for macro photography.