First impressions hands-on with the Olympus Stylus XZ-10

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At CP+ we were able to get our hands on a pre-production version of one of Olympus' more interesting recent offerings - the Stylus XZ-10. The XZ-10 sits in the company's lineup below the XZ-2 and, unlike its larger brother, has a 1/2.3" sensor - the standard size used in the majority of compacts. In this respect its closest rival is a camera like Nikon's P310 but the XZ-10 has a solidity of build and a level of direct control that the Nikon doesn't. Crucially it also has a more consistently fast lens than any of the cameras it competes with - F1.8-2.7 across its 26-130mm equivalent range. It's also in fairly select company in that it offers the ability to shoot Raw.

The XZ-10 becomes one of the few 1/2.3" sensor cameras to feature a lens control ring (we can only think of the Casio EX-ZR1000).

That lens won't offer a tremendous amount of depth-of-field control (it'd be the same as a 26-130mm F10-15 lens on a full frame camera), but does mean the XZ-10 can keep to lower ISOs than its small sensor peers can in the same lighting conditions. A built-in ND filter allows you to continue to use those brighter apertures in bright conditions, too.

With the lens retracted, the XZ-10 is pretty pocketable

Handling the XZ-10 is a nice experience - it has a nice weight to it and feels solidly built, and the rubber grip down the front of the camera makes it comfortable and secure to hold without adding unduly to its bulk. And, helped by the smaller sensor, the XZ-10 is a small cameras - it's much more pocketable than its bigger brother, the XZ-2. As with that model, the XZ-10 includes two control dials (one around the lens, the other being the rear four-way controller) and a touch-screen interface that can be used as much or as little as you like. It also has a Fn button, which cycles through any of the 16 settings you've enabled in the menu.

The two dials can be reconfigured, with different settings selected for each shooting mode.

Despite being the junior XZ model, the XZ-10 retains most of the customization of the XZ-2, with everything from dial setup (function and direction) to display options being configured via the usual length setup menu. Unlike the XZ-1, the little XZ-10 allows control over the noise reduction level being applied to JPEGs.

Photo Story lets you create composite images from multiple shots... ...just like the camera's Art Filters there are several options that can be applied with each style.

The XZ-10 becomes the first Olympus to feature 'Photo Story' a mode that creates composite images from two or three photos taken together. There are a number of different framing styles and sub-modes available, such as five vertical stripes made up of consecutive high-speed images, or a faux-Poloroid image set into the main image. Like Art Filters, there are plenty of options and, while the mode won't be for everyone, the system seems well worked-out with touch-screen operation making it easy to replace one of the already captured images and replace it, simply by tapping one of the shots at any point before you save the final composite image.

If you're not happy with your selection, tapping on either panel of the image gives you a chance to re-shoot that section. Alternatively, pressing 'OK' creates a finished image.

As befits its position in the lineup, the XZ-10 appears to balance point-and-shoot features with some more enthusiast-friendly tweakability. Only the omission of Super Control panel (one of our favorite interfaces, and one made better when combined with a touch-screen and lens dial), spoils our initial impression of the Stylus XZ-10. We'll look to publish a samples gallery from the camera as soon as production versions become available.

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Olympus Stylus XZ-10

Comments

Total comments: 179
emersonik
By emersonik (7 months ago)

Where is the review of the camera, or at least, the studio shot?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 30, 2013)

This camera has been available for at least two weeks in the States, and not a single sample image anywhere to be found. Not here on DPR, PhotographyBlog, et al, and not one image on Flickr. It's very strange.

The P330 has also been available, and there are a few Flickr images, but not one of the review sites has done anything with the new P300.

I guess people just have to research specs and buy the brand they like, but I can tell you from experience to buying a camera based on manufacturer's kind of staged sample images can be risky.

1 upvote
ssslayer
By ssslayer (Mar 7, 2013)

It will be interesting to see this pitted against the Nikon P330 in turn pitted agaisnt the Canon S110.

I am sure both of these would match, if not destroy Canon S110 in terms of IQ.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Mar 31, 2013)

Destroy the S110 for IQ? Based on the early XZ-10 samples, not a chance. That's not to say the XZ-10 IQ isn't decent to good, but it's not at the level of the S110 or G15, or for that matter the P330, which is fairly evenly match for IQ with the S110.

0 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 21, 2013)

" Unlike the XZ-1, the little XZ-10 allows control over the noise reduction level being applied to JPEGs."

Interesting to note. Also MSRP US is $399. Available March.

0 upvotes
josebaking
By josebaking (Feb 14, 2013)

Can you do full manual on this like the Panasonic LX7?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Mar 26, 2013)

Yes.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 12, 2013)

DPR is giving a lot of attention to this camera in a sense arguing that because of the fast lens, the small 1/2.3" sensor is good enough for an enthusiast compact. Oddly, with the Pentax Q, the first ever ILC with a 1/2.3" sensor, DPR didn't even bother to review it,

So now because it's Olympus, a kind of darling of DPR, people are supposed to be excited about this camera?

Don't plan on buying either camera, but I find it odd how some unique or interesting cameras get no attention and some more bland cameras get tons.

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 12, 2013)

Interesting - I don't think we've ever been accused of being pro Olympus before.

I wrote this because it was just about the only camera released at CP+ that had generated any interest from our audience and was available at the show.

We have not argued it's 'good enough' for enthusiasts, only that it is being marketed to enthusiasts - we wouldn't make any such judgement until we've shot with the camera.

There are several cameras we didn't get time to review last year, not just the Q.

2 upvotes
Alashi
By Alashi (Feb 12, 2013)

That's funny; a few years ago, you were accused on being way too sweet on Canon. Thanks for all your intros; you have always presented a refreshingly professional approach to all your work.

Alashi

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 16, 2013)

Sorry, didn't mean to imply anything negative re: DPR and Olympus. Olympus makes superb cameras with a lot to offer.

That said, I've always thought it odd that DPR didn't review the original Pentax Q, I suspect because of the small 1/2.3" sensor. So along comes this camera, with likely the exact same Sony 12 mp BSI CMOS sensor, and it's seems to be held to a different standard in terms of how valid of a camera choice it is.

And it's not so much DPR, but commenter reactions in both XZ-10 articles that are interesting. With the Q announcement comments most were: "Pentax can't be serious with the tiny sensor on this toy". With the XZ-10 comments are much more positive ranging from "the fast lens will more than make up for the small sensor" to ironically, "If IQ is anything like the Q, it should be great".

Anyway, I have no complaints whatsoever about DPR in general, this was just a small observation about how different cameras are perceived.

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Feb 19, 2013)

You should be used to this by now. You know how this place works.

