The reviewer points out that the Olympus XZ-1 has a lens with f/1.8 aperture which is the brightest in its class, only two other cameras have a lens this bright, the new Nikon P300 and the Samsung TL500/EX1.

The reviewer points out its really small, and has a lens control ring similar to the Canon S95 for adjusting manual focus quickly and easily (similar to a DSLR lens) and secondary control dial on the back presumably for changing aperture/shutter etc.

The XZ-1 doesn't have a built in viewfinder, but there is an add on electronic viewfinder you can buy, it also supports external flash.  The reviewer didn't think the LCD was as good as its competitors.  It has a very small battery, which Olympus claims would get 320 shots, the reviewer got slightly less than that.

The mode dial on the top lets you quickly switch to aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual, as well as a low light mode which lets you adjust the ISO up to 6400.

The reviewer explores the full manual mode, points out the camera shoots RAW, has number of white balance modes.  He didn't find the manual focus that easy to use because it was hard to tell what was in focus using the screen.

He likes that the camera has a smaller megapixel count of just 10MP, and a larger than average sensor.  He really liked the macro capability. He said it was very easy to blur the background by achieving narrow focus.  He felt the noise at high ISO was worse than the Canon S95.  He also pointed out the color in images degraded a fair amount as you increase ISO.

He was unimpressed with the video, it lacked controls, and only shoots in MJPEG.  He recommends the Panasonic LX5 for video.  The camera can zoom while shooting video though.

Tags: Olympus XZ-1, Image quality, Ergonomics, Amateur, Review

Olympus XZ-1

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