Olympus XZ-1 Comparison Review
The Olympus XZ-1 is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in January 2011 and is equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 10.1 megapixel.
Is the Olympus XZ-1 a good camera? The XZ-1 has a Camera Elo of 1247. This rating puts the XZ-1 below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the XZ-1 also ranks below average. – Well, the Olympus XZ-1 is more than 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2011.
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|10.1 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 6 400|
|3.0 LCD, 614k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2 shutter flaps per second|
|320 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 65 x 42 mm, 275 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Olympus XZ-1 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus XZ-1 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|2.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|3.||Olympus E-PM2||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499|
|4.||Olympus XZ-2||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PL3||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|7.||Olympus E-PL1||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599|
|8.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|11.||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 listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus XZ-1 was launched in the US market at a price of $499. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Olympus XZ-1 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.4. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus XZ-1 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|3.||Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72|
|5.||Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|6.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|7.||Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The XZ-1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the XZ-1 can use is 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Olympus XZ-1 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One convenient feature of the XZ-1 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 Olympus XZ-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
The XZ-1 has a zoom lens built in (6-24.0mm f/1.8-2.5), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 28 to 112mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the XZ-1 handle or 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|2.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|3.||Olympus E-PM2||3/5||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|4.||Olympus XZ-2||4/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|5.||Olympus E-PL3||3/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|6.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|7.||Olympus E-PL1||..||86/100||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||599|
|8.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|9.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|10.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|11.||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 assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Olympus XZ-1 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the XZ-1.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the XZ-1?
The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Olympus equipped the XZ-1 with the TruePic V image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the XZ-1?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.
Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?
Yes, Olympus provides the VF-2 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Olympus XZ-1 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Does the Olympus XZ-1 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Which battery does the XZ-1 use?
The camera gets its power from the Li-50B, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
|Camera Model||Olympus XZ-1|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5|
|Launch Date||January 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 499|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm|
|Sensor Area||46 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3 664 x 2 752 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.13 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.81 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6 400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||34|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||18.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||117|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||614k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||Li-50B power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge|
111 x 65 x 42 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||275 g (9.7 oz)|
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