Olympus XZ-1

Last updated (08 June’12):
– Review & Sample Photos @ PhotographyBay

Olympus XZ-1 (Announced January 06 2011) is a 10MP CCD sensor Digital camera features 4x Optical zoom 28-112mm (35mm equivalent) lens with a F1.8-2.5 maximum aperture range, full manual controls, Dual Image Stabilization, an AF Illuminator, ISO 100-6400, HD Movie recording, and 3.0 inch OELD display with 610k dots. The camera measures 110.6 mm (W) x 64.8 mm (H) x 42.3 mm (D) and weighs 275g (body, battery and media). The Olympus XZ-1 is available with cost $199.99 at Amazon.com

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Olympus XZ-1 Reviews

PhotographyBay reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Overall, the Olympus XZ-1 is a great little compact camera. I find it to be right up there with the Canon G12 as a serious compact shooter.”
Rating: N/A

TechRadar reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“It may not have as versatile a focal length lens as the Nikon P7000 and Canon G12, or some of the direct controls, but the XZ-1 has a much wider maximum aperture and is considerably smaller. Its controls are also more responsive than the Nikon P7000’s.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

AmateurPhotographer reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“I really enjoyed using the Olympus XZ-1. It handles nicely and has all the settings and features an enthusiast photographer would want. The much talked about f/1.8 lens is great in low light and creates a shallow depth of field, although it does distort at wide angles. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

LuminousLandscape reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“But at low ISOs (up to 400) and without too much file manipulation the XZ-1 is capable of producing very acceptable image quality on up to about 11X17″ prints, and is certainly more than acceptable for web-destined images. In comparison with its primary competitors from Canon, Panasonic and Samsung, I would judge it as having a very slight edge in terms of usability though not high ISO noise.”
Rating: N/A

Phoblographer reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The image quality of the XZ-1 is very good for a point and shoot. Of any point and shoot’s raw files that I’ve tested, this one’s is perhaps the most versatile, had the best color depth, and the best dynamic range.”
Rating: N/A

PDN reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Pros: Solid camera build with options for expandability for advanced shooters; fast overall speed; excellent image quality in good light; f/1.8 aperture is great for portraits. Cons: Was not the consummate low-light killer we had expected considering the specs; confusing menu system; over aggressive anti-noise processing smooths out image detail in JPEGs.”
Rating: N/A

Geek reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“While image quality is very good, video quality is sub-par. It’s fine that the XZ-1 can only take up to 720p but the resulting video isn’t as sharp as it could be and the autofocus isn’t great… So, overall, the Olympus XZ-1 is a fantastic camera if you are looking for a serious compact. It’s fun to use and takes fantastic images.”
Rating: N/A

BuynShoot reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“the XZ-1 is only a small step away from the price point of Olympus’ own mirror-less camera range and if size isn’t the deciding factor, the bigger sensor of the E-PL2 may sway some enthusiasts out there. As a step up from more traditional point and shoot cameras, or as a companion to a DSLR camera, the XZ-1 is a fantastic option..”
Rating: ★★★★½

PCMag reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The Olympus XZ-1 dazzles when you compare it with other compact cameras, but its price and size pit it squarely against a class of cameras that can best its performance and quality.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

DigitalTrends reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The Olympus XZ-1 is a solid investment for those looking to move beyond point-and-shoots and will keep users of various skill levels interested while delivering impressive results. “
Rating: N/A

DCI reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Most cameras in this price range have at least one weakness, but we’re not really sure what the XZ-1’s weakness is. It came out near the top in just about every test we ran: sharpness, color accuracy, and noise”
Rating: N/A

Wired reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The camera uses Olympus’ TruePic V processor and it powers on and is ready to shoot in about a second and a half. Shutter lag is almost non-existent in good light and only minor in low light. I also liked the red one-touch video button on back of the camera below the mode dial, which immediately gets the camera rolling in its 720p, 30fps HD video mode.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotoReview.au reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Image files from the review camera were a cut above those from most other digicams we’ve reviewed, including those from Olympus. Files were clean and not over-processed and colour saturation was restrained for a small-sensor camera.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCRP reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Photo quality is very good, though there is definitely room for improvement. The XZ-1 takes well-exposed photos, but it really loves to clip highlights (even with its larger-than-average CCD). Colors looked nice and vivid, and the camera handled my studio lights with ease. .”
Rating: N/A

TechRadar reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Olympus has managed to produce a compact camera that is a real joy to use. It’s perfectly pocket sized, jumps quickly into action and has responsive controls that are sensibly laid out.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

TrustedReviews reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The XZ-1 feels like a good, solid move for its maker, and in helping the brand stay competitive and moreover relevant, it deserves to do well. Olympus has come lately to the high performance compact party, so it’s just as well that its arrival is with a product that should be awarded a degree of fanfare. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

