April 20, 2015
Camera performance is excellent and its design has allowed me to pursue photos under conditions I would not have expected.
Expectations met or exceeded:
I acquired this camera because of its lens and small form factor. Like other reviewers I was more than pleased with its convenience and performance, particularly when shooting RAW. I use F4.0 and monochrome mode most of the time, even when intending a color image, and find RAW images are large and sharp enough to withstand +/- 1EV exposure manipulation and aggressive cropping. The bright lens and low noise at higher ISO yielded many more sharp, hand-held photos in instances where a tripod was impossibly slow or excessively bulky (as for macro shots in cramped quarters). The manual controls and built in ND filter expand creative possibilities to allow shallow and deep focus, bracketed, and slow shutter blur images to be collected in rapid succession.
Unexpected surprise: I use it a lot on rainy days.
The simple addition of a filter adapter made this a more versatile camera. This allowed me to use a polarizer or protect the lens with a UV filter. It does make the camera bulkier, but keeps lint off the lens when stuffed into an oversized winter coat pocket. Importantly, the adapter allowed me to quickly and securely enclose the camera with a transparent plastic bag taped to the adapter or filter. This minimal protection allowed me to take the camera out on rainy (or snowy) days without worry of a minor splash (or melting snowflakes). Even downpours have been safe as long as I also used an umbrella - the camera remained dry within the bag even when needing to wipe droplets from the filter.
I am a big fan of this lens. I have not tried the XZ-2 but would note that the similar form factor makes that camera equally versatile.
August 08, 2014
I have been using my XZ-1 for underwater photography (together with the PT-050 housing) and it never ceases to amaze me. The quality of the images & videos underwater is spotless, and on dry land it surpasses a lot of more expensive rigs that I have tried and owned.
August 12, 2013
I am very impressed with the XZ-1. It is pocketable (mostly), has a bright and sharp lens, and the Truepic V processor does an amazing job producing excellent jpg images.
I did a LOT of research before plunking down my dollars, and found that Olympus gives you a great bang for the buck.
What I like about the XZ-1 is that it hits a sweet spot: you can get larger sensor cameras, but at the expense of size; you can get smaller, more pocketable cameras, but at the expense of lens quality; you can get similar cameras but they will cost you more.
There is no perfect camera, and the XZ-1 isn't perfect. But the combination of size, image quality, and price make it a good buy.
July 16, 2012
After 40-years of film photography with mostly rangefinder cameras this was the size/class camera I was looking for. I have only owned this camera for 3-weeks, but find it fairly easy to use with good image quality.
So far, performance of the 1.8-2.5 I.Zuiko lense has been very impressive. I use my images primarily for my artwork, and like the quality of the jpeg's right out of the camera.
July 03, 2012
Great advanced compact camera. Image quality and performance is excellent. I found the menus easy to navigate. The lens is great. I would like to see a camera case & wrist strap. The camera is a little slow for shot to shot speed.
June 25, 2012
You will find the same piture quality of the SLR with fast lens in a small size camera.
May 20, 2012
quality and good images, easy to use, good lense,
fast, good for night photographys
May 09, 2012
It's not the smallest camera, but its compact size is at the limit that I would want to carry it all day without nuisance of carrying a backpack or large camera bag. The picture quality, especially low-light performance - thanks to its fast f/1.8 lens - is just amazing. I'm floored to tell you the truth, its performance and IQ is near my DSLR at times. You may have to tinker with the controls to maximize your photos, especially for some challenging low-light situations that iAuto or low-light mode may not be adequate for. But that just means adjusting the EV and other manual settings. Thankfully, it is a breeze with its straight-forward dials and selectors. But for majority of situations, the iAuto mode does a fine job. That is the beauty of the camera, it is not so limited that you don't have any freedom to shoot those challenging shots not covered by the pre-installed modes, yet it gives you the tools WHEN you need it. I especially like the art-filters, makes the camera more fun than ever to shoot. The dramatic filter alone is priceless - turns some of my photo into postcard quality instantly. I only wish they would have more art filters, perhaps in future firmware updates. Also, I do wish for a better video performance. Though its sufficient @ 720p (only 7 min), it may be a little lacking when compared to competing models which offer 1080p @ 60i for longer periods. But it is certainly not a deal breaker for me, just a wish list to make this a more complete camera. Still, you must realize due to its very fine lens, there are some videos you will be able to catch with xz-1 (low-light situations) where others with better video resolution will be completely left in the dark. Overall the built quality is excellent. I hope to keep this camera for a long time to come.
April 09, 2012
Just amazing for my needs.
A bit on the large side, but very well worth it.
I haven't used my m4/3 in social ocations and light travell, since I got this camera.
March 12, 2012
I really love the fact that Olympus took the high road with this compact Point & Shoot. Beautiful lens and and operation. I did way too much research before buying this camera..... and it was really worth it. Thanks for a great camera!
March 04, 2012
I bought this with the Ikelite housing for Underwater photography. The pics are outstanding and the camera is truly easy to use.
March 04, 2012
JOY to use, compact, out shines larger DSLR's AWESOME!
February 17, 2012
the strong point of this camera is the very fast Zuiko 1.8 lens which is still fast at the telephoto setting.