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 27, 2013)

If no one wants to imply anything, I will:
DPR's choices, and judgement, often seem influenced by where the advertising revenue is coming from.

1 upvote
fibonacci1618
By fibonacci1618 (Apr 5, 2013)

Oh Gosh... give these guys at DPR a break, please. I certainly did not perceive any bias towards Olympus via that comment. And the Pentax Q is a very different class of camera (ILC), in a different price range, with a different set of users in mind. If DPR was not inspired enough or motivated enough to review or take the Q seriously (at least in the minds of some here), there are probably many others sites to go to for that information or review.

It's hard to keep up with the deluge of new cameras being released all the time, and it's impossible to review everything & all within a very short time, so I'm sure they have to pick & choose cameras they believe have a wider audience interest & prioritise them, or leave out altogether. If they're wrong, then that's too bad, but that's the practical reality.

Advertising revenue is a necessity, for how otherwise can they fund this site and keep it free for us to enjoy? I'm sure we're all smart enough to perceive any bias if it creeps in.

0 upvotes
duqov
By duqov (Feb 8, 2013)

Can somebody point me to a website/formula where I could calculate which aperture I need if I want: 1) 1/2.3 sensor, 2) equivalent of 85mm FF view angle and 3) equivalent of 85mm FF, f=2.0 depth of field? Would it be about f=0.2? How big would such glass be? Still smaller than FF 85mm f=2.0 Why is nobody making such things?

1 upvote
duqov
By duqov (Feb 8, 2013)

As a Nokia 808 owner I am convinced that with small sensors inevitably getting better, things like that will surely become the future.

0 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Feb 8, 2013)

Maybe it's too hard to bend the light that much.

0 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Feb 8, 2013)

I am not sure about how to calculate the length of the equivalent lens, but there is a simple relationship between the minimum diameter required for the front lens element (d), the actual focal length of the lens (l) and the fstop (f)

d = l/f

So an 85mm lens at f2 must have a front lens diameter of at least 42.5mm.

The focal length used in the calculation must be the actual focal length rather than the often quoted 35mm equivalent.

On a 1/2.3" sensor the actual focal lengths are approx 5.5 times smaller than the 35mm equivalent, so 85mm becomes an actual focal length of 15.4mm.

... continued

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Feb 8, 2013)

A 15.4mm lens at f2 has a minimum front lens diameter of just 7.7mm. This lens, of course, has the same depth of field as a 7.7mm f2 lens on a 35 mm camera. i.e. the depth of field will be enormous.

This web site doesn’t have 1/2.3" sensors, but for a 1/2" sensor it suggests you would need f0.4 to get the equivalent depth of field on such a lens.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

This would mean a minimum front lens diameter of around 38mm .. doesn't seem too bad! However, I suspect the very wide f0.4 would introduce some other constraints and could push the diameter or length further. I’m not an expert, so everyone please chip in if you know how this works in real life!

One thing this does reinforce is how hard it is for companies to market the trade off between aperture, lens and sensor size cos it seems few people fully understand it.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 27, 2013)

I have a hunch that a lot of squares and pis will be involved ;-)
In absence of the formula, you could use the comparative tables in some of the camera reviews on here, namely the enthusiast compacts compared among each other and with an APSC as a reference.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 27, 2013)

I think what you want to know is if you can have good DoF control while keeping a small sensor. If you look at @Oddrain's calculations above (although I suspect the opening may have to be even larger), you quickly realize that the lens, the mount, the camera - the resulting whole package, would be just as large as a camera with a larger sensor in the first place. Only you'll get more chromatic aberrations than could be achieved with a larger sensor, distortion would become a problem because more minute adjustments in focusing and lens elements coordination are required. You'd basically sacrifice image quality for DoF control. With a larger sensor paired with a lens designed for it, you get better dynamic range, better hues graduations, less noise, DoF control, and best sharpness thanks to the optimal lens and sensor size ratio.

I think you just have to trust that the engineers already figured this out, and there's a reason why things are the size they are.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
kadardr
By kadardr (Feb 7, 2013)

This camera type is a dying species (let`s say it is the" small sensor expert camera", which is as much a bs as the "enthusiast compact"), whatever and however the producers and fans try to resuscitate and reresuscitate them. In the future they might become collectors` items like chinaware or post stamps, or just disposable. Cannot see any development strategy and so future for them. Diversification and niche specialization could be a direction, no signs of those yet.

3 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Feb 8, 2013)

It will be interesting to see how this latest battle evolves, but as sensors get bigger lens sizes grow non-linearly. This makes it harder to provide wide aperture low light capabilities without increasing camera size.

Sony has pushed the envelope, but there may still be a market for compact cameras that trade sensor size for faster apertures across a wider zoom range.

Either way I'm glad Sony is pushing the market in new directions and can't wait to see what the competition will do when they have had time to properly respond.

One problem as highlighted by Olympus' Toshi Terada is that many people don't get f stops so these cameras will be hard to market. Luckily DPReview readers are well versed in these matters!

3 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 27, 2013)

I completely agree with you.
I think that the purpose of this is to be a marketing experiment, to see what it takes to gently transition enthusiast consumers to better cameras... start them out on this, educate them on one element, then when they learn about sensor size, they buy again... learn more, and buy again... and again... and so on.
Best illustration of this is a dumbed down d5200 called the d3200 that only has a hinge less, a microphone less, and some lines of software code chopped out so it can't do bracketing. Both have the same manufacturing cost, yet a big selling price difference. This situation is no different, only it's happening on a lower level in the pecking order of cameras.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 7, 2013)

I like to first picture, really. The bright friendly lens actually smiles at me, inviting me to take photos through it.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (Feb 7, 2013)

Where is the OLY EPL-5 review? Pleeease....

2 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Feb 8, 2013)

.. and the XZ-2 too please!!

2 upvotes
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Feb 6, 2013)

Being an Olympus user since the first OM-1, I wonder about the lacking road map now of this company.

Some software driven things with this example here – maybe like Casio or many others can do, too – but where is something which makes one tick to buy just this Olympus No. n+?

This camera is in an ocean of small sensor re-packaging, SW features enhancements and with very old-fashioned back displays.

Then I can buy a BENQ variable angle display camera for a break of the price, an excellent meal with friends afterwards included. And decent photos, too.

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (Feb 6, 2013)

All that matters is fast glass. The era of the 1/2.3 sensor (best ever!) is here. Hopefully any future Sony RX2 will have a FAST lens and amazing 1/2.3 sensor because it is amazing. Sensor size no longer matters. Hopefully the amazing 1/2.3 sensor finds it's way into next year's DSLRs. It is that good.

