The Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is built the way all digital cameras should be built. It is tough -- in fact, tougher than its predecessor, the Stylus 770 SW -- and being able to sustain
a fall from a height of 6.6 feet (2m) onto a solid floor. This in itself should be enough to set the 1030 SW apart from all other digicams that is almost certain to be damaged in such a fall. But this rugged digital camera with its stainless steel body is also able to withstand up to 220 lbs. of pressure
-- i.e. it is also certified crush proof.
In practical terms, it means that the 1030 SW easily survives falls and bumps, and you can throw it into your backpack or backpocket without too much concern that a heavy book or your DSLR is crushing it or that you should accidentally sit on it. It totally removes one of the major worries we all have when we hand a digital camera over to a child with instruction to "be careful" with it. This camera is perfect for backpackers, mountain climbers, and those who do extreme sports.
Shockproofing and crush proofing are only two
of the attractive attributes of the Olympus 1030 SW. It is also waterproof (other Stylus models
are only certified "weatherproof")
down to a depth of 33 feet (10m), which is further underwater than any of us dive to without proper equipment. For those who do go further, an optional underwater housing PT-043 allows you to go to a depth of 40 metres (130 feet).
In practical terms, the 1030 SW is perfect for the beach, the swimming pool, environments that are dusty or wet, a trip to the jungle, boating, surfing and for marine animal trainers.
Winterization capability allows the 1030 SW to continue performing at
below-freezing temperatures (-10°C/14°F).
It is proabbly safe to say that there is not too many places on Earth
where you could not safely take the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW.
The waterproofing and dustproofing is made possible by a case
that seems bolted together tight. The only openings
are the Connector Cover and Battery/xD-Picture
Card Cover, which each has a rubber "gasket"
to provide waterproofing protection. The covers snap
shut securely and require that you push down
a switch to open them, i.e. there is no chance
of accidentally opening them underwater or of
them opening up with a fall.
The Olympus 1030 SW is attractive in its all-metal
clad brushed silver body with chrome accents.
It is available in three different color front
plates: Silver, Black or Green. There is
a vertical thin metallic strip at the
front to serve as a finger grip. As usual, the use of
the wrist strap is highly recommended. The lens
never extends outside the body.
Startup is fast at under 1 sec. and shot to
shot time averages at about 2 sec. There is a slight shutter lag, so pre-focusing is recommended.
Colors: Overall silver with chrome
accents. Front plate available in Silver,
Black or Green.
Looks: tough, elegant
Comfortable to hold and operate, though
can be slippery
Controls & FUNC. menu are intuitive
Compact: fits in a jeans pocket or
small fashion purse
Dimensions: 93.6 x 60.9 x 21.3 mm /
3.7 x 2.4 x 0.84 in.
Weight: 170 g / 6.3 oz. without battery
and media card
Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion
battery Li-50B, which takes approx. 2 hrs to recharge fully. Olympus rates the battery to be about 260
shots per charge, so a spare battery is highly
The flash has a max. range of 4.1m/13.5 ft. at
You can set the flash to Auto, Red-Eye Reduction,
On (Fill-in) or Off.
Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Top View
The top of the camera has the Power button and
Shutter button. Both buttons are on the small
side but click positively so they are easy
to push down. I had no trouble operating either,
though if you have particularly large fingers,
you may want to give it a try first.
The lens is at top right (viewed from the front)
and so you need to be careful your left finger(s) do
not get in the way.
There is one change on the 1030 SW that you need to be aware of. The microphone has been moved from the center front of the camera to the top left (viewed from the front) of the camera, closer to your shutter finger. What this means is that when you are filming a movie, any movement you make with your finger(s) is recorded clearly. For example, if you half-press the shutter release button then releases it (you wanted to stop filming then thought better of it), this ever so slight movement is recorded as a distinct thud. Any comment, grunt, snort and giggle you make is also clearly recorded.
Olympus has added a Mode Dial on the back that is more convenient than the SCN button on the 770 SW. Settings available on the Mode Dial are AUTO, P, Digital Image Stabilization, SCN, GUIDE, Movie, Favorites and Playback.
Digital Image Stabilization will select a high ISO and favours a fast
shutter speed so as to reduce blur
caused by camera shake and/or subject movement. An improvement suggestion would be to include optical image stabilization.
There are 28 shooting modes in all: AUTO, P,
Digital Image Stabilization, 24 scene modes to
cover almost every possible situation, and Movie.
There is, of course, a scene mode for Beach & Snow
and 4 scene modes for Underwater photography.
New is a "Pre-Capture Movie" scene mode that will capture 7 sec. of movie: up to 2 sec. of a movie before the shutter release button is pressed and 5 sec. after the shutter release button is pressed. Sound is not recorded and so optical zoom is made available. This pre-capture movie scene mode allows you to capture a potentially crucial start of an action scene.
Mode" shooting mode is selectable from the Main Menu and this will turn all beeps and other warning sounds off immediately without altering your preferred settings. This is useful in a museum and other settings where absolutely quiet is preferred or required. When you deselect Silent Mode, all your previous sound settings are immediately restored.
There are now three Panorama modes to choose from (you need to use an Olympus-branded xD-Picture Card): Combine In Camera 1, Combine In Camera 2 and Combine In PC.
