Olympus XZ-1 per se and compared to Samsung EX1

Not open for further replies.


Top Veteran
Dublin, Ireland
I had a chance to play with Olympus XZ-1 for a week and I'd like to offer my take on this camera.


First of all, I can say that I really like its handling. It's a very simple camera, it has even less options than admittedly spartan Samsung EX1. But unlike EX1, it has very few physical controls. Actually, I'm fine with it because its menu is organized very well. And I just LOVE the control ring around the lens - it naturally falls into my left hand when I'm supporting the camera. Also, compared to EX1, it displays 3-channel histogram while shooting!!! It's invaluable if you're trying to expose to the right, otherwise it's very easy to blow out individual channels.

But the greatest feature of Olympus XZ-1 is its lens. It seems as sharp and contrasty as Samsung EX1. And It has a lot of character. I don't know how to describe it, but I simply like the images it produces. I think Olympus might have added quite a bit of its magic dust into the glass.





And, of course, those wonderful Olympus colors, especially the famous 'Olympus blue.'



As owners of Samsung EX1 know, this camera has an almost unnatural ability to recover lost details from both shadows and highlights. Alas, Olympus XZ-1 can't match it because its sensor is quite a bit noisier. Also, left to its own devices, it has a tendency to overexpose, so it's better to watch your histogram carefully.

Unlike EX1, it features a useful video mode. Videos are recorded in HD resolution at 30 fps, it's possible to use SEMA-1 to connect an external microphone.


Overall, this is a very good camera. But can it replace Samsung EX1 for me? I think not. I prefer wider to longer, and EX1's swivel screen is an invaluable asset for street photography. But if you are thinking about getting a XZ-1, have no doubt - this is a wonderful camera and I sincerely recommend it.

**************************** Note here to say that I've copied the first post of stratokaster's comparison review here. You can read his full views and add your comments on on the main thread here in the Olympus forum.
Not open for further replies.