The three significant weak points are:
1. There is excessive automatic noise reduction in JPG which smears detail and there is no setting to reduce this in the camera. Thus I have to shoot only in RAW to avoid this.
2. The video is poor due to constant auto refocusing or "focus hunting".
3. There is more noise at higher ISO than some compatible cameras.
Many users on the DPR web site agree with these two points and would like Olympus to put out a software update to correct this.
February 14, 2012
Early in the game. I'm on my way to Costa Rica and look forward to many great photos. I particularily like the ease of menu use and the many ways to set the camera up for specific scenes. I mostly shoot aperture control and have the "C" postition set up for my carry around preferred settings. I don't shoot video so can't comment on that but have enjoyed learning about the camera functions so that it is not all new to me on the trip. I went ahead and obtained the vf-2 view finder and the TCON-17 teleconverter so feel that I'm well equipped for many circumstances. I live near the mountains in Washington State and have included a shot of them that I took while learning to use the camera.
February 11, 2012
I purchased one of these for personal use and we ended up using it in the studio. We liked it so much we bought another. For our product photography this gem is totally indispensable - images are superb, and kudos to Olympus for making such a fast, sharp lens. It would have been so much easier to make the slower lens like those found on competitors cameras - but it's the optics, images it produces and easy interface that make this a gem. Wish it would tether.
February 11, 2012
Highly recommendable, great lens. Very nice manual operation
February 03, 2012
Right out of the camera, with no expensive software programs needed to manipulate the image details, these 'JPG's are ready to print! I am not a pro, but I've been an enthusiast for 40+ years. I started with a simple SLR and over the years have evolved to a Pro-model DSLR with a set of Pro lenses. I wanted an easy to carry point and shoot for casual use and this camera caught my attention. All I can say is "WOW". This camera is a winner, and I've used the best there is. The XZ-1 is truly a gem.
January 31, 2012
I would recommend this camera because its lens is very fast.
January 28, 2012
I have only owned the camera a few weeks. The learning process was made difficult by a poorly written manual.
The manual has no index, so you cannot quickly find a topic, unless you think exactly like the Olympus engineer.
When I first tried to view the manual it opened in Adobe reader, which has no search function. I am fortunate to have Adobe 9, which has a search function.
Still, despite much searching, I am unable to find the difference between Auto and Program mode.
I am satisfied with the performance of the camera, and truly love the viewing screen.
January 19, 2012
This is a very cool camera. The fast lens is a great advantage. I'm still working through all the menus and features. I'm very pleased with the XZ1, with the following reservations. The zoom could be a bit stronger and the "dramatic tone" art filter is quite a bit too dramatic and not adjustable. Otherwise it's great!
January 14, 2012
Better than I expected. Spectacular pics! Was a little intimidated at first, but settled in after an afternoon with the camera. All controls are very intuitive.
November 11, 2011
To begin with, I love this camera in so many ways. I was so glad to see Olympus once again enter the all-in-one enthusiasts camera market - kudo's to them.
This camera has an exceptional color tonality - reminding me of the ole' and venerable E-1. It is nicely constructed, allows RAW capabilities, and features a stellar DSLR-quality Zuiko lens.
But it is lacking in one key abilitiy - I.E. the ability to adjust NR levels (of which there are none currently). This is a biggie and I was wondering if this could be added via a firmware update.
Either way, this camera is a winner - but the NR scenario precludes me from giving it 5 stars - but it is an enthusiasts model which bests many a competitor and one that I can highly recommend.
Please Olympus - include a firmware update for the addition of NR adjustment abilities.
Fuquay Varina, NC
November 06, 2011
I like the small size and the aperture range is great. I doubt that current technology allows a bigger zoom range without adding so much bulk that the camera will go from shirt-pocketable to "jacket required." The optional viewfinder is superior to what the other guys offer.
My big complaint is the menu system, which can be confusing if you like to make adjustments while shooting. My SLR has no macro mode, so the XZ-1 is my go to camera for this. There are just too many steps needed to get in & out of macro!
October 24, 2011
I bought this camera as a secondary camera for quick pix. But the super macro turned out to be so good that I keep it at that setting to get super-closeups of bugs and flowers. I use the Macro Arm Light often. The menu is a little annoying to scroll through to change the settings. I'm not thrilled with the movie button- I'd rather set the dial to movie and use the shutter like the rest of my cameras. And oops- don't forget to make sure the audio is activated for movie mode!
The zoom is not impressive, but it's OK if you are only shooting "average" snapshots and are not at a zoo or out in the woods where you can't get that close to wildlife.
The picture quality is actually nice and sharp for a point n shoot. But the macro is the best on any point n shoot I've used by Olympus or the other two-or three, etc. I also like the Art Filters, especially the soft focus. I use it for close-up flowers and other background images. There is also a "Document" picture mode which is very convenient. It's not quite as sharp as a scan- but it's good enough to file documents, checks and such. If it wasn't such trouble to change the settings- I find the ring for changing the settings can be unintentionally rotated and that is rather troublesome; and if there was more zoom, even 10X; and the movie mode had focus tracking when zooming- I'd say this camera was near perfect for a pocket camera and grab shots. Oh and this camera also has RAW which is good if the lighting is really flat or you suspect you'll need to make a really large image for display or do post-editing.
