Olympus Stylus Epic DLX (1997)

My son has become a master at thrifting. When looking for vintage clothing, he knows exactly what to look for. On occasion, he will find a camera and send me a text and ask if it’s worth investigating. Back in May, he came across a stack of Olympus gear at one of his favorite stores. After our brief text exchange, I told him to buy it all. It included an Olympus Stylus, Stylus Epic DLX, Stylus Epic Zoom, and an OM body. Each camera was $15 and was in their original box, with packaging and instructions. Whoever owned these cameras took excellent care of them. The Stylus Epic DLX was originally sold for about $138 USD (on sale). Now it’s commanding prices upwards of $350 USD on eBay. That’s an insane amount for a point-and-shoot camera!

Originally released in 1997, the Olympus Stylus Epic DLX was sold as a simple point-and-shoot with a splash-proof body, with fast and accurate autofocus. Outside of the United States, the camera was sold as the Olympus µ mju II. Over 3.8 million Olympus Stylus Epic models sold by 1998 and a limited edition was released to celebrate 10 million units sold. By 2001, over 20 million had been sold.

The specs for a point-and-shoot are very impressive. The lens is an autofocus 35mm, f/2.8 with 4 elements in 4 groups. ISO from 50 to 3200. Automatic exposure from EV 1-17, f/2.8, 4s – f/11, 1/1000s. Spot metering can be enabled on the camera by pressing the flash and the self-timer buttons at the same time. However, once the camera is powered off, this setting is cleared. The camera also has a panorama feature. I haven’t used this setting, and it’s difficult to find information and samples shots online. In fact, I don’t think the original owner used this setting because the stickers have gone unused that indicate to the photo developer, “This roll contains 35mm standard and panorama format negatives. Please process and print as 35mm standard format.” I believe the camera simply masks the photo at the top and bottom. Kind of a gimmick to create a panorama effect. Like the Olympus XA series, this camera is a true pocketable camera, weighing 135g, and measuring 108 x 59 x 35mm. The flash modes are what you would expect with auto, red-eye reduction, suppressed, fill, and night scene that is a slow sync up to 4 seconds. And lastly, it has a time/date stamp that can be disabled or enabled.

I ran two test rolls through the Stylus Epic DLX. The first was a roll of Kodak Gold 200 on a day trip to Helper, Utah. The second was Kodak T-Max 100 during an Ogden Wide photowalk. The resulting images were sharp and exactly what I expected. Any errors, boring photos and bad composition are my fault. It’s been nearly two decades since I’ve used an automatic point-and-shoot compact camera. I’m impressed with the results, and this might be the new camera that goes with me on bike rides.

Camera: Olympus Stylus Epic DLX (1997)
Film: Kodak Gold 200
Process: TheDarkroom.com

Camera: Olympus Stylus Epic DLX (1997)
Film: Kodak T-Max 100
Process: Cinestill DF96 Monobath (3 Min @ 26° C)
Scanner: Epson V700 Photo

2 thoughts on “Olympus Stylus Epic DLX (1997)

  1. yes this is a very capable little camera. Your pictures are all excellent quality, this is impressive when you think it’s only a point and shoot. One would think those quality would come from an SLR. I have this one labeled as Mju II from Europe that I bought for that 120/130 dollars or euros (that was not euros back then) or around that price in the late 90’s when it came out. Most of the pictures I took are also excellent quality (technically I mean) and I have to look at the negative strip that I labeled with camera and date, to be sure it was with this camera and not an SLR ! Unfortunately it’s now acting out, I have to shut it off and turn it back one between each shot otherwise the lens doesn’t operate/ stick in / out.

    Liked by 1 person

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