Very detailed Olympus XZ-1 review at Digitalcamerainfo


Digitalcamerainfo (Click here) tested the popular Olympus XZ-1 camera. It’s a 15 page long detailed article and that’s the conclusion: “The Olympus XZ-1 is a spectacular addition to the high-end compact camera family. We’re happy to see Olympus re-entering this market, especially with this 11-megapixel sensor and gorgeous new Zuiko lens. The hardware lets the camera churn out great photos, despite having such a portable form factor. For manual control enthusiasts, the XZ-1 has even more to offer: a slick control ring around the lens, full manual exposure options, and an accessory port that you can use for Olympus’ optional EVF. Most cameras in this price range have at least one weakness, but we’re not really sure what the XZ-1’s weakness is.

The XZ-1 is not a Micro Four Thirds camera but it shows us that Olympus can make very good cameras. I do hope the next PEN cameras will be at least as successful as the XZ-1. You can get the XZ-1 in black or white at Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

  • napalm

    for me the weakness is not being able to adjust the NR.

    • Henrik

      And I agree with that! + somewhat bad/slow focusing while filming under certain conditions.

  • Auto-ISO doesn’t work. Otherwise great.

    • bilgy_no1

      That’s not what I read: it says that Auto ISO is limited to 100-800 and the range cannot be adjusted. But it does work.

      • Zaph

        It seems to REALLY like ISO200.

  • bilgy_no1

    I handled the XZ-1 a little while ago and was really impressed with the build, design etc. I completely dig why reviewers like this camera so much; Olympus better pay attention to the reactions. The styling, materials etc. is much better imo than the PENs until now.

  • But why did Olympus put in such a bad sensor (in such a good camera)? Actually, according to DXO Mark, the XZ1 sensor is one of the worst they ever tested since the start 2003; on place 129 (out of 133) with a overall score of 34. The competition scores 41 (Panasonic LX5) and 47 (Canon S95).

    • blackghost

      Yet look at the results they’re getting with such a “bad”sensor. IMO, what Olympus does better than most is bring all the elements of producing an image into a system that works. A “better” sensor may lead to a “better” image, but there’s more to an image than the sensor.

    • bilgy_no1

      did you read the review to which the article refers? XZ-1 has better noise performance than LX5 and G11. And by all accounts XZ1 uses the same sensor as the LX5. Probably there are some AA filter + processing differences.

      I would never rely on DXO scores: they only publish some numbers. They don’t show any real photos, yet pretend to test photo cameras?

      • wife

        There’s nothing wrong with DXO scores. The problem is that people somehow generalize their measurements to the entire camera system.

  • Ab

    I really dont think this is a bad sensor. Do you really think they would invest so much into a camera like this, a flagship entry into this market and dump a 2003 caliber sensor into it?

    I honestly feel DxO, while the only way to numerically test sensors look at the K5 from pentax, trashing the D3, matching the D3s and trashing the 1Dm111 and 1Dm1V in overall score despite its smaller sensor.

    Now most people will harp on about new technoolgy giving these results while maintaining that sensor size is one of the largest factors in these things… That should have at least resulted in a equal score, not an APSC camera showing better DR, and colour than supposedly (not by DXO) better systems (it got better DR than the D3x also).

    To me it appears that Olympus has decided to focus and compete in another way, not by trying to measure higher in testing but in usage. The huge praise received by the E5 by users, as compared to the luke warm response by numerical testers, to me, is testament to that.

    I think most cameras today far exceed any format that has come before them when adding up all factors. Price, portability, flexibility, accessibility, colour, DR, ISO, Noise etc etc. Yet so much of the artistic innovation came before the digital revolution.

    Deciding on the performance of a camera, based on numbers, demonstrates a scientific approach to an artform (not healthy for the art). You hear photographers pine for cameras of their youth, love form factors and experiences… It is an emotional hobby despite all the science. You could choose brushes based on the metals, woods, or specific caliber and taper of the hairs used… most wouldnt, and after a few trips round the canvass it wouldnt even matter.

    Numbers are fun, in theory, but have no place in an artform, artists use their tools, they get to know their tools, they work with their tools… They dont spend huge amounts of time measuring them.

    • julian


  • I realize what I said above is a bit provocative; XZ1 does not have a bad sensor and the reason why it doesn’t score higher on dxo’s sensor ranking is because they mainly test much larger DSLR camera sensors. And as far high iso performance is concerned, it is of less importance due to the very bright lens. And since it’s so sharp you can use it at full aperture all the time.

    In a way I like what DXO Labs do; they don’t have so many opinions, they just do their tests and tell us the scores. Everyone else have opinions! But if XZ1 uses the same sensor as LX5, why does it score so different?

  • blackghost

    In the April 2011 issue of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY, there may be an answer. Responding to a question from a reader about THEIR tests compared to DxO, Pop Photo said, “We test images shot in RAW with the software included with the camera. DxO look at data from the sensor without processing.” IF this is accurate, then Pop Photo’s review is far closer to real world use. DxO’s test results are an interesting talking point, but for me, not very useful.

  • toto

    Please stop posting abuot non micro four-third cameras… or open a new blog
    this is getting annoying to see posts that have nothing to do

    • Spoo

      Admin can post on his site about whatever he wants, regardless of your wishes, and can ban whoever he likes, no matter how right they might be.

      • toto

        sure, and admin will loose me as reader.
        I choose this site to get news for my GF1.
        I don’t give a d*** about Sony, Samsung, Nikon, Canon mounts as long as they have nothing to do wtih micro four thirds. (I actually only care even about micro four third , but I tolerate fourthird because it is still in the announced scope)

        It’s like a packaging, you need to have in the box what is advertized outside the box.
        don’t lie to people

        If you have news about non-fourthirds cameras then open another new blog called or some similar…

        If it is just to do a new post that has nothing to do with the blog topic, then this blog will stay in his amateur style, and will never grow. I prefer have less posts but relevant posts.

        • admin

          Be respectfull toto. Skip the news if you don’t like it. There are 2.700 articles on 43rumors and the you shouldn’t be worried about a few XZ-1 news. Beside that I liek the XZ-1 and it is interetsing to see if that camera is an alternative for MFT useres. Bye!

        • Chris #2 – Electric Buggaloo

          Read the entire title of this website: “4/3 Rumors: Panasonic and Olympus Digital Camera News”

          The XZ-1 is an Olympus camera, so it belongs on this blog. Besides, if admin were to only blog about micro four thirds cameras, per your request, he’d have to change the title to

          If you’re not satisfied with the content of this website, why don’t you start your own blog?

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