Combine In PC is the traditional Panorama mode that existed in all previous Olympus digital cameras and simply provides guide lines that are not really very helpful. You can however take up to 10 images and then combine them in Olympus Master Software 2.
Combine In Camera 1 and Combine In Camera 2 are brand new. They allow you to capture three images and stitch them together to create one panoramic picture right in the camera.
Combine In Camera 2 displays the previous image as semi-transparent to allow you to align the next image properly. You control where the seams are.
Combine In Camera 1 is a way cool In-camera Panorama shooting mode that dethrones all previous Panorama modes in every other digital camera!
With Combine In Camera 1, all you have to do is simply press the shutter button to capture the first image and slowly pan across the scene; the second and third images will be captured automatically and stitched together with the first image –- resulting in one seamless panorama-size picture. Taking panorama pictures has never been so much easy and fun!
Almost all the shooting functions are conveniently accessible
through the OK/FUNC. button placed in the middle
of the 4-Way Arrows.
You can record movies (until the memory
card is full) at either 640x480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps or 15fps. Note that in Movie Mode, you can select between Non-Water Movie mode and Underwater Movie mode. The camera is defaulted to Non-Water Movie mode.
You record sound but cannot use optical zoom in Non-Water Movie mode; you cannot record sound but can use optical zoom in Underwater Movie mode.
Video Storage Capacity
(h m s)
No memory card comes with the camera but there is approx.
14.7MB of Internal Memory. 14.7MB can record only
8 sec. of SHQ movie.
Review (in Shooting Mode) / Print (with direct printing to a
connected PictBridge-enabled printer)
Arrow Pad: UP=Exposure Compensation,
RIGHT=Flash, DOWN=Selftimer, LEFT=Macro,
Super Macro, Super Macro LED
OK/FUNC in the middle of Arrow Pad
Shadow Adjustment (Shooting Mode) / Erase One (Playback Mode)
Display / Guide / LED / Time
Press the LEFT ARROW key to select
between MACRO, SUPER MACRO and SUPER MACRO LED. The last option uses
the LED Illuminator to light up your
subject -- a brillant idea!
MACRO allows you to focus as close
as 10cm (3.9 in.) and SUPER MACRO
at 2cm (0.8 in.).
Select Drive from the FUNC menu.
Normal speed: 0.7fps, up to 7 frames
High speed: 5.2fps, up to 11 frames
The drive mode is kept and restored
when the camera is turned off and on
again, so remember to reset it back
to Single Frame.
Press the UP ARROW key to select Exposure
Once set, the Exposure Compensation
Indicator conveniently stays displayed
on screen until it is reset to "0"
Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (1/3 EV increments)
Perfect Shot Preview displays 4 smaller screens at a time with the effect of each compensation value displayed in a different screen.
Note: the exposure compensation value
selected is retained even when the camera
is turned off (so remember to reset
to "0" after using it or the
next time you turn the camera on, your
shots may be over- or under-exposed.)
The LED Illuminator will
throw a light source on your close-up
subject. You can use it to add light,
remove shadows or to help achieve
Press and hold the LED Illuminator button
for about 2-3 sec. when the camera is OFF to display
the Date and Time for 3 sec.
Press and hold the MENU/LED Illuminator
button (whether the camera is ON or
OFF) for about 2-3 sec. to turn on the
LED illuminator. The LED illuminator
turns off in 30 sec. if there is no
activity; turns off after 90 sec.
if there is activity; or press and
hold the MENU/LED Illuminator button
again to turn it off immediately
Press the LED Illuminator button
when the camera is OFF to display
the current Date and Time (including Alarm time, if set) for about 3 sec.
There is a very nice
Battery/Card door and the battery has a latch
to keep it from accidentally falling. You won't
be able to change battery or card when the camera
is on a tripod.
LCD & Menus
There is no optical viewfinder but a large 2.7
in. LCD monitor with a high 230,000 pixels resolution.
The LCD has a fast enough refresh rate for a smooth
display in both good light and low light. It is one of the few LCD monitors that gains up
very well in low-light.
While the FUNC. button gives access to the shooting
settings, the MENU button gives access to the
Menu and Setup settings.
MENU 1 of 2
- Fine Zoom
- Digital Zoom
MENU 2 of 2
- AF Mode
- Voice memo
WHITE BALANCE 1 of 2
- Sunny day
- Cloudy day
- Tungsten light
- Fluorescent lamp 1 (daylight / home)
- 6 Adjusting area in focus
- 7 Shooting subject in motion
- 8 Targeting with assistance
- 9 Close up photo
- 10 Super close up photo
SHOOTING GUIDE 3 of 3
- 11 Shooting at night
- 12 Reducing blur
- 13 Reducing red-eye
- 14 Adjusting image quality
- Programmed AE
Shooting Mode, No Flash, Macro, Shadow Adjustment, WB Tungsten, ISO 400, Continuous Drive, 10M Fine, Exposure Compensation
+0.3EV, Alarm CLock, Space left for 204 images
The Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is easily the camera of choice for anyone who needs a camera tough enough to weather all kinds of environmental challenges that would simply damage another digital camera. Yet it succeeds in also being easy-to-use
and operate. The 1030 SW is ultra compact, pocketable and elegant.