October 16, 2011
I've used my new XZ-1 for a month now, extremely satisfied. I've been looking for a good compact camera for 3 months, not easy task given the saturated market.
Very easy, handy and functional for newcomers, it provides very good pictures in any light condition.
Despite the zoom hasn't a wide range, it fulfills 95% of the situations and does its job quite well. I mainly use it on trips or holidays, when I cannot carry my SLR.
The only backside is that it's again a "made in china" product...
October 15, 2011
After years of using all kinds of cameras, I was looking for a camera that I could experiment with and my spouse could use as an effective point-and-shoot as well. This came out on top, as we wanted a camera that could take quality pictures both indoors and out without spending a ton of money.
So far, we have really enjoyed the results in shooting our 9 month old as well as pets, outdoor scenery, and tiny outdoor items as well - flowers,mushrooms,insects and such.
The detail on the JPEGs is pretty amazing and it is a real treat to get an f1.8 on a reasonably small camera.
I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who wants a really good lens on a compact camera.
October 09, 2011
This camera has very fast and VERY sharp optics. I really love this camera and get great photos, but there are two complaints.
1. The quality of jpegs are HORRIBLE. They are over compressed and look like that have some sort of strong smoothing applied to them, and loose a lot of subtle details. I have to shoot everything in RAW and use lightroom to get a good photo. Done this way they are Excellent.
2. The focus on movies is worthless. I have found you can get ok movies if you put it in manual focus, but that is a pain.
My guess is these items can be addressed in a firmware update. Please oly listen to you users!!!
October 03, 2011
I recommend this camera to everyone who is in search for an well build compact camera with excellent picture quality and good controls. The picture quality is on par with entry DSLRs. Dissatisfying is the really poor video quality. Don't buy the camera if video is very important for you.
October 02, 2011
This is a great little camera that is well worth the money. It takes excellent photographs, is great in low light, its controls are easy to use and the settings all work as they should, to allow you to take the photos you want in the conditions you want.
Problem areas are the useless lens cap. A camera like this should have a threaded lens so you can put on a protective filter. The access door to plug in the USB cord seems very cheap and doesn't have a solid click or feel to it. The USB cord is also way too short; should be at least another 12 inches long, especially since there is no separate charger included. The battery must be charged in the camera. When you pay this much for a camera, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth to have to go out right away and buy a stand alone charger. THIS CAMERA NEEDS A GRIP! Very hard to hold. A large protruding molded in grip under the word OLYMPUS on the front would be great - hollow it out to hold a second Li-50 battery. It would be nice if you could load two batterys into this camera so the camera could be powered by two. Battery life is good, but long shoots require extra batteries. Also, the mode dial on top of the camera should have positive click stops. It is too easy to accidentally switch modes.
Despite those few complaints, this is an outstanding camera. Beautiful, clear photos. Nice bokeh. Quick response time. This is my first digital camera. I have continued to use my Olympus OM-4T's, OM-4's, and OM-2N's. I love those cameras and the bodies, along with all the lenses, bounce grips, drives, etc. all still work great. When I saw the XZ-1, with its' 1.8 Zuiko lens, I couldn't resist.
Now Olympus. This is what you need to do. I always carry two OM bodies with me. One with a 35-105mm and one with a 65-200mm. I'm ready for anything. You now need to create the Olympus XZ-2. This would be a camera that picks up where the XZ-1 leaves off. It would be just like the XZ-1, (hopefully including some of my above suggested improvements) but unlike the XZ-1 the XZ-2 would have a fast 140-250mm (in 35mm) Zuiko zoom. Then I could leave both my OM bodies at home, and take my XZ-1 and XZ-2 with me and be ready for anything.
I haven't tried the video - no interest in video. If I want video, I'll buy a video camera.
September 16, 2011
I have had the camera for 4 months. I wanted a pocket sized camera that could shoot RAW and produce great JPEGs. The fast f 1.8 lens has allowed me to take wonderful indoor candid shots of my family without a flash. The Panorama feature is easy to use and has produced some great shots.
The camera comes up short on the movie function otherwise it would rate 5 stars. It continuously is searching for the correct focus as you shoot a movie. The result is that the subject of the movie is going in and out of focus making the result virtually useless. If you are buyig the camera for its ability to shoot HD movies you will be disappointed. In spite of firmware updates (v1.4) Olympus has not fixed this problem as of this date.
September 12, 2011
This camera is truly one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I am only 15 although I have really found the true potential of this camera. I am an underwater photographer (I use the PT-050 housing) and it is truly my best dive partner. it has a great auto focus as well as an auto focus lock, to lock onto fishes and such.
Love the camera, I suggest it to any avid divers, photographers or just people trying to have some fun with a camera.
September 07, 2011
I have to give it 5 because I have not had any problems and it has done exactly what I wanted it to do. I wanted a nice point a shoot that I could do Manual "Pro" type work with and this is perfect. Coming from another brand I am impressed with the Olympus Menu system and how well thought out everything is. For me the reason for getting this over a PEN series is that it fits in my pocket and has versatility. The photo quality is great in .RAW. The Jpegs are fine if your not a pixel peeper but if you are, you will find the noise reduction is very high but still nicer than most I have seen from others in this category. The High ISO performance is great, but with an F1.8 lens I shoot lower ISO more often than not for even better pics. I wish the Panorama Mode saved a .RAW file but not a big deal. My images are so great I bought one for my oldest son too! My favorite part so far are the Macro and super macro!