7 upvotes
robenroute
By robenroute (Feb 6, 2013)

Mcshan, I don't think you've got any experience shooting larger sensor cameras, do you? I mean, APS-C, 2/3", let alone FF sensors. Do yourself (and other readers of these forums) a favour and either read up on the characteristics of the bigger sensor cameras or get/borrow/buy a few to experience it first-hand.

P.S. if you were trolling, you got me; if you were drunk, good on yer ;-)

4 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (Feb 6, 2013)

Hi roben, Not trolling and don't drink, but I got you. I can tell you took my sarcasm for a friendly post (it was). I thank you for that and appreciate your comment. All the best.

5 upvotes
robenroute
By robenroute (Feb 7, 2013)

Sorry, mcshan. I hadn't noticed the sarcasm. In hindsight and having read your post again, I see it... Nice one!

1 upvote
mcshan
By mcshan (Feb 7, 2013)

Thank you roben, I can't help but think that the only reason for keeping the small sensor is saving money. Yes, technology can be improved but why not improve the 1/1.7 or 1 inch sensor? Both already are used in small cameras (Canon's S series and the RX100). To me it is about using a small sensor and adding just enough to call it an "enthusiast" camera. I would love to see an RX200 with a faster lens (in my case even at the expense of some zoom range) without making the camera any larger.
Thanks for the friendly messages and I will see you on the forum.

4 upvotes
draleks
By draleks (Feb 7, 2013)

This is the oldest problem with sarcasm on the Internet. Sometimes people are so incredibly stupid that it's hard to see the difference.

2 upvotes
Neodp
By Neodp (Feb 6, 2013)

OK enthusiasts, and designers. So phones are eating up the pocket camera market? Make a tablet/camera(phone?), and with a MFT, relatively, big sensor, and a removable, flat-ish (cap like, and perhaps carries off the camera, sometimes), wide aperture, normal (focal) lens, and included. This will still have digital zoom, and when people figure out digital zoom sucks (or if they do) then they can buy any of the other MFT lenses, that they desire.

Yes, it would still be a bulge, but it could be carried in the other pocket, or purse. It could even have a completely flat, pin-hole cap, for carry.

Why not go bigger, with sensor size. It's not like maximum, ultra-telephoto on tiny sensors, does a good job. You can beat it, with a quality lens, bigger sensor, and (some) cropping, in real world conditions.

That's radical; but the point is, if you want to fight cell phone cameras, then use a big sensor.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ThomasSwitzerland
By ThomasSwitzerland (Feb 6, 2013)

I just shot many photos with the Samsung Note I Inow. They are damn good. And I am a user with film, APS-C and FF cameras' experience.

A cellphone gave me many opportunities of pictures - quite good in quality, memorable. The markets will trend toward the mobile.

1 upvote
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Feb 11, 2013)

thomas, u shot many but obviously not enough if u think the note 2 images are anywhere comparable

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 6, 2013)

With the Panasonic LX7 selling for $279 I am not sure who would pick this camera over the LX7?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

It WAS selling for $299, for like a week for Christmas. Now it is back for $450.

At any rate, LX7 is a bit of a chunk, like the XZ-2. This is a bit slimmer like the S100. So a bit different.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 6, 2013)

You can always play that game when a camera is launched - 'why would I buy this new camera (at list price) when this old camera is substantially reduced?'

However, the new camera's price will also settle down (and eventually drop off at the end-of-life), so that perspective is only a short-term snapshot.

In the long-term it's likely to sit below the LX7 (or any LX7 replacement). So unless you're buying a camera on that particular day, you have to try to imagine how things will average out over time.

3 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Feb 6, 2013)

The LX7 still is available at $279 and has been since Christmas.

http://www.compudeals2u.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=lx7

I think that what R Butler said is usually correct. However, Panasonic dumping these LX7s for $279 has changed the playing field. It is like when your neighbor dumps his house for next to nothing and now everyone expects to pay rock bottom prices in your neighborhood.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

In fairness and to Richard's point, the LX7 in the States launched at $499, not too disimilar from the XZ-10.

But you can always find higher specified cameras near the end of their life cycles less expensive than new models.

And the LX7s and X10s, as great as they are, are bigger, more bulky than this camera with larger lens assemblies. The XZ-10's selling points are the lens, enthusiast features, and small size.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

In fairness and to Richard's point, the LX7 in the States launched at $499, not too disimilar from the XZ-10.

But you can always find higher specified cameras near the end of their life cycles less expensive than new models.

And the LX7s and X10s, as great as they are, are bigger, more bulky than this camera with larger lens assemblies. The XZ-10's selling points are the lens, enthusiast features, and small size.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Feb 7, 2013)

The current UK price of the LX7 in the non grey market is pretty much the same if not more than the XZ-10 list price at £350. So in the Uk the xz-10 will be likely be cheaper than the LX7. Do not forget you only get these offers in the states. I would certainly consider an LX7 if I could buy one at $279 but there seems little chance.

0 upvotes
EvanRavitz
By EvanRavitz (Feb 7, 2013)

Beware compudeals2u and their $279 deal on the LX7! Always check Resellerratings for an online store you don't know. Here's what they say about this one: http://www.resellerratings.com/store/CompuDeals2U

0 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Feb 8, 2013)

BBB rated compudeals2u F...

0 upvotes
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Feb 8, 2013)

Anyone wants to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for $279?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 8, 2013)

In the USA before state sales tax:

The Panasonic sells for $448 at B+H and a few cents less at Amazon. Therefore that's going to be the price that one has to pay if one wants to deal with a respectable camera dealer for this particular Panasonic in the US.

"Respectable" means the camera will come with everything that Panasonic puts in the box, nothing will have been substituted, and that if there is a problem the camera can easily be returned or exchanged and it will have a completely valid US warranty. Separately within certain limits one can return cameras to respectable dealers for a full refund for no particular reason.

Because someone says he can sell you camera for $280 doesn't even mean that someone has one instock.

At the very end of 2012 the older LX5 did drop in price to about $260.

0 upvotes
Altruisto
By Altruisto (Feb 6, 2013)

This camera really makes sense. Though I wanted a pocketable camera, I never jumped on Canon S** series because it was useless in low light when you zoomed a bit. Sensor technology has evolved in a way that 1/2.3 sensors are quite as good as the bigger 1/1.7 until ISO400. In fact most modern sensors are good enough noise wise until ISO400. The sensor used here is probably the one in SX50, which is really good until ISO800. So what you gain when increasing marginally the sensor size is negligeable with what you gain when increasing the aperture, at least until ISO400 (which I wouldn't surpass in a compact anyway). I'm more keen on such a camera when I consider a compact, as If I accept to put a camera in a bag, I'd go the mirrorless route, and when I want really shallow depth of field in portraits it would be my DSLR. For pocketable cams, it seems to be the new kid on the block.

