Fujifilm XQ1 vs Olympus XZ-1
The Fujifilm XQ1 and the Olympus XZ-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in October 2013 and January 2011. Both the XQ1 and the XZ-1 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 2/3 (XQ1) and a 1/1.7-inch (XZ-1) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Olympus XZ-1? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Olympus XZ-1. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The XQ1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the XZ-1 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus XZ-1 is notably larger (22 percent) than the Fujifilm XQ1. Moreover, the XZ-1 is markedly heavier (33 percent) than the XQ1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XQ1 nor the XZ-1 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm XQ1||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Oct 2013||499|
|2.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||100 mm||59 mm||29 mm||217 g||230||n||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||100 mm||59 mm||33 mm||206 g||240||n||Jan 2015||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|11.||Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|12.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|13.||Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|14.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm XQ1 features a 2/3 sensor and the Olympus XZ-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the XZ-1 is 21 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 3.9 and 4.4. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
With 12MP, the XQ1 offers a higher resolution than the XZ-1 (10.1MP), but the XQ1 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.20μm versus 2.13μm for the XZ-1) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the XQ1 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 9 months) than the XZ-1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the XQ1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm XQ1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the XQ1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus XZ-1 are 18.3 x 13.8 inches or 46.5 x 35 cm for good quality, 14.7 x 11 inches or 37.2 x 28 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.2 inches or 31 x 23.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The XQ1 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm XQ1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus XZ-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|11.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|12.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|13.||Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the XQ1 provides a higher video resolution than the XZ-1. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The XQ1 and the XZ-1 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the XZ-1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm XQ1, the Olympus XZ-1, and comparable cameras.
The Olympus XZ-1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Both the XQ1 and the XZ-1 have zoom lenses built in. The XQ1 has a 25-100mm f/1.8-4.9 optic and the XZ-1 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Fujifilm provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Olympus, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XQ1 and the XZ-1 write their files to SDXC cards. The XQ1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the XZ-1 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm XQ1 and Olympus XZ-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the XQ1 offers wifi support, while the XZ-1 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both the XQ1 and the XZ-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XZ-1 was replaced by the Olympus XZ-2, while the XQ1 was followed by the Fujifilm XQ2. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Fujifilm XQ1 better than the Olympus XZ-1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm XQ1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 614k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (100x59mm vs 111x65mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 69g or 25 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the XZ-1 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus XZ-1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (320 versus 240) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2011).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XQ1 is the clear winner of the match-up (17 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm XQ1 and the Olympus XZ-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XQ1 or the XZ-1 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm XQ1||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||499|
|2.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|5.||Canon S120||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||449|
|6.||Fujifilm XQ2||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||399|
|7.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|9.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|10.||Olympus XZ-2||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|11.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|12.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|13.||Olympus E-PL1||..||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|14.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|15.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|16.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|17.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Fujifilm XQ1 vs Olympus XZ-1
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/1.8-4.9||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5|
|Launch Date||October 2013||January 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|Sensor Format||Two Thirds Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||8.8 x 6.6 mm||7.85 x 5.89 mm|
|Sensor Area||58.08 mm2||46.2365 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||11 mm||9.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||3664 x 2752 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.20 μm||2.13 μm|
|Pixel Density||20.66 MP/cm2||21.81 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||34|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||18.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||117|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||2 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm XQ1||Olympus XZ-1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||240 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
100 x 59 x 33 mm
(3.9 x 2.3 x 1.3 in)
111 x 65 x 42 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||206 g (7.3 oz)||275 g (9.7 oz)|
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