September 07, 2011
I loved my bigger Olympus DSLR. But for the type of trip I was going on I didn't want to bring my camera bag, with extra lenses, etc. So I picked up the XZ-1 and couldn't be more happy! I needed something a lot smaller that was easier to carry around and fit in my pocket. But I'm used to the quality of pictures I get from a DSLR, so I didn't want to settle for any compact. The quality of pictures I got from the XZ-1 rivals and often surpasses that of my DSLR. It's got a great automatic mode perfect for pulling out and getting the shot quickly. And has all the manual features you're used to with your DSLR. Plus it shots RAW. It will no doubt be with me on all my future trips, regardless of if I bring my DLSR or not.
September 06, 2011
Excellent display... except visibility in sun light !
August 28, 2011
I'm surprised by what this little camera can do and I love the simplicity of use.
August 24, 2011
Wife's camera shopper
My wife's older Olympus point-n-shoot needed upgrading. Being the pro photographer in the family, the selecting fell to me. Since my wife is a travel agent and see lots of ocean time, my first thoughts were the Olympus TG-810. But one of the complaints my wife has had in the past is the poor match of our fast moving grandchildren to the slow shutter lag and focus time (my complaint too). We purchased the XZ-1 three days before traveling with our two granddaughters down the eastern coastline. This camera’s use is so easy my wife never used her other camera. And I only needed to use mine for longer telephoto shots. This camera may not be a DSLR, but my wife and I find it well beyond “normal” point-n-shoot in the shutter lag and focus time department. This camera was a perfect match for our two fast moving granddaughters along with all the other scenic shots. We even found the scene modes, art modes, and movie mode (which we normally never use) very easy to use. Although the sensor is listed as being not quite good as other cameras in its class (slightly lower sensitivity), the faster lens and good lens quality keeps it on par with all cameras in its class. Although I found the three inch screen acceptable for my use in bright sunlight, I will need to either purchase the VF-2 or the VF-3 for my wife’s use in bright sunlight. It is my wife’s and my personal opinion that the purchase of a XZ-1 will be money well spent.
August 23, 2011
After being "another brand" devotee for many years, I determined that the best product for the job was an Olympus. The bright lens was the deciding factor. The Art Filters are being used quite often. I am very happy with the purchase.
August 16, 2011
I purchased the camera because of the 1.8 lens and was stunned by the lack of sharpness and clarity. Perhaps it was the unit, but this particular camera fell well short of glowing reviews. Ergonomics and build are superb, but if one is buying the camera because of the optics... don't. I returned the camera.
August 12, 2011
This camera takes very high quality shots. It produces significantly better quality images than my top rated superzoom camera does. The XZ-1 particularly excels in low-light and macro photography, but seems to perform well in all situations. The images are sharp and have little to no noise, even viewed at 100%. Noise does certainly become present in extremely low light shots, but it's still well controlled. The high resolution viewscreen is exceptional. I like that you can add on a real high resolution viewfinder later, as well as various converter lenses and accessories. I also love that this camera has a true Bulb (long exposure) mode, one of the few compacts, maybe the only, to be so equipped. The shot to shot times and burst abilities are highly impressive. With a fast card, you can keep shooting RAW as long as you want about one per second. Or, you can shoot up to 16 RAW images in 8 seconds. Most compact digicams can only take 3-6 full resolution images (RAW or otherwise) in their burst modes before halting. If shooting JPG only, I don't know what the limit for consecutive full-res shots is - I stopped at 41 in 20 seconds. !! The menus are very easy to use and functions without a direct button (which are most) are easy to access and change.
Now for the downsides. The body, though feeling very well built, is much too slippery and thin, makes it very hard to hold the camera, much less hold it steady. The camera desperately needs a rubberized raised grip on the right side, though some grippy material on all sides would very helpful. Due to the thin body, there's no good place to put your left hand, either, especially if you need to use the built-in flash or viewfinder, makes it hard to stabilize your shots. The included lens cap comes off far too easily. Though I understand this is so the lens can push it off when powering on, the cap will easily fall off when transferring the camera to/from a bag or pocket. Image stabilization seems not as effective as that on my superzoom camera, though still decent, and the much shorter zoom and far faster lens compensate.
August 11, 2011
I am a retired professional photographer with an Olympus E-5 as my main camera. I bought the XZ-1 and it will ALWAYS be at my side. Besides medium and large format ALL of my digital cameras have been Olympuses! C-2000, C2500L, E-10, E-510, E-1, E-3, EPL1, E5 and now XZ-1! Of all these these the E-5 is my favorite but the XZ-1 comes in a close second. I also use five Olympus E-10s to teach photography.
August 11, 2011
I have many Cameras to include DSLR's with thousands of dollars in lenses. I purchased the XZ-1 with VF-2 viewer. This setup is a dream to use. Composing shots couldn't be easier and the results are awesome.
August 11, 2011
This camera is top notch. My 8 1/2 X 11 prints
are so razor sharp you have to watch how you pick them up or you might cut yourself.
The lens is unbeatable the way you can control depth of field. Color and art filters are the best.
It sure beats carrying a anchor SLR around your
neck on vacation. The view screen is good but
I bought the electronic view finder when I bought the camera. I think you really need one
with this camera. I really like the fact it is
interchangeable with the Pen cameras. If I
buy a Pen in the feture the view finder will work
with it. All in all you could not get this camera
away from me.
August 10, 2011
XZ-1 is very good for taking pictures of on-stage concerts and other low-light situations. The monitor is hard to see in sunlight although it is a little better than some. Plan to purchase a viewfinder.
August 09, 2011
If you want a carry anywhere, high quality pocket camera, this is the one to get. Olympus, which had been conspicuously absent in the mirror-less, fixed lens prosumer camera niche, has hit one out of the park on their first try. This camera is that great. Image quality is outstanding. And the art filters, I thought I'd never use them. Turns out, no matter what I shoot I make sure to take at least one example using an art filter. I find that people really get a kick out of seeing the results.
Besides image quality and art filters, Olympus made it compatible with their top flash and electronic viewfinder. That is just so great. It would be so easy for them to make it non-compatible so you'd have to buy a more expensive product to use those accessories but they didn't. Kudos for that. I bought the e. viewfinder and it really is as good as everyone says but that's for a separate review.
August 09, 2011
Like many of you I did the research and considered a couple of other models (LX-5, S95 etc) and settled on the xz-1.
I am a mid-level user who likes to travel light. The big glass, manual controls and overall build of the camera all add up to make this a favorite in my collection. Issues with NR and video quality are legit, however you will be pleased with your purchase, this is a nice package.
August 09, 2011
Really delighted with this camera. The image quality of a 4/3rds camera but in a much more usable compact form.
August 09, 2011
I love my XZ-1: The images are beautiful, jpgs right out of the camera are fine for printing, websharing and even publication. (Raw is available for those who must.) I've shot mostly in decent light at either Auto ISO or 100/200, and the images are clean and noise-free. I can't comment on high-ISO performance, but I expect it will be at least as good as other small-sensor cameras, no match for Micro 4/3s or DSLRs. However, how often do we really need to shoot in zero light?
Focus is fast and accurate. You can lock focus with a half-press of the shutter button; there's no dedicated focus-lock or exposure-lock button, a complaint of many reviewers. I don't see that it makes any difference.
The close-focus modes work fine, but I'd prefer a direct means of switching them on and off, rather than the "OK" menu via the LCD. This is a small gripe -- the OK menu is very handy overall, makes it seldom necessary to access the main menus. (The "OK" menu is activated by pressing the OK button when the LCD is live.)
Physically, the camera feels well-built and rugged, with enough weight to make it easy to hold, although it could have done with a molded-in finger grip. (I added a stick-on grip from a third-party supplier, which works fine.) The LCD is large, sharp and bright, but prone to fingerprints. I've added a fold-down cover to protect it.
The XZ-1 is improved dramatically with the VF-2 viewfinder -- even though it's very expensive, I think it's well worth it. It makes the camera not only easier to use in bright sunlight, but also adds immensely to the "cool factor." And the viewfinder will work on most Olympus EP cameras, too, if you decide to move into a larger-sensor machine.
In short, I think the XZ-1 is an excellent camera, especially with the viewfinder and a stick-on grip added. I plan to carry it as my primary camera on an upcoming vacation (my second/back-up is a pocketable weatherproof model), and am confident I'll come back with high-quality images.
I'm a lifelong photographer -- that's more than 40 years so far -- and have used a slew of film and digital cameras in all formats. I have access to pro quality gear from my own collection, but since I bought the XZ-1 I've been using it almost exclusively for my personal work. I am very happy with the camera.
August 09, 2011
great color, depth of field, sharpness.
Macro is excellent. Video is IFFY.someitmes on sometimes off.
August 09, 2011
I purchased this camera for a recent two week trip to Europe. The lens is of very high quality and fast.
The camera takes razor sharp pictures that fill my 24" iMac screen with amazing detail.
Most of these cameras have a certain logic to them, but I've yet to develop an intuitive feel of the menu
selections. Could just be me.
Don't like the lens cap, but, yes, the string does work. I do wish the cap attached more firmly; it can easily come loose.
When shooting video (infrequently for me, at best) the camera does hunt to refocus on objects of different distance.
In general, the pictures seem to exaggerate black levels a bit, but I use Aperture and RAW to get around this.
Built in panorama is wonderful, but much better results with distant scenery.
July 02, 2011
The XZ-1 is easy to navigate and takes fantastic pictures. It small size and big performance makes it a camera that you can take everywhere and never be disappointed with the performance. The leather case for it is sweet as well.
July 01, 2011
Camera performs well for target use, namely as a portable yet powerful, adjustable tool for taking pictures that can rival SLRs'. The handling quirks mentioned in some reviews become much less of an issue with practice, even the lack of a dedicated ISO button. However there's a rather serious problem affecting its real world usefulness as an easy to carry camera: You can't install the customary UV filter (or any other) to protect this lens, which is after all the main reason to get this camera and likely the component most expensive to repair or replace. According to Olympus the "the lens is proprietary and does not accept standard filters." This problem is all the more serious because the camera also lacks the customary built in flaps that cover the lens when you turn it off. This lack of protection seriously compromises the camera precisely in its intended function as an easy to carry and therefore frequently used tool; the more often you use it, the more likely you are to unwittingly damage that lovely lens and rue your investment.
