Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is Olympus XZ-1 finally the one?

Bike, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Birches, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Winter, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Treetops, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

The new serious compact from Olympus, the XZ-1, is today generating quite a storm at the photography sites? There are already some previews available, and some hands-on reports. From these it appears that Olympus has managed to go at least as good, and maybe batter, than the Canon S95 and the Panasonic LX5.

There are some things which seem potential weaknesses, though. For example, the camera apparently has only one custom mode. This is better than nothing, but the LX3 (and LX5) have four, and I use them a lot.

And what about a live histogram? I haven't seen a mention that this would be available, which would be a serious handicap. What does Live Guide actually mean?

Also, I'm not quite convinced how well the camera would behave when using aperture priority and manual focus? I think there is manual focus?

But there are a lot of good points, especially the f/1.8...f/2.5 lens, which seems to be better than f/2.2 all the way to 100 mm equiv. That is some serious advantage in dim lighting. And the sensor seems to be good, about the same as on the LX5, although not multi-aspect, so there are less pixels in 3:2 and 16:9 formats. But when using 1:1, the XZ-1 is the same as the LX3 and LX5.

I must say I'm seriously tempted.


David John Shewsbury said...

Tempted? Me too... apparently, in a way, Olympus is a good friend of Panasonic - these 2 companies developed Micro 4/3 system together and I'm not at all surprised that Olympus recently released an improved version of "LX3" - I've seen the review, I think in many ways it is an improvement of the old LX3 but I really missed that "extra button" which I can customized to become the "ISO" button - as I did on my LX3 (the Fn Button).....

Juha Haataja said...

Indeed, customization seems to be the weak point of the XZ-1. I finally decided against buying a new camera, as the LX3 works perfectly still.