Difficult decision - Stylus 1 as perfect travel camera (vs EM10)

Discussion in 'Olympus Forum' started by swandy, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. swandy

    swandy SC Regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    I have loved Olympus P&S cameras for many years and really delighted in the X series - first the XZ-1, then the XZ-2 and now the Stylus 1. When I got the Stylus, my first thoughts were "this would make a great travel camera". Now to be clear I no longer have those big SLR/DSLR kits with huge lenses. My kit now is the Olympus EM10 (while probably a bit heavier than the Stylus 1 with the EZ Pancake lens it is very close to the same size) and my last trip (Memphis/Tennessee), while I planned on taking the Stylus 1 ended up with the EM10 and some small lenses. And I was very happy.

    But every time I take out the Stylus 1 I REALLY enjoy it's controls, ease of use, wonderful lens the the resulting images. (Now even with our vacation pics I rarely print over an occasional 8x10 or 11x14 - more often just 4x6's for my wife's album. Otherwise just looking at the images on computers and sharing online.)

    We went to Manhattan yesterday for the annual Lincoln Center Craft Fair and then walked a bit through Central Park on our way to dinner. I thought this would be a perfect outing for the Stylus 1 as it was in areas that we go to a lot. But after looking at the images, I keep going back to the idea of using this little gem for an upcoming trip to Israel/Jordan. I almost wish that looking through yesterday's pics I could say to myself that "I could have done much better with the EM10" but I can't . Now I will assume that if the shots were at night or indoors, I would think differently, but I am not so sure that the convenience for me of the Stylus 1 would not out-weigh the few missed shots in low light that the EM10 (with a fast prime - I have the 17mm/1.8) would not have done a better job.

    Thoughts and comments welcome as always, Thanks for reading, Steve
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  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Why not take both cameras?
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    the technical quality of vacation shots should mean very little. Especially the way you say you plan on using them. ANd from the photos above, I see no compelling reason for "more IQ".
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Take the camera you enjoy using. That's what vacations are for. Plenty of light in the middle east, at least in the daytime. :smile: Nighttime may be the one area where the EM10 would really be noticeably better.
  5. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    I'm in Miami at the moment and really enjoying the EM10s art filters and tricks. Even the EZ lens is looking better in the strong sunlight and stopped down to F11

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  6. Rhino123

    Rhino123 SC Veteran

    May 11, 2014
    Tiew Chong Yi
    Like what Nic had mentioned, why not take both cameras? Afterall the two cameras are not too big. However if I was to choose and only one camera can be brought, I will take the Stylus 1 just for its versatility. And if for small print, I think stepping up the ISO and shooting at poorer lighting is not going to be of a problem, I mean, even with my Nokia 1520, higher ISO and at smaller print, is quite acceptable, I would believe that Stylus 1 would have much better handling in low light.
  7. swandy

    swandy SC Regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    To: Rhino and Nic: Yes, you are right about taking both (especially as my only other backup would be my wife's Canon Powershot) and that is a definite possibility (EM10/14-42EZ for just about everything and the Stylus when I need the reach). But I really prefer the idea of just carrying one around and I am not sure how much better the EM10/14-42EZ (I also have the 14-42IIR but I don't think IQ wise it is any better than the pancake) within a similar zoom range than the Stylus 1 in good light. In low light/indoors, yes it is a better option. But as Rhino pointed out - I am very far from a pixel peeper and noise does not bother me (I still remember Kodak Tri-X 400 - now that was noise, oh excuse me grain) - so the Stylus, even if pushed to 1600 with it's fast lens rarely has issues indoors or at night for me - unless something is moving.
    We have taken about 10 of these tours over the years (either bus or boat) with large groups and generally I enjoyed myself with either whatever advanced P&S I had at the time or one body and one wide-normal zoom lens. And while I have taken trips with multiple lenses, I find that the extra lenses, whether the fisheye when I had it or a longer zoom, rarely got used - perhaps 10% of the time or less. That is why recently I did not take either - aside from the last trip where I had the Fisheye BCL and could not leave it home.
  8. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Yes, taking the E-M10 as a quality backup camera might be a good idea. But I would limit the lenses to the 14-42 EZ and a fast prime for night work. And, unless I had a problem with the Stylus 1, I would leave the E-M10 and its gear back at the hotel diring the day and bring it out only at night or if I was going to shoot inside something like a museum when one can't use a flash and the fast prime would make a difference. I bought my Stylus 1 specifically for travel use when I need the flexibility of its lens and bringing a lot of photo gear would hamper my living in the moment.
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind SC Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    If you take the M10 along, combine it with one or two fast primes - the 17mm f/1.8 and the 45mm f/1.8 would be a perfect choice. Nothing against the pancake zoom, but for the purposes you describe, the Stylus 1 is mostly sufficient. If it isn't at some point, then the 14-42mm won't help a lot (it offers nothing over the Stylus 1's zoom range and aperture, and quality-wise, I doubt it'll make a big difference either). With the primes, you're sure to get the quality boost that'll justify taking the M10 along. The M10's in-body IS makes the 45mm an even more effective lens, and the 17mm is a very good choice for street work and available light. Both lenses are quick to focus and offer a reasonably fast aperture (combining that with the M10's superior sensor, you gain 2-3 stops, maybe another one through IS - that's not to be sneezed at, apart from enhanced DR ...).

    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. swandy

    swandy SC Regular

    Nov 16, 2013
    I agree about the EM10 as a backup (and taking the 17mm/1.8 for at night). Funny thing is I was looking through my pictures from Memphis/Nashville and what surprised me was that when we visited Graceland and some museums in Nashville, I did not bother to change from the EZ pancake to the 17mm. I did at night for dinner and walking around - and looking at the ISOs chosen and the shutter speeds, I probably could have gotten away with the pancake even in those circumstances.
    What I want to do is do a comparison between the EM10 w/EZ pancake and the Stylus 1 over the same focal lengths and see for myself. I agree that the EM10 is better in low light, but considering that the Stylus lens is f2.8 and the 17mm is f1.8 (or slightly over a stop) and from what I have seen the EM10 sensor/processor is also about a stop better (have to do some more careful testing of this also, I keep the AUTO ISO on the EM10 maxed at 3200 and the Stylus at 1600), there is definitely at least a 2 stop advantage. But the IBIS on the Stylus from what I see is almost as good as the EM10 - especially in the shorter to middle focal length range.
    Ah the choices.
  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    I know this is an old thread, but I've been puzzling over the same thing: what cameras to take on a trip to Laos in December. I have a number of really wonderful cameras, but I wanted to put the smallest possible kit together that would meet my needs. My old, gray shoulders ain't what they used to be. I'll be going to some events where a reasonably long zoom would be needed, and I wanted a zoom in the standard range because I don't have any wide primes. I have a long zoom for my E-M5 and a good standard zoom for my X-Pro, but bringing both cameras and those lenses, along with the primes I insist on taking, even just the Olympus 25mm and 45mm, made the kit too big.

    So I just bought a used Stylus 1. I'll bring that along with the E-M5 and the m. zuiko 25mm and 45mm primes, nice lenses both, and small, for higher IQ portaits, indoor available light stuff, and nighttime carnival shots. The Stylus 1 can probably handle the rest. I shoot raw anyway, and I rarely make big prints. My first trip to the area, I lugged way too much stuff in a huge Lowe-Pro back pack that could have carried supplies for a week of survival in the jungle. Last time I went too light, bringing the E-M5 and the Zuiko 14- 42 mm EZ lens, which I feel just does not do justice to the sensor on that camera, though it is by no means a bad lens and did give me some good shots. So this time the E-M5 will have primes that take full advantage of its capabilities, and I'll leave the zooming to a capable super-zoom. The configuration will be small and light, even if I throw in the Leica X1 to have a 35mm prime option available, certainly much less weight and bulk than two system cameras and two zooms.

    I wish I felt up to taking the X-Pro, a camera I love, and I'll miss having the particular beauties available to me that the X-trans sensor offers. But small and light wins the day, and the E-M5 with a couple of primes is no slouch. My Stylus should be here Monday.
  12. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I bought a Panasonic lx100.. Though people don't seem to think much of it because of the 12mp sensor (16mp m43 sensor but only 12mp used). The Panasonic lx series has always been known for how well they match the lens to the sensor and IMHO, the lx100 really doesn't disappoint.

    I originally bought it for my vacation camera due to its fast zoom 24-75 f1.7-2.8 fov and 4k video. But u know what, I liked the look of the shots from this camera so much, I use it for everyday photography as well. I have printed shots up to 13x19 that I have no problem with. No it doesn't have the iq of a foveon sensor camera or even the 16mp cameras but I just like the results I get.

    Last two vacations, I paired the lx100 w/ a Ricoh gr. The lx100 is the main camera.

  13. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    I had an LX100 for a while, but some unexpected expenses came up and I had to sell it. I liked it a lot. 12MP is plenty (heck, I'm thinking of getting an old 6MP RD-1 next year), and I liked the way the lens and sensor drew the image, even at high iso. My dilemma for this trip was how to cover some telephoto needs for Hmong bullfighting (not mortal combat like the Spanish variety) as well as the occasional wide angle shots. With the 25mm and the 45mm on the E-M5 probably covering 75% of what I will be shooting, a small superzoom seemed the right solution to cover the wide and telephoto extremes, and I was able to buy a nice used Stylus 1 for a very good price, which is important if I want to eat overseas -- and I do! For one thing, Phonsavan has one of my favorite Indian restaurants.
  14. Garylh

    Garylh SC Veteran

    I've gone on vacation w/ nothing more than the old Panasonic 25-300 10mp p&s when I needed the zoom range. I always figure your on vacation w/ your family...enjoy it w/ the family... If u get a good shot w/ the p&s that's a plus :D

    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    The Stylus 1 will do just fine as backup to my main camera, the E-M5.






    • Like Like x 3
  16. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    Well impressed with the Stylus 1 output - in my case it would be my main camera and I would not make any apologies for it.

    As regards Laos I can recommend a whole series of novels set in Laos by Colin Cotterill -The Dr Siri series is most enjoyable
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  17. ReD

    ReD SC Hall of Famer

    Mar 27, 2013
    I should mention that it isn't totally necessary to read the novels in sequence (I haven't) but the first I believe is "The Coroner's Lunch" which I am now currently reading
  18. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Someone gave me a copy of "The Coroner's Lunch", which I haven't started yet. I've heard good things about the series, though, and the Laos connection will be enjoyable too.