My Favorite Faves: Olympus Stylus Epic

The Olympus Stylus Epic. It’s an old friend of mine. Blogging about it has been a long time coming.

You can see that it’s an “old friend” of mine by how worn out it is. This is actually my SECOND Stylus Epic. The previous one was just as scuffed up as this one though.

First things first, here is some information about the Olympus Stylus Epic (aka Olympus Mju-II elsewhere in the world):

  • Compact, “clamshell” design
  • Weather-resistant design (not water-submersible, but safe for use in rain, snow, beach, etc.)
  • 35mm lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 (!!!)
  • Spot metering available
  • Flash modes: auto, fill flash, off (!!!), red eye reduction, night mode, red eye reduction night mode
  • Focusing as close as 1.1ft/.35m
  • Shutter speed range of 1/1000s-4s (that’s more than some SLRs give you!)

I’ve been having a difficult time writing this post. In fact, I first drafted this blog in January 2014, but I got no further than writing the title. This is the first time I’ve set “pen to paper” (keyboard to text box?) in order to complete this post. The reason I’ve been having a hard time getting this post together is that I have looked at the photos which would be included in it, and I’ve thought, “These are just the same old pictures that I’ve seen a million times.” I think that I’ve gotten to the bottom of that way of thinking though: They seem like “the same old pictures that I’ve seen a million times” because they are some true classics when it comes to memories I’ve captured on film.

Stretch Arm Strong in Augusta, Georgia. 2001.

Stretch Arm Strong. Augusta, Georgia. 2001.

This is actually the same photo as the one above it, but I printed it on black and white paper in the darkroom for the photo class I was taking at the time.

For some reason, my friends started jumping into each others’ arms one night. 2001.

Kayla, watching a band in the basement of of The Map Room. 2001.

A band playing in The Map Room basement. 2001.

Upstairs at The Map Room. 2001.

Downtown Memphis. 2001.

Underoath in Birminham, Alabama – January 2002

My niece was about to cry…2002.

Cody and Mel. 2002.

Never Cry Wolf at the Map Room. 2002.

twothirtyeight. 2002.

My niece on my brother-in-law’s lap at The Apple Barn. Sevierville, Tennessee. 2002.

An abandoned heart. 2003.

An 80s party at our DIY venue, The Caravan. 2003.

Annie and Carrie at Valentine’s dinner. 2004.

Nathalie at Huey’s. 2004.

Jason’s birthday party. 2004 (not pictured: Jason)

Nathalie’s apartment, before the girls and I went to see a play. 2004.

Monica, after our shared birthday dinner at Pho Hoa Bihn. 2004.

My niece outside their new house the first night they moved in. 2004.

Valentine’s Day at a Mexican restaurant. 2005.

My niece drawing in church. Late 2005.

My belongings. 2006.

Meredith. Food Not Bombs. 2006.

JayBay at Food Not Bombs. 2006.

Food Not Bombs. 2006.

Kesley with a giant strawberry. Food Not Bombs. 2006.

My niece and mom being lovey dove. 2006.

My niece’s car. 2006.

My bag and buttons. 2006.

Nathalie and Elizabeth at Rally Point. 2006.

Java Cabana. 2006.

Java Cabana. 2006.

Kelsey at Java Cabana. 2006.

My niece, dancing outside the FedEx Forum. 2006.

My niece at a wishing fountain. 2006.

My niece at the Orpheum. 2006.

The Orpheum. 2006.

My first time on a train, after a sleepless overnight flight to London. 2006.

A book I bought off a £1 sale shelf at a small London bookshop. 2006.

The door to the hostel where I stayed. London. 2006.

Trafalgar Square. London. 2006.

My first time seeing Big Ben. 2006.

Selfridges. Birmingham, England. 2006.

Birmingham, England. 2006.

Birmingham, England. 2006.

Vintage shop. Birmingham, England. 2006.

Champs. 2008.

Lunch at Garibaldi’s. 2008.

My mom’s fabulous shoes. 2009.

Curtains. 2009.

A very silly picture of my niece on her back stoop. Never-before-seen. 2009. 

I’ve included a lot of snapshots taken at parties, dinners with friends, and random nights on the town. They’re not great artistic masterpieces or anything, but I did want to showcase what a great tool the Stylus Epic is for situations like that. It’s honestly got the most balanced built-in flash I’ve ever experienced on a point-and-shoot camera. I used to have the Stylus Epic with me at all times, which is one reason I have so many casual photos of time I spent with my niece when she was younger. It’s one of the cameras that saved my bacon when I went to England for the first time and my primary camera, an SLR, kept malfunctioning! I won’t tell you that it’s the perfect camera (I have yet to encounter that,) but the Olympus Stylus Epic has a lot to offer in a cute little package.

Side note: For a camera I love so much, I haven’t used it much in recent years. I think that’s because I began using the Olympus XA in the Epic’s place. Which is quite alright. They are both great cameras which have seen heavy rotation in my photographic life. I suffer from a problem called “so many cameras, so little time!” But I’ve now loaded my Stylus Epic with film and tossed it into my purse to see if I can recapture the magic *fingers crossed*

3 Thoughts on “My Favorite Faves: Olympus Stylus Epic

  1. Jordan on February 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm said:

    Just stumbled across this blog when googling for info on the stylus. I was happy and surprised to see that the first photos were from a Stretch Arm Strong show. Awesome! Anyways, these are great photos and I was wondering what ISO and flash function you generally used for these? I keep reading mixed reviews about whether or not to always have flash/fill flash/no flash on at all times. Thoughts?

    • Thanks! I don’t love shooting with flash, but the Stylus Epic always gave me evenly exposed shots with its flash. I did use the night flash setting a lot, because I liked to get some ambient light in the exposure too.

  2. I love all these punk show photos because that is precisely the thing that drove me to film photography in the first place. So rad!

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