Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5
The Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2011 and July 2010. Both the XZ-1 and the LX5 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic LX5|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3|
|10.1 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor|
|720/30p Video||720/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)|
|Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 614k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2 shutter flaps per second||2.5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|320 shots per battery charge||400 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 65 x 42 mm, 275 g||110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus XZ-1 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5? 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 LX5 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
Both cameras are available in two different colors (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 and the Panasonic LX5 are of equal size. However, the LX5 is slightly lighter (1 percent) than the XZ-1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XZ-1 nor the LX5 are weather-sealed.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Olympus XZ-1»||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic LX5«||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic LX5|
|Fujifilm X10« »||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599||Fujifilm X10|
|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 FZ150« »||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic GF3« »||108 mm||67 mm||32 mm||264 g||300||n||Jun 2011||549||Panasonic GF3|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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. 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 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 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.4. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the XZ-1 offers a slightly higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the LX5. This megapixels advantage translates into a 0.40000000000001 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the XZ-1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 2.13μm versus 2.14μm for the LX5). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the XZ-1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the LX5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The Olympus XZ-1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under consideration, the LX5 has a markedly higher DXO score than the XZ-1 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.4 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 LX5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||19.6||10.8||132||41||Panasonic LX5|
|Fujifilm X10||2/3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/30p||20.5||11.3||245||50||Fujifilm X10|
|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 FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49||Panasonic GF3|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the LX5 provides a faster frame rate than the XZ-1. It can shoot movie footage at 720/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XZ-1 and the LX5 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. However, optional viewfinders – the VF-2 for the XZ-1 and the DMW-LVF1 for the LX5 – are available as accessories. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus XZ-1, the Panasonic LX5, and comparable cameras.
|Olympus XZ-1||optional||n||3.0||614||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y||Olympus XZ-1|
|Panasonic LX5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y||Panasonic LX5|
|Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Fujifilm X10|
|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 FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic GF3||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||3.2||Y||n||Panasonic GF3|
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 LX5 have zoom lenses built in. The XZ-1 has a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 optic and the LX5 offers a 24-90mm f/2.0-3.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Olympus, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The XZ-1 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the XZ-1 and the LX5 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-LX5 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 LX5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic LX5|
|Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X10|
|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 FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Panasonic GF3||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic GF3|
Both the XZ-1 and the LX5 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The LX5 was replaced by the Panasonic LX7, while the XZ-1 was followed by the Olympus XZ-2. 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 how do things add up? Is the Olympus XZ-1 better than the Panasonic LX5 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus XZ-1:
- 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/2.0).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the LX5).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (720/60p versus 720/30p).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (400 versus 320) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the LX5 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 5 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 LX5 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XZ-1 and the LX5 in practical situations. 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 hands-on reviews by experts 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 above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. 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? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Olympus XZ-1
- Canon SX70 vs Panasonic LX5
- Canon T5 vs Panasonic LX5
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Panasonic LX5
- Nikon D1X vs Panasonic LX5
- Nikon D4S vs Olympus XZ-1
- Nikon P900 vs Olympus XZ-1
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Pentax MX-1
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Samsung NX1
- Olympus XZ-1 vs Sony A3000
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony A7S
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony NEX-F3
Specifications: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5
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 LX5|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28-112mm f/1.8-2.5||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3|
|Launch Date||January 2011||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic LX5|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||1/1.7" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||7.85 x 5.89 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||46.2365 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||9.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3664 x 2752 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.13 μm||2.14 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.81 MP/cm2||21.59 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||720/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-12800 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic V||Venus FHD|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||34||41|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||18.8||19.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.4||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||117||132|
|Screen Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic LX5|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|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||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus XZ-1||Panasonic LX5|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2 shutter flaps/s||2.5 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 LX5|
|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 LX5|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge||400 shots per charge|
111 x 65 x 42 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||275 g (9.7 oz)||271 g (9.6 oz)|
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