June 29, 2011
Very user friendly. An excellent step up from point-and-shoot for those of us who want more than the basics, but not the bulk or complexity of an SLR. Really easy to compose your shot and adjust exposure, etc after checking on the image before shooting. I have had this camera for about a month now and have used it daily. I have found I use the aperture priority for most shots. Very flexible and intuitive to use.
June 25, 2011
I bought this camera fully aware that its video (quality, focus, resolution, and bulky outdated file format) were well behind the industry.
I was willing to overlook the video flaws because I have a modern smartphone that takes very good video, so I can use that instead.
What I wanted was good quality images even in low light, and this camera delivers.
However, I found a few unpleasant surprises, some of which may not matter to others, but they are a disappointment to me.
Your needs may be different from mine. I like to do stealth shooting (candid shots) so I have some special preferences.
1) I like to shoot with the screen off, and this camera apparently has no way to do that. Having the screen off draws less attention, and lengthens battery life.
2) When shooting, the camera makes a very audible (though pleasing) mechanical clicking sound. Not an issue for most people, but not good for stealth. This can be eliminated in High2 burst mode, but that mode takes pictures that are only 2 megapixels.
3) Features in settings are strangely limited. For example the burst modes are very constrained. I would like to be able to just hold down the button, and have the camera continue to take pictures, at a fairly steady pace. It could even be a slow pace. But this camera can't do that without going to a special mode and compromising image size. Otherwise I have to keep re-pressing and half-releasing the button, which is a skill it's going take a while to master, and something that makes camera shake more likely.
4) The entire camera locks up gratuitously in a couple of situations. One is when writing data to the SD (Class 10 SHDC in my case) card. This happens for example after taking several pictures in burst mode, or after taking video. Another is when the cable is connected, such as when charging. Even when charging is finished, you can't even play with settings while the power cable is connected. This is when the cable isn't even connected to a computer, so it's not like some sync may be happening. It's just the simple case of charging from the wall outlet.
5) Along with what everyone else has said about video, there is also the astonishing limitation on file size, 2GB maximum, which effectively also sets a length limit on videos, to 7 minutes maximum at the preferred HD resolution. This is almost inexcusable, when videos are widely used to document things like hour-long school performances. Imagine going to your child's school play and having to chop it up into 7-minute segments at unpredictable points. There are better file systems that have been around for ages that support more than 2GB, so it's hard to imagine what the engineers at Olympus are smoking.
6) Software does not have a Mac version! Amazing! But in a bad way.
A lot of the other amazing features on this camera are standard these days on many cameras. So I don't share the enthusiasm some other reviewers do about them. They are great, but not special. Panorama in particular is disappointing because it is arbitrarily limited to three shots, meaning you cannot do a 360 degree panorama even if you try.
The main thing is the image quality, which is great. I do love the camera even though it has some negatives as I mentioned. I would absolutely recommend it if you are willing to live with those flaws in exchange for the amazing lens speed it has and the resulting great pictures.
June 14, 2011
The photo mode is good and still images are strong and punchy. The camera is easy to use and quite compact. The camera feels fast and responsive in operation.
But the video mode is simply unacceptable. The camera constantly hunts for focus, such that a large part of most videos are barely usable. This happens even in high contrast situations and even if the subject is not moving much.
Even when it is in focus the video is pretty soft. Audio recording is quite good, it is just video images that are poor.
Overall this is a great stills camera that is let down by it's poor video mode.
Only other comments are: 1) it would be nice to have an ISO button, 2) it would be nice to have a built-in lens cap. But these are minor niggles.
May 06, 2011
Olympus hit a home run with this camera.
The f1.8 lens captures some amazing images with sharpness and true color reproduction that many large DSLRs can't match.
Compact size allows you to pocket this camera and take it anywhere.
I have captured images with this camera for almost three months and friends are amazed at the picture quality.
Low light performance is excellent without the flash.
-Low light performance from the sensitive f1.8 lens
-Compactness - easily fits in a pocket
-Built in Art filters produce dramatic effects
-Sharp OLED screen shows detailed images even in sun light
-Works well with Eye-Fi card to transfer images over WiFi and post pictures to social networking sites
-Focus is fast
-Digital zoom yields good quality images when the subject is far
-Supports Olympus hot shoe flashes and accessories
-Ability to charge camera with USB cable or power with portable battery
-Front rotating lens wheel allows quick changing of camera settings
-Great manual controls allow full creativity
-External view finder provides sharp images while allowing you to brace the camera
-Excellent color sharpness and reproduction
-Battery seems to drain faster with Eye-Fi card so purchase a second battery
-Unit is easily powered on, especially when play button is pressed twice or when holding camera
-HD movie quality not as sharp as expected
-No filter screw for UV and other filters
-Sometimes panoramic mode would not recognize that you were panning the camera
-No display integration with Eye-Fi to show progress (hopefully future firmware will allow full integration)
Overall, this is an excellent camera for low light image capture. You will forget about the camera's built in flash.