InfoSync reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“At $500, the Olympus XZ-1 is not cheap. Is it worth it? Yes, we believe the Olympus XZ-1 is worth its price. “

Rating: ★★★★☆

T3 reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Overall, images look sharper than your average snapshot camera, but are no match for a digital SLR proper, nor a compact system camera. But if lens swapping ain’t your bag anyway, the Olympus XZ-1 is the next best thing out there for achieving higher quality images than an (almost) pocket camera normally allows.”
Rating: ★★★★★

PocketLint reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Colours are realistic if sticking to the default Natural Picture Mode setting, or there’s the option to switch to Vivid for a quick boost or of course twist the dial to the Art Filter modes if requiring added visual punch. In terms of low light shooting, we’d be happy going up to ISO 1600 as even at this setting noise is no more intrusive than another compact might manage at ISO 800 (some at ISO 400)..”
Rating: ★★★★★

DigitalVersus reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The Olympus XZ-1 is another expert compact that could have got five stars if it had a better video mode. For those of you who aren’t bothered about video, the XZ-1 is an excellent camera that’s compact enough to take wherever you go, since it fits easily into a pocket or bag. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

Stuff.tv reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“So while the Olympus XZ-1 doesn’t beat a DSLR or other swappable lens camera on the quality of its images, it does have a lot more to offer than most of its compact peers. It’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a premium shooter and don’t fancy the interchangeable lens route, it’s up there with the Canon G12 and S95 as a top choice. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyBlog reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The XZ-1 also fares well in the image quality department, owing to that fast and sharp i.Zuiko lens and a well calibrated image processor that turns out JPEGs with very pleasing colours and good overall tonality. “
Rating: ★★★★½

ePhotozine reviews the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“The Olympus XZ-1 is a fine compact camera, offering high quality and versatility with its extensive range of features. The lens is an excellent performer that breaks new ground for a compact camera and offers unique benefits of its own. Although not perfect in terms of its handling the results are worth it and the XZ-1 is Highly Recommended.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DavidChuaPhotography has a preview of the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
“Finally I have found a compact digital which can give me ABSOLUTELY CLEAN ISO1600 file, and at F1.8, focusing at night IS FASTER than the Olympus PEN E-PL2 with it’s NEW 14-42mm mk2 lens! In fact, there were situations when the PEN could not achieve focus and the XZ-1 DID at the snap of fingers!!!””
rating: N/A

Pocket-lint has a preview of the Olympus XZ-1 and writes;
” No LCD to be found here, but the rather more swanky Organic Light Emitting Diode technology that lends itself to lower power consumption and a considerably higher contrast ratio. The results are very nice indeed and, although it’s not super-high resolution it’s a fair play-off between quality and available viewing angle”
rating: N/A

User Opinions

Olympus XZ-1 User Reviews

Still the king of enthusiast compacts
“The enthusiast compact market is full of great cameras at this point. All have photo quality which represents a clear step-up from a regular point and shoot and in some cases rival that of an entry-level DSLR. But the XZ-1, when it comes to stills, still stands out as the best of the bunch.” – By S. Vogt
Rating: ★★★★★

Great choice for travel camera; super for low light pictures
“The combination of reasonable weight, easy handling, appropriate belt pouch size, outstanding image quality, a superb lcd screen, and most importantly, a wonderful fast lens that allowed me to take indoor and evening pictures without flash, made this the perfect travel camera for my needs.” – By Marmez1@aol.com
Rating: ★★★★★

Excellent camera for the money – fantastic in low light
“This is an awesome camera for the money. Takes sharp, clear photographs and really works great in low light.. The sequence mode is amazing, zoom is fast, focus is great, exposure comp, metering modes, and all the other settings work very well, allowing you to take the photo you want in virtually any condition. Focus is fast, sharp, and accurate.” – By Michael Appel
Rating: ★★★★☆

Wow, what a lens… oh yeah, the camera’s pretty good too
“Picture quality of the Olympus is very good, especially at low ISO speeds. The lens captures great detail and the larger sensor allows for very smooth, noise free images at low ISO speeds. Color, contrast, exposure, and white balance are all accurate, especially outdoors.” – By Anthony Pantliano
Rating: ★★★★☆

Terrific Little P&S
“Well, the i.Zuiko glass in the XZ-1 is right up there with its pro-level siblings. Clear, precise, nice contrast, tack-sharpness, at all focal lengths, and only stops down to F2.5 at full reach of 112mm for silky bokeh. Zoom works quietly and efficiently.” – By James M. Bailey
Rating: ★★★★★

I’m impressed
“It has a very low aperture and bright wide lens to handle these kinds of photos. The image stabilizer does a great job in preventing blurriness in low light photos. I was particularly impressed with the heavy duty metal body of this camera.” – By M. A. Dappie
Rating: ★★★★★

