capsule review

Olympus Stylus Verve

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It’s stylish, sleek, and lightweight (only 3.7 ounces), and if you just have to have a blue or red (or silver, white, black, or copper) camera as a fashion accessory, the 4-megapixel Olympus Stylus Verve might turn a few heads, but there are better cameras for the price.

The 1.8-inch LCD is small and suffers from a ghosting effect when you move. There’s no optical viewfinder, the menus are confusing, and the navigation pad feels slow to respond and cramped.

The lens offers a minimal, 2x optical zoom and the aperture is small at a maximum of f3.5 to f4.9. The camera’s Super Macro mode, for focusing up close, only focuses to 3.5 inches away from your subject. There are sixteen shooting modes, including Indoor, Candle and Panorama, but there’s no continuous mode for taking shots one after the other.

The Stylus Verve’s movie mode is 320-by-240 pixels at 15 frames per second. The resulting video is grainy and the audio has noticeable hiss. You can add audio annotations to photos, but they’re limited to a few seconds.

The camera’s image quality was good across the board. The colors were vibrant, but the blues and greens were just a bit inaccurate. Detail was good and there wasn’t much noise, but images suffered from slight oversharpening, giving hard edges a telltale white aura. We also noticed some barrel distortion (outward bulging of the image).

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The Olympus Stylus Verve is chic and compact, but you will really pay (and sacrifice) for style. If taking great pictures is more important to you than looking good, look elsewhere.

Jury Tests

Color Quality—Accuracy Good
Clarity—Detail Good
Clarity—Artifacts, Noise Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable


Resolution 4.0 megapixels
Zoom/Focal Length 2.0x Optical (35 to 70mm)
Maximum Aperture f3.5-f4.9
Size (wxhxd) 3.74 inches x 2.18 inches x 1.08 inches
Weight 3.7 ounces

Olympus Stylus Verve
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