By now, you have probably already been exposed to the flood of advertising surrounding the Olympus Stylus Verve. Television commercials, print ads, and the repetition of the phrase, "find your verve," all created a growing marketing buzz for arguably the year’s hottest digital camera. The sleek shape and shiny contours of the Verve’s frame (along with the promotional barrage) propelled Olympus into the consciousness of many holiday shoppers. Though manufacturers consistently try variations on traditional forms and motifs, few seem able to "break the mold" and create an appealing new shape that gains practical acceptance.
Behind the Stylus Verve’s aesthetically sculpted, all-weather metal shell is a 1/2.5" 4.0 effective megapixel CCD sensor and TruePic TURBO image processor. The 2x optical and 4x digital zoom comes on a 35-70mm (equivalent) variable focal length lens, which retracts entirely into the camera body. Integrated into the design is a weather-resistant lens cover that slides laterally to shield the lens from external elements. There is a 1.8" 134,000 pixel high-contrast LCD on the back of the camera made for both viewing and composing images, as the Verve does not contain a viewfinder. Crafted as a point-and-shoot camera, the Stylus Verve contains 14 preset shooting modes for recording still images and a movie mode that will record QuickTime video with audio at 15 frames per second. These features attempt to add substance to the Stylus Verve and create an internal arrangement that parallels its flashy exterior.