12 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Feb 8, 2013)

Agree with the S Series comment. I bought the S110 and love using it, but you are spot on when you say it suffers in low light when zoomed. The faster "long end" aperture of this Olympus makes a lot of sense. Wish it had been around before Xmas!

1 upvote
Pierre Daigneault
By Pierre Daigneault (Feb 6, 2013)

Sure it has a fast lens. Sorry but I am another one of those ignorant people who have difficulty with the "enthusiast" label. It used to have meaning to me with larger sensors, fast lenses, and a combination of other features, but now it just reads "high profit margin" to me. The FZ200 for example is not branding itself as an "enthusiast" camera and is not too much slower with a raft of other features....sure it is bigger. Still if some enthuse over this then I am happy for them. Each to his/her own.....

7 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Feb 6, 2013)

hmm set aperture to 1.8 , shoot picture of portrait standing 5 meters away...no blurring of background, no bokeh....set aperture to 2.7, shoot picture of portrait standing 5 meters away, no blurring of bg, no bokeh

whats the point of small sensor again?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

Shoot landscapes or macro with sharp focus from foreground to background without having to stop the lens down to small diffraction limited apertures.

For portraits, get closer, reduce DOF, blur the background. Not like a larger sensor cameras, but then, how many larger sensor cameras can you carry in your pocket?

There are trade-off with all camera choices.

13 upvotes
umbalito
By umbalito (Feb 6, 2013)

LOL. Since when did fast lenses only mean "bokeh"?

A fast lens on a tiny sensor means you can shoot wide -open to keep shutter speeds up, and yet still have sufficient DOF for non-portrait shots. e.g. street shooting.

4 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 6, 2013)

The adjectives "bright&fast" have to do primarily with light throughput and - implied - fast shutter speed. The bokeh and background blur are nothing more then a (pleasant) byproduct.

BTW, there is much more to photography than the "bokeh" eyecandy.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

Think a little bit harder and you'll get it.

3 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Feb 6, 2013)

but come on 1/2.3 ? i thought nikon 1 and Rx100 already sets a new milestone for compact...

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

The milestone is a $650 pricetag and an f4.9 lens, too. Nikon 1 will never be in the same segment because the lens cant fold into the body.

0 upvotes
matty_boy
By matty_boy (Feb 6, 2013)

I find this kind of post so unhelpful. Bokeh has its place but it is soo overrated by some photographers; It fits neatly into the cliche of every prosumer portfolio ... sunset, HDR, long exposure of beach/waterfall/pier, over-shallow DoF portrait, shallow DoF photo of bike etc etc etc. Why even bother posting ?

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (Feb 7, 2013)

@magneto shot

I think you had too much of "DigitalRev"

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

@magneto: "I thought nikon 1 and Rx100 already sets a new milestone for compact..."
They don't.
Nikon 1 is good in iq, but quite large with terrible handling.
RX100 is overloaded with pixels and suffers from a slow & mediocre lens.
The best way to go in compacts is: Excellent glass and small but good sensor.
Olympus is already quite good at this and I'm looking forward to seeing samples of this XZ-10.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 7, 2013)

@Michael_13
The Nikon 1 cameras are far from "large" as the J1/J2, the new S1 and RX100 bodies have close to the same dimensions. The J1//V1 don't have grips, but handling is similar to other compacts. But the Nikon 1 AF performance is on a different planet than these compacts, and really ALL MILCs due to the PDAF. There really is no comparison for AF and tracking.

The Sony/Zeiss lens of the RX100 lens is slow at the telephoto end, but is far from mediocre at most aperture settings. The only thing that hurts the RX100 is the weak macro performance, slower lens at the tele end, and it's high price. IQ is superb.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

@marike6:
Yes, Nikon now offers a variety of 1-models. I spoke about the V1, that I find quite disappointing. Too large and crippled on purpose (no mode dial or hot shoe). The new models may be improved, but still won't be pocketable like the XZ-10.

Regarding AF: Indoors my V1 is not faster than my XZ-1, sometimes even slower with the 10-30 and I expect the XZ-10 to be even faster.

RX100: I never owned one, so you may be right, but the pictures I saw so far were not very convincing to me.
In my opinion a bright lens with a smaller sensor is just more versatile.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 6, 2013)

I want this ! This device utilizes the advantages of small sensor digicam in the best possible way.

It makes one wonder why devices like this one have been so rare ? Why the myriads of f/3.1-f/6 point&shoots and none of f/1.8-f/2.7 ?

3 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 6, 2013)

I have been using a P&S with f/1.8-f/2.7 and a larger sensor for the last three years, why is this so revolutionary?

4 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 6, 2013)

I should have been more specific: I meant the 'sub-1/2" sensored, pocketable in the strict sense of the word' category.

2 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Feb 6, 2013)

I agree with Brian, I don't see much point in this either, though I don't think the camera you've been using can fit in your jeans or shirt pocket.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

@brianj - Smaller, cheaper, longer and wider zoom.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Feb 6, 2013)

@tkbslc
Actually not cheaper as the EX2f is going for £260 on Amazon in UK so probably is the best buy at the moment in the UK anyway. Brian has the EX1 and posts some very nice pictures with it and I believe he likes the wider 24mm which you can get only with the EX's and LX's.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

This one goes to 26mm, so it is wider than the XZ-2.

I am sure there are bargains to be had on cameras that have been out a while, but as compared to launch prices and MSRP, this should be a cheaper camera.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 6, 2013)

@Rachotilko:
Probably, because such a lens is not easy and cheap to make.

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 7, 2013)

Yes I know it's not cheap&easy. But the lack of XZ10-like devices is strikingly disproportionate to the diarrhea of f/3.5-f/6.5 "cameras".

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

(lol "diarrhea")

Yes, I think only Oly is brave enough to enter into this territory. Maybe Panasonic will follow. Remember: They were the first to re-introduce bright lenses in compacts with the LX3.

0 upvotes
NIK11
By NIK11 (Feb 6, 2013)

Thanks for the hands-on. I have high hopes of this camera.

The Sony 12mp sensor that we might assume the XZ10 sports has a good pedigree and I'd put money on it that its performance will be close enough to 1/1.7 not to matter(DOF ignored). With a fast lens, useful functionality, easy usability and comfortably pocketable, finally we have a niche camera that's been begging for some years. It's not breakthrough, but it has been missing from the line up of me too superzooms etc.

This looks like a winner, provided Oly prices it competitively.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 6, 2013)

Has this specific sensor been used in any other camera or is it new never before seen sensor???????

