Olympus XZ-1 reviews


Photographyhappenings reviewed the new Olympus XZ-1: “If you are comparing to the Panasonic LX-5 or Canon S95, the Olympus XZ-1 will be a good choice if lens specification is your key consideration. The Olympus delivers strong performance over the competitors in good light and moderate distance, but fails to shine in poorer light condition and closer to infinity.

But there are more testes: First look at Neutralday. Olympus XZ-1 Camera Studio Sample Photos (Photographyreview). Olympus XZ-1 Photo Gallery at letsgodigital.

A 43rumors reader sent has his first hand impression with the Olympus XZ-1 (Image samples at Picasaweb):

I’ve had my XZ-1 for a few days now and I thought I would summarise my thoughts.

Plus points.
1) The image quality is excellent. Sharp everywhere. Certainly better than I need. Portraits look very nice at 112mm equiv with very good DOF for a compact.
This is a major point for me. Nice portraits from a compact. Who knew?
2) The menu is a lot simpler than an
E-PL1. Less is more.
3) The controls work well and are quick to learn. I had it 3 days before I even bothered to look at the manual and that was only curiosity.
4) The performance is good. Focusing seems faster and better in practice than the E-PL1. Especially in poor light.
Thank heavens for the AF lamp.
5) The image stabilisation works very well. But then I don’t drink much coffee. :)

1) Auto ISO is plain STUPID. It will happily let you take shots at 1/10 second and ISO 200 rather than raise the ISO. Result? On Auto ISO you get a LOT of motion blurred subjects.
This would be the first thing I would fix if it were my design. It’s such a dumb mistake.
2) When you change mode with the dial, a message comes on screen to tell you what new mode you are in and stays there FAR TOO LONG. Irritating.
3) The lens cap is a bit of a bore.
4) YOU MUST use the strap. The front is slippery with no grip. I’ve put little grippy pads on mine.
5) Be nice to be able to assign AEL to the Movie button, or a LONG press of OK. But you can work around it.

I don’t think I’ll be using the E-PL1 much now I have the XZ-1.
Maybe I should sell it and save the money for a new toy when it FINALLY happens.


Direct product XZ-1 preorder pages at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

  • I will coment this minus:

    ”2) When you change mode with the dial, a message comes on screen to tell you what new mode you are in and stays there FAR TOO LONG. Irritating.”

    As the E-pl1,I’m sure that you can desactivate this option, and the message will not comes on screen anymore :D.

    I discovered two weeks ago!

    • Kevin

      how do you deactivate it on epl1?

  • I will look certainly (again) but there are far fewer menu options on the XZ-1. That’s one of the reasons it’s so much easier to use.

  • Nope. Nothing I can find to remove it. But a half-shutter press makes it disappear faster.

  • WT21

    After reading the mini review, why would you choose that over an EP1, except portability. All else, it just sounds irritating. Ugh.

  • Zaph

    I hope they fix the Auto ISO.

  • Alfons

    Olympus seems to be a bit optimistic about their IS. My E-3 lets the shutter speed go down to 1/30s with wider side of my 12-60mm before it bumps up ISO. Not good for fast action.

    I wonder if they could use the in-camera accelerometers to keep track on how much the camera is moved/shaking. Greater moving needs faster shutter speeds. Simple.

    And the accelerometers already are there in the camera. How would the camera otherwise know if the photo was oriented portrait or landscape!

    Silly thing if no engineer has thinked about using accelerometer like this! Mju compacts even have tap commands.

  • bengt

    Alfons, the IS is moving the sensor, it has nothing to do with auto ISO. Turn the auto ISO off and see how far down you can go in shutter speed with only the IS. I think the auto ISO is independent of IS, it would however be a nice idea to combine those two in the manner you described.

  • Alfons

    What I was trying to say is that Olympus puts a big load on their IS system.

    No IS can stop the subject movement or rapid movement of camera. And usually both fast subject and camera movement come together. So if the camera would sense very rapid moves before the exposure, it would automaticly prioritice fast shutter speed.

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