Future models will hopefully incorporate a 14+ MP image sensor, a wider and longer lens, 3D image capture, and support filter attachments.
You can't go wrong for the money if you are looking for a compact DSLR camera to capture low light images.
Please see my attached photos. The images really tell the story and demonstrate the performance of the Olympus XZ-1.
May 04, 2011
The super-bright F1.8-2.5 lens does more than let you keep the ISO settings down in low light
All-in-all, it means the XZ-1 offers similar control over depth-of-field and a more flexible focal length range than most DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with their kit lenses
April 25, 2011
Bought the camera to take on a Mexico family vacation. Tried camera over Easter weekend to test features. Very impressed with picture quality, ease of use, menu & speed. I originally was going to purchase a S95; after researching online, glad I made decision with Olympus.
April 22, 2011
This camera is built like a little tank. Heavy little sucker that delivers awesome photos. I'm so glad I purchased this gem. Can't believe Olympus does not include a battery charger. Whats with that OLYMPUS? All in all its absolutely a real pleasure to use this camera.
April 20, 2011
Love, the quality of the images and build of this camera. Cery versatile and easy to use.
April 19, 2011
I chose this camera after a year of searching to replace my DSLR whose lens I had become disatisfied with. I wanted a portable camera with an excellent lens and I had to wait a while. I still haven't read the manual yet, but the camera produces excellent results out of the box. I've only been switching between iauto and aperture priority modes so far. That's all that's been needed
April 17, 2011
Underwater photo guy
I won' repeat what has been said about the photo quality. It looks just great. Maybe, with the next go-around, you could up the resolution to 12-13 mp. That would be a sweet spot. If this were just photos only, it would be a 5 star review. I hope my comments get some feedback at the company.
You market this as an underwater camera, complete with housing, wide and macro wet lens adapters, and underwater modes. But, you have crippled two essential features for underwater photographers.
Why is the video crippled? A camera at this level of quality and price point should offer two video options: 1080p at 24 fps for maximum quality, and 720p at 60fps for motion capture and slow motion playback. Also, colors are weak, clips are limited in length, and the optical (sensor) IS does not work in video, only an electronic IS that degrades quality.
Olympus, there is just no excuse . . . . I am using this camera for underwater photo and video and it is fully a professional level tool for photos. The crippled video is inexcusable.
Also, why can't the flash fire in super-macro mode? That mode is very useful underwater and the flash is necessary to trigger the off-camera slave flashes. Everyone knows the on-camera flash won't work for the actual subject, but that is no excuse for disabling it for those of us using off-camera strobes for lighting.
These things are critical in an underwater camera, and I am sure many people would welcome the video upgrade for all types of shooting.
This could be the most versatile uw system going if you could fix the video and flash features.
The video and flash issue could be fixed with a firmware update. I, for one, would be willing to pay a reasonable price for such an update if it is complicated to do.
Please, do not wait until the next version, to include these upgrades, because that will entail a new camera, and a new housing if you change the control design.
April 16, 2011
it's a v.good camera,easy to use ,easy to navigate menu.
April 14, 2011
The bright lens which is so good in low light sold me. I like nature shots and tend to shoot in early morning and evening. The quality of the images were even better than I expected. Some complain about the lens cap but I got used to it very quickly.
In 1995 my 1st camera was the Olympus superzoom 120. I loved the weatherproof aspect of it. I wish my XZ-1 had this. I'm going to get the optional view-finder to. I think the price is a bit steep though.
April 12, 2011
I have only had this camera a short time. The iauto mode makes it easy to get good pictures. I have been able to very low light pictures. One of my favorite subjects are my Grandchildren. The focus tack feature makes it easy to lock on and follow them to get a shot.
The Oled screen is great, bright and sharp. I could still use a view finder, but the price for it is way to steep.
It would be better if the lens cover was built in. This might be difficult to do with a lens as wide open and quality.
This has been a fun camera to get to know. I have a lot more to learn. I look for reasons to take pictures.
April 12, 2011
This is the best compact camera to come out in years. The lens is very bright and high-ISO is very usable.
But the noise reduction is too strong. Images at ISO200+ come out like water colors. I am forced to shoot RAW solely for this reason.
Olympus if you are reading, please please please add an option to disable NR in a firmware update. It'll make our lives so much easier!
April 04, 2011
Bought for 2 reasons: fast shutter release and great shots inside in normal interior light.
Could not be more pleased - fulfills my 2 reasons for buying perfectly - better in my opinion than any other point and shoot on market at present.
2 things I would like improved, but no where near deal breakers -- need loose pockets to carry in pants and with lens protruding, makes bulge in jacket; lens cover is press on fit and just fell off until I added some tape around inside edge to make it fit snugger. Prefer the type cover that grabs lens and requires a squeeze on opposite sides to release.
Images of people are extremely sharp and in focus - more than I had hoped for. Easy to learn basics if have used auto point and shoots before. Of course, this is much more than an auto camera, but that is what I wanted it for primarily, and it fills the bill as good as I had hoped for - highly recommended if the 2 irritations I mentioned above are acceptable - I bought online as soon as released - probably better to go to a camera store and check it out.
April 04, 2011
stabilization video is amazing!
Verry great performance,Amazing art filters and easy to use!
