Olympus XZ-1 Review: A Field Report


Jul 8, 2010
So Andrew what do you think accounts for the improvements? Was it a firmware update?
BB, I honestly have no idea. Perhaps an evolution of the FW or perhaps I had a lemon back then. But the IQ of this camera feels very different. Also, in the previous camera I was unable to process RAW files except through Olympus Master 2, which spit out JPGs not much different at all from the in-camera JPGs. Now I am experimenting with RAW Developer and Lightroom / Photoshop for RAW processing.

Ronald Teune

New Member
Apr 9, 2012
Please note that the picture with the leafs in the water has actually been taken by the Canon S95 (according to the EXIF info). I noticed it looked exactly the same as the picture in the S95 review...

edit: BTW, thanks for the nice review and showing off what wonderful pictures this camera is capable of taking!

Tord S Eriksson

Aug 16, 2010
Gothenburg. Sweden
I have too many cameras, and too many lenses, but for a long while it was the XZ-1 that took everywhere, sometimes with a VF-2 viewfinder on it, sometimes with a flash. My first really expensive camera was the Olympus C-8080, that in function is very similar to the XZ-1, if not in looks (looks more like a modern super-zoom compact).

As I said, I took the XZ-1 everywhere, and more impostantly, I took it with me for those instances I really wanted to do a P&S session, say firing blindly at the goslings eating out of my hand at Slimbridge, or just snapping colleages at work. It doesn't, just like the old C-8080, agree to high ISO settings, but both takes excellent macros, as both have really superb lenses, and both love lots of light.

I have underwater housings to both, and while the old camera's is big as a house, the XZ-1's is the size, and form, of a classic Polaroid camera. Both need a good flash to do really well, both underwater, and out of the water. Macro shots they handle with expertize, and long exposures, too! I never used the C-8080 on land inside its heavy UW housing, but the XZ-1 does famously well inside its UW housing on land, because then it becomes a truely one-hand Point & Shoot, with everything easily accessible. The housing is proof to 40 meters, and yet weighs less than a pound. It turns the XZ-1 to a rain- & snow-proof, utterly silent camera, which it certainly isn't, normally. Maybe not discreet, but I would not hesitate to use it outdoors in a snowstorm!

Just in case you missed it: Low ISO is very important, say under (and including) 400 for the XZ-1, and under (and including) 140 for the C-8080.

Compared to some other cameras (in roughly the same category) I have both run long on one charge!


New Member
Jul 23, 2011
Dear friends,
My xz-1 had the same problem. A spot near the middle of the sensor visible in small apertures (f / 8). It's a great camera and I would not trade for anything, if it was not this problem. Here in Brazil, despite the continental size do not have technical assistance from olympus. Should I buy another camera for traveling. I would also like to find a solution for this, because it does not want to miss this excellent camera. She has been an excellent travel companion and enriched my portfolio. It's been a pleasure to take her in my travels.
The raw files are excellently edited in lightroom and generate good images and a beautiful noise (I prefer to call it grain ...) like the old analog films. My projects often involve shooting in low light, and I do not use flash in any way. The clear lens (f/1.8) surprised me since the first time you used it. And even putting the iso on auto was never more than ISO 200. What is a significant advantage in shutter speed to make excellent photos in focus. Looking files 100% very little difference is noted (or no) in relation to the other cameras. In my process of choosing a new camera, I downloaded and edited files from multiple cameras, as canon G1X, x10 Fujifilm, Nikon, and V1. They all produce excellent images ... G1X to have a final quality that generates files fantastic. Nikon V1 has beautiful colors and images in focus, but a greater noise than the other (even larger than the XZ-1). And finally, fujifilm X10 which produces images with beautifull colors fuji films, but images without much focus. Is it just my impression? And even editing the files in Lightroom, my presets that work on all files from multiple cameras produce poor results on x10. Not beating the XZ-1 to iso 400. Anybody else have that impression? I'd like to choose another camera ... and would like help from friends of the forum.
My current portfolio is all filled with images generated by this excellent camera XZ-1. I would like to find something that was easy to travel carrying in and produce acceptable images.
Sorry my English ... translation is the google translation.

Greetings to all here in Brazil.
Anibal Gondim

My portfolio: 500px / Anibal Gondim / Photos


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
Hi Agondim, welcome to Serious Compacts!
if I understand you correctly, you're looking for a new compact camera to replace your XZ-1? That's a hard question to answer, but if you can, wait untill the Photokina show in September - there'll be a bunch of really impressive, possibly game-changing cameras announced then.


New Member
Jul 23, 2011
Thank you my friend! I really hope the new releases camearas. Maybe the Olympus comes up with something like an XZ-2, f/1.4 ...
thanks for the reply, greetings from Brazil,
Anibal Gondim
Hi Agondim, welcome to Serious Compacts!
if I understand you correctly, you're looking for a new compact camera to replace your XZ-1? That's a hard question to answer, but if you can, wait untill the Photokina show in September - there'll be a bunch of really impressive, possibly game-changing cameras announced then.


Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
Dallas, TX
Don't think I'll bother.
(May. 10 2012)
Operation when using SDXC cards larger than 48 GB has been stabilized."

Big woop.

ah, i just let the oly camera updater run, doesn't show a readme file, LOL
I am all set now for big SD cards


New Member
Aug 22, 2011
New Zealand
XZ-2 vs XZ1

I have recently purchased an XZ-1 second hand in New Zealand to compliment my other walk-around street camera the Sigma DP2 Merrill. There is no comparison in absolute IQ between these two cameras in good light conditions. However the Sigma files go to mush in low light conditions and has a fixed 40mm lens, so no zoom is possible.
The Sigma is a brilliant landscape tool but not a good all rounder.
Frustrated with the lack of flexibility with the Merrill camera, I set upon a search for an inexpensive P+S that would do as far as IQ is concerned, without spending heaps.

So I bought a pre-loved XZ-1.
EDITED 7th Sept 2013
Which died this afternoon with 9500 actuations.
That says it all


Mar 7, 2012
4) Focus hunt in video mode - dreadful !
Use underwater mode to lock focus and it'll stop doing that.

I have compared files in the tests on DP Review and the XZ-1 still is the sharpest P+S even in comparison to the Sony RX100 (at or under ISO 800).
We'll have to agree to disagree on that. :) I find the XZ-1 JPEGs to be very soft. The XZ-1 is to be shot RAW only. Either way, it doesn't compare to the RX100.

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