Upcoming Jamaica stay - decided on Olympus Stylus 1s

Discussion in 'Olympus Forum' started by carlb, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. carlb

    carlb SC Regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Heading down to Treasure Beach, Jamaica about a month from now. Very much looking forward to chilling out, great food (vegan 'Ital'), non-touristy beaches, island scenery, and dry sunny weather.

    I want to snap a lot of photos, too. No big cameras, no collection of lenses to haul. Just one smallish thing that I can take everywhere in a belt-loop case. Shoot anything from views to people to birds. Maybe even food pics - but only admitted to if they look decent, heh.

    The FZ1000 would be great, but ... too big. Same for the RX10.

    The LX100 is amazing and would be perfect ... but not enough reach. Not enough reach for the RX100 variations, Fuji X-20/30, or G7X, either.

    The LF1 is pretty close to checking all boxes ... but that EVF - not great.

    The P7800 ... great image quality, decent range. Has an OK EVF. I'd have purchased this camera if not for -

    The Stylus 1s ... great shooting experience, excellent range, fast fixed-f2.8 lens, great evf, battery life (450 shots/charge), powers down to a very compact form that fits a small belt loop case. With the software updates since the Stylus 1 there's magnified manual focus with peaking. Lots of customizable buttons and dials. Responsive, fast shooting. Decent bokeh, easy to get at equivalent 100mm and higher. I know how Olys shoot, I like them a lot.

    The Stylus 1s isn't sold in the US, but a quick check on eBay shows discount-priced units available from Japan. So now I'm waiting for it to arrive. :)
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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I really like my Stylus 1. It may be small sensor, but it's such a pleasure to use.
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Real Name:
    Irie. Enjoy your vacation
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  4. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Real Name:
    This post had me worried given our own experiences based on Ocho Rios.

    Be very careful in Jamaica and ideally travel with a local.
    Picturesque towns were simply not safe to wander and photograph with churches and houses locked and barred.
    Such lush vegetation and hills to photograph but I'll not go back.
    Make sure to do your homework before you go. Resorts like Sandals can become luxury prisons so easily.

    This was a typical out of town shot from a padlocked gate.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. carlb

    carlb SC Regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Great shot and treatment for the above, Dennis.

    We do want to stay away from the bigger tourist cities, I just don't like the high-pressure hustlers, the all-inclusive resorts.

    My girlfriend is vegan, I cook and (mostly) eat that way now. She wants to get out of the winter cold, and I was looking for a spot that had a decent chance of satisfying those criteria.

    I've been to Ocho Rios and Negrille before, with a college big-band (played the super clubs), and a few years later at a villa that had a great cook. So I know of what you experienced: it's a whole different world outside the clubs.

    I did a bit of research, and there are some towns that are far enough away to be low-key, with fewer worries when exploring. Read many positive reviews, a few negative, for the Treasure Beach locale. We'll see, and I'll be sure to keep your experience in mind.

    Thanks much.

    I'll be sure to have low denomination currency to barter with, was stung more than once with the "no change available."
  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    Real Name:
    The Stylus 1 is on my radar too for a goldilocks camera; small enough, big enough reach, good enough quality for most situations. Weather sealing is all that's missing IMO.
    Have fun on Jamaica, seems like a cool place to explore. Common sense goes a long way in "tricky" locations. If someone's troubling you, look for shops or other local businesses, the owners will usually not want their street to be a troublesome place.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Amen to that. Weather sealing would make it darn-near perfect. But it's very good just as it is.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. carlb

    carlb SC Regular

    Jun 3, 2013
    Stylus 1s has arrived, and what a great camera to shoot!

    Lens ring either goes "clicky" for aperture or shutter, or smooth for focus at the setting of the manual-focus switch. Great feature.

    I put the camera in manual mode, and set the aperture with the lens dial, the shutter speed on the top dial, then press an assigned function button to set ISO via the back 4-way button. Just like on a classic film camera. (Except for being able to set ISO on the fly.) Flip a switch, and the lens ring is now set for manual focusing, no more clicks, and with a bit of magnification and focus peaking. Great when I have a bit of time to work the shot.

    For quick snapping before something's gone, I'm setting program mode to have the exposure compensation on the top dial. Nice. I believe I can set minimum shutter speed for this mode, which will be handy to ensure a reasonable shot even if the subject's moving a bit.

    Zoom range is the same as having the 14-150mm on an E-M1. But the lens-cap is automatic, and camera stores to a point and shoot size.

    As far as the new "1s" software features, I much like the "35mm equivalent" zoom range reporting and magnified manual focus with peaking focus indication. Looks like the "1s" software features will be available to Stylus 1 owners in a January update. For my extra risk (Stylus 1s warranty not valid for American market) I have the different grip pattern (heh!), and the longer-life battery. Oh well, I have a certain exclusivity with my grip pattern. :rolleyes:

    I have a great belt-loop case for it, and now my photography needs are all set for the trip. :biggrin: