Olympus XZ-1 Reviewed by Imaging Resource

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
123
Sofia, Bulgaria
olli
Imaging Resource, one of the big name review sites, has published its review of the Olympus XZ-1. Having recently published reviews of the Panasonic LX5 and the Canon S95 the reviewers take the opportunity to make some useful comparisons.

Imaging Resource reviews have one unique feature in that the reviewers actually print pictures at different sizes through the ISO range instead of just looking at images on a computer screen. Even if you only print occasionally this is a critically important aspect of performance that most review websites overlook.
 
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stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
It's an interesting camera. I've seem some real nice images from it.
I agree Don. It's a very interesting proposition indeed, and some nice outputs. Curiously what put me off it was not the smearing issue, but (and this is how petty I am :blush:) Olympus's omission of a AEL lock button - which didn't get a real mention in the review. Seems trivial I know but I find myself using it a fair bit - especially once I've nailed my exposure down in a position and just want to get that composition down pat.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124
I like IR and find them to be a very good resource, superior to DPReview. However, I don't feel like any of the big sites write reviews for people like me and often find that some of the smaller, user review sites are more in tune. For the XZ-1, these two reports - sort of along similar lines to one another - made me think the XZ-1 is a great camera which is not so much for me.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
olli, thanks for the heads up on the review, and I agree that it really is important for a professional reviewer to have actually printed some photographs in order to report back in the best way possible.

...Curiously what put me off it was not the smearing issue, but (and this is how petty I am :blush:) Olympus's omission of a AEL lock button - which didn't get a real mention in the review. Seems trivial I know but I find myself using it a fair bit - especially once I've nailed my exposure down in a position and just want to get that composition down pat.
Not trivial at all, from my point of view. This is one of the missing items that used to bother me a great deal about my Leica X1. So as petty as you might feel it is, I think it's an important tool and one that I realized after the fact, knowing full well that the X1 didn't have it when I bought it.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
I like IR and find them to be a very good resource, superior to DPReview. However, I don't feel like any of the big sites write reviews for people like me and often find that some of the smaller, user review sites are more in tune. For the XZ-1, these two reports - sort of along similar lines to one another - made me think the XZ-1 is a great camera which is not so much for me.
Thanks for the reminder of the Kirk Tuck reviews.
 

Amin Sabet

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 3, 2010
124
Jason, I haven't even tried the camera, but I get a sense from those reviews that there aren't a whole lot of tactile controls. I like my dials, knobs, and switches :).

Amin

What in particular didn't you like.

As far as ael lock, I rarely use it on my pen.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili
I just got the XZ-1 today. I went by the local Wolf Camera to look at a smaller bag for my E-PL1 and fell in Love with the XZ.
The UI is very similar to but a bit cleaner than that of my PEN, really liking it so far.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
I just got the XZ-1 today. I went by the local Wolf Camera to look at a smaller bag for my E-PL1 and fell in Love with the XZ.
The UI is very similar to but a bit cleaner than that of my PEN, really liking it so far.
Let us know how you like it and post some pics!
 
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Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili

ISO800, cropped only otherwise straight out of camera
She has gotten very camera shy so no time to zoom :(
1/160sec f1.8 approx. 50% crop
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
That was fast - nicely done, Lilli!

What are the highlights of the camera for you - clearly it works very well at a slow shutter speed, as evidenced in your second shot.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili
That was fast - nicely done, Lilli!

What are the highlights of the camera for you - clearly it works very well at a slow shutter speed, as evidenced in your second shot.
Thanks!!
Highlights;
1-Fast lens at all focal lengths, this is awesome, one need not shoot at ISO 1600 near as much. Which is good with small sensor camera. Olympus recognized this; the low light mode use wide apertures to keep ISO as low as possible.
2-The UI is very similar to my PEN; learning curve is quite shallow.
3-Brilliant LCD- Viewing angles are crazy good
4-The size and weight are superb, very easy to carry while not ruining ergonomics, esp love the aperture ring (in A mode) round the lens.
5-The zoom control, while not a fan of powered zooms this is one of the better ones, if it moves in discrete steps there are so many you cannot tell; it is easy to zoom precisely.
6-The hot shoe and EVF dock; using the excellent VF-2 really allows one to take advantage of the long end of this fast lens; both the camera and EVF fit in a tiny leather bag for easy carrying
I have yet to try it in the daylight; taking it with me as I run errands now!
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
123
Houston, Texas
Jack
Is the AF speed better, the same, or slower than the digital Pen?

The AF of my EP2 is louisy. The GH2 runs rings around the EP2.
 

Lili

Hall of Famer
Oct 17, 2010
123
Dallas, TX
Lili
Is the AF speed better, the same, or slower than the digital Pen?

The AF of my EP2 is louisy. The GH2 runs rings around the EP2.
I never used the original PEN nor any of the Panny's; I do have the E-PL1 which is quite fast. The XZ-1 matches theAF speed of the E-PL1 with both the 14-42mm kit and the 17mm Pancake.
With the last lens the E-PL1 is just a touch wider and taller than the XZ-1, however it is about 3/4" thicker and about 30-40% heavier ( I cannot find my digital scale right now...).
Shot to shot, excluding AF, the PEN is a bit faster, but the XZ is no slouch at all when shooting Super Fine jpegs.
Silkypix Pro does not understand the ORF files of the XZ :( so not doing raw).
I do feel the XZ ecological niche overlaps that of the PENs to a degree.
Oddly the E-PL1 with the 14-42 kit is 100$ less than the XZ-1 right now.
I found my copy of said Kit to be extremely good, superb carry lens.
But on my PEN I prefer using the Pancake, again my passion for fast glass manifests itself ;)
But with the XZ I can have my Cake and eat it too; a FAST zoom, qucik AF and SILENT shutter.
I cannot emphasize the last point enough.
It is why I used a bridge camera and my little Fuji compacts so much; esp with cats noise is the Enemy.
The lens extending, zoom and AF motors are nearly silent.
The Shutter even more so.
Le Sigh, Le Pant
:)
 

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