Great pictures – Video so so
“the stills on the XZ1 camera are fantastic. It really shines when taking pictures of kids indoors with so-so lighting and no flash. And if you like taking close ups of flowers, prepare to be amazed. I got some amazingly crisp shots just pointing and clicking in full auto mode.” – By El Tombo
Rating: ★★★★☆

A great little camera for its class
“I compared my indoor family pictures with those taken by my son on his Nikon D700, both with no flash. Happy to report that even the Nikon could not capture pictures of kids running inside without blurring. But for everything else I have been more than satisfied with the results – frequently the results are frame-worthy.” – By Uncle Ruddy
Rating: ★★★★★

Best compact ever
“I’m impresed with the low noise and great resolution at low light pic.I used the canon s95 & pany lx5 for awhile but I sold them & keep this olympus, I’m so glad that this guys from olympus keep 10 MP on this sensor, this is the secret for good pict.” – By Felipe S. Valles
Rating: ★★★★★

Excellent camera
“The lens makes all the difference, the photos came out vibrant even in low light settings. I like how the camera turns on fast so you don’t miss the action.” – By Randy1248B
Rating: ★★★★★

Precision light capture with flexibility
“there is super macro – so close that the lens is nearly touching the subject and a very good anti shake correction. I’ve shot model railroads with available light, showing all the subjects in a wide depth-of-field and adding a hint of blur on moving trains, handheld! It’s fast enough for grandkids most of the time.” – By CI
Rating: ★★★★★

Pretty close to perfect
“The nice thing is that even though it only records in 720p, it will upscale on the output to 1080i so I can still play it on my HD TV and it looks pretty good as long as I use the mini HD connection.” – By JMaxx30
Rating: ★★★★★

More User Opinions | Write your opinion


Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos

Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ TechRadar
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ DCI
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ TechRadar
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ Davidchuaphotography.com
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ Pocket-lint.com
Olympus XZ-1 Sample Photos @ Flickr.com


Olympus XZ-1 User Manual (PDF)

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Olympus XZ-1 Features

The 10 million pixels in the high-resolution CCD create superior image quality. Create poster-sized prints without losing a single detail.

Providing the best image quality ever in a compact Olympus camera, the large 1/1.63-inch CCD enables greater dynamic range and smoother gradations from highlights to shadows.

* 4X iZuiko ZOOM LENS
Based on the standards of Olympus DSLR lenses, the wide aperture of the iZuiko f1.8-2.5 allows a rich and vibrant range of photographic expression. It allows faster shutter speeds in low light – and it allows for a shallower depth of field than most compact point-and-shoot cameras.

A simple, one-touch button allows you to record movies with amazing clarity in high-definition, right from your camera.

The XZ-1 includes a port for accessories including the SEMA-1 Microphone adapter set and the VF-2 live-finder, a detachable electronic viewfinder. The viewfinder easily slides onto the camera’s accessory port and hot shoe to provide 1.15x magnification for a 100% field of view. The VF-2 rotates up 90 degrees which is useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The external accessory port also allows for connection with the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set for enhanced audio capture.

With six in-camera Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone) you can explore your artistic side while taking both still shots and HD video. The Art Filters can be applied as you shoot, no additional software required.

Dual Image Stabilization combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to capture crisp, clear images in any situation.

Seeing the results before you shoot can change the way you take a picture. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler hues? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur, or perhaps freeze the action? Simply set the camera to iAuto, press OK to engage Live Guide, then press the up and down arrows on the back of the E-PL1 to easily slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live — before the image is captured! Live Guide also features a Tips section on how to compose a shot or shoot kids, pets, flowers and more.

Captures three images and stitches them together to create one amazing panoramic picture by simply pressing the shutter button and slowly panning across a panoramic scene.

AF Live View works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects, in focus, on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way. AF Tracking locks your subject into focus right on the LCD, and constantly adjusts focus and brightness whether you or your subject is moving. With this mode, a simple push of the AF button and shutter release enables you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus.

Face Detection automatically focuses on your subjects’ faces and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

In addition to more detail, the image sensor, combined with the next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and reduced noise, all the way up to 3200 ISO.

The XZ-1’s compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-050 underwater case has been customized for the XZ-1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land.

5 Responses to “Olympus XZ-1”

  1. Ross Gardener says:

    WOW..another serious compact. I was drooling over the Canon S95 after tried the camera and printed out the result straight from the camera with no image editing.

    I guess I have to wait a bit longer to try this camera before deciding which camera to get..

  2. James says:

    I have the S95, and I think it’s still the best compact available in the market. Lets see if the ZX-1 cant beat the Canon on the image quality department.

  3. New Camera says:

    Nice camera

  4. Aron says:

    I too have the S95, and after some internal dialogue switched to the XZ-1. While it doesn’t match the S95’s diminutive size, the bright, bright lens and fantastic image quality sold me over. The S95 feels more like a toy compared to the XZ-1 in use. I’m much happier with the Olympus.

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