Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic FZ150
The Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2011 and August 2011. Both the XZ-1 and the FZ150 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/1.7-inch (XZ-1) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ150) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|10.1 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|720/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 100-3200 (100-6400)|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 614k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2 shutter flaps per second||12 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|320 shots per battery charge||410 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 65 x 42 mm, 275 g||124 x 82 x 92 mm, 528 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic FZ150 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The XZ-1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the FZ150 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ150 is notably larger (41 percent) than the Olympus XZ-1. Moreover, the FZ150 is substantially heavier (92 percent) than the XZ-1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XZ-1 nor the FZ150 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left 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 camera comparisons there.
|Olympus XZ-1»||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic FZ150«||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Canon SX50« »||123 mm||87 mm||106 mm||595 g||315||n||Sep 2012||429||Canon SX50|
|Olympus TG-5« »||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||269 g||360||n||Sep 2012||499||Olympus E-PM2|
|Olympus XZ-2« »||113 mm||65 mm||48 mm||346 g||340||n||Sep 2012||599||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL3« »||110 mm||64 mm||37 mm||313 g||300||n||Jun 2011||599||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1« »||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1« »||115 mm||72 mm||42 mm||334 g||290||n||Feb 2010||599||Olympus E-PL1|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic LX7« »||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ100« »||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5« »||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic LX5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus XZ-1 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Panasonic FZ150 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ150 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ150 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the XZ-1. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.53μm versus 2.13μm for the XZ-1). However, it should be noted that the FZ150 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the XZ-1, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ150 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ150 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ150 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inch or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inch or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inch or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus XZ-1 are 18.3 x 13.8 inch or 46.5 x 35 cm for good quality, 14.7 x 11 inch or 37.2 x 28 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.2 inch or 31 x 23.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Olympus XZ-1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the FZ150 has a markedly higher DXO score than the XZ-1 (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Olympus XZ-1||1/1.7||10.1||3664||2752||720/30p||18.8||10.4||117||34||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Canon SX50||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Olympus TG-5||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72||Olympus E-PM2|
|Olympus XZ-2||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.4||11.3||216||49||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.1||487||54||Olympus E-PL1|
|Panasonic FZ200||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic LX7||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||1080/60p||20.7||11.7||147||50||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ100||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ150 provides a better video resolution than the XZ-1. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ150 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XZ-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the XZ-1 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus XZ-1 and Panasonic FZ150 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus XZ-1||optional||n||3.0||614||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Canon SX50||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-PM2||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PM2|
|Olympus XZ-2||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL3||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1||optional||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/2000s||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL1|
|Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
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 XZ-1 and the FZ150 have zoom lenses built in. The XZ-1 has a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 optic and the FZ150 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Olympus. The XZ-1 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XZ-1 and the FZ150 write their files to SDXC 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 Olympus XZ-1 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus XZ-1||Y||mono||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Canon SX50||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Olympus TG-5||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus TG-5|
|Olympus E-PM2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Olympus XZ-2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus XZ-2|
|Olympus E-PL3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL3|
|Olympus E-PM1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM1|
|Olympus E-PL1||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL1|
|Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX7|
|Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ100|
|Panasonic LX5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
Both the XZ-1 and the FZ150 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The XZ-1 was replaced by the Olympus XZ-2, while the FZ150 was followed by the Panasonic FZ200. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus XZ-1 better than the Panasonic FZ150 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus XZ-1:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (614k vs 460k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (111x65mm vs 124x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 253g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2011).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 9%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- 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 tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the FZ150 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 7 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. 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 Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic FZ150 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 XZ-1 or the FZ150 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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.
- Canon 350D vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon 4000D vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon 550D vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon 5D vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon M6 Mark II vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon T2i vs Panasonic FZ150
- Leica D-LUX 5 vs Olympus XZ-1
- Nikon D750 vs Panasonic FZ150
- Olympus E-5 vs Panasonic FZ150
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Pentax K-1 II
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Pentax K-70
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Sony RX10 II
Specifications: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic FZ150
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||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||January 2011||August 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3664 x 2752 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.13 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.81 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic V||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||34||40|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||18.8||19.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.4||10.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||117||132|
|Screen Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||614k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic FZ150|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
111 x 65 x 42 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||275 g (9.7 oz)||528 g (18.6 oz)|
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