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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.

Headline Specifications
Olympus XZ-1   Panasonic LX5
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 stabilizationLens-based stabilization
320 shots per battery charge400 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.

Body comparison: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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).

Size Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5
Compare XZ-1 versus LX5 top
Comparison XZ-1 or LX5 rear

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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus XZ-1» 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.7 oz 320 n Jan 2011 499- i Olympus XZ-1
 
Panasonic LX5« 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 9.6 oz 400 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
 
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Olympus TG-5« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 360 n Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus XZ-2« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.9 in 12.2 oz 340 n Sep 2012 599- i Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.5 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 330 n Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.7 in 11.8 oz 290 n Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 4.9 in 3.4 in 4.3 in 20.7 oz 540 n Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 18.6 oz 410 n Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic GF3« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.3 oz 300 n Jun 2011 549- i 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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.

Olympus XZ-1 and Panasonic LX5 sensor measures

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.

XZ-1 versus LX5 MP

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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus XZ-1» 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.411734Olympus XZ-1
 
Panasonic LX5« 1/1.7 10.0 3648 2736720/60p19.610.813241Panasonic LX5
 
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550Fujifilm X10
 
Olympus TG-5« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-PM2« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus XZ-2« » 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL3« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.349952Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.510.148754Olympus E-PL1
 
Panasonic FZ200« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.110.811437Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p19.410.913240Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic GF3« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.610.045849Panasonic 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.

 

Feature comparison: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Olympus XZ-1»- n 3.0 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y Olympus XZ-1
 
Panasonic LX5«- 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« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »- n 3.0 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n Y Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus XZ-2« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »- 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« »- 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« »- 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.

 

Connectivity comparison: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus XZ-1»Ymono---mini2.0---Olympus XZ-1
 
Panasonic LX5«Ymonomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX5
 
Fujifilm X10« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Fujifilm X10
 
Olympus TG-5« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus XZ-2« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Olympus E-PL1
 
Panasonic FZ200« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic LX7« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic GF3« »-stereomono--mini2.0---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.


Review summary: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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.

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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).

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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.

XZ-1 05:08 LX5

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.

Expert reviews: Olympus XZ-1 vs Panasonic LX5

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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus XZ-1»-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499- i Olympus XZ-1
 
Panasonic LX5«+73/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic LX5
 
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i Fujifilm X10
 
Olympus TG-5« »+ +-4/5o4/5 May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-PM2« »-77/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i Olympus E-PM2
 
Olympus XZ-2« »+-4.5/54/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599- i Olympus XZ-2
 
Olympus E-PL3« »+ +72/1004.5/5-4/5 Jun 2011 599- i Olympus E-PL3
 
Olympus E-PM1« »86/10071/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jun 2011 499- i Olympus E-PM1
 
Olympus E-PL1« »86/10069/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2010 599- i Olympus E-PL1
 
Panasonic FZ200« »+ +80/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jul 2012 599- i Panasonic FZ200
 
Panasonic LX7« »+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i Panasonic LX7
 
Panasonic FZ150« »+ +76/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 499- i Panasonic FZ150
 
Panasonic GF3« »82/10071/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 549- i Panasonic GF3
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

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.

Olympus XZ-1:
Check Ebay offers
Panasonic LX5:
Check Ebay offers

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.

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    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 Specifications
    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 Technology CCD CCD
    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
    Crop Factor 4.4x 4.4x
    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 PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens-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
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    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 Type Li-50B power pack DMW-BCJ13 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)320 shots per charge400 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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