0 upvotes
dpLarry
By dpLarry (Feb 6, 2013)

Have you ever compared 1/2.3" sensor and 1/1.7" sensor cameras? I have over the years Owned Canon G5 and G12 and Fuji F11 all 1/1.7". And Many 1/2.3" cameras Pentax Optio 3 Optio 5, Several Canon Ixus, Sonys etc.

1/1.7" sensors are Significantly better.

(More than the 50% larger sensor area suggests.)

3 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 6, 2013)

The question is...does the faster lens (at the mid to longer focal lengths) and newer sensor technology challenge that tried and true correct equation?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

Generally the 1/1.7" cameras have the best lenses and specs, too, so it is pretty difficult to get an honest comparison. I personally don't know if 1/1.7" offers enough relative advantage compared to newer larger 2/3 and 1" offerings to be worth the cost and size penalty. I know I was shocked how close my wife's ELPH 100HS is to the S90 I had.

0 upvotes
Andrew Butterfield
By Andrew Butterfield (Feb 6, 2013)

I think this is a very nice little camera, and perfect for its target audience. Being Olympus it should have a very sharp little lens, and a 5x zoom with f/2.7 at the long end is something Canon Ixus owners can only dream of. I think it deserves to do well.

8 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (Feb 6, 2013)

You buy this if you want ultra - compactness and better IQ than from one of the mass media compacts. It really that simple, and so it will be of interest to a lot of people who aren't going to whinge about lack of vf, zoom etc...it's just about having the camera with you to capture the moment with minimum fuss or inconvenience..my smallest compact is a Canon IXUS 70, which is very dated etc..yet it is so small and that's the lure and charm of it - this Oly is a big step up from it in specs and it will sell..when the price comes down a bit..

4 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Feb 6, 2013)

Ultra compactness? Looking at the specs, it is pretty much identical to the Sony RX100. Which has a sensor how many times bigger?

2 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 6, 2013)

Ultra compact it is not.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

@Yiannis:
While looking at the specs of rx100, try to figure out what F4.9 means.

2 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 6, 2013)

Interesting, it has the same size and type of sensor at the canon SX260HS, yet has not got as wide angle nor anywhere near as much zoom. Ah, I see, its called enthusiast because it sports a f1.8 aperture lens.

I wondered what the name 'enthusiast' meant!

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 6, 2013)

Properly considered manual controls, solid, durable build-quality and the f1.8-2.7 lens. That's what makes us call it 'enthusiast.'

33 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (Feb 6, 2013)

It obviously refers to people who would get excited to use such a camera rather than their mobile phone. ;)

4 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Feb 6, 2013)

@R. Butler:

pity I can't assign more than one "like" to your reply ! I really wonder why is it so tough for many to grasp the benefit of low ISOs enabled by fast lens.

7 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 6, 2013)

@brianj

You're clearly showing your lack of understand about even the simplest of camera functions if you don't understand the importance of an f1.8 - f2.7 over a 26-130mm range. Suggest you stick to your camera phone.

For all those others who do carry a compact P&S (I use an S95 myself), this is of definite interest ... although I'm finding it hard to understand why anyone wouldn't just plump for the Sony RX100???

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
mauijohn
By mauijohn (Feb 6, 2013)

@chadle_chad: yeah right..
.

1 upvote
NIK11
By NIK11 (Feb 6, 2013)

chadley-chad....'why not plump for Sony RX100'.
Price mainly, also ergonomics. Oly must undercut Sony price substantially to make this work. Not everyone prints A3 size.

0 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Feb 6, 2013)

Someone forgot to mention RAW capture in their list of arguments...

3 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 6, 2013)

@brianj

Have you ever shot raw on your SX260HS? I have on my SX230HS, and the "wide" angle is simply a small image circle captured on a black background, and subsequently stretched to size by software.

Please read my posting history. I've made lots of positive comments about the SX230HS. It is maybe the camera I use most often. But there are serious compromises in a lens design with so much zoom, at least as Canon has implemented it.

EDIT: Raw capture via CHDK.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 6, 2013)

Does it matter whether we bend light with a glass lens or a computer? I don't doubt there a plenty of compromises in the lens, but I won't even think about that when I am on my trip :-)

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 6, 2013)

@brianj

I'm with you, sort of. I don't oppose software correction all the time. However, if you saw the raw photos that I get with my SX230HS, you would have doubts too. A big chunk of the sensor captures nothing at all, so the part that is stretched is under-resolved compared to the same camera's results at longer focal lengths. It is not a tiny thing at all, like a correction of barrel distortion. No, it is a big thing, a little disconcerting the first time you see it.

0 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 7, 2013)

Then I won't look, I don't use raw, have no need for it, I guess its one of the prices we pay for all that zoom in our pocket. I have another 24mm f1.8 camera, this one is for distant stuff on a tour. I think it will serve the purpose well.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

@brianj:

Why do you bother? You definitely are no enthusiast.
;-)

0 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 7, 2013)

Maybe the word enthusiast means someone who spends a lot of money !

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Feb 7, 2013)

Actually yes, enthusiasts are willing to pay more money than an average user, because they value and understand the true qualities of a product.

0 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Feb 7, 2013)

Or a fool and his money are soon parted. LOL

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Feb 11, 2013)

i dont see the point of using manual control on a 1/2.3 sensor. seriously...sensor size matters....all these talk about pocketing the camera is probably referring to a jacket which could easily hold a 4/3 cam. else it would be fighting with the wallet, car keys for space.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

This is a winner if they price it right.

5 upvotes
Expat Nomad
By Expat Nomad (Feb 6, 2013)

Wireless flash. I like. Unlike the XZ-2.
Being Olympus, hopefully an underwater housing will also follow.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 6, 2013)

The XZ-2 has wireless flash too.

5 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Feb 6, 2013)

I think, I'm understanding Olympus' company strategy. Oly is an old camera manufacturer with capability producing high quality lenses. Instead of the expense of installing a large sensor to their compacts, they decided to use their skill and design the lens around the sensor and make full use of it. For example, the XZ-1/2 has the best IQ at the corners I've ever seen in a compact.
Panny and Oly are close; and in the Panny interview, they opt for a small sensor and a bright lens for designing cameras.

5 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (Feb 6, 2013)

I thought compact camera is dying prety soon as Mr Terada of Olympus says. but heres another compact camera from their very own company.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 6, 2013)

If you check the quote he said: 'We've shifted to high-value products - long zoom, enthusiast compacts and TG-type cameras that have benefits to differentiate them from smartphones.'

This looks much more like and enthusiast compact than a mass-market point-and-shoot to me.

21 upvotes
mauijohn
By mauijohn (Feb 6, 2013)

No EVF and No FLIP UP LCD and Pricy too... never mind.
buyers are not getting dumber aren't we?

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Feb 6, 2013)

EVF? It's pocket compact enthusiast camera.

