The Olympus Stylus 1050 SW sports a new redesign and acquires a sliding lens barrier that also doubles as a Power ON/OFF switch. Add "Tap Control" technology that allows you to bring up and set Flash and Shadow Adjustment options just by tapping the sides of the camera and you've got one unique good-looking ultra compact. Of course, the 1050 SW is already unique by virtue of it being one of the toughest compact digital cameras built: shockproof -- able to sustain
a fall from a height of 1.5 meters (5 feet) onto a solid floor; waterproof -- able to be submerged to depths of approximately 3 metres (10 feet); and freezeproof -- able to keep operating in freezing temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you have previously lost cameras to bumps and falls, the Olympus 1050 SW brings a measure of peace of mind that here is a camera that you can use pretty much anywhere without worrying about damaging it.
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 1050 SW is attractive in its all-metal
clad brushed silver body with chrome accents.
It is available in four different colors: Blue, Silver, Black and Champagne. There is
no hand/finger grip, so the use of
the wrist strap is highly recommended. The lens
never extends outside the body.
Startup is 3 sec. Shot to
shot time averages at about 6 sec., with most of that time waiting for an image to write to memory card before the next picture can be taken. There is a slight shutter lag, so pre-focusing is recommended.
Colors: Overall Blue, Silver, Black or Champagne with chrome
Looks: elegant, fashionable
Comfortable enough to hold and operate, though
can be slippery
Controls & FUNC. menu are intuitive
Buttons are on the small side and there is no real place on the back to rest the thumb
Ultra Compact: fits in a jeans pocket or
small fashion purse
Dimensions: 93 x 62 x 19.3 mm /
3.7 x 2.4 x 0.76 in.
Weight: 152 g / 5.4 oz. without battery
and media card
Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion
battery Li-42B, which takes a long 5 hrs to recharge fully. Olympus rates the battery to be about 200
shots per charge, so a spare battery is highly
The flash has a max. range of 5.3m/17.4 ft. at
You can set the flash to Auto, Red-Eye Reduction,
On (Fill-in) or Off.
Olympus Stylus 1050 SW Top View
The top of the camera has the Power button and
Shutter button. Both buttons are on the small
side. The Shutter button clicks positively, but the Power button is recessed and needs a conscious push down to activate it.
A Power button, I hear you ask? Don't we already have the sliding Lens Barrier? This was my first reaction, too. Turns out, they can cancel each other out, so it can get a tad confusing. For example, you can slide the lens barrier down and turn on the camera. Press the Power button and the camera turns off -- with the lens barrier still in the down (open) position. Or, with the lens barrier up (closed), you press the Power button and turn on the camera -- and a nasty error message displays with a loud beep, telling you that "The Lens Barrier Is Closed." If you want to review your pictures without sliding the lens barrier, you must press the Power button to turn the camera on first, then press [>] to go into Playback.
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 a Mode Dial on the back with the following settings: 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 or sensor-shift image stabilization.
There are 27 shooting modes in all: AUTO, P,
Digital Image Stabilization, 23 scene modes to
cover almost every possible situation, and Movie.
There is, of course, a scene mode for Beach & Snow and one for Underwater Snapshot.
There is also the obligatory Smile Shot scene mode that detects a smile on your subject’s face and automatically fires off three consecutive shots to capture that perfect smile.
A "Pre-Capture Movie" scene mode 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. Optical zoom is available but not sound recording. 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 conveniently 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.
The three Panorama modes (you need to use an Olympus-branded xD-Picture Card), Combine In Camera 1, Combine In Camera 2 and Combine In PC, now work slightly differently than in previous models.
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 allow you to capture three images and stitch them together to create one panoramic picture right in the camera.
Combine In Camera 2 provides guide lines and displays the previous image (but not as semi-transparent) to allow you to align the next image properly.
Panorama - Combine in Camera 1
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 (choose your first image carefully because it determines the exposure that will be used for the next 2 shots) and then pan across the scene until the diamond pointer matches the square target mark of the previous picture; the next picture is then automatically captured. Pan once more and match the diamond with the mark and the 3rd picture is automatically captured. All three images are then stitched together in-camera –- 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 at either 640x480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps or 15fps. Maximum movie file size is 2GB. The table below gives an approx. of the number of movie minutes you can record. However, the length of a clip varies, depending on the type of xD-Picture Card you are using. With a TypeM or Standard xD-Picture Card, each clip is only 10 sec. in length.
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
BY TAP CONTROL
Tap Control: Tap twice on top of the camera to set Tap Control ON/OFF. When there is a choice of options displayed, tap the right or left side of the camera to select a choice. Tap twice on top of the camera to confirm OK.
Flash: Tap right side of camera to bring up the Flash options. Tap the right or left side of the camera to select a choice. Tap twice on top of the camera to confirm OK.
Shadow Adjustment: Tap left side of camera to bring up the Shadow Adjustment options. Tap the right or left side of the camera to select a choice. Tap twice on top of the camera to confirm OK.
Review/Playback (in Shooting Mode): Tap the LCD screen to go into Review. Tap the right or left side of the camera to browse through the saved images. Tap LCD screen again to exit Review mode.
Press the LEFT ARROW key to select
between MACRO, SUPER MACRO and SUPER MACRO LED. The last option uses
the LED Illuminator to throw some fill-in light onto your
MACRO allows you to focus as close
as 20cm (7.9 in.) and SUPER MACRO
at 7cm (2.8 in.).
Select Drive from the FUNC menu.
Normal speed: 0.38fps, up to 25 frames
High speed: 5.4fps, up to 24 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 fill-in light,
remove shadows or to help achieve
Press and hold the LED Illuminator
button for about 2-3 sec. when the camera is ON to turn on the
LED illuminator. The LED illuminator
turns off in 30 sec. if there is no
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 230,000 pixels resolution.
The LCD has a fast enough refresh rate for a smooth
display. The LCD gains up
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)