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Review: Olympus Stylus SH-1

In principle, comparing a $199 camera with a toy is something that doesn’t sound too good, but it turns out that this is the perfect comparison to define such a creative compact and easy to handle camera, such as the Olympus Stylus SH1.

Olympus Stylus SH-1

Small and with a very attractive design, it is able to deal with almost any situation and, most importantly, to make you enjoy it from the first shot no matter what your photographer skills are. Its quality may not be as high-end as the other large compact camera but as a pocket all purposes camera it is an excellent option, due its tremendous 25-600 mm lens, and a great overall performance.

Its possible defects, such as the 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor, a lens that is not very bright (f3.0-6.9) or a pretty much run-of-the-mill touch screen, eventually fade into the background the moment the SH1 kicks in and shows you what it can really do. It is an agile and quick camera that takes advantage of everything that its excellent five-axis stabilization system can offer, as well as its powerful TruePic VII processor. With both elements you can ensure a burst of 11 fps or the stability needed to record video in 1080p at 60 frames per second.

The design has quite a decided retro inspiration, but it’s attractive, clever and thought-out to provide excellent handling even with minimal buttons. As for the quality of the photos it is quite good for a compact and above average in many aspects. It is quite reliable in the measurements and lights analysis, though it tends to err on indoor conditions and tends to overexpose too much to ensure the picture.

All about fun

Once you accept that it lacks the ability to take photos in RAW format (something that many fans are not willing to give up, and which is the major drawback of such an interesting camera, we are ready to enjoy its wide range modes, scenes and art modes anyway. Though like any good compact, its strong point lies in the automatic modes that dominate much of its wide range, the SH1 offers a fast handling and excellent performance in manual mode.

It is a camera that is enjoyed from the first moment and its scenes and artistic filters cover a whole range of possibilities, providing dramatic results. In addition to the usual photos, you can take stunning photos with the symmetries that can be achieved with its reflection mode. That plus of fun and fantasy are the icing in the cake for a compact that while it’s not the best market, it works very well and it is an excellent choice for those that are traveling light.

Our Opinion

It’s a very avant-garde all-purpose compact camera, pretty much competent and with tremendous reach. Small, easy to use and effective, it is able to satisfy any type of user, and it is not expensive.

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Best Cheap Digital Camera under 200

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