15 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

We are dumber if we can't figure out that there are different product segments.

9 upvotes
trekkeruss
By trekkeruss (Feb 6, 2013)

Umm, Olympus already makes a compact with an EFV option and articulated LCD. It's called the XZ-2.

9 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 6, 2013)

@mauijohn

'No EVF and No FLIP UP LCD' ... wow, what a statement to embarrass yourself with!

5 upvotes
Henry Falkner
By Henry Falkner (Feb 6, 2013)

It looks like a nice fast versatile 5x zoom pocket camera. A 12MP BSI CMOS sensor is also quite useful. I think the designers have succeeded with this implementation of an enthusiast compact.

11 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Feb 5, 2013)

I hope that, at some point, manufacturers will adopt the SONY-like rear dial, like Nikon did on the 7700. The cheap, slim, fiddly dial that has become the norm is just not enough. More so on CSCs.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

I think a problem this camera may face is price. For about the same money you can get the new Pentax MX-1. It's a bit bigger, but it has a faster lens, and a tilt-able LCD, and from what I've seen, excellent IQ.

MX-1 AF test
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtsYLJaOPgI

The XZ-10's max shutter speed of 1/2000 (unless it has a built in ND filter) is not great. The MX-1 in contrast goes to 1/8000.

I know which one I'd choose, but everybody has different needs.

4 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 5, 2013)

The MX-1 also has a larger sensor, but it lacks the custom settable setting lens rings that the Sony RX 100 and Canon S110 have. If I am not mistaken, the Pentax will be more expensive, but I am not sure.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Feb 5, 2013)

I would say that the MX-1 compares better with the XZ-2, but I'll agree that once you put on fast lenses you have to complement that with a fast(er) shutter too. A quite clever point you have there.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

The MX-1 is $496 in the US. I don't know about prices abroad.

1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Feb 5, 2013)

It's roughly ~460 euros, ~560 Swiss francs, in Europe. 500 USD is ~370 euros...
Our we in for a treat! Maybe our (Europeans') heads are smaller?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

The XZ-10 does have an ND filter (sorry, thought I'd mentioned it).

8 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Feb 5, 2013)

The preview says clearly that it does include an ND. So unless you added that line later, you don't need to apologize!
However, I'm of the opinion that although the ND has technically the same effect as a faster shutter, you don't always use the two for the same purpose. Plus enabling the ND is a purposeful action, i.e. you can't shoot in P or A and expect the camera to automatically switch on-off the ND to compensate. The shutter, on the other hand, need only work.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

Something like the 3-stop ND on the LX7 is there because it allows you to keep a wide aperture for shallow DOF in bright light, or slow down the shutter speed for effects like blurred waterfalls so you don't need to use small, potentially less sharp apertures.

With a camera with a max shutter speed of only 1/2000 in bright light, you'll be forced to stop the lens down if the light is bright enough. Stop it down too much, you'll reach small diffraction limited apertures.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Ben O Connor
By Ben O Connor (Feb 5, 2013)

The best gift to a young generation, its a simple and simply great beginners camera. No doubt.

Enthusiasts always prefers more; in terms of customising and upgrading their photography even on P&S scale.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 5, 2013)

The problem is the elephant in the room, albeit a pricy, very small and very powerful elephant: The Sony RX100.

That's an amazing camera, and with fewer pixels v2 could probably produce useable raws at ISO 10,000.

5 upvotes
ptox
By ptox (Feb 5, 2013)

Wow, thanks for the reminder. I'd almost forgotten about the RX100... one hardly ever hears about it and its ONE INCH SENSOR anymore. Which is a surprise, because it has a ONE INCH SENSOR. Did you know that this camera's sensor is much smaller? Because that is very important. Only ONE INCH SENSORS matter now. So thanks for putting things back in perspective--that perspective being the absence of a ONE INCH SENSOR in this camera, the camera that is not the RX100, and which is wholly unimportant.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
30 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 5, 2013)

ptox:

The fact is that the RX100's external dimensions are close to those of this camera.

I try not to use dumb terms like 1 inch sensor or 1/2 inch either. Or 1/2.5.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

This camera is around two thirds of the price of an RX100 (list price) so it's not terribly relevant here. It's more directly comparable to the Olympus XZ-2.

And, as soon as you make that comparison you see the slower lens of the RX100 means its advantage drops off at longer focal lengths (vs its peers, which this isn't one of).

http://www.dpreview.com/files/articles/2367736880/Graph_520.png

It's a very nice camera, but there's more to a camera than a ONE INCH SENSOR, as it turns out. Lens speed and usability are both pertinent factors.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
15 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Feb 5, 2013)

The lens of the RX100 is so slow though unless it is fully wide open and looking at the DPR comparison vs the XZ-2 there does not seem to be any great ISO performance to offset this. Of course with Sony they are more interested in the Megapixels showing on the box than IQ.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

@Greynerd

Actually the RX100's sensor has the best high ISO performance of any compact camera.

While agree with Richard that the RX100 at it's higher price point is not directly comparable to this camera, in fairness the RX100 sensor is great, beating out cameras like the Fuji X10, and the XZ-2. The faster lens of the XZ-2 can compensate but that only goes so far as the RX100 has an f1.8 max aperture as well (at least at the wide end).

I'm not a bit RX100 fan, but just wanted to be clear. It has similarly great high performance of other 1" sensor cameras like the Nikon 1 V2, so it competes very well with other smaller sensor compacts.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 6, 2013)

Greynerd:

The shadow-heavy raws I shot with the RX100 are good above ISO 3200, extracted with ACR. I think it unlikely that this Olympus will equal that low light performance even with the faster lens.

R Butler:

Okay, if the Olympus were one third the price of the RX100 I think you'd have a point on the pricing.

The point about the slow, when fully zoomed, RX100 lens is more apt than the pricing difference.

Anyhow I just thought I had to mention the elephant in the room (the RX100); it's not like this Olympus is an uninteresting small camera, but so is the Panasonic LX7, or the Fuji X20, etc (interesting they be).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 6, 2013)

HowaboutRAW: my point is that Olympus already has an RX100 competitor (and not a bad one) in the XZ-2. The RX100 is better in some respects but there are also areas, particularly in terms of features (flip-out touchscreen, two-mode control dial), performance at the long end of the zoom (where it has greater light capturing capability than the Sony), and all-round-usability where the XZ-2 has the edge.

But, since this is clearly a step down from the XZ-2, it doesn't make sense to compare it to one of the XZ-2's still more expensive rivals.

We'll see once Olympus US has announced it and it's been on the market for a bit, but I suspect this is more like a Canon S110 competitor and there are plenty of people who will stretch to an S110 but stop short of shelling-out for an RX100.

