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Olympus is finally OUT!!
GirlDiver - 1/23/2008 8:09 PM
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Category: Equipment
Comments: 1
Olympus is finally OUT!!I`ve been waiting for this!!! (text from

Olympus Stylus 1030 SW
10 megapixel, shockproof, freezeproof and waterproof to 33 feet
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Right upfront, scuba divers will adore the new 10-megapixel Olympus Stylus 1030 SW. This new top-of-the-line model in Olympus` SW (Shock & Waterproof) series was introduced in January of 2008 as part of the company`s announcement of nine new consumer cameras. While sporting a new look that is somewhere inbetween the Stylus 770 SW (33 feet depth) and the new Stylus 850 SW (10 feet), it`s clear that this is the successor to the 7.1 megapixel Stylus 770 SW that we love so much. Don`t let the small size and stylish look fool you: this shockproof, waterproof, crushproof, freezeproof, sandproof, and dustproof may just be the toughest consumer camera ever built. It survives drops from almost seven feet and you can take it diving down to 33 feet, without an underwater housing. And there is more.

What you get with the Stylus 1030 SW

Quite possibly the perfect camera for Scuba divers. That`s because its ability to be taken down to a depth of 33 feet clearly sets it apart from other cameras in Olympus` SW series. They are all tough and you can take them all just about anywhere. But when it comes to diving, only this new 1030 (and its 770 SW predecessor) will do. Sure, many dives go deeper but there is a lot of great scenery in shallow waters, and we have no doubt that the 1030 SW, like the 770 SW before, won`t mind the occasional descent to 50 or 60 feet. Not needing to take along a bulky underwater case is priceless. I know.

But diving is not all the 1030 SW can do. Thanks to a rugged metal body, extensive sealing and shock-absorbing construction, the 1030 can survive drops from two meters, or 6.6 feet. And there we thought the 5-foot drop spec of the also new Stylus 850 SW was impressive. Freezing temperatures do not affect this camera as it is freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. So it`s a perfect companion for sledding, skiing and snowboarding as well. Finally, unlike the lesser SW series cameras, this one is crushproof as well. Its tough case and reinforced LCD can withstand 220 pounds of pressure.

Amazingly, the 1030 W can do all this while still being a very compact, elegant camera you can take anywhere. It has a footprint of 3.7 x 2.4 inches and is 0.84 inches thick -- exactly the same as the 8-megapixel 850 SW. It`s, however, packed full of circuitry and tons of little parts (we took its predecessor apart) and weighs a bit more, though still just over six ounces without its Li-Ion battery, and not much more with it. The new and more powerful 3.6X optical zoom is internal, which means there is no annoying lens barrel that motors in and out. And even though the 1030 SW can stand up to deep water, dust, crushing, sand and freezing temperatures, it`s also a regular full-function digital camera with all the features you expect from a modern point & shoot compact.

Like the 850 SW, the 1030 is easy to use right out of the box. In the back there is a mode dial that lets you select automatic, image stabilization, guide mode, movie, playback and favorites, as well as scenes. Below the mode dial is a four-way navigation pad with an "OK" button in its center. Four additional function buttons bring up the onscreen menu and cycle through often used functions.

A word about the internal zoom. While the 770 had a 3X zoom equivalent to the standard 38-114mm equivalent, the new camera has a slightly extended 3.6X zoom that starts at a wide 28mm and goes up to 102mm. This means that it is much better suited to underwater photography where a wide lens always comes in handy while giving up hardly any magnification.

Despite its impressive environmental ruggedness specifications, the Stylus 1030 SW is anything but a one trick pony. In fact, with its choice of three colors (silver, black and green), elegant styling, and wealth of functions, this is a camera that can do it all. Like almost all new consumer digital cameras, the Stylus 1030 has a face detection mode that enables it to find one face or more faces in a setting and make sure that they are in focus and properly exposed. It can do that even when people are moving.

The 1030 has digital image stabilization that uses higher sensitivity and higher shutter speed to reduce or eliminate blurriness in pictures. It doesn`t however, have mechanical sensor shift image stablization which would come in especially handy for underwater shooting.

The TruePic III Image Processor that was originally developed for digital SLRs delivers more vibrant colors, smoother edges, less nose and higher overall speed.

Olympus equipped the 1030 SW with its Shadow Adjustment Technology that analyzes shots of subjects in front of bight backgrounds and then exposes things properly. In essence, it compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas on the foreground subject are underexposed and lack visible detail.

The Perfect Shot Preview feature displays the effects of various settings including zoom, exposure, white balance and metering - on the LCD so you can select the proper settings and effects

The camera also has an LED Illuminator that works like a mini-flashlight on the front of the camera to enhance focus and exposure for macro shooting. It is also great for underwater close-ups where light is scarce. The LED also works in conjunction with the Bright Capture feature (brightened LCD preview for better composition in low light) to help illuminate a subject when taking low-light portraits.

There is a large 2.7-inch high resolution (230k pixel) LCD that does not only have aa very wide viewing angle in all directions, but also uses the Olympus HyperCrystal II LCD technology. According to Olympus, it reproduces true colors with a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 180 percent and a color reproduction performance of more than 160 percent compared to the original HyperCrystal LCD.

While the 1030 SW does not have any manual modes, there are 28 "scene modes" in addition to auto: portrait, landscape, landscape + portrait, night, night + portrait, sport, indoor, candle, self portrait, available light portrait, sunset, firework, cuisine, behind glass, document, auction, shoot & select 1 and 2, beach and snow, underwater snapshot, underwater wide 1 and 2, underwater macro, and underwater movie. New is a pre-capture movie mode where the camera records but only commits to storage once you push the shutter. That way you are certain to capture the seconds leading up to an event.

Shoot & Select lets you take sequential pictures by holding down the shutter. The pics then show up as sort of a filmstrip and you can select which you want to keep and which you want to discard.

"Guide" sort of guides you through various scenarios and sets the camera properly. This mode also lets you preview a scene through a multi-frame window that shows how the picture looks with four different settings. You then pick what suits you best.

Like other Olympus cameras, the 1030 has both a macro and a super-macro mode. The macro mode goes from eight inches to infinity whereas super-macro goes from an amazing 0.8 inches to a bit under two feet. This is great as Olympus underwater cameras excel at macro photography.

The Stylus 1030 SW has a 640 x 480 movie mode with sound, and it shoots at 30 frames per second for lifelike video. We still need to ascertain whether the VGA mode has a time limit, as the 790 SW had. Sound has never been a strong side of Olympus consumer cameras. The 1030 SW has a Shooting Assist function for voice recording but we`re not sure if that includes a full voice recording mode. You can attach short sound clips t


SKEETER - 1/24/2008 1:16 AM
If it was 33m that would be something. But 33 ft. not that inpressive.