Olympus XZ-1 Reviewed

by Mike on January 26, 2011

The Olympus XZ-1 is undoubtedly one of the most-lusted-after compact cameras on the market, so it’s good to see some reviews finally coming in.

Not by me, mind you. It was the wild and crazy guys over at DPReview.com that gave the Olympus XZ-1 a full run-through.

Here’s what they had to say:

  • Not only does it offer a very versatile lens range (28-112mm equivalent), but it does so with a maximum aperture that can’t be matched. At F1.8-2.5 it’s brighter at every point than either the Panasonic or Samsung, and is in a completely different league to the F2.0-4.9 offered by the Canon S95 to which it’s otherwise so similar.
  • The image quality is exactly in line with what we’d expect from a camera with a sensor of this size – considerably better than most compacts other than its immediate peers. This is made all the more useable by that sensor being parked behind such a bright lens. This underlying image quality, combined with the excellent JPEG processing with which Olympus has made a name for itself, makes it easy to take impressive images every time you pick up the camera.
  • The XZ-1 is a joy to use, quick and easy to control and small enough to make sure you have it when a photographic opportunity arises. In fact, many people considering a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera may find they’re better served by the XZ-1, if they’re not serious about buying additional lenses.

The XZ-1 does indeed look like an amazing camera, and the $499 price point actually isn’t bad relative to the Canon S95 and Panasonic LX5. These two are $50 and $100 cheaper than the Xz-1, respectively, but they’re also older and have much-less impressive lenses.

If I needed a point & shoot and I absolutely wanted the highest quality , I’d go for the XZ-1 if I could stand waiting for delivery.

Pre-order the XZ-1 at Amazon.com

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