April 01, 2011
Terrrific well desiged camera. Lots of flexability for advanced users but does an amazing job in iAuto. High quality images in JPEG or Raw. Pleasing color and tones. Noise reduction too strong in high ISO shots.
March 31, 2011
I have many other brands of point and shoot cameras this Olympus is by far the best for size, weight and features. The main purpose for my purchase was to be able to use manual settings and with help from my friends, I was able to conquer that in no time. The flash mode is adequate for most of my shootings, but with the adapter for other flash accessories I have more than needed. The lens is superb and great quality. Can't say enough good things about the XZ except go buy one.
March 28, 2011
Great raw images. Nice bright LCD screen - hope OLCD technology holds up. Nice compact size.
March 27, 2011
Olympus could have accomplished a great compact camera, probably the best on the market right now, instead they deliberately throw it out giving to the XZ-1 the worst possible video mode. It can barely compete with cellphone video, it's a shame!
I have heard in some forums people talking about their hope that a new firmware could solve the video troubles...I do hope so, but I'm not confidant.
Come on Olympus...improve the XZ-1 firmware, amaze us all!!
March 27, 2011
Had it for a week now. Been out twice. Bought it for the lens. The greatest walk-a-bout point and shoot ever made. This little rig is street photographer's dream. Autofocus is blazing fast. Zoom range perfect. From wide angle to a slightly elongated portrait.
Image quality top notch! Stabilization works very well. 1/15 sec hand held no problem.
Use in program equals no worries. Want to compose? Av is there at your finger tips. Want to do some street shootin? Set your shutter and set for auto ISO and you are good to go to freeze moments on the street.
Haven't used i-AUTO as i am a bit of a control freak stemming from my film days so i can't comment nor have i played around with the art filters yet.
So far so good. Actually so far so great ! XZ-1 is exactly what I have been waiting for in a compact. Dare I say my DSLR gear may not see the light for a bit. It just might replace my DSLR gear as I am tired of the bulk. Contemplating the fl-36 flash for indoors.
March 25, 2011
My requirements for a new camera were: compact, good automatic settings but ability to do manual, good video and great pictures. The XZ-1 exceeded my expectations on all of these points. The quality is exceptional, especially for a small camera. Many of other brands feel like little plastic toys but this one just feels solid. It starts up quickly, focuses quickly too and takes sharp, clean pictures. The menus are intuitive and useful. Very comprehensive software package included as well.
March 21, 2011
This camera fits in my pocket, so I can take it anywhere. This, plus the image quality and features is unbeatable.
March 13, 2011
XZ-1 performed flawlessly on trip. In the sunshine the lcd was still useable. Didn't even need to use the electronic viewfinder.
Overall a really well built product. Pics were all excellent, shot in the sun and indoors with or without flash. Autofocus was fast and shutter release was quick. A really outstanding camera.
March 05, 2011
I like this camera, minor warts and all, but I can't help but think that just few tweaks will improve on a very good camera. People love the warmth and quality of the XZ-1's pictures. But, I think the ability to moderate the noise reduction and to program a function key are two key omissions that keep the XZ-1 from being head and shoulders above the competition (S95 or LX-5). Instead, it's merely the best, which isn't a bad thing.
And if we were judging camera's by their instruction manuals, the XZ-1 would be a zero star. Poorly written and inadequate, it looks like it was written months before the tech writers touched an actual camera. The "instructions" on setting the Custom Mode are especially horrible.
March 01, 2011
I'm not a pro, by any means, but this little camera makes me feel like one!!
The "blues" on this camera are amazing. As are the macro's. If your into landscape shots or macro's or just looking for a camera that gives you TOP quality images in something very portable - this camera is for you.
My only drawback, initially; was the price. But after using this camera for a few weeks now? It was money well spent.
As I mentioned I'm not a pro, I just love taking photos. And the only things I would change on this camera would be to offer a slightly wider lens ( 24mm would have been really nice!!) And not sure why Olympus doesn't provide a wrist strap for this pricey camera. A neck strap just is a bit too much for this size camera (in my opinion).
But the sequential mode (pretty fast) the fast and bright lens, the simplicity of the menu, the outstanding image quality and the "in camera" panorama mode MORE than make up for the few ommisions on this great little camera.
All I can say is .... ENJOY ..... Olympus (for the most part) put together a great little toy !!
February 25, 2011
I've purchased quite a few point-n-shoot cameras over the years from a variety of manufacturers. The most recent addition to my P&S 'stable' is the Olympus XZ-1, and while I've only owned this camera for a month, it's just so much better than anything else at what it does. My main requirements when picking a point-n-shoot were: excellent image quality, excellent low-light performance, automatic and manual controls, pocketability, and excellent results straight from the camera. The XZ-1 provides these capabilities in spades.
- outstanding image quality
- excellent low-light performance
- high-quality super bright Zuiko lens
- excellent build quality
- requires special proprietary USB cable for connectivity & battery charging (included)
- lens cap is annoyingly easy to dislodge
February 24, 2011
Compact and sleek design with a large CCD and fast f1.8 lens lets you capture great images where lighting is a challenge.
Combines point and shoot readiness with full manual control for full image range and creativity.
Less than two weeks old, still mastering the controls of this advanced imaging device.