6 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

I agree about pricing and compacts. Once you get into RX100, XZ-2 or X20 pricing territory, for some users, even enthusiasts, you've gone a bit too high, especially considering you are now in price range of an entry level DSLR, or mirrorless like the NEX-5R or EPL5. That's why cameras like the S110, P7700, or G15 (aside for being fine cameras) are attractive to some. Whether the XZ-10 offers enough at the $500 range is anybody's guess.

1 upvote
Edgar Matias
By Edgar Matias (Feb 6, 2013)

The RX100's 1-inch sensor is the best of the best right now, but its lens is probably only good for about 3 or 4 megapixels.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (Feb 6, 2013)

I tend to use low apertures mainly at night wide angle shots, so I'd take the RX100 and its 1" sensor over this camera with a better tele aperture but smaller sensor. With all that said, just get bigger pockets and go for a NEX-C3 with pancake :)

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Feb 6, 2013)

"This camera is around two thirds of the price of an RX100 (list price)"

...with one quarter of the sensor (and, by necessity, the lens covering it).

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (Feb 6, 2013)

How about the awesome Pentax Q? A same sized sensor without the AA filter? Plus the 01 prime is as sharp as any comparable prime in the market and both can be had for the same price as the 01 prime itself! Its like buying the lens with a free Pentax Q body.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 6, 2013)

R Butler:

I think it's apt to compare the RX100 with this Oly XZ10. The Oly XZ2 is bigger than the RX100 and some users don't want or need the flip out screen of the XZ2. And yes, Olympus was smart to concentrate on a faster lens.

1 upvote
mcshan
By mcshan (Feb 6, 2013)

If sensor size no longer matters let us hope that the DPR stops listing the sensor size a camera has. ALL that matters is lens speed. I was foolishly thinking about the RX1 but NOW the special XZ-10 is here and the DPR has saved me a lot of money.

Cameras get extra merit if they have the Canon brand on them. The XZ-10 doesn't have the Canon brand but the lens is special (IT HAS TO DO WITH SPEED IN CASE YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN) so it will hold it's own.

How about a separate forum for tiny compacts that have tilting screens? Give me a fast lens and a tilting screen any day!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 6, 2013)

But the RX1 is 10 times the ostensible price of this Olympus. While the RX100 is closer to 2.2 times.

Like your use of irony.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Feb 5, 2013)

It is interesting that they have left so much of the functionality of its big brother intact. Quite an interesting change from the usual marketing trick of keeping a large differential between the models. I think Olympus should be commended for that. It looks a very capable little machine and I hope the IQ turns out well. Probably most prospective buyers are probably well aware of the DOF or relative FF aperture or whatever, though I presume we will have to batten down the hatches against interminable detailed lectures on this as noted already.

6 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (Feb 5, 2013)

That is what I like about Olympus. They also use the same sensor through their m43 line. Compare this with Panasonic who only use the latest sensor in their GH series.

4 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 5, 2013)

But the XZ 10 does not share the XZ 1/XZ 2 sensor.

0 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Feb 5, 2013)

A long-standing trait of Olympus, since the days of the E-4xx series DSLRs.

@jimr
He's not talking about the XZ-x sensors. He generally speaks about Olympus' strategy at keeping up with fresh technology in their ranges.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 5, 2013)

Thank you Gully. I did not know that.....

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Feb 5, 2013)

I for one think that RAW is not necessary. A great jpeg engine is more important in these type of cameras. For those who needs RAW, they will not be considering these category of camera's anyway and for those who are, they will not be bothered or tinkering with RAW files.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 5, 2013)

Not too sorry to be this blunt: but you have no idea what you're talking about, by that "logic" no one would purchase a Panasonic LX5/7 or Canon S100/110, yes I know that both have somewhat larger sensors.

Raw will draw people who care about the ability to adjust colour and exposure after the fact, these features are separate from the ability to get rid of more noise.

Raw adds next to nothing in cost to the camera, and maybe a page or two to the manual.

If not too expensive, and Adobe does good raw extraction software, this is potentially a big deal, and now maybe Olympus will allow the F2 TG series tough cameras to record raw.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

With sensors like these if you miss exposure, RAW can't fix it. You will have blown the highlights or created too much noise. I quickly found RAW to be pointless on my LX5 and S90.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 6, 2013)

tkbslc:

Raw is far from pointless on my LX5, funny that's one of the same cameras to which you refer. Just to be clear I don't use the horrid Silkypix that Panasonic ships with the LX5 for extraction.

(One thing about the LX5 I don't like is the auto white balance selection when using a flash, also with a flash one can't use as high an ISO. But when shooting raw it's much easier to get out of that mess at extraction time.)

Raw is helpful with my Canon G2 and G6 and that's the same line of cameras as the S90.

So I just don't think you know of what you write or possibly you have bad raw extraction software, though the one Canon ships with its cameras isn't terrible.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

Exposure is not the only advantage of RAW, but WB control, and avoiding high NR and sharpening artifacts (halos) are big advantages of shooting RAW. But there are quite a few compacts with more than enough DR for pushing/pulling highlight and shadows in a given image.

Besides not all JPEG engines are created equal. The X10 produces wonderful OOC JPEGs, but the XZ-1, not so much. High NR is one of the main reasons I never used my XZ-1 in JPEG only mode but always shot RAW. Personally wouldn't buy a camera that didn't offer a RAW option.

3 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

Hey, you got your opinion, I got mine. I shoot RAW almost exclusively on my DSLR, and even bought premium compacts with RAW on purpose. But then the pictures almost got worse the more I used RAW. You lose the distortion and CA auto-fix. You get all the noise. I ended up with a ton more work just to get back to where the JPEG started,

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Feb 6, 2013)

RAW is pretty much necessary with the XZ-1, due to the noise reduction issue. I've also found RAW handy on the S90, and don't find it any more work at all. Which RAW software are you using?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 6, 2013)

meanwhile:

Because messed up jpeg WB is so easy to adjust, not. As for NR that's also better with the raw data, even if Olympus does good jpegs.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Feb 7, 2013)

I'm confused, I think you meant "tkbslc:". I agree that RAW is the way to go.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 7, 2013)

meanwhile:

Yep my mistake.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Feb 5, 2013)

This is the right direction for compact cameras in the future.

In order to exist, compact camera must move upscale to distance itself from the ubiquitous and free camera phones.

* the smaller the better
* nice 5X zoom range
* relatively fast lens for it's class
* raw capture ability
* nice build quality

If the selling price ends up under $300, Olympus will have a real hit on their hands.

