|Yes this is an iPhone photo......sorry :)|
When I first saw the XZ-1 I was impressed with the build quality and the lens, but thought it was a bit too small. It struck me as interesting competition for the Panasonic LX5 and Canon G12 crowd. I liked that they kept megapixels down to 10 and that they seemed to understand that photographers wanted a hotshoe, manual controls and if they couldn't have a viewfinder (an optional add on one is available) then they wanted a great screen. After holding it in the store though I didn't like how small it felt in my hands. It just broke the barrier into being too small.
|f2.0 1/80 second ISO 200 with grainy black and white filter. Out of camera jpg.|
Well my wife often takes photos indoors at business events. She isn't going to lug around a DSLR, and is intimidated my most cameras. The XZ-1, while being a true enthusiast camera with full manual controls also has a i-auto function and several automatic settings. It has a separate video recording button for high definition video when she needs it, and it's well suited to her small little hands and will easily fit in a purse with it's point and shoot size. The fact that the camera is well suited and designed for low light shooting with that 1.8 lens and unpacked low density 10mp sensor is something she doesn't understand, but will appreciate in the results. Especially since their general use is for web photos, not large prints.
|f2.2 1/80 second ISO 200 with grainy black and white filter. Out of camera jpg|
|f1.8 1/1000 of a second ISO 500 out of camera jpg.|
|f1.8 1/1000 second ISO 400 in 'Sports Mode' out of camera jpg.|
Lets start with the bad and what I don't really love about the camera:
- It is a bit too small for regular to large hands (I have very average sized hands)
- It doesn't have a built in viewfinder (though you can get an external one and the screen is quite good)
- It doesn't track moving subjects too well, but it is good for a point and shoot, just won't beat your DSLR. To be clear, the camera focuses faster than any point and shoot I can remember using, but it did miss most of the photos of my daughter swinging which is a hard test even for a DSLR as she was swinging toward me. It's good for a point and shoot, but it isn't a sports camera.
- the auto white balance isn't very accurate in tungsten lighting (much too warm). If indoors, shoot RAW.
- While the camera feels well built, the buttons and little wheel on the back feel a little flimsy
- I've never really been a fan of the zoom with the toggle switch on point and shoots.
- The lens cap attaches to the camera via an included little string strap, but it's kind of annoying.
- You have to charge the camera with the battery inside the camera either through USB cable to your computer or a USB power adaptor (included) in a regular wall outlet. This isn't great if you want to charge a second battery while still using the camera. Pretty much defeats the purpose of buying a second battery actually.
|f2.2 1/80 second ISO 100 with dramatic art filter applied, out of camera jpg.|
- The camera feels very well constructed
- The lens has a wheel around it for changing aperture much like the old aperture dials on lenses. I LOVE that! It is used for other settings when in modes where you can't control the aperture, such as changing art modes etc. I hope other camera manufacturers pay attention to this.
- 10mp restraint is a bonus
- the lens which starts at a super bright 1.8 on the wide end to 2.5 on the longest zoom end is very nice. As usual with Olympus, this is a very nice lens.
- A hot shoe gives so many options from flashes and Pocket Wizards to adding the viewfinder and audio accessories.
- The LCD screen is bright and clear.
- Full manual controls
- You can shoot in RAW
- Good image quality
- the art filters are fun. I enjoy them on all the Olympus cameras. I can't believe I like them as much as I do, but there you have it.
|f2.0 1/60 of a second ISO 100. Grainy black and white filter, in camera jpg.|
|f1.8 1/60th of a second ISO 100 in dramatic tone art filter mode, out of camera jpg.|