8 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 5, 2013)

Sure but a fast high quality 5X zoom is going to up the price beyond 300usd.

raw capture and optical zoom already makes this better than an iphone.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
dinneenp
By dinneenp (Feb 19, 2013)

and the control ring on front and dial on back

0 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Feb 5, 2013)

This is borning. Instead, tell us, Richard, did you get to play with Fuji X20 and X100s, and is Phase AF really that well on these, and one question that noone seems to be able to answer re: new Fujis, does phase AF gets cut off in low light like on Sonys/Nikons, or does it stay operational?

4 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

Under the reasonable lights of the show it seemed very impressive but I wasn't able to take the camera away from the stand, so I can't know how it would behave beyond those conditions.

I was very impressed with the digital split prism function (and the improvements made to the MF behaviour generally).

5 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 5, 2013)

Mr Butler thank you for the posting. The crucial question with this camera is its IQ given the smaller sensor than the Canon S 110 for one. Could/should have Oly used a larger sensor even with a fast lens? Which is more important an across the board helpful larger sensor or a lens that is faster at the middle to long end of its zoom range? Smart compromise or poor choice?
Mr. Butler, given your experience with current sensors of all sizes, to keep this camera small, which has more impact across the board to the camera's IQ...the larger sensor of the Canon S or the faster lens (tele) of the Oly at the expense of a smaller sensor?

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Feb 5, 2013)

Richard thank you for your response. X20 pre-ordered on amazon and maybe X100s but i am not sure yet

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

jimr - in terms of light collecting ability (taking into account sensor size and lens speed) the two cameras are very similar. As this diagram should make clear (you'll have to imagine where a 26-130mm F10-F15 equiv system would appear but it'll be very near the S110):

http://www.dpreview.com/files/articles/2367736880/Graph_520.png

However, the real-world differences will start to depend on the specifics of which sensor each uses. Will the XZ-10's BSI CMOS perform as well as the S110's larger FSI chip? I'd rather not speculate until we've been able to actually take pictures with it.

3 upvotes
jimr
By jimr (Feb 6, 2013)

Thank you Richard....
Much appreciated....

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

Let the games of "Name that DOF equivalent" begin.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Feb 5, 2013)

Yes, I really don't understand this obsession about the DOF for those compacts, with such a fast lenses and small but good sensor the low light performance of XZ-10 will probably be better than any past generation enthusiast compact and so we search new thing to criticize

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

We try to discuss it only where relevant.

In the enthusiast camera sector there are several sensor formats (1/1.7", 2/3" and 1"), so it makes sense to cancel out the different sensor sizes by discussing them on a common basis (and 35mm equiv seems as good as any). It's also relevant because a fast-lens enthusiast compact can offer more control than some DSLR or Mirrorless kit lenses so, if you don't plan on changing lenses, it's pertinent to know how the two options compare.

In this case I've mentioned it because this has a smaller sensor than most enthusiast compacts, so it's worth making clear how it compares and that aperture control on this camera is more about low light performance than depth-of-field control.

It allows aspects of specification to be assessed on a like-for-like basis - nothing more.

10 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 5, 2013)

Marike6, what games ?

Maybe brettec could explain that too.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

@FreedomLover

It was just a silly reference to the original XZ-10 announcement article's comment section. It got a bit heated re: DOF and formats.

1 upvote
CarstenKostrzewa
By CarstenKostrzewa (Feb 5, 2013)

I personally would not discount the ability of this camera to control DoF (and I actually mean background blur). Besides the fast lens, the zoom reach is also a bit longer than for the rest of the enthusiast compacts. So when you take both into account the XZ-10 is comparable to the XZ-2 which has a shorter maximum zoom of 112mm equiv. Anyway better than Canon S110 or Fujifilm XF1, which have very limited capabilities in terms of DoF control.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

@Richard Butler
No, I wasn't objecting AT ALL to the article content. The preview is great, as usual. I was just referencing the heated arguments in the comment section of DPR's XZ-10 announcement article.

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (Feb 5, 2013)

Thank you for your fast and kind reply, marike6 :-)

And thank you for the report and the replies, R.Butler.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Feb 5, 2013)

@marike6 - I appreciate you saying so.

I know that the topic has been contentious and is used antagonistically by some characters - I just wanted to be clear that we try to only refer to it when relevant.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

In terms of potential to blur a background it can be helpful to use the aperture size and not just the "equivalent aperture". XZ-10 has a little bit longer lens, so the f15 is not as bad as it sounds. The aperture is 8.6mm, which is larger than the aperture on the RX100.

0 upvotes
brettec
By brettec (Feb 5, 2013)

shame on you dpr, you cant just estimate the DOF by multiplying the crop factor and the f-stop, it doesn't quite work like that, it's not an exact linear equation. That aside, the XZ-10 looks like it could be quite a handy pocket camera.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Feb 6, 2013)

You can definitely estimate it. You can't calculate it to the micrometer, but you can get close enough to make meaningful comparison.

1 upvote
bzanchet
By bzanchet (Feb 5, 2013)

Great first impressions! I'm really looking forward for this camera, it should be a great 2nd camera for me, specially for the size (who carries a DSLR for a party concerned about DOF?), lenses and Olympus Jpegs. Even with the smaller sensor, I believe it will be better than Canon S100, like the Pentax Q.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 5, 2013)

I agree that it looks like a nice camera when size is a priority. And having owned the Q, it is a fairly capable camera. But I don't agree that the Q's IQ is necessarily better than the Canon S100, which really has an edge in detail and per-pixel sharpness. Q images can look great at times, sure. Pentax knows how to get great results from sensors. But the S100's IQ, like the G15, P7700 or MX-1, is a step up IQ-wise, IMHO.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Feb 6, 2013)

I would say the Q fares about same or a notch better than the s100. Both in sensor and particularly lens. It's the lens IMHO the main issue and of course forget about fast lens options on te s100

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 6, 2013)

@Raist3d
Why would you forget about fast lens options on the S100 when it's f2 at 24mm? That focal length aperture combination simply doesn't exist with native Q lenses. The Q has decent IQ, but for pixel level sharpness, the larger sensor enthusiasts compacts have an edge, just as it's more than likely they'll have an edge over the XZ-10.

2 upvotes
tomtom50
By tomtom50 (Feb 19, 2013)

Today's 1/2.3" is yesterdays 1/1.7", upper Dxomark 46 - 48. The newest 1/1.7" sensors are now in the 50s, coming up against the Nikon 1" sensors. The RX100 1" sensor beats the last generation m43, and so on. I don't know when it will stop, but the 1/2.3" Q and SX50 have IQ good enough for at least some enthusiasts.

I see no reason the XZ-10 cannot be as good as the S90 / S95 except with a faster lens, and that is darn good. It will not beat the RX100, but